Newborn Cloth 101

All you need to know about using cloth nappies on a newborn

Using cloth on a newborn is really easy and fuss free. I never used cloth nappies on my eldest because I had no idea about cloth nappies at the time but I did use newborn cloth nappies on my youngest, Miss H. The experience was definitely easier than I anticipated but there are A LOT of different nappies to choose from which makes this hard, right?

Do you choose to buy newborn nappies or One-size nappies that fit from 4.5kgs but you have no idea which to buy because what if the baby is 2.5kgs at birth? Do you buy disposables and use one-size nappies when baby hits the 4.5kg mark? What types of newborn nappies do you purchase and what will you need to cloth diaper successfully? If you are wanting the answers to these questions, make yourself a cup of tea and read on. Remember to breathe, this may or may not be overwhelming for you but either way, I am here to help you.

Newborn nappies fit from 2.3 – 6kgs and one-size nappies generally fit from 4.5kgs

Either way, if you decide to purchase newborn nappies, you will still be saving money as you can sell them or use on your next baby. The decision is up to you. Full disclosure, newborn cloth nappies are FUN. For some babies newborn cloth may only fit until 6-8 weeks and others for at least 3-4 months but during this stage of your babies life, they use the MOST nappies so whether it only fits for 6 weeks, you will still be saving money.

Velcro or snaps?

Velcro nappies on Newborn

Velco/Hook & Loop refers to the closure of the nappy. Velcro is a great option because it is the easiest to use. You can get a perfect fit around the waist by pulling the sides and then securing the nappy.


Snaps on Newborn nappies

Most newborn nappies with snaps comes with the umbilical snap down rise which is so convenient for the first few weeks but choosing between snaps and Velcro for newborns is a personal preferences, moms with older kids choose snaps because it is not as easy to remove the nappy themselves than Velcro closures. However, snaps can be a bit harder to use for new parents, especially older caregivers.

Types of nappies

All-in-ones (AIO)

All-in-ones are easy to use, it is a one-step process. The cons are that it can take longer to dry if it does not have a snap-in soaker or if the soaker is sewn on both sides, another con would be that it wont be able to last as long as natural fibres especially if you have a heavy wetter. However, newborn need to be changed frequently anyway. I highly recommend the Thirsties newborn All-in-one, it is Convenient, trim fitting. The Snap closure version offers umbilical cord snap down which may be used while cord stump is present or belly button is healing. It has 4 total layers of absorbent microfiber terry, a microfleece liner and a reliable waterproof exterior and a Stay-dry microfleece liner provides wetness protection. Gentle elastic around legs and waist provides protection against leaks. If you would prefer natural fibres, I highly recommend Thirsties Natural Newborn All-in-one,  the difference between Thirsties newborn all-in-one is that it has Interior consists of 8 thirsty layers of natural fibers – 2 layers of organic cotton in the body and 6 layers of hemp/organic cotton in the soaker pads. This is a super absorbent nappy and a great option if you are looking for an easy to use nappy. All-in-ones are used for daytime and can generally last up to 2hours, the Thirsties newborn nappies can easily be boosted with extra inserts yet still remain trim fitting.

Fitteds for newborns

Fitteds are VERY absorbent because it is often natural fibres. Natural fibres are more breathable. Fitteds requires a cover, you could use a diaper cover, duo wrap or wool covers.  Some fitteds can be a bit bulky but they are definitely the most abosorbent nappies. Fitteds are perfect for nighttime. The Thirsties Natural Newborn Fitted has Ultra-absorbent and irresistibly soft with 7 total layers of bamboo cotton – 3 layers in the body and 4 layers in the snap in soaker pad.

Flats and prefolds

Flats are the way to go if you are looking for a more affordable options, flats are generally made from natural fibres which means it is absorbent. Flats are very trim but the con is that it can be a learning curve to use, it may take some adjusting to get the perfect fit and it will not contain newborn runny poop as well unless you have a cover with double gussets. To use flats or prefolds, you will need a Snappi or Boingo to close them. I thoroughly enjoyed using flats on my newborn. Our newborn flats are available in singles or in packs of 3


I personally would not recommend this system for newborn as the chances are of the cover not being fully soiled are slim, the cover will most likely not be able to be re-used but this is a fantastic option to consider once your baby has outgrown newborn nappies. Thirsties duo wraps paired with the staydry inserts are a great all-in-two option.

Covers for newborns

If you choose a nappy like flats, prefolds or fitteds that require a cover, you can either choose waterproof cover made from TPU or PUL, I highly recommend waterproof covers with double gussets because they can contain newborn runny poop better. Wipeable covers are great because you can wipe down any messes and re-use the cover. For 12 nappy changes, you may only need 3 covers for the entire day which is great. If you are wanting covers that will fit beyond newborn, Thirsties size 1 covers are great, it may be a bit bulky in the beginning but this is great value for money as it will last for a good few months. Wool and fleece covers are other options that you might want to consider, these are great for nighttime as it is both more breathable than PUL or TPU covers. Wool is an expensive option but it is the most breathable cover option out of them all and it has many benefits.

How many nappies do I need

You are likely to use 12+ nappies per day, the amount of nappies you may need depends on how often you are going to wash. If you plan to wash every second day then you will need 24 nappy changes and if every third day you will need about 36 nappy changes.

Useful items to have

Pail liner to store dirty nappies until wash day

Wetbag for travelling, I highly recommend getting more than one

Extra inserts to boost nappies

Liners – fleece liners are great to have if the nappy does not have a staydry inner and if your baby is sensitive to wetness.

How to wash newborn nappies

Toss soiled nappies in the Pail Liner, no need to rinse off poop unless your baby is formula fed. Exclusively breastfed babies poop is water-soluable. If you will be using formula, spray off poop with a Bidet Sprayer and toss in the Pail Liner. On wash day, put nappies in the washing machine. Do a 15 minute or 30 minute rinse without detergent. Then wash on your longest cycle, fuzzy or cotton which is about 2hours on no more than 60 degrees. You can wash on cold without any problems.

Every nappy brand has different washing instructions, please be sure to read them.

Find what works for you

I highly recommend having a few of the above options instead of one specific type of nappy, very few parents have purchased one brand and type of nappy but I know that they are happy with their decision, many parents have purchased the Pop-In box sets which fits from 4.5kgs.

I have personally had a few of everything from flats, fitteds and all-in-ones, all of them being a combination of hook & loop and snaps. Flats for daytime, fitteds for nighttime and all-in-ones for trips. Whatever your choice is, you cannot go wrong. We will be launching some great combo options for you that will make your decision easier, details to follow soon. If you are still confused, email or message me, I am happy to help.