Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Introduction to Newborn Cloth Diapering Series
Well...my little man is 7 weeks old! How can that be? And it is time that I start getting the newborn cloth diapering series started! Because we have had some twists and turns to our cloth diapering adventures, I wanted to start the series with how things have been going and the problems that we have faced along the way!
During my pregnancy, I thought *a lot* about what I wanted and what I expected in regards to cloth diapering a newborn. Miss A was a long skinny baby and I assumed that our next baby would be the same. Long skinny babies are difficult to cloth diaper because their tiny little legs are too small for the leg openings and they tend to leak! I didn't start cloth diapering Miss A until after she was a year old and there were still many OS diapers that did not fit around her legs and we had leaks. So I knew that cloth diapering a skinny newborn would be the same and potentially even more difficult.
Another disclosure that I must confess...I really don't love prefolds. *gasp* So right up front, I did not want to buy or use probably the best cloth diapering choice for a newborn with skinny legs. I knew that if we tried to use prefolds, both my husband and I would end up just not using cloth until Baby J fit into his other diapers. So I didn't waste my money on a diapering choice that I knew we wouldn't use. But for those of you with skinny babies like me...prefolds and covers would probably be the best leak free solution. Prefolds just aren't a fave of ours.
So throughout my pregnancy (and even before I got pregnant hehe!) I started to build my stash of pockets, AIOs, AI2's, etc. I even got a few fitteds and covers to use once he started going longer jags at night.
Another confession. We bought disposables. I knew that I wanted to get baby J into his cloth ASAP, but with a skinny baby, recovery from delivery, etc I knew that we would not be FT cloth diapering for a while. And BOY was I right! I was not counting on the problems we would face!
So baby J was finally born, the easiest delivery you can imagine!!! He practically (and honestly!) almost fell out! What an amazing birth! Between breastfeeding, caring for baby J, trying to find time for Miss A, planning her birthday party, and trying to find any time to sleep...he was a week old and I hadn't gotten cloth on him yet!! I couldn't believe that a week had gone by and I hadn't busted out the cloth yet! The amount of disposable diapers going into the trash just made me nauseated, so I started transitioning him to cloth with the hopes that we would be FT in a week or so and no more disposables. Man was I delusional!!!
Baby J was 7 pounds 12 ounces at birth, long and skinny just like I predicted. At a week old, he was 7 pounds 2 ounces. With his cord stump still on, I started trying out cloth diapers to see what would work with his stump and what worked with his skinny legs. Those two factors are difficult to manage both in one diaper! The three that worked the best were Swaddlebees Newborn Simplex, GroVia Newborn AIO, and Rumparooz Lil Joeys. But as the weeks passed, even those began to leak and gap around the legs. Baby J was breastfeeding ALL the time but he was losing weight! It was a mother's worst nightmare! I had breastfed Miss A with no troubles and here my little boy was losing weight.
Our pediatrician brought up the dreaded "why don't you supplement with formula" discussion. Ugh. I didn't want to supplement because I wanted to find the problem and fix it! But my little boy needed to gain weight too! A lot of worrying and loss of sleep over this!!! So I decided to switch feeding positions and pump to supplement with breastmilk. I found that he was having a latch/suck problem and changing position to football hold corrected this immediately. His feeding sessions shortened and he was sleeping longer at a time, so I knew we were in business. And a week later we found that he was finally gaining weight!!! It has been quite the stressful road with baby J so far, but little man is growing like a weed now.
What does all of this mean for cloth diapering? Well, it means a lot for those moms out there reading with skinny tiny babies! Baby J dropped to about 7 pounds, maybe a little less. And I found that his skinny little legs in the cloth diapers just leaked and leaked. We had to stop using most of our cloth for a week or so until he gained some weight back and they fit again (we were having leaks between every change and it was just getting frustrating and the laundry was just piling up). The only diapers that fit at this point were the GroVia Newborn AIOs so we used a few of them here and there but none of our other newborn diapers fit. Slowly as he reached 7 1/2 and 8 pounds, we were able to reintroduce the other newborn diapers.
So what I have found for skinny babies...GroVia Newborn AIOs fit the lowest weight on a skinny baby. So if you have skinny and under 7-7 1/2 pound babies, these are my recommendation!!! These also fit well under the umbilical stump for us, so you could get baby into them immediately! I did find that this diaper was a little stiff (the fabric) and because these babies are so tiny, the snap choices may not fit well. The smallest snaps were a little tight and the next snap out was miles too big. But when the snap options lined up with the size of the baby, it was a nice leak free fit.
The next best fitting diaper for skinny babies...Swaddlebees Simplex Newborn. This is my absolute favorite diaper! I will be getting more of these for #3 someday! I love the fit of these, I love the absorbency, I love the umbilical snap, and I love that these were the second diapers to fit when Baby J started gaining weight. They fit ok when we first started cloth (he was 7-2 then), then as he lost they leaked around the legs, then as he gained we got back into them around 7 1/2 pounds. Love these!
The other diaper that even remotely came close to working early for us was the Rumparooz Lil Joeys. We tried these on when we first got him into cloth because they are to fit from 5 pounds, so I thought they would be great for my skinny baby! I was shocked to find that even this tiny little newborn diaper did not fit well around the legs! There were HUGE gaps! Apparently you are to have a chunky 5 pounder!!! When we first put these on they fit OK but we had leaks often. Then as he lost weight they were just out. And then as he gained he was almost 8 pounds before we could use them again. As rapidly as he is gaining now, these are almost ready to be tossed in the too small pile. If your baby has any meat on him, these would probably work well, but for skinny minis like mine, these were just not a great fit for us. By the time they fit well around the legs, the overall diaper is getting too small.
As for the other newborn diapers, Kissaluvs AIO, BumGenius AIO, Tots Bots Tiny Fit, Fuzzibunz XS, Charlie Banana XS, and Applecheeks Size 1...because of his skinny-ness, they did not start fitting well until 8 1/2-9 pounds. These newborn diapers did not fit at birth for us, but they are now fitting quite well and he will probably be able to wear them for a good amount of time more! We are now up to 9 1/2-ish pounds and some of our OS diapers are fitting. I have tried Best Bottoms and Rumparooz OS (both aplix) and they have fit well and leak free!!!
So what have I learned? Number One. If you have skinny babies...you may have a tough cloth diapering road ahead until they get up to 8 1/2-9 pounds (depending on your diapering choice)! Number Two. Definitely have some disposables ready in case your cloth doesn't fit (you can always find someone to give the extras too). Number Three. Consider Prefolds and covers...I kinda wish that I had bought a few just to try...I wasn't counting on baby J being 4-5 weeks old before his cloth fit well!
Overall, I love my little newborn cloth booty...he is just too darn cute in his cloth!
Individual and in-depth reviews of each diaper coming!! I will start with the GroVia Newborn AIO next week!!! So stay tuned for CUTE newborn photos!!!
Posted by Laura D. at 9:29 AM