Newborn Cloth Diapers: Are They Worth the Investment?
My short and long answer to this would be, “Yes”. I didn’t start cloth diapering my daughter full-time until she was nearly two months old, so the dilemma of whether or not to purchase the itty bitty little creations was never one we were faced with. Now that I feel cloth diapering is second-nature, I fully plan on starting it from day one with our next. Because of that, I have been conducting quite a bit of research on newborn diapers.
My initial thoughts were, “oh those are so stinkin’ cute!”, but I felt it was more of a marketing plan by cloth diaper companies rather than a necessity for newborns. After all, many of them are about as expensive as a regularly-sized cloth diaper and yet, you would only use them on your precious little bundles for a few weeks, if that. Cute yes; economically advisable? Let’s see…
I continued to dig further nonetheless because hey, I REALLY wanted an excuse to try some of these super teeny tiny doll-sized diapers! I began to research used newborn cloth diaper prices trying to figure out how much more affordable they would be second-hand, and came to an odd sort of realization. The used prices on these diapers are somewhat comparable to the new prices. An xs cloth diaper retailing for $17.00 was selling (not just listed, but actually selling) for about $15.00. Wait a minute… When I’d sell my used normal sized cloth diapers, I generally didn’t recoup much more than about 60 – 70% of what I paid for them new, and that was if they were in EEUC (excellent excellent used condition). It’d be more like 50% or less with a lesser quality.
I also realized that, if you did want to cloth diaper from day one, there were one-size diapers that could work, but they looked like they were attempting to swallow your little newbie. Any picture I saw, even on the smallest diaper setting and on the largest newborn, the diaper would take up a good 50% of the kiddo with gaps around those chicken legs. Not always super attractive for those first photos, especially when you’re trying to convince all of those nonbelievers of cloth diapers that they are as fashionable as they are functional.
I remember the first time I held my friend’s newborn about a year ago, she was raving about how great these new one-size diapers were that would even work on newborns. As she was going on and on, I felt something warm hit my hand and looked down to see distinctive mustard-colored goo running down the length of my arm. Not an attractive moment or revelation. That is not to say that there aren’t one-size or size small diapers out there that will work for your newborn, or even that my friend had this diaper on correctly, but at the moment, I was convinced the best bet may be to do disposable for the first couple of weeks until Baby Makes Four can fill out a one-size or size small diaper a little better. There was a serious problem with this justification in that, I didn’t like reverting to disposables as a solution.
Cloth Diaper Numbers:
I turned back to math, which was never my friend, but was going to be my solution when trying to configure the necessity of a newborn cloth diaper. Bear with me! Newborns are going to easily go through about 12+ diapers a day. I’ve read in several sources that a good number of newborn cloth diapers to start out with is 36 (washing every 2 – 3 days). Higher would be a safer bet, and other sites say you can go as low as 24, but for the sleep-deprived momma whose biggest concern is figuring out why she put coffee in her cereal and how her keys ended up in the refrigerator (my autobiography), let’s go with 36 to make it a bit easier.
If you purchase 36 bumGenius! All In One diapers from Diaper Junction, it’s going to run you about $466.00 (at $12.95 each). EEeeEEeek! Keep following me here… Yes, that is a huge investment, however, regardless of how long you end up using them for, you can recoup close to what you paid for them if you resell them, or, use them for subsequent children and save even more.
Just from browsing the diaper isle at my local Target, a pack of about 100 newborn/ size 1 diapers is going to run you about $30 give or take, depending on brand. The average newborn is going to go through about 12 – 18 diapers a day (again, this can range). So, at a minimal estimate of 12ish diapers per day, that 100 pack is not going to last you more than a week. That would be at least $120.00 a month. Even if you only do it for the first month while your little one gets a bit larger to fit into his or her regular fluff, you are out at least $120.00. Go ahead and try recouping any of that money or impact on the environment. If you do the newborn cloth diapers, you may be out that $466.00, but you’re likely to recoup as much as $375.00 via E-Bay, resale forums, and so on. That would mean you invested under $100.00 in something you know is better for the environment and for your little one’s precious bum. I know I know, these numbers can vary dramatically, especially when you take into consideration other factors such as name brand vs. store brand, prefold vs. AIO, energy consumption costs, etc., but you get the idea…
All things considered, I feel newborn diapers are worth it. They can be economically feasible, help you tap into some major rewards and promotions offered by the company, fit better, work well as a fashion accessory, remain highly functional with many subsequent children as they are used for such a short period of time, and they have a high resale value. I personally plan on having mostly GroVia Newborn AIOs in my newborn stash because I already exclusively use their one-size diapers on my daughter, they have some rave reviews, come in some insanely cute prints, seem very well-priced for an AIO, are convenient, and have a high resale value, but to each her own. Which brand and type of cloth diaper to go with is a very personal choice, and what works for one baby and his or her family may not work for the next. Diaper Junction offers a wide selection of newborn diapers in a range of variations for great prices, and, several cloth diapering companies including Diaper Junction offer rewards for purchases, so you can afford to build your stash to meet your needs.
The bottom line is (pun intended!), they are super cute and itty bitty and we as a society like cutesy little products, especially for our cutesy little babies. Numbers aside, we know the most economical and environmentally friendly diapering option out there is cloth, and lucky for those of us with obsessive cloth diapering issues (OCD!), newborn diapers are no exception!