Newborn Cloth Diapers – Get the Right Fit

I never bothered with newborn cloth diapers.  Norton was eight pounds, four ounces.  Eudora was eight and a half pounds.  With that in mind, I just plain didn’t see the point.  However, not everyone has big babies.  In fact, my friend Nikki has tiny little babies.  Her babies are so very tiny that newborn cloth diapers are a must.

Meet Small Fry.

Newborn Cloth Diapers - Get the Right Fit (Cloth Diaper Addicts) #makeclothmainstream

Small Fry was, at the time of this photo, 8 days old.  She was a full-term birth, but still weighed under 6 pounds.  My smallest baby outweighed her by a full pound, and that one was not cloth diapered.

That means that Small Fry was going to be my first chance at using newborn cloth diapers.

Nikki had a plethora of newborn cloth diapers to work with; she was one of the recipients of my cloth diaper cakes.  However, Small Fry being so… well, small… made it a bit of a challenge.  Everything was just too big and was gapping at the legs.  And since Small Fry is an exclusively breastfed baby, she produced delightful blowouts that got everywhere.

Nikki absolutely did not want to use disposables.  Not at all.

That meant that it was time for me to come over with some tiny diapers, play, and help get the right fit.  (This is another reason why I love my local cloth diapering community: they let me borrow their babies for diaper tests.)

Even better?  Small Fry is a somewhat cooperative model.  Sure, she gets a bit annoyed with multiple diaper changes happening one right after the other, but as long as she gets frequent breaks to eat, she’s pretty all right.

General suggestions: If you’re starting with an extremely tiny baby, you’ll need extremely tiny diapers.  I’m talking about diapers that are so tiny and adorable that your non-expectant cloth diapering friends will look at them and start to spontaneously ovulate from the tiny cuteness.  You’ll also find that pulling up at the wings can help a slightly too big diaper fit, even if it’s not pretty.  Sometimes, esthetics have to take a backseat to function.  When you’re changing every hour because the little newborn will scream if there’s a drop of wetness in the diaper, that’s one of those times.

Also keep in mind that one size diapers will not fit a super tiny baby.  Even ones that claim that they fit babies as small as six pounds will give a horrid fit.  I’ll have some brand specific reviews of newborn cloth diapers with pictures of our little mini model all week.

Did you start cloth diapering with an exceptionally tiny newborn?  How big was your baby for his or her first cloth diaper?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Anastasia says:

    Oh my goodness, my PREEMIE was bigger then that! (Yes the doc thought it was weird I kept handing them back the baby, lol)

    I’m glad my MIL overnighted me some stuff (& that it actually fit) while we were in the hospital. Yes it’s a LOT different to diaper a 6 lb newborn then an 8 or 10 lb newbie. Glad you got to try out some new stuff for this little sweetie!

  2. Awww, Lil Bit is so cute. I remember looking at the tiny newborn disposable diapers when I was pregnant with my youngest son. He wore newborn diapers for several weeks. I get baby fever every time I see cute tiny babies, thankfully, I had my tubes tied. 😉 I kept one of my son’s newborn diapers because I wanted to show him one day that he was small enough to fit into newborn diapers. He was 7lbs 13oz. when he was born.
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  3. Alicia Owen says:

    I didn’t even know newborn sized cloth diapers existed when my daughter was first born. Wish I had because she was only a little over 7lbs when she was born. Not terribly small, but we didn’t start using our OS diapers with her until she was about a month old.

  4. My babies are like this! I have tiny babies. My overdue baby was only 7lb even and she was my biggest girl! I like to use the applecheeks size 1 or fitteds for newbies. The applecheeks have a smaller setting and you can pull the wings up.
    Erin S. recently posted…Real Women Leading by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder #bookreview @Litfuse plus iPad #giveawayMy Profile

  5. Both my boys were over 8 pounds so there was no need for special newborn sized diapers. I had purchased our diapers several months before our first was born. Our diapers are all one size so if our boys would have been born any smaller these diapers would not have worked. Even at 8 pounds I found that we just managed to get a tight enough fit that we needed. If our babies had been any smaller we would have been in big trouble!
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  6. We started out with gDiapers for our newborn son, but they wound up being too large. He eventually grew into them, but then quickly grew out of them. We wondered if it was a waste of money. Eventually, we found great brands that worked well for us and fit him wonderfully! I loved CD’ing and plan to do it with the next one, as well.
    Ondria Witt recently posted…Spring into Cash Giveaway EventMy Profile

  7. I had debated using cloth diapers but never did. However, I find this a very informative post & will be sharing it on my “Parenting” board via Pinterest. My favorite part of this post? “your non-expectant cloth diapering friends will look at them and start to spontaneously ovulate from the tiny cuteness” Too funny!
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  8. My first was just under 5 pounds when we brought him home, but I didn’t have any newborn diapers that fit him until he was a few months old (people just kept telling me to wait until he would fit into OS diapers, but after he was obviously not going to be big enough for quite a while, I did a newborn cloth diaper trial and fell in love with Thirsties XS covers and newborn prefolds!) My second baby came home at just about 6 pounds, and while we had a ton of cloth to use on her from the start, it was hard to find anything that didn’t hit directly across her umbilical cord stump. At about 2 weeks old the size 1 Capri covers fit under her stump, and we were able to start using a variety of newborn diapers on her. (And for the record, of everything that we tried, those newborn prefolds and tiny covers were still my favorites!) 🙂
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  9. Good to know that even if you have a tiny baby you can still cloth diaper. I will share this with the peeps.
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  10. What a cutie! I wasn’t able to cloth diaper our kids but have been looking at ways to help some new moms at church. This is a great way for me to help them get some cloth diapers and make sure we’re getting the right size.
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  11. Wow what a great post on cloth diapering. I am no longer n the diaper phase but it’s nice to know more for friends and readers who are curious.
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  12. my son was only 6lbs when he was born – I didnt use CD back then, but we’re planning on using them with this one. I have no idea how big she will be. I have a couple Newborn diapers. They are super adorable though.
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  13. Thanks for sharing these tips. What a nice idea!
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  14. Alex Scoville says:

    I have teeny tiny babies. My daughter was 4lbs 13oz at 38 weeks. All the newborn diapers we had were huge until she was a month old. We ordered preemie prefolds and Bummis original covers and they fit great right away!

  15. Adorable baby picture of Small Fry :-). Great tips for cloth diapering tiny babies. Thanks for sharing!
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  16. What a cutie!! I had no idea you could get a cloth diaper to fit a newborn.
    Ben recently posted…How About Some Trivia? QuizUp delivers.My Profile

  17. Aww such a cute picture of Small Fry, Its so nice to know they have cloth diapers to fit newborns. My sister had a preemie he was only 4lb 6oz he just turned 22 and he is such a blessing!
    LisaLisa recently posted…Have you ever wondered as to what happen to the original ” Little Rascals”My Profile

  18. Great information about cloth diapering. I stopped by because one of my cousins is expecting her 1st and is interested in CD. Thanks for giving such great info!
    Patty recently posted…Happy 50th Birthday, It’s a Small World!My Profile

  19. My last baby was 6lb 5 oz born but went down under 5lbs by the time we left the hospital (2 days old). My favorite and his first was lil joeys – loved these for him, except drying time is crazy slow 🙁 He had to wear them on the smallest setting with the front top folded right over – no leaks for us at all. Next I loved the sweetpea newborn covers with pikapu os boosters inside – heaps absorbent, very trim fit, and very quick drying. These fitted him the longest too out of all our newborn stuff. At first I would fold the os insert down a little at the front, bring the cover up (on the smallest setting) and fold it down in the front too, then cross over the velcro tabs which held it all in place nicely (this was really easy, easier than it sounds, plus it gave the perfect fit and trim like a sposie, and never a leak either).

    It really depends on your newborns shape aswell he had skinny legs. My favorite for his brother before him who was 7lb born with chubby legs was bg newborns, they were fantastic for him, but didn’t suit his brother until he was about 3 weeks old, then he only wore them for 2 weeks before outgrowing them. If you are going to get newborn diapers/nappies get a variety of good brands, to see what works for your bub, or go with prefolds as they fit all bubs if folded correctly.

  20. wow…my babies were just under 7 lbs each…and I totally get the whole hard to fit diapers!
    heather recently posted…Raising Chickens for MeatMy Profile

  21. I plan on using cloth diapers when I start having kids. It seems so much better for the environment! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
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  22. I can’t wait to try my stash of adorable NB diapers when my little guy arrives! If you need another Nb model let me know. 😀

  23. Those are some great tips. My baby was pretty small when she was born too.
    Michelle F. recently posted…3 Months Down and Back to the 2 Week Dr. Oz PlanMy Profile

  24. Our daughter was 7.10, and I had two XS fuzzibunz I had accidentally ordered with my initial stash for our son a couple years ago. She wore those when she was too small to fit in her smalls. That lasted about 10 days. She’s now comfortably in the small size, and weighs in just over 10 lbs now.

  25. My daughter in law has been cloth diapering for almost 2 years now and would never go back to disposables. I think it’s a personal preference but she has the ones that are adjustable and grow with the kids.
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  26. It’s hard to pick just the right size for your child. This is a big help.
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  27. Rachel N says:

    My babies were big too, my smallest was 8lb 13oz and my biggest was 9lb 5oz. Even though they were big I still used newborn cloth diapers for over a month. Even big babies have scrawny newborn legs. I used prefolds and covers for at home and AIO like lil joeys and swaddlebees newborns for when we went out. Plus newborn cloth is just way too cute.

  28. I didn’t use cloth on my daughter as a newborn but I wish I had, and would definitely like to try it if we have more kids. Thanks for the information! I like your suggestions.

  29. amber ivie says:

    Small fry is such a cutie! My baby weighed 9lbs13oz so I didn’t get to use newborn diapers

  30. Amanda Felton says:

    My first was so big when we had him and didn’t fit half of the newborn clothes we bought, so I was glad I didn’t get any small cloth diapers. This time I think I will use disposables at first until we know how big baby will be (in June!). I am looking forward to cloth diapering so much and am trying to build my stash up.
    Thanks for the article!!

  31. Tanya C. says:

    Thank you for this post! We are expecting in a couple of weeks, and will be cloth diapering from Day 1 (well, day 2 or 3, depending on when we get out of the hospital, and the hospital won’t cloth diaper). While the majority of my diaper stash is meant to last the entirety of baby’s diapering life, I did invest in approximately 24 AIO newborn diapers. (I estimated 12 diaper changes per day, and laundry every other day). My main concerns were potential leaking issues with the larger diapers meant to fit 10+ lb babies and the issue of irritation of the cord stump from the higher rise in these diapers. Initially, it was a little hard to swallow the investment in newborn diapers, since I know that they will only be used for approximately 3 months, but I am committed to cloth diapering, and I would hate to be deterred by frustration caused by likely leaks from the larger diapers. Wish us luck! 🙂

  32. I’m really hoping to start cloth diapering from the beginning, but worry about such an investment for such a brief period.

  33. I did a new born rental through our local cloth diaper store ( and they had a huge variety of nb diapers to choose from. I love the kissaluvs and simplex nb aio’s but I also got to try grovia and bumgenius nb aios. They all fit great and I would recommend any of those again!

  34. Find a place that maybe does a rental or look into gently loved diapers!

  35. She’s tiny and darling 🙂 Did you end up doing specific reviews of newborn diapers? …I can’t find them. Would it be difficult to add links to this post?

  36. Melissa. says:

    Great article as I am expecting my first and want to cloth diaper in the newborn stage. Its hard to plan when you don’t know how big they will be until they get here!

  37. Mia Hicks says:

    thank you for sharing this information. I am new to cloth diapering and my baby is due soon so this is all very helpful! 🙂

  38. Wow! She is amazingly adorable and tiny!
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  39. Shilo Wheatley says:

    Thanks for all the helpful info! I have been so worried about diapers fitting my newborn that I have a pretty good sized nb stash, but I’m so afraid they won’t get used now! I’m expecting a boy and my last boy was 5lb 5oz so if he’s small like my last boy I’m sure they’ll all be worth it however my 2 girls were 7lb 6oz. So I guess we’ll find out! Lol

  40. Andrea Slagle says:

    I will need this info soon! My first baby is due in January, but may be early because I have preeclampsia. Thanks for the info!

  41. Zedory Cottrell says:

    My first son was born 8 pounds, but very long and skinny, so the cloth diapers I had were a little loose, I cheated and used disposables for the first few weeks until he was a little more plump. I am expecting another baby boy soon, I have no idea what size he will be, but I am planning to cloth diaper from birth with him, I am using diapers with hook & loop closures rather than snaps so I can get a more adjustable fit though.

  42. I’m a FTM and new to cloth diapering so I’m planning to skip cloth diapering a newborn this go around. I think my baby will be tiny (my mom had tiny babies – 2 under 6lbs and 1 just over 6lbs) but really I don’t know for sure. If baby turns out to be larger than I expect, I’ll give some of the smaller diapers in my stash a try but I’ve got some eco-friendly disposables on hand just in case.


  1. […] diapers were just plain too big.  That meant I got to problem solve: I came over to help her get the right fit.  Nikki had plenty of newborn size Bummis prefolds to work with, and she’d already decided that […]

  2. […] Fry was a wee baby at one month and seven pounds when she tested the Nuggles Tuck-Wrap-Go Cover.  She’s cute as […]

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