Best Cloth Diapers for Preemies

Best Cloth Diapers for Preemies

I wanted to share some pictures of my preemie son and let others know about the cloth diapers that fit preemies. Our son was born at 36 weeks and weighed 4 lbs 4 oz. He spent a week in the NICU and was discharged when he was 7 days old, weighing 4 lbs 4.8 oz. He was then placed with an interim foster family through our adoption agency and came home with us when he was 17 days old, weighing 5 lbs 2 oz. It’s hard to believe he was once almost a pound smaller!

For years, I had been stockpiling cloth diapers in anticipation of having another baby. However, when we received the unexpected news that our son would be coming home with us within 24 hours, I realized that I was not as prepared as I thought. I had not considered the possibility of having a premature baby and therefore did not have many diapers that would fit him as he weighed only 5 lbs. I quickly grabbed the few newborn-sized diapers that I had on hand and hoped that they would be sufficient.

In the meantime, companies like Rumparooz, Thirsties, Softbums, and Sweet Pea Diapers were getting packages in the mail to me ASAP so that we would have enough diapers to get us through the tiny preemie stage.

Rumparooz Lil Joeys

I think these are the cutest newborn diapers available! They fit my 5 pound baby perfectly and created a great seal around his small legs. When the absorbency became insufficient, we added newborn doublers from Thirsties and Geffen Baby to increase the absorbency. Unfortunately, my son outgrew these diapers at 4 months and 10 lbs, which made me sad to have to put them away. Buy them here! 

Thirsties Newborn

I really love Thirsties diapers and was happy that they were small enough to fit my preemie. Although they were a bit bulkier on my 5 pound baby, they still fit well around his thin legs. We used both the regular newborn version and the natural newborn diaper. Recently, at his 4 month check-up, my son weighed 10 lbs 11.5 oz and the diapers still fit, but we are almost at the point where he will outgrow them. To increase absorbency, I have been using Thirsties and Geffen newborn doublers for a while now. Buy them here! 

SoftBums Echo

If you need a one-size diaper that fits both newborns and preemies, SoftBums is a great choice. I used these diapers with my average-sized newborn until potty training and was thrilled to be able to use them again on my preemie. The mini pods work well as inserts, making them a practical and convenient option.

The SoftBums Echo has a waterproof PUL outer and comes in a range of cute prints. Every month, they release a new, limited edition Calendar Bum print, which has a following of collectors and a market for used SoftBums in rare prints. Buy them here! 

AppleCheeks size 1

Okay, they look huge in this photo, but I promise you the AppleCheek size 1 still fits even at 5kg! There’s still a long way to go before I choose size 2. They’re great for diapers and flat wipes, but we also like to use them with AppleCheeks double layer bamboo inserts. Buy them here! 

Sweet Pea Newborn Covers

Thank goodness for Sweet Pea newborn covers! We had a lot of prefolds and flats, but this was the only cover I could get a good fit with at 5 lbs! They are still fitting today at 4 months, but definitely getting smaller.

What to look for when buying cloth diaper for preemies

When buying diapers for preemies, there are several things to consider in order to ensure that you are getting a product that is safe, comfortable, and effective for your little one. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Size: Preemies are often much smaller than full-term babies, so it is important to choose a diaper that is appropriately sized for their smaller frame. Look for diapers that are specifically designed for preemies or that have a range of sizes that includes options for very small babies.
  2. Fit: A good fit is crucial for any diaper, but it is especially important for preemies, as a diaper that is too large or too small can cause leaks or cause irritation to your baby’s delicate skin. Look for diapers that have adjustable or stretchy waistbands and leg cuffs to ensure a snug, comfortable fit.
  3. Absorbency: Preemies may not have fully developed bladder control, which means that they may need more absorbent diapers. Look for diapers that have a high absorbency rating or that are specifically designed for overnight use.
  4. Comfort: Preemies have very sensitive skin, so it is important to choose a diaper that will not cause irritation or discomfort. Look for diapers that are made with soft, hypoallergenic materials and that have a smooth, comfortable fit.
  5. Convenience: As a parent of a preemie, you likely have your hands full already. Look for diapers that are easy to use, with features like re-sealable tabs and a wetness indicator that can help make diaper changes a little easier.

I’ll be posting a more thorough in depth post on newborn diapers, coming soon! Did you have a cloth diapered preemie? What worked for you?


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