Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Which diaper is best?

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Which diaper is best? | Belleview CottageConfession: I am a cloth diaper addict. It seems a weird thing to be addicted to… fancy poop catchers. Nevertheless, cloth diapers come in so many cute colors and patterns, that I enjoy buying new cloth diapers as much as buying cute baby and toddler outfits for my boys. Maybe even more…. (Don’t believe me, check out my Instagram feed.)

I started cloth diapering my first son when he was around 10 months old. I purchased one-size cloth diapers. They have snaps down the front of the diaper (or, in the case of Bottombumpers, in the back of the diaper) — called “rise snaps” — that adjust the diaper to fit different sizes as your child grows.

Baby #2 was born a few months ago, and since I am a cloth diaper addict, of course this baby has been wearing cloth from the get-go! I purchased a number of different “newborn” diapers to try out on this baby. This is a detailed review of all the newborn diapers we have tried.

I am listing the diapers here in order from my least favorite to most favorite. So keep reading to find out the answer to the question:

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Which diaper is best? | Belleview Cottage

This is our cloth diaper model and tester, Baby C #2.

Newborn cloth diaper review

Baby C #2 at one day old

He was born at 41 weeks gestation, weighing 7 pounds 8.8 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long. [Side note: if you have an interest in birth stories and/or essential oils, check out this post about his birth.] I put his first newborn cloth diaper on him as we were preparing to leave the hospital, when he was still under 48 hours old. His weight had dropped to around 7 pounds at this point.

Neat fact: the meconium bowel movements (dark and sticky poo that newborns pass for the first few days of their lives) DID NOT stain the cloth diapers!

Without further ado, here are the cloth diaper reviews!

After reading this post, feel free to chime in with your opinions of newborn diapers in the comments! I’d love to answer any questions you have as well.

KangaCare/Rumparooz Lil’ Joey$29.95 for a 2-pack

Lil Joey Cloth Diaper Review: Compare newborn cloth diapers | Belleview Cottage

PROS CONS
  • Fits tiny babies well (4-12 lbs), including preemies
  • Affordably priced at $15 per diaper
  • Snap-down front to prevent diaper from irritating the umbilical cord stump
  • All-in-one style is easy to put on
  • Inner gussets are designed to help prevent blow-outs (runny newborn poo explosions)
  • Large variety of adorable colors and prints
  • Available as a newborn cloth diaper rental
  • Does not come with aplix/velcro closure (snaps only)
  • Microfiber – not as absorbent as natural fiber diapers
  • Babies tend to outgrow the absorbency before they outgrow the fit (a.k.a. the diapers start leaking)
  • Long dry-time (no removable inserts)
  • The inner gussets leave marks on baby’s bum (not a huge deal….)
  • Difficulty cleaning poop out of the crevices inside the diaper

Lil Joey newborn cloth diaper review | Belleview CottageThe lil joey diaper had the best (least bulky) fit during the first 2 weeks. I liked the snap-down feature, so that the front of the diaper did not irritate my son’s umbilical cord stump. And these tiny little diapers are beyond adorable! As an experienced cloth diapering mama, I don’t mind diapers with snaps at all. But I realized that the (numerous) middle-of-the-night newborn diaper changes would be much easier with aplix (velcro) diapers. The biggest problem with this diaper, however, is that my son outgrew the absorbency in less than 2 weeks. (He nurses A LOT and therefore pees A LOT.) He was peeing through the diapers in under an hour. Since these diapers lost their functionality early on, I am ranking them as my least favorite. (I even sold our lil joeys because I do not anticipate using them for future babies.)

Bottom Line: I might recommend the Lil Joey to anyone who has a preemie or an otherwise very tiny baby. Rather than purchasing them, however, consider trying a newborn cloth diaper rental. I do not recommend buying a stash of Lil Joeys for an average-sized baby who will likely outgrow the absorbency in the first month or so. The Thirsties diaper (below) is a better option in this price range, if you are looking for an all-in-one.

Smart Bottoms Born Smart – $18

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Smart Bottoms Born Smart | Belleview Cottage

 PROS  CONS
  • Very trim fit, fits small babies well (designed for babies 6-16 pounds)
  • One level of rise snaps allows diaper size to be customized as baby grows
  • 100% organic cotton inner
  • Cut-out in front to prevent diaper from irritating the umbilical cord stump
  • All-in-one style is fairly easy to put on
  • Snap-on soaker allows diaper to dry quickly
  • Made in the USA
  • Does not come with aplix/velcro closure (snaps only)
  • Not as absorbent as other newborn diapers in this price range
  • No stay-dry option for babies who don’t like to feel wet (but can add a fleece liner)
  • Doesn’t fit chunky babies well

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Smart Bottoms Born Smart | Belleview CottageI liked this newborn diaper. It is very trim and fits great under newborn onesies. The adjustable rise snaps also help to get a perfect fit. The organic cotton inner was plenty absorbent in the beginning, but by one month old, my son was already outgrowing the absorbency. I tried removing the snap-in soaker, folded it in half, and placed it in the front of the diaper (the wet zone for boys). Unfortunately, my “super-soaker” son still peed through this diaper in record time. By 2.5 months old, my son has developed cute chunk baby thighs and the Born Smart barely fits. We are retiring this diaper from our newborn stash.

Bottom Line: I wanted to love the Born Smart. But, sadly, I would not recommend it over the other diapers in this price range, due to lack of absorbency past one month old. I also have a preference for newborn diapers that come with an aplix option (for easy middle-of-the-night changes).

Thirsties Newborn All-In-One (new) – $15.50

Review: Thirsties All-In-One Newborn Cloth Diaper | Belleview Cottage

PROS

CONS

  • Good fit on tiny babies (5-14 pounds)
  • One level of rise snaps allows diaper size to be customized as baby grows
  • Affordably priced at $15.50 per diaper
  • Snap-down front to prevent diaper from irritating the umbilical cord stump
  • All-in-one style is easy to put on
  • Stay-dry microfleece layer helps baby feel dry after wetting
  • “Tongue”-style soaker decreases drying time
  • Made in the USA
  • Does not come with aplix/velcro closure (snaps only)
  • Microfiber inner is less absorbent than natural-fiber diapers
  • Baby might outgrow absorbency before outgrowing size of the diaper
  • *Slightly* bulkier than the lil joey

Thirsties Newborn Cloth Diaper Review | Belleview Cottage

I really liked the Thirsties newborn diaper. The picture to the left is the very first cloth diaper I put on my son, at the hospital. The diaper actually appears bulkier in the crotch than it should be, because I forgot to snap the rise snaps to make it smaller. With all of the above-listed positive features, and at this price, this is a great newborn option. My son (the super soaker) is outgrowing the absorbency, however. At three weeks old, he could wear this diaper for an hour to an-hour-and-a-half. I cannot put it on him for a long nap or during the night. At 2.5 months old, the diaper still fits, but I only put it on him for short periods of time because there isn’t much absorbency compared to our other diapers.

Bottom Line: I would recommend this diaper to anyone looking for a newborn all-in-one in the $15 price range. But beware; if you have a heavy wetter, your child will likely outgrow the absorbency or will require frequent diaper changes in this diaper.

Blueberry Simplex Newborn – $18.95

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Blueberry Newborn Simplex | Belleview Cottage

 PROS  CONS
  • Designed to fit babies from 6-16 pounds
  • All-in-one style is easy to put on
  • “Tongue”-style soaker decreases drying time
  • Pocket openings on both ends allow you to increase the diaper’s absorbency by adding extra inserts; inserts and tongue soaker agitate out in the wash
  • Comes with snaps or hook & loop (velcro) closure
  • 100% cotton inner (natural fiber)
  • Made in the USA
  • No stay-dry feel (but can add a fleece liner)

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Blueberry Simplex | Belleview CottageThe Blueberry Simplex newborn diaper has great features, and hardly any drawbacks. It is very similar to the Smart Bottoms Born Smart in size, fit, and features. The Simplex’s cotton inner is not as soft as the Born Smart’s cotton inner. But the Simplex is more absorbent, so it wins over the Born Smart in my book. It also still fits my chunky 2.5 month old (whereas the Born Smart does not). The Simplex also comes with a hook & loop closure option, which makes middle-of-the-night changes easy peasy. I don’t have one of these diapers in hook & loop, so I am curious how well Blueberry’s hook & loop holds up over time. If you have an opinion, please comment below!

Bottom Line: The Blueberry simplex newborn diaper is a very good option. I do recommend this diaper if you are interested in an all-in-one. One word of caution: heavy wetters (like my son) may need frequent changing (every hour or 2 hours max) in this diaper, even though it is a pretty absorbent diaper. [Keep reading to find out why I prefer a few other newborn diapers over this one!]

Tots Bots Teeny Fit V4 – $21.95

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Tots Bots Teeny Fit V4 | Belleview Cottage

 PROS  CONS
  • Designed to fit babies from 5-12 pounds
  • High quality aplix (hook & loop) closure AND stretchy diaper material makes for easy diaper changes and great fit
  • All-in-one style is easy to put on
  • “Tongue”-style soaker decreases drying time
  • Absorbent “binky” inner material (bamboo/cotton)
  • Pocket opening allows you to increase the diaper’s absorbency by adding extra inserts
  • Comes with a fleece liner to wick moisture (stay-dry feel) and/or prevent staining
  • No snap-down for umbilical cord stump
  • Highest price point
  • Bulkier than Lil Joey, Thirsties, Smart Bottoms, and Blueberry

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Tots Bots Teeny Fit V4 | Belleview CottageThe Tots Bots Teeny Fit is one of the easiest-to-use newborn diapers that I tried. It is similar to using a disposable diaper, and is great for middle of-the-night changes or for other caretakers who are unfamiliar with cloth diapers. I have found this diaper to be similar in absorbency to the Blueberry Simplex, but not as absorbent as the Bottombumpers (below). The aplix is extremely high quality and will not wear out with regular use. (It is almost too sticky, and sometimes a challenge to open the diaper!) Note on size/fit: Tots Bots claims this diaper will fit small babies, from 5 pounds and up. I have no idea, since my little guy’s lowest weight was 7 pounds. But in comparing the size of this diaper to the others, I think it would be awfully bulky on a 5 or 6 pound baby. [Update: reader Morgan used Tots Bots Tini Fits on her 6 lb. newborn with no problems! Yay!]

Bottom Line: The Teeny Fit is an awesome but expensive newborn diaper. The main drawback is the fact that it does not have a snap-down or cut-out for the umbilical cord stump. Smaller babies will not be able to wear this diaper until their cord stump falls off.

Rumparooz Newborn Cover with Prefolds – $12 (for the cover only)

Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover Review | Belleview Cottage

I paired the Rumparooz newborn cover with Osocozy Organic Bamboo Prefolds ($20 for a 6-pack = $3.33 each). The idea behind prefolds and covers is that you can re-use the cover for a few diaper changes (as long as the pee/poo is contained in the prefold and does not get on the cover. If the cover gets a little bit wet from pee, it can be wiped out and set aside to dry while you use another cover.

PROS

CONS

  • Very economical
  • Excellent absorbency for heavy wetters
  • Customizable absorbency by changing the type of insert (prefolds, flats, fitteds, hemp inserts, etc.)
  • 3 adjustable rise settings to fit babies from 4-15 pounds
  • Does not irritate umbilical cord when snapped down to a smaller rise setting (see pic below)
  • Comes with snaps or aplix (velcro) closure
  • It takes some practice to learn how to fold and secure prefolds around baby
  • More difficult for other caretakers to change baby’s diaper
  • Bulky fit compared to all-in-one newborn diapers

Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover Review | Belleview Cottage

We are nearly 3 months in to our cloth diapering journey, and I still haven’t mastered the various prefold “folds,” even with the ease of using snappis to secure the diaper. So, I usually end up pad-folding the prefold (folding it into a long narrow rectangle), and laying it inside the cover. This is nice and easy, but the newborn poo gets onto the cover almost every time, which defeats the purpose of covers and prefolds (re-using the cover multiple times). I LOVE the absorbency of the prefolds, however. The Rumparooz cover with a prefold has been our only bulletproof newborn diaper when it comes to absorbency. My son has never out-peed this combination.

Bottom Line: The Rumparooz cover with prefolds is an excellent option for heavy wetters, and for naps and long sleep periods. It is also extremely economical. To be honest, though, I hate how bulky it is under clothes (when baby is tiny). I do recommend prefolds and covers for those looking to save money by cloth diapering, and those who value performance (absorbency) over ease of use.

Bottombumpers Size 1 Aplix All-In-One – $18.95*

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Bottombumpers Size 1 | Belleview Cottage

PROS CONS
  • Designed to fit from 7-18 lbs
  • Organic cotton inner
  • High quality aplix (velcro) or snap closure
  • Easy to get a good fit
  • Organic bamboo velour stay-dry soaker
  • Soaker snaps on/off for easy cleaning and fast drying
  • Good absorbency
  • Made in the USA
  • Will be too big for tiny babies
  • No front snap-down for umbilical cord
  • Bulkier than Lil Joey, Thirsties, Smart Bottoms, and Blueberry

Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Bottombumpers Size 1 | Belleview CottageThe Bottombumpers Size 1 aplix is my favorite newborn diaper!* Why? Because it’s the only one that I still really want to put on the little guy after 7 weeks old. I’m not worried that it will leak in only an hour. This diaper does have a few drawbacks, mainly bulkiness on a very tiny baby, and no umbilical cord snap-down. In the pic to the left, my little man’s umbilical cord stump was still attached. I thought the diaper was hitting right below the stump. But when I went to change him after an hour or two in this diaper, it had crept up and over the cord stump. This was no bueno, since moisture from the diaper got onto the cord stump (which needs to stay dry in order to heal and fall off). So I set these aside until the stump fell off. Nevertheless, these are my favorite for the following reasons….

Bottom Line: I love this diaper. The aplix is good quality, it is easy to use, fit is great, inner is organic cotton, AND it is absorbent. It will also fit baby for an extended period of time (up to 4 or 5 months, I’ve heard). The diaper is also made in the US! Combine these features with the $18.95 price (compared to Tots Bots at $21.95), and we have a winner!

** Bottombumpers just came out with a new and improved version of their size 1 diaper! I will be trying it out and comparing it to the old version, so stay tuned for another blog post! A few of the changes: a tummy PUL strip, improved leg and back elastics, and an additional snap-in doubler for even more absorbency! **

WHICH NEWBORN CLOTH DIAPER IS BEST?

Even though I ranked the above diapers from my least to most favorite, the answer to this question is that different diapers are best for different people and for different uses. Given the knowledge I’ve gained from cloth diapering this newborn, I would use a combination of a few different newborn diapers in the future:

  • Prefolds and Rumparooz newborn cover for long naps, overnight, long trips in the car, etc. due to increased absorbency. Prefolds and covers will also work before the cord stump falls off.
  • Bottombumpers Size 1 for day-to-day use. Velcro closure makes for a great, easy fit. Plenty absorbent for regular daytime use.
  • For a very tiny baby: Prefolds & covers and/or Blueberry Simplex newborn (6 pounds and up).

how many cloth diapers do I need?

Newborns require A LOT of diaper changes. 12 a day on the low end, up to 16+ on the high end. If you launder the diapers every other day, you will need enough diapers for 26-34+ diaper changes, depending on whether your little one is a heavy wetter or not. (2 days’ worth of diapers, plus a few to get you through the laundering time.)

As explained above, the most cost-effective way to do newborn diapers would be covers and prefolds. You can also buy used diapers to save money!

Hopefully the above information will help you decide which newborn diaper(s) fit(s) your situation best! Please comment below if you have any questions or want to add your experience to the conversation!

*I recently became a Bottombumpers delegate (brand rep). I wrote this post before becoming a delegate, so my opinions were not affected by that fact!

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3 thoughts on “Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews: Which diaper is best?

  1. Morgan says:

    I just wanted to chime in that the tots bots teenie fits did fit my tiny guy when he came home at 6lbs! Also I agree that the newborn simplex are the bomb-diggity. I wish I would have tried BBs!

    Like

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