Newborn Diapering: Prefolds and Covers or Newborn diapers?

One of the biggest concerns I have about cloth diapering our newborn is what to use?! I’ve heard mixed reviews. Some say prefolds and covers are absolutely the way to go, others insist on using newborn diapers. Then there are some that suggest using disposable diapers until baby is big enough to fit into the OS and larger sized diapers.

I am not a fan of the disposables idea. The entire reason we initially decided to go with cloth was to save money by not having to purchase disposable diapers. If we were to use sposies with our newborn we’d be spending that money I am so excited to be saving!

I have purchased a few newborn diapers to try, and also have a handful of covers and prefolds to try as well. I will be trying both when he is born and seeing what works best for us, but with as many diapers as newborn babies go through, I MUST buy more NOW to keep up with the demand when he’s born. What do I buy?!

I’ve heard some say that they used their infant prefolds as inserts when their babies got bigger, thus making them useful after they’ve outgrown their original purpose. This is my worry with spending the money on newborn cloth diapers. Cute as they are and convenient as they seem, the thought of dropping the same, if not more money on a newborn diaper as a OS or even smaller fitted diaper is hard to swallow. The newborn diapers will not grow with our baby as he grows, and once they’ve outgrown their original purpose they are useless to me. Yes, I know the resale on cloth is pretty good, but is that going to be more work than I’m going to want to deal with? And do the newborn cloth diapers sell (or re-sell) as well as other diapers?

Fill me in on your experiences/thoughts/etc. I’d really appreciate the input! Which do you suggest I use? What do I buy? Do you have any brands you prefer to use and would recommend?


  1. I have yet to cloth diaper a newborn baby. I started when my youngest was 7 or so months. I have a new baby on the way in Sept. Since I already have 2 kids I decided to go the easiest and most dad friendly diaper. In other words my husband had alot of say. We currently have a half stash of Lil Joeys and plan to finish it off with more. I got half of it for free with credits and that justifies the cost a bit hehe. I already have a stash of Flips one size diapers for when baby is older (Although I will need to grab a couple more day packs, as I will have 2 in cloth). I just need to get baby big enough to wear them. I think the cheapest way is to go with prefolds and covers. You can always go with some newborn diapers and some prefolds. Getting a dozen or so prefolds to finish off your stash is a great way to keep costs down, but still have the full stash you need. Then you can buy more newborn diapers if you find you like them best? Just an idea πŸ˜€ Good luck with everything!!

  2. thanks Stephy for helping! πŸ™‚ I have no idea about this cloth diapering business

  3. Hi, I saw this on facebook, so here goes: I plan on CD my newborn in prefolds and thirsties duo wrap covers from Green Mountain Cloth This advice came to me from a friend who is CD twins beautifully. Their website/store is wonderful with how-to videos, pictures, and free laundering instructions ship with the prefolds if you select that option.

    I agree with you-I do not want to buy sized diapers or special newborn diapers. I some OS ready for when baby reaches 10 lbs.

  4. You can rent Kissaluv size 0s so you do not have to worry about resale ($25/month for 24 diapers) to have some fitteds. We used prefolds with my daughter right away, but my husband complained that they were too much trouble this time around (we are now using them exclusively at 3 months – our OS diapers do not yet fit even though our son is 13+ pounds). For cost considerations, prefolds are the way to go!

    Green Mountain prefolds are great quality and you can recoup at least half of what you pay new (or go ahead and buy used on a place like diaperswappers)

  5. I have a 4yo and a 2 mo old. I originally planned to cloth diaper our newborn with prefolds and Bumkins wraps BUT her thighs were just too chubby. So, I resorted to paper diapers with coupons I had set aside “just in case”. 2 bulk boxes from Target + the 2 packages we brought home from childbirth center held us over until she was big enough for Med wraps.

    COST; cloth diapers, especially newborn fitted, are much more cost effective if used with more than one baby. It's gonna be waaay cheaper to just bite the bullet in the first weeks with $30-40 of paper diapers, than to spend $100(s) on newborn size only to have baby outgrow them in 8 weeks or less (in our case). Tho', if you plan to have more babies, I say go for the newborn fitteds.

  6. Hi! I actually just had our 2nd baby last Monday. I didn't cloth diaper our first (now 15 months) but realized how much money we would be spending on diapers with 2 kids under the age of 2! My husband and I crunched the numbers (since this is the primary reason for switching to cloth) and found that diapering a newborn with disposables is about the same price as getting newborn cloth diapers if you decided to go with the non-prefold kinds. We now have our 15 month old in cloth diapers and our newborn in disposables. It's easier for me during these first few weeks since diaper changes are so frequent with the newborn along with nursing and chasing around our little pretoddler. I say just look at what is most important to you. For me, cloth diapering is my way of helping with the cost in our home. I'm not one of those that are against using disposables (another reason I got grovia diapers for daytime use so I have the option to use disposable inserts) Anyway, hope this helps! If you have questions, just send me a message!

  7. I cloth diapered my son starting at 1 month old using the prefold and cover method. I started out just trifold the prefolds and laying them in the cover as that was easiest, then as I got more confident moved on to using a snappi and a simple newspaper or jellyroll fold under a cover. I used yellow edge Green Mountain Prefolds as my son was born at 9lbs and was definitely over 10lbs once we started using cloth. The covers we used were Prowraps and Thirsties. I liked the Thirsties better, though the Prowraps worked too. I bought my entire newborn stash used mostly at DiaperSwappers and had great luck doing that.

  8. Let me correct that website:

  9. This is an area totally outside my realm of knowledge. Had they sold such cuteness and all these options back then, maybe I would have tried this route for longer than one diaper change.

  10. just like with regular diapering systems (AIOs, AI2s, fitted, pockets, prefolds), there is no perfect way. It's what works best for *you*! πŸ™‚

    I thought for sure I would be switching to AI2s once we moved to our own place and I started doing the changes more. Nope – pockets are still for us.

    Newborn AIO diapers are super easy to change. As easy as disposables. Anyone can do it, you don't have to give (much of a) tutorial.

    Prefolds are cheap. And yes, I use prefolds as inserts. I got premies, but I plan to get infant ones next — I want to phase out of microfiber inserts. But they're harder to change. Get snappis, grab a stuffed animal, and practice. It took me a month or two of cloth diapering before I was brave enough to try prefolds. There is a bit of a learning curve, so conquer it before you have a tiny human who needs a diaper on now! The bikini twist is main fold I use – figure out your favorite.

    And I still need to sell those cloth diapers… heh. But I plan to do so on diaper pin's forum and/or cloth diaper nation. Diaper swappers is scary so I avoid it. Swap Mamas is another alternative, particularly useful if you're gonna be looking for more regularsized diapers or clothes or whatnot later.

    And get cloth wipes. Then you just toss the wipes in with the diaper, and wash it all together – yay for infant poop you don't have to do anything about!! I found I just prefer a single layer of flannel from WalMart. I just edged them with a fake serger stitch so they don't fray. Actually, nevermind. I'll pick up some more fabric at the store and make you some. What's your nursery theme (or just some faves)? πŸ™‚

  11. I only had a used stash of BGOS 3.0 when our DS arrived last year. He was only 7-13 when he was born but by the time his cord fell off and I got up the guts to switch to cloth around 2 weeks he was over 9lbs already. They worked fine but I was using a homemade wipe solution and started getting repelling issues. Anyway, while I was trying to fix those I bought some GMD prefolds as a cheap way to get us through until I fixed the BGOS because I was NOT going back to sposies. Hubby and and I ended up LOVING the prefolds and didn't get back into the pockets until recently.
    I'll probably buy a few newborn dipes for the next LO just because I love to buy fluff, but prefolds and covers are the way to go.

  12. I LOVE cloth diapering Brax. Its so much fun! Having been through it, I would say that prefolds are the best economical way to CD until they are big enough to fit into the OS size (about 12 lbs for the Nifty Nappy fitteds). Newborn fitteds, as ADORABLE as they are, are not economical if you have large babies (I do, so for us they only lasted a month or so). Brax fit in BG 3.0s and softbums from birth. Also, for covers, I wouldnt go overboard with the smalls. Brax is 8 weeks old and already in thristies duos size 2 on the smaller setting. Its amazing how fast they grow! I still recommend the size ones, just dont buy a whole bunch.

  13. OH and Flip covers are awesome and fit from birth as well.

  14. I am in the same position as you! It seems the vast majority say that prefolds and covers are the way to go. So, I purchased 3 covers on sale from a local retailer, 1 cover from the BabyCenter swap board, and 36 orange edge GMD prefold (orange is for newborns). Then I also got a couple newborn AIO/Pockets and plan on having at least 4-6 of those, depending on what deals I find. I figure I'll use those until I figure out how big the little stinker is, then I will move on to the OS diapers.

    As for resale costs, the newborn stuff actually sells like hotcakes on the forums because people use them for such a short time. The GMD prefolds sell used for close to retail, including shipping to the butyer (although the original owner had to pay shipping from GMD). Because people use them for 2 weeks to 2 months, they seem like a good purchase used.

    Once we get into the OS diapers, I plan on buying new, since people will have used them much more and I therefore won't get as much value from them.

    Sorry for writing a book but this has consumed my thoughts for quite some time!

  15. Hi, I didn't get your email?! It looks like you have some good posts and advice!

  16. When Shae was a NB we used prefolds and covers then went to OS pockets (our favorite) and all in ones (not a favorite of our). Hope cloth diapers works for you. We did it until Shae was 2yrs used disposables for a few months until she was potty trained. I am sure we saved a ton of money on diapers even though we had a ton of cloth diapers.

  17. I've never used cloth but had thought about it so much. They are adorable now, wish we would have cloth diapered. Looks like you're getting some great advice!

  18. I'm so glad you asked this question.. I can't wait to see all of the responses!

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