Cloth diapering a newborn

The method I used was inserts and covers. I felt like this was the most versatile and reasonable to dry.



I used prefold inserts of two different brands. The two versions I used were the newborn Cloth-eez size newborn prefold and the Gerber brand prefolds. Each pack consisted of 10-12 inserts so I was working with about 22. This was plenty based on my laundry schedule and I also had some disposables on hand that I used here and there. If I were to add more, I would get another 10 pack of the Gerber ones since they were absorbant enough and I think they would be good as doublers for when the baby gets older. I held these together with a Snappi diaper fastener which I loved. I also tried using flat diapers, but I found them too bulky and hard to clean for the newborn stage. I will try them again once my baby is bigger, but for now they can be back-ups in case I forget my changing pad or need something absorbant.


Initially, I tried the pad fold. However, that caused me the most problems as the diapers would leak since it didn’t stay in place. I then settled on the jelly roll fold since it was absorbant and stayed in place but also did the best job at keeping poop contained.


Although I already had some adjustable covers, I used newborn-specific covers since my baby was so small. The adjustable ones did work when all my covers were dirty but it was extremely bulky in those first couple months. I had 7 covers in total, 5 that I made and 2 that I bought.


I made 5 newborn size covers from a pattern I found online. I used velcro instead of snaps to make the construction easier and they worked surprisingly well. These worked just as good as the ones I bought.

Thirsties x-small diaper cover

This cover worked well. There was only 1 row of snaps so it was really easy to put on. It also had a leg gusset so there was extra coverage.

Cloth-eez x-small POSO cover

This cover also worked pretty well and also had a gusset. There was a waist snap and a leg snap so the size was pretty customizable.

Cloth wipes

I purchased a pack of Cloth-eez muslin baby wipes but I found the ones I made out of flannel much better. I ended up using the muslin ones as wash cloths/spit rags since they were so large. The ones I made from flannel were 5” squares that I serged around the outside and moistened with water before using. Then I just threw them in the same dirty laundry bag and washed them with the diapers.


I did laundry every 2-3 days. This was easy for me since I had a small washing machine so I could do smaller loads more often. The most I would go is 4 days since the diapers shouldn’t sit for too long before washing. I used a free and clear detergent and ~1/4 c. Borax per load. The washing went as follows:

  1. Spray poop off diapers.
  2. Rinse cycle with cool/warm water.
  3. Wash cycle with detergent and borax.
  4. Rinse cycle.

Once washed, I would typically air dry everything. This was because I had to pay for laundry and this was the most cost effective option. Occasionally, I would throw the inserts in the dryer.

Storing dirty diapers

I bought a 12 gallon trash can with a swing top to keep all dirty laundry in. I specifically wanted a swing top because I learned that when there is airflow it doesn’t smell (as long as laundry is done every ~3 days). I used old pillowcases as liners and threw them in the wash with the dirty laundry. When I was on the go, I put all my dirty stuff in a PUL wet bag. Even when I changed diapers at night, I found it was easiest to bring a wet bag to bed with me. Once I got back I would put them in the larger dirty laundry can.

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