Preparing newborn baby layette may cause a massive headache to some. Especially when waiting for the first child. What to buy? Pocket diapers or PUL covers? Or maybe woollen soakers? How many? And what inserts to use? We will try to answer these questions and help new parents at the beginning of the reusable diapering road – so that it’s not as winding and bumpy.
First off all is worth to note that the best choice for newborn baby will be to buy diapers in newborn size (in short – NB). That may sound obvious, but on the market there are many diapers in universal size (One Size – OS, MiniOS) which theoretically fit throughout the entire baby’s diapering period (from birth to giving up diapers comepletely) – however, you need to know that although diapers in a universal size will fulfill their function as such, they are quite large and it is more difficult for an inexperienced person to fit them into the small body of a newborn and not allow them to leaks. These diapers are, of course, less comfortable for newborns than NB diapers, which are specially designed to ensure the proper development of the newborn baby. Newborn size diapers are specially constructed in such way that they fit already a 2.5 kg newborn baby – no OS diaper will work with such low weight of the child.
Magabi newborn diapers have a front cut into a nice u-shape, so they fit perfectly on the smallest bellies and do not cover the navel. This is very important in the first days of the baby’s life, especially when the umbilical stump has not yet fallen off. The NB size is also much narrower in the crotch than the OS, so it does not restrict the child’s movements.
Well, we already know that the most suitable size for a newborn is size NB. It’s time to think about which diaper system will work best for you. And there is a lot to choose from :
- WOOL – Magabi covers, soakers and longies are made out of brand new merino wool, they are very soft and delicate for baby’s skin. You can also sew woolen covers from recycled wool, i.e. from old sweaters, jackets or skirts. The wool must be washed every 2 weeks or when it gets dirty. All you need to do is ventilate it between uses. You will find more information about the properties of wool and its proper care in a separate article.
What’s inside? For example muslin flat with dimensions 50×50 or 60×60 cm folded into a “plane”, “kite” or “angels wings”. Or maybe prefolds – standard and with elastics, which are in our offer a definite hit for a newborn baby. Small towels will also work, e.g. from Ikea, so-called “for visitors”. These types of inserts are best fastened using Snappi buckles – a modern, secure diaper clasp. Fitted diapers also fit perfectly with wool – in our offer you will find white cotton and bio cotton fitted diapers and beautiful colored ones with patterns – their absorbency is comparable to prefolds, and they are fastened with velcro or snaps and last longer than NB prefolds (if you want to still use prefolds later you need to buy size S). Another great solution are inserts with wings (so-called sides) – these are special inserts designed for newborns – thanks to the sides that surround the legs and the bottom, leakage in the groin is reduced to a minimum – mothers praise this solution very much.
Good to know! – The most economical version of diapers not only of a newborn baby, but also of an older baby, is wool and muslin flats, which are among the cheapest inserts on the market. Some mothers successfully use this system from birth until the baby is ready to give up diapers. It is not recommended to iron muslin flats, as our mothers and grandmothers used to do – it unnecessarily reduces its absorption.
- PUL COVERS – made of knitted fabric with vapor-permeable membrane (let’s water vapor through, preventing overheating), which is also waterproof (retains urine and baby’s milk poop). If the cover is only slightly wet, you can use it again. However, it is not recommended to use the same cover more than 2-3 times, because PUL knitwear does not have bactericidal properties – unlike wool, which is very hygienic.
What’s inside? Any absorbent insert or fitted diaper as in the case of woollen covers. Do not use microfiber inserts, because the microfiber directly touching the baby’s bottom can irritate delicate skin – we recommend natural materials such as cotton or bamboo.
Good to know! – There are also SIO covers with special snaps, to which we attach the absorbent inserts. This system is ideal for a brisk child – thanks to snaps the insert will not move around. Our NB covers have one snap to which you can attach the insert with wings. Of course, this snap does not come in the way when we use different type of absorbent inserts, so you should not be afraid of it – it is under the insert and does not bother your child.
- PUL POCKET DIAPERS – the outer layer of the pockets is also made of PUL fabric, but the diaper inside has the so-called pocket made of cotton or synthetic velour. The specially designed pocket should, among other things, isolate the baby’s bottom from the insert – usage of velour gives a feeling of dryness and cotton gives a wet feeling but isolates, for example, from microfiber which can irritate the skin. The second advantage of the pocket diaper is the fact that the insert stays in place, thanks to which the reusable diaper remind in use the disposable diapers. Unlike PUL covers and wool, the pocket must be washed after each use.
What’s inside? Any absorbent insert. It can be muslin flat folded into a rectangle, towel, prefold or insert dedicated to pockets. Inside of the diaper we can put a microfiber insert, because thanks to the material forming the pocket we separate the bottom from the insert.
- ALL IN ONE (AIO) – this is so called diaper all in one, we do not have to wonder what absorbent insert to use, because the AIO already has a insert consisting of several absorbent layers sewn into the diaper. We have to wash it after each use. This is the easiest diaper option and we recommend buying these diapers for more resistant people like daddies or nannies who may not be able to fold diapers at first.
What’s inside? The basic absorbent insert is already sewn into the diaper. If we feel the need to increase the AIO absorbency, we can put a booster or other small absorbent contribution in the pocket. We especially recommend Magabi ULTRA boosters because they are very thin and do not increase the diaper’s volume almost at all, but significantly increase its absorbency (they will work for all diapers, not just AIO).
Good to know! – It is believed that All In One diapers belong to the easiest to use baby diaper system. We don’t have to wonder what insert to use for the diaper, because the manufacturer thought for us! Due to the fact that the insert is an inseparable part of the diaper, the AIO dries relatively long – longer than, e.g. pocket diapers. You have to keep that in mind when planning the number of diapers. However AIO Magabi, like all Magabi inserts, can be tumble dried on a program for delicate fabrics.
Regardless of the method of baby diapering, we should remember that a newborn baby defecate quite frequently, and thus we must be prepared for a large number of diaper changes during the day (and unfortunately at night as well). It can be about 15 changes, but don’t be surprised by 25 soiled diapers. You should keep in mind the time it takes to dry – muslin flats dries in no time, but fitted diaper or AIO in unfavorable conditions (winter, lack of the heating, lack of the drier, damp in the flat) can take even 2-3 days to dry.
Regardless of whether we decide on diapering with wool alone (e.g. 3 covers, 2 pairs of woolen soakers, 30 muslin flats and few fitted diapers), or will we choose a mixed system (e.g. 4 AIO, 6 pocket diapers, 2 PUL covers, 2 wool covers) remember about the inserts – about their adequate supply, taking into account the drying time of the diapers. It is difficult to advise a specific number of diapers, because we do not know what budget you have or what system will be suitable for you and your child.
If you already know your child and can determine how many diaper changes it requires in a day, then you will need the same number of diapers (inserts) to buy to start reusable diapering. If you plan laundering every 2 days, then you need to multiply the amount of diapers by two and add a few more just in case.
As you can see, there are many ways to baby diapering. Everyone will find their favorite system that will be most convenient for them and bring the most satisfaction. In my case, the best choice before planned purchases was to touch all diaper systems of different companies. This can be done thanks to the kindness of other mothers which use a resuable diapers or by contacting one of the many diaper rentals in Poland – for example, Pieluchoteka. This pre-purchase check is really a very good solution. Regardless of the system you choose, your child and the environment will be grateful to you for using reusable diapers!