I didn’t realize quite how much I’d appreciate having a newborn and for which reasons exactly. It’s funny because I’ve had two before. But I guess a certain amount of selective amnesia is to be expected. I forgot about how they force you to do NOTHING because, well, you haven’t got hands to do anything with. And yes, the third time around forced immobility IS appreciated.
First off, let me back up a step. I mentioned the challenges of cloth diapering a newborn. Really, I should have said diapering a newborn. Because cloth or otherwise, newborns are in a category of their own when it comes to containing their, umm… output. What goes in must come out. And out it comes, in impressive quantity!
Guess what? Cloth diapering parents and caregivers report experiencing way less if any blowouts. Now THAT is also impressive! Poop stays inside the diaper where it belongs for the most part. Yes, I might be doing an extra load of laundry or two a week for my diapers, but the clothes and linens are staying clean, which means far less of that sort of laundry compared to if I’d gone the throwaway route! Cloth diapering with AppleCheeks really is SO EASY!
I often get asked if AppleCheeks are good to use from newborn, and I am happy to say that there is NO reason why AppleCheeks can’t be the first item of clothing to touch your newborn’s skin.
There are a few specific things we get asked about when it comes to cloth diapering newborns, so let me address them one by one:
- Meconium – We get the occasional email about meconium and staining. The fact is, meconium is far less inclined to permanently stain your diapers than regular breastmilk poop. Meconium is a tarry substance that your baby accumulated in their gut in utero, and it’s actually not very liquid. It washes off diapers and mine don’t even have the slightest residue though there is light staining. If you are very concerned, consider using a disposable liner to keep it off the fabric. But its really not something to concern yourself with in as far as not using cloth from the get go is concerned. See number 5 below regarding staining.The umbilicus – When a baby is born, the cord is clamped and cut and for a day or so baby is left with a clip attached to the stump. After a day, your doctor or midwife will undo that clamp and the stump will be left largely alone until it dries out and falls off. It will take anywhere from three days to two weeks for this to happen, but the fact of its presence does NOT mean you can’t use AppleCheeks.I simply left the snaps at the waist done up loosely and they did not interfere with her belly button at all. The cord dried up nicely and fell off into her diaper during a change at five days old. If you have a small newborn you could always avoid doing up the waist snaps at all and just fold down the front flap to keep it off the cord.
- Fit – This is the biggest challenge when it comes to diapering a newborn, in my opinion, and it’s SO important because newborns are so little and yet they EXPLODE. AppleCheeks REALLY fit. We’ve even had 4lb preemies in our diapers despite the fact that they are designed to start fitting a 7lb newborn. If you haven’t already, please take the time to watch the two videos found here. (NEED NEW HYPERLINK)We suggest folding your insert in quarters to fit nicely inside of your diaper cover to get the best newborn fit. This makes for a much slimmer fit between the legs.Alternatively, we do make boosters (NEW HYPERLINK), which is much thinner, much smaller than an insert and two per diaper change could be used for the first few days of baby’s life if changed frequently.
- Quantity – This is a tricky question so I’ll base my recommendation on my experience and on what we’ve found works well for AppleCheeks customers. But really, the quantity you purchase depends on how often you’re comfortable washing diapers. I prefer not to have to wash more often than every three days and if I can go a day longer, I’m very happy. You will need about 36 diaper changes in order to do a load of laundry only once every three days (maybe a little more often for the first month or two). When I say 36 diapers changes I really mean 36 CHANGES. As AppleCheeks can be used as either a pocket-style diaper (1 insert + 1 cover) or as a cover/insert (3 inserts + 1 cover) you have to take your preferred method (HYPERLINK) into account.
- Staining – Fact: Diapers are there to contain poop. Fact: Poop stains. It’s kind of hard to get away from this. So inevitably you will have to deal with some sort of residue/staining. When used as a pocket-style cover with the fleece against the skin staining is minimized because the microfleece is not as absorbent. When the bamboo inserts are used against the skin you can end up with a bit more staining because of the nature of natural fibres. They’re just not as slippery as synthetic fibres. But… see just below for tips and tricks to minimize staining.What can you do? First thing’s first, DON’T PANIC. They’re just stains. If your diapers smell clean then they are clean. Staining is aesthetic and really, no one sees it but you. Your baby presents the stain-free side of her diapers to the world for the viewing pleasure of her admirers. They won’t recoil in horror if the diapers are slightly stained on the inside.But if stains bother you, there are a few great ways to remove them. The first tried and true method is the sun. This is a great option for inserts, but we do not recommend hanging your covers in the direct, hot sunlight as this can dry out the elastics.The second great option is an occasional prolonged soak in a natural oxygen bleach. I don’t mean a product like Oxyclean but rather a simple product that is made from hydrogen peroxide. These products tend to be pretty mild and shouldn’t harm your diapers, but they are excellent at breaking down the buildups that cause the staining. Fill your laundry sink with very hot water and add half a cup of the oxygen bleach and soak for two to four hours before washing.
- Creams – Along with most cloth diaper manufacturers, we’re not fans of the use of creams. First off, creams are created to prevent a moisture barrier and moisture barrier = reduced absorbency in your diapers. You don’t want your cloth diapers repelling as that sort of defeats the purpose of diapering in the first place. Secondly, the conditions that cause rashing in throwaway diapers are controllable with cloth so we prefer to trouble-shoot with you and figure out what’s irritating your child so it can be eliminated.However, there are circumstances where creams are necessary, such as in the case where a circumcision is chosen and a cream has to be used to protect the incision when it heals.Repelling is not the end of the world because it can be fixed (HYPERLINK) but so long as you are using any creams we recommend the use of our disposable liners.