So you’ve decided to go the eco-friendly route – cloth diapering that is, then this is probably one of the best decisions you can make not only for your baby, but the environment and your wallet as well. Using cloth diapers is however not easy, not in the sense of cloth diapering your baby, but rather choosing the right one for their tushy given the sheer breadth of styles available. Although there are several different types, finding the best newborn cloth diapers can be very difficult and time consuming.
In this guide I’ve broken down a few common infant cloth diaper styles available to you, and ones that generally fit from infancy until 16 lbs.
After over 100 hours of research into the best cloth diapers for newborns and the different styles available, I’ve got down and dirty so you’re not bummed with your decision later.
My Pick – Rumparooz Lil Joey Diapers (Snapping Diaper)
Conceived in 2006, Rumparooz came about when looking for a solution to the sensitivity caused by disposable diapers.
Cloth diapers however weren’t new to the diaper space, but what made Rumparooz stand out from the crowd was its great fit and function and of course patented dual inner gussets that prevent messes from leaking out.
Today the company behind Rumparooz – Kanga Care is into its 9th year, and has several highly quality and best selling products in its product portfolio including the Rumparooz One Size Diaper.
The Little Joey cloth diaper by Rumparooz is designed specifically to fit newborns between 4-12 lbs, and is appointed with snap down closures for a comfortable fit.
When it comes to older babies and toddlers, snapping diapers are often a preferred choice compared to Velcro cloth diapers. In the case of newborns however, it is more of a toss-up and depends on individual preference.
Even though snaps are more durable, their lifespan is shortened to a few months depending on how fast your child outgrows them. You can however use them for your next child or for several children.
One of the pitfalls of snap newborn cloth diapers is that they can be hard to put on for new parents and caregivers, but won’t be as challenging once you get used to them.
Runner Up – Bummis Super Whisper Wrap (Velcro/Aplix Cloth Diaper)
Apart from superior quality, one of the other reasons to choose Bummis cloth diapers is all the fabric used in the cloth diaper making process is sourced from local suppliers.
This results in cloth diapers that are free from impurities and contaminants and also ones that contribute to the diminishing local textile industry.
The Bummis Super Whisper Wrap is a highly adjustable newborn cloth diaper owing to its hook and loop enclosures with innovative overlap design for a comfortable fit.
It can be ordered in several iconic prints, and the medium size is even equipped with rise snaps for a precise fit when transitioning between sizes.
Hook & Loop, Touch Tape, Aplix – these are all names that can be attributed to Velcro. For newborns, Velcro affixed cloth diapers are a great option for everyone and for a couple reasons.
For starters, Velcro fitted cloth diapers offer an expansive space to choose from, making them easy to adjust and secure around tiny waists.
On the downside however and depending on the infant cloth diaper, the Velcro area could rub against your baby’s umbilical stump or tummy. But knowing this in advance will help you be more attentive and make adjustments as when you see fit.
Upgrade Pick – Sweet Pea All-In-One Diaper
Designed to fit babies between 6-12 lbs, the Sweet Pea All-in-One diaper is designed with extreme comfort and fit in mind.
Among its noteworthy traits, the all in one diaper for newborns rings in with body hugging elastics, durable quick snaps and luxurious micro fleece wraps.
The Sweet pea all-in-one cloth diaper can be ordered in 8 different colors, and is fitted with a 3-layer microfiber soaker for superior absorbency. The package also includes an additional 2-layer microfiber insert to ensure no heavy wetter or night time messes.
All-in-One cloth diapers are definitely an easy way to diaper newborns and toddlers as well. They offer a one step process to put on and are easy to put on with either Velcro or snaps.
But cleaning and drying some of these all-in-one infant cloth diapers might be trickier considering that they have sewn down soakers. Some however have a snap in soaker that is semi attached, making maintenance easier.
Budget Pick – OsoCozy Prefolds (Prefolds)
With a motto like this “Better for your Baby. Better for our Earth”, it’s no surprise the OsoCozy prefolds are the #1 best seller in the prefold cloth diaper department.
The company is noted for designing cloth diapers and accessories that are economical, durable and easy to use. All OsoCozy cloth diapers are made of 100 percent cotton rather than synthetic material found in other similar products.
Available in two sizes, where size 1 is designed to fit infants from 7-15 lbs and size 2 for babies from 15-30 lbs, the OsoCozy cloth diaper set comes with 6 prefold diapers for one highly affordable price.
If you’re looking to save money on cloth diapering your infants, prefolds and flats are your best bet. Most cloth diapers in this segment will run you $12 at best, with higher end materials such as bamboo a bit on the expensive end.
To briefly explain, flat diapers are basically just that – flat, the ones your grandma probably used and are generally made of a single layer of cotton. Prefolds are flat diapers, one pre-folded and stitched in a way to be thicker at the edges and thicker in the middle.
Also Great – Sustainablebabyish Sloomb MINI Snapless
Sustainablebabyish was conceived out of the need for a better fit cloth diapers and covers, and to bring environmentally friendly products into your home.
The fitted cloth diaper and other products manufactured by the company aren’t meant to be thrown away as disposables, but rather offer great service life.
This is a fitted diaper meaning that it has to be paired with a diaper cover, and you can refer to my best diaper cover guide.
Fitted diapers are highly absorbent given that they are generally made of natural material such as hemp or cotton, but must be worn with a cover. So if you want your baby to wake up with dry sheets even if they’re heavy wetters, fitted diapers are highly recommended.
Table of Contents:
- How I picked
- How I tested
- My pick
- Flaws but not Deal breaker
- The Competition
How I picked:
Considering that there are many different types/styles of infant diapers, I’ve chosen the best of each infant diapering system for this guide including prefolds and all-in-one cloth diapers.
When I first started researching cloth diapers, I was literally spoilt for choice given the rather extensive list of systems, styles and manufacturers.
And now since I’ve got my feet wet with the various types of cloth diapers, I am in a much position to make newborn cloth diapering easy for you.
First things first! I love frugal living and as a result i first started out with prefolds and diaper covers. Another reason for choosing this combination is because it was so easy to use.
You simply fold the prefold cloth diaper, and set it inside the diaper cover and voila, you’re all set! Since we’re talking of newborn cloth diapers, you should have roughly 4-8 diaper covers and 24-36 prefolds in your arsenal.
You only need to replace the messy prefold during each diaper change and not the diaper cover so sometimes I end up using 4 diaper covers per day and some days just 1.
It goes without saying that prefolds will stay wet on your baby’s tushy until a diaper change, but you can always use a stay dry liner over the prefold diaper to keep your baby’s bottom dry.
Stay dry liners are generally made of fleece or bamboo, and provide that added layer of absorbency to prevent the wetness from touching your baby’s bottom.
I recommend this prefold diapering process for night time and heavy wetters. Prefolds with proper care tend to last longer than any other cloth diapers simply because they are free off elastics, Aplix tabs or any other mechanical parts that might be prone to wear and tear.
Adding to this and unlike some cloth diapers, you can simply soak the prefolds in water along with some baby safe detergent to treat the stains. Take note that prefolds can get bulky especially when wet so it is important to change them often.
On a brighter note, you can use prefolds in several different ways, and not always with a diaper cover. I picked prefolds that showcased a trim fit, and one that was made of a super absorbent natural fabric.
Fitted diapers are similar in design to diaper covers, and are designed to contain all poop messes and offer superior absorbency when you need it.
After scouring through several online newborn cloth diaper reviews, some mothers claimed that fitted diapers were trimmer than prefolds, and others found it more bulky.
While I really think that it all varies from age and weight and how the diaper actually fits your baby, there was enough appeal for me to be thrown on in the mix.
Velcro, Aplix or metal tab enclosures are convenient and easy to use, and are more or less the same as using disposables. But as mentioned earlier, they do wear out in the long run so might not be a great option in terms of longevity.
To help you save even more, one size diapers such as the Thirsties Duo Wrap are a great choice. They fit from infancy until toddler, and the package generally includes 2 different sizes of diaper covers.
My cousin’s favorite diapering system is all-in-one and pocket diapers for several reasons. First, all-in-one cloth diapers keep your baby’s bottom dry owing to the microfiber inserts.
Next, they are easy to use where you simply stuff the insert inside the shell and you’re good to go! The layer that comes in contact with your baby’s bottom is made of soft fleece, which keeps moisture away from your baby even when the insert is completely wet.
This is the biggest reason all-in-one diapers are a great choice for heavy wetters and night time diapering. Another reason AIO cloth diapers are great is simply because you do not have to put two pieces together, i.e. pre-fold + diaper cover.
There are a few cloth diaper covers that are made of cotton inside such as Dream Eze cloth diaper and Organic BumGenius, and some are fitted with a dry fleece layer such as the Thirsties AIO cloth diaper.
If you’re going to use natural fibers such as cotton and hemp, it is best to change the diaper as soon as it gets wet in order to prevent diaper rash.
Apart from the aforementioned features of AIO cloth diapers, I really like the fact that they are trim, almost the same as disposables, which also makes it easy for your baby to walk and crawl.
How I Tested:
With cloth diapers, the three most crucial elements that come into play are absorbency, waterproofness aka wicking and of course the fabric itself.
Next thing to consider is the fact that not all cloth diapers or inserts are created equal, but my recommended infant cloth diapers have aced all the tests I’ve put them through.
Before getting into my testing techniques, it is important to note that some new fabrics have wash-out treatments, dirt repellants and sizing issues that can make them temporarily water resistant.
Adding to this, some up-cycled materials may possess dry cleaning chemicals or fabric softener that may have the same effect.
Given that most cloth diapers are integrated with a PUL (waterproofing layer), it is important that you put it through a hot wash and machine drying cycle before you test it in order to help reseal the holes.
Quick Tip: Unbleached/undyed natural fiber fabrics might take up to 10 washes to reach their absorbency potential so there’s no need to panic if they don’t absorb as much after the first couple washes.
My first test and most important of all was to check the repelling or wicking level of the baby cloth diapers. Diaper leaks are mostly caused by a poor fit or absorbency level, which in some cases can be easily fixed.
To test the infant cloth diaper for wicking, I first grabbed an absorbent fabric – bath towel in my case. Then, I placed the cloth diaper over the towel and poured roughly half a cup of water on it.
Next, I pressed down on the cloth diaper to see if the towel was dry, which would mean that the fabric is repelling. If the towel is wet where you pressed down, it simply means that the cloth diaper does wick under compression.
There are several reasons why a cloth diaper might not have or lose it repelling characteristics including washing issues where your machine has build-up, stuffing issues and badly folded prefolds among others.
One of the proven solutions for cloth diaper wicking is stripping aka deep cleaning. To do this, you simply wash the cloth diaper in a few hot washes to eliminate detergent build-up.
Instances of ammonia are easy to spot in cloth diapers, in most cases you simply need to take a whiff. If a cloth diaper that’s been urinated emits a strong odor so much so that it singes your nose hairs, it’s definitely ammonia.
Ammonia is mostly used in cleaning products such as window cleaners so if you aren’t sure if it is indeed ammonia, that is a great item to compare the stench to.
If however your cloth diapers only smell strongly after being in your wet bag for a few days, chances are this level of ammonia is acceptable, but it is still a good idea to put them through a few washes immediately in order to get rid of the smell and underlying chemicals.
Contrariwise, if the smell is acrid, you need to address it as soon as possible because if not might result in topical or ammonia burns in severe cases.
Although natural fibers such as bamboo, cotton and hemp have smoother strands that make ammonia build-up less likely, they are not invincible.
The easiest and highly effective solution to get rid of ammonia is with Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent Classic Rock. This detergent not only works miraculously to eliminate ammonia, but also works hard on dirt and stains.
Furthermore, it is eco-friendly and bio-degradable, and is free of any enzymes, optical brighteners, parabens, SLS or phosphates.
My Pick – Rumparooz Lil Joey Diapers (Snapping Diaper)
The Rumparooz Lil Joey is an all-in-one cloth diaper that is designed to fit babies between 4-12 lbs. The soaker of the diaper is made of 4 layers of microfibers and tucked away neatly inside the diaper.
And what seals the deal is the hypoallergenic no-pill micro-chamois, meaning your baby’s enjoys a fleece that is lightweight, soft, silky and ultra smooth.
With an inbuilt dual inner gusset system, the Lil Joeys newborn cloth diaper is able to prevent leaks and messes from getting out of the diaper.
The gussets aka “Poo Fence” really do a great job at containing the messes, unlike some prefolds I tried at the time of writing this guide.
Further, the exterior of the cloth diaper is made of waterproof TPU, eliminating the need for an extra diaper cover. The snap enclosures of the diaper make it high adjustable and easy to adjust for a comfortable fit.
Considering this diaper cover is designed for newborns, one of the snaps even snaps down at the middle to make room for the umbilical cord.
Using the Lil Joeys all in one cloth diaper is simply a joy with no movable parts so it’s simply a matter of snapping it on and off.
This also makes it easy to wash the diaper, where you simply toss it into the machine, allow it to dry and you have a fresh diaper ready to go!
The inner lining is super absorbent even for heavy wetters thanks to its four layers of microchamois. This also means that the diaper does take a little bit longer to dry than other diapers, but you can always tumble dry them to speed up the process.
Available in 12 different colors and 6 eye catching prints, the Lil Joeys Rumparooz infant cloth diaper are probably the tiniest diapers I’ve come across and is also one of the best affordable cloth diapering options in its segment.
Flaws but not Deal breaker
The Little Joeys by Rumparooz is a great all-in-one cloth diaper, but there are few things that can be improved.
There are limited waist snaps, which are placed further apart from each resulted in somewhat limited adjustability. The seam runs through the entire center of the diaper, and can trap poop that can be hard to get out.
And lastly, the soaker is sewn right into the diaper so not only is drying time longer, but it’s harder to add extra absorbency layers.
Runner Up – Bummis Super Whisper Wrap
The Bummis Super Whisper Wrap can be ordered in three different sizes, but since we’re talking newborns, you’d want to get the newborn size – 7- 10 lbs.
This is a diaper cover so you will need a diaper insert such as those made with super absorbent hemp or cotton to complete the ensemble. If you don’t have inserts yet, Bummis has you covered there too!
This diaper cover features Aplix closures that are highly durable and can simply be crossed over and secure for a nice fit. The 2 MIL laminate of the diaper cover is set between two layers of polyester for superior durability.
Adding to this, the Super Whisper Wrap by Bummis boasts a generous cut, making it compatible with inserts, prefolds or fitted diapers.
With regards to ease of use, the Super Whisper Wrap truly is a joy with nice large snaps and two snaps per tab. This newborn size also features a snap down for umbilical cords.
The shell of this diaper wrap is literally leak proof owing to the high quality waterproof laminate. This laminated is also neatly sandwiched between the two layers of soft polyester so it doesn’t come in contact with your baby’s skin.
Available in a variety of cute prints, the Super Whisper Wrap can be machine washed and dried quickly at high temperatures without affecting the overall quality of the diaper.
Bummis does however advise that you refrain from washing this cloth diaper wrap with softeners, chlorine bleach and other additives that may cause wicking.
Made in Canada with material sourced from the USA, Bummis is an esteemed name in the cloth diaper space and offers a wide range of baby products definitely worth checking out.
Upgrade Pick – Sweet Pea All-In-One Diaper
The Sweet Pea All-in-One cloth diaper can be ordered in several different prints, and is a fantastic choice for parents who just want convenience.
It is easy to use, and offers a high level of customization, something that is not generally seen in other cloth diapers. The sewn in soaker is laid out tongue style, and extends the length of the interior.
The interior soaker can be left in place or removed if you want a trimmer option. The materials used for the entire diaper are of high quality, where bamboo/cotton blend is used for the top soaker and the bottom snap in soaker is made of soft plush bamboo velour.
When it comes to performance, the Sweet Pea All-in-One diaper delivers a remarkable performance. Apart from its superior craftsmanship, its soft, interior lining of a bamboo/cotton blend is ready to handle anything your baby dishes out.
And when talking fit, the diaper features two rows of crossover snaps for an extremely snug fit. Adding to this, there’s a robust, tightly strung back elastic mated with leg elastics resulting in a diaper that’s fits comfortable on even the most petite baby.
Recommended for babies between 7-35 lbs, the Sweet Pea AIO cloth diaper can be easily washed in the machine, and the company even provides instructions on how to do so.
The two soakers, one snap in and one sewn into the diaper offer unmatched absorbency, and perform excellently to contain both messes and moisture.
The one thing I did notice when compared to the Sweet Pea Diaper Covers is that the wings are set lower than the front waist but, Not sure why that is, but despite this setup the diaper does manage to prevent messes from leaking out.
All in all, if you’re looking for an infant all in one diaper cover option, and one that delivers great performance across the board albeit at an affordable price, the Sweet Pea AIO is worth a second look.
Budget Pick – OsoCozy Prefolds
As mentioned before, I’m all about saving money, and if you’re looking for a practical and cost effective way to cloth diaper your baby, I can’t recommend anything better than the OsoCozy prefolds.
In order to use these prefolds, you will need to buy if already you don’t have a diaper cover and diaper pins. They are made up of several layers of rectangular fabric that are stitched together along the edges.
They provided a good and comfortable fit owing to the fact that they need to be folded in a certain way to fit your baby, and where they need the most absorbency. It is then to be placed into the diaper cover of your choice.
If you’ve never used prefolds before, you will need to follow the right folding technique, which is also an additional but not really time consuming step you need to complete when preparing the diaper.
Unlike other prefolds and when setup correctly, leaking is rare with these prefolds, and although they do have the ability to absorb quite a bit, they do tend to get bulky and thick.
The OsoCozy prefolds scored well in my absorbency and fit leakage tests because it did surprisingly well at holding a lot of liquid in.
It can be used in conjunction with any waterproof diaper cover to hold it in place, for which I highly recommend the Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap.
Just like most prefolds, these ones can get bulky especially when wet, which is why it is important that you change them often.
But unlike other prefolds I’ve seen, the OsoCozy prefolds are made up of several layers of soft Indian cotton so you get the best of both worlds – Absorbency and Comfort.
Although using a diaper cover with this set of cloth diaper prefolds is highly recommended, you can use them without one with the Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners.
This will eliminate the need to use cumbersome and risky diaper pins. The prefolds are made of 100 percent unbleached cotton so there’s no synthetics involved in the mix.
Cloth diapering truly has come a long way, and while there are thinner and easy cloth diapering systems available in the market, the OsoCozy prefolds do a great job at keeping your baby’s bottom dry on the surface without breaking the bank.
Also Great – Sustainablebabyish Sloomb MINI Snapless
If you’re looking for a great overnight solution or for heavy wetters, the Sustainablebabyish Sloomb MINI Snapless makes a great choice.
This fitted diaper is crafted entirely of absorbent material, but is not waterproof. For waterproofness, you will have to add a diaper cover to complete the setup.
Once prepped, the fabric of this fitted infant cloth diaper is similar to that of a soft fuzzy towel, and offers a good stretch width so much so you can easily and comfortably fit it around your baby’s waist.
The elastics at the leg are topstitched and turned, and there’s a generous amount of elastic around the back again, again resulting in a great fit.
The Sustainablebabyish fitted diaper comes with 3 layer organic bamboo inserts for added absorbency, one diaper pin and the option to add more doublers as you see fit.
Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover – Crafted entirely on the outside of 100 percent waterproof TPU, this cloth diaper cover is basically 3 sizes in one, and designed to fit babies between 4-15 lbs.
Imagine Baby Products Newborn Cloth Diaper – designed to fit babies between 5-13 lbs, this newborn cloth diaper by Imagine Baby features a soft inner fleece that wicks moisture away, and soaker snaps on one side and other side sewn in for quick drying.
Nora’s Nursery Baby Cloth Pocket Diapers – designed to fit babies between 6-33 lbs, this set of cloth diapers includes 7 cloth diaper covers, 7 highly absorbent bamboo inserts and a 1 wet bag, all for one low price.
All kids need attention, but newborns inarguably need it the most. Choosing the best newborn cloth diapers isn’t an easy task considering the sheer breadth of style, sizes and options available. This guide will help you buy the right newborn cloth diaper for your infant and also practice the best maintenance steps in order to boost their longevity. The Rumparooz Lil Joeys Diaper definitely leads the pack for several reasons, but the Bummis Super Whisper Wrap is also a great choice for those looking for those looking for a diaper that’s crafted from local supplies.