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Otter Mama LOVES mail. And she loves to answer mail. If you send her an email with a simple diapering question, chances are you will get a long-winded novel back.

Today’s long-winded novel is about diapering newborns, in answer to a question from an expectant mom who wants to cloth diaper and is doing some homework first (smart mom!):

Dear OtterMama:
As a new mom, I just don’t know what to buy, and an ‘everything you need to get started package’ would be helpful.  I like your idea of including the wipes, wetbag, balm, and nursing pads – maybe in an ‘accessories’ kit?!  What I was thinking was maybe 4 diapers with a mixture of O-Pads and Econ-O-Pads, or whatever might be necessary to get a baby through 24 hours of diapering (day and night, heavy volume vs. light, etc).

I’ve started a registry at your website, and keep thinking that I’d love to just ask you for 12 AI2s in x,y, and z colors/patterns with the appropriate inserts for each, instead of registering separately for diapers one by one.
Perhaps I’m naive to want such a large quantity up front; many websites advise trying out several types of diapers to see what works best on your child/with your home.  However, the reviews I’ve read of Otter Blotters have been so positive (and they’re so cute!) that I feel pretty confident.
I’d love to hear your input on how many diapers is essential (I plan to wash every 2-3 days), and if an entire wardrobe of AI2s is practical!  Thanks so much!

Hi New Mom!
I am very flattered you like the Ai2s enough to want a bunch!! But please don’t buy a bunch until you’ve tried one. Many people love them, and they work perfectly for their babies. But I have had someone return over $200 worth of diapers because her daughter turned out to be so tiny that the Blotters couldn’t be fastened tight enough around her thighs. I don’t charge for shipping for just this reason; you don’t have to order everything at once. And it’s actually pretty fun (and addictive) trying different diapers–you’ll see!

I also suggest that moms start out with the most cost effective diapers possible. For a newborn, that’s prefolds or flat diapers, with an inexpensive pull on or wrap-style cover. This is because newborns go through a LOT of diapers (be prepared for lots and lots of poopy diapers) and they grow REALLY fast. After the babies hit 10-12 lbs or so, they grow a little slower and they don’t poop so much, so then it makes sense to invest in more expensive covers and more absorbent inserts. And prefolds are useful for other things besides diapering, so it doesn’t matter if you only use them a short while. When they’re outgrown, you can use them for burp cloths and rags, cover your changing mats with them, etc. If you’re worried about pins, Snappis are a very nifty invention that holds the prefold in place without pins, and you can just lay the folded prefold in a cover without pinning it.

I do think it’s a good idea to also get 1. fitteds and covers that are almost as cheap as prefolds and 2. one-size diapers that truly work for newborns and older babies. I started stocking the OsoCozy fitteds because they are delightfully cheap, and they’re organic and made in the US. I strongly recommend the Little Comfort one-size bamboo fitteds, for an exceptional quality diaper at a very reasonable price. The Yamma fitted diapers I make are more expensive, but they are embroidered and colorful “show-off” diapers that work well for a newborn all the way to a toddler because they are 2 parts that snap together and only one part is used for a newborn. Newborns have very sensitive skin, and I like using a fitted diaper without a cover as much as possible to get good air flow to the skin. Because newborns don’t need a whole lot of absorbency, you can get away without a cover if the fitted is snug enough around their legs to contain blowouts (that’s projectile breastfed baby poop exiting the diaper at the back and legs, yuck).

My suggestion for a trial package would be:

1 Yamma one-size fitted

1 OsoCozy fitted, size S

1 dozen newborn prefolds

1 dozen infant prefolds

1 Otter Blotter size 1 Ai2 (8-20 lbs) this can be used as a cover over the prefolds, or the prefolds can be stuffed inside it for a pocket diaper, or it can be used as a cover over the snap-in O-Pads and Econ-O-Pads.

1 Otter Blotter multi-size cover size M (15-25 lbs) this cover fastens a bit differently from the 2-size Ai2 covers (the front doesn’t snap down) and you can see which fastening system you like the best. This cover can be used over prefolds without pinning (just tuck the prefold in the front and back inner facings). I don’t recommend buying many of the multi-size covers in small, unless you really love the diapers so much you can’t live without them. The small size just isn’t practical for the cost.
3 Otter Blotter Day-O-Pads (these are one-size, so they can be used indefinitely)
2 Otter Blotter Econ-O-Pads, size 1

I have been searching for a cheap cover to stock for newborns and haven’t found one I really like. The Olive Jane designer diaper covers are nice (and on sale now!) but I am hoping to find something even cheaper. I will probably ended up making one myself, in a snap and pull on version.

Sorry for rambling on and on and on; but hopefully some of it was useful!

OtterMama
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