Thursday, May 19, 2011

Newborn Diaper Comparisons

Cloth diapering a newborn is well worth it as Nina pointed out in the previous blog post. I thought I’d get a little more detailed regarding size differences of newborn {NB} diapers compared to one-size {OS} diapers and comparing newborn diapers to each other. OS diapers are often advertised to fit newborn {8 lbs} to potty learning {35-40 lbs}. I have found that this isn’t always the case. It’s not that the diaper companies are misleading; it is just that babies are often born well under that 8 lb mark. Even at 8 lbs often the newborn has teeny tiny chicken legs that can’t quite fill up the leg holes on the smallest setting of OS diapers. Other newborns like BW, a whopper at 9 lbs, probably wouldn’t have had much difficulty filling out the leg holes of an OS diaper at birth. Unfortunately, for him I didn’t discover cloth until he was 1 month old. Think of OS diapers as the One-Size-Fits-All shirts that were popular in the 80s {I’m dating myself here}. Those darn shirts were always so BIG on me. It fit, but thank goodness for leggings and those t-shirt clips to knot it at the side. So, one size may fit all, but the question is how well will it fit. At the newborn stage expect bulk if using OS diapers. Newborn diapers are made to be trim and to fit before OS diapers begin to fit. And if you know you’re going to have an itty-bitty baby, newborn or x-small diapers are the way to go. You’ll definitely get use out of them before the OS diapers fit.
Green Baby Elephant currently carries the following diapers that are highly recommended for newborns: GroVia newborn AIOs, Thirsties {anything in size 1: Duo Diapers, Duo Fitteds, Wraps, prefolds, hemp inserts, and stay-dry inserts}, BabyKicks {3g and the fitted diaper}, and FuzziBunz extra-small diapers.
More formal reviews of each diaper will be written by Nina when she gets a chance. Her sweetie pie is our fashionably hip newborn diaper model. But for now, I thought I’d do some size comparisons for the newborn diapers while we’re waiting for a diaper review.

As you can see, the GroVia NB AIO and the X-Small FuzziBunz are very trim between the legs. I didn't take a side pic of the diapers to show the bulkiness of each one, so you will have to believe me that the GroVia NB AIO and the FuzziBunz X-Small diapers are much trimmer, as in your baby will be able to wear a onesie while wearing either of these cloth diapers. This is because they are not a OS diaper like the BabyKicks and the Thirsties Duo Diaper {Size 1 is pictured, and it is on the smallest rise setting}. When you buy a diaper that is sized, you will get a trimmer fit. This goes for any sized diaper you use.

The BabyKicks 3g and the Thirsties Duo Diaper are going to be slightly more bulky due to the fact that they are being sized down to fit a newborn. The extra material is going to be folded down.  This is going to be true with any OS diaper. The smaller the setting on a OS diaper, the bulkier it will be. As your baby grows, the rise will go up, which will cause the diaper to become trimmer. That being said, it is also nice to have the ability to have a diaper that will grow with your baby like the BabyKicks 3g and the Thirsties Duo systems can.

I mentioned that BW wouldn't have fit in the newborn diapers when he was born, and some of you may make big babies as well. So I want to compare newborn diapers to their OS counterparts.

Here is the GroVia NB AIO next to their OS AIO and their OS AI2 Shell. Both OS diapers are snapped to their smallest setting. And the shell does not have the soaker pad snapped in. It is obvious that both OS diapers will be very bulky compared to the NB AIO. The AIO is much larger than both the NB AIO and the AI2 shell. It will take quite some time for a newborn to grow into it. The shell does get quite small. I used the GroBaby system on BW when he was 1 month, and he was on the medium size snap. {Like I've said before, he was a B.I.G. boy!} I should also mention that the GroVia rise does differ from the GroBaby. The GroVia shell is slightly larger than the GroBaby shell.

Here is the BabyKicks 3g's different rise settings. It has a total of 5 sizes: newborn, small, small-medium, medium, and large. The hemp/cotton insert is very trim, so it keeps this diaper from being very bulky in the smaller sizes. It has a great span of fitting all sizes, especially for a OS diaper! You can read more about the BabyKicks 3g in my review here.

Here is the FuzziBunz OS diaper on its smallest setting compared to the X-Small diaper. The OS does get quite small. It isn't as tiny as the X-Small, but it may be close enough for those that make large babies. But once again, as a OS is sized down, it is bulky. You can read more about my FuzziBunz review here.

Here are all 3 sizes of the Thirsties Duo Diaper {Size 1}. As you can see it gets larger very gradually, so as to fit a newborn of 6 lbs to a 9 month old of 18 lbs. Since the Fitteds and Wraps are from the same Duo system, you can safely assume they have the same sizing as the diapers in the pic. Thirsties has 2 diapers each with 3 size settings. They did this to help cut down on the bulk of the small settings of a OS diaper. The size 2 Duo Diaper was created to make the diaper fit longer than most OS diapers can. You can read more about Thirsties Duo Diapers in my review here.


It is personal preference for what kind of diaper and system you decide to use. We will be highlighting all of the diapers that Green Baby Elephant carries, so you can make an informed decision of what you want to use on your baby. And I am more than happy to work with you to find the diapering system that will work for you and your baby! Please, don't hesitate to contact me.


P.S. I'm sorry about the sizing of the pictures and the format of my blog. I wanted to make these photos large enough for you to see the differences between the sizes.  {I'm not wearing my contacts as I'm writing this, so I need to see what I'm doing as well!!}


  1. You are so thorough and wonderful. :) Thanks for the post!

  2. I'm considering cloth for the next baby (an if/when kinda thing) and love your expert advice. thank you! ps.... LOVE picturing you in awesome 80's garb with the plastic tshirt tie. Thank you for that image, haha!

  3. Thank you Erin! And I totally rocked those One Size Fits All shirts!! :) When it's time for your second LO, I'll def help you out.