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Is It Time To Size Up

Is It Time to Size Up Your Cloth Diapers? Here’s What You Need to Know

As much as we wish our little ones could stay tiny and adorable forever, the fact is, babies grow fast! And that means at some point, their cloth diapers are going to start getting a bit snug. But how do you know when it’s actually time to size up? Let’s break it down!

Newborn Diapers: The First Few Months

According to my research on how long do babies use newborn cloth diapers, the data tells us the average breastfed baby gains 4-7 oz per week in the first month, then around 1-2 lbs per month after that. Based on those numbers, most newborn diapers will fit from birth (or around 6 lbs, using average weights) until somewhere between 4-7 months of age depending on the brand and style. Larger babies would of course be able to wear them for less time, and smaller babies getting longer wear from those same diapers.

Cuddle Bear Bottoms’ newborn covers are estimated to fit from about 4-10 lbs, which would fit premie babies right away and for quite some time. For average babies that the would fit from birth to about 3 or 4 months of age.

Of course, every baby is different, so take these estimates with a grain of salt! You’ll know it’s time to move up to a larger diaper when you start struggling to get a good fit around the legs and waist. If the dreaded blow-outs start happening on the reg, that’s a dead giveaway.

One-Size Diapers: The Bulk of the Diapering Years

Once your babe outgrows those tiny newborn diapers, it’s time to move on to a one-size (OS). Most OS diapers are designed to fit from around 8 lbs all the way up to 30-35 lbs or more. So in theory, one set of OS diapers could last you from the end of the newborn stage until your kiddo is ready to potty train.

In practice, of course, it’s not always that simple. Some babies are chunk masters and outgrow the upper limit of OS diapers well before potty training. Others are so skinny that they can rock an OS diaper until age 3 or 4. It really depends on your kid’s unique build.

The Cuddle Bear Bottoms OS pocket diaper is a great choice for this stage, fitting from approximately 8-36 lbs. The hip and rise snaps let you adjust the size as your baby grows.

If you have some other cloth diaper brands and are wondering how Cuddle Bear Bottoms OS pockets measure up, check out the comparison article here.

When to Size Up: Trust Your Gut

In my experience, most parents start to get antsy about sizing up somewhere around the 9 month mark. And I get it – when you see those chubby little belly rolls squeezed into a maxed-out rise setting, it’s tempting to assume you need a bigger diaper ASAP.

But honestly, very few babies truly need to move up to a bigger size before 18-24 months.

That’s because when baby starts gets mobile — crawling and walking — their shape changes. Chunky baby thighs and tummy rolls most often turn into long toddler legs and torsos. You may even find yourself needing to adjust the snaps backwards and bringing in the rise long before you need to get

If the diapers are still fitting comfortably around the legs and waist and you aren’t dealing with constant leaks, you’re probably fine to stick with your OS stash a while longer. That said, there’s no harm in having a few larger diapers on hand just in case, especially if your kiddo is a heavy wetter as a larger diaper will offer more room for inserts. Cuddle Bear Bottoms Bigger Pocket Diaper is a nice choice because they can fit from 28 lbs (overlapping the one-size version) all the way to 45 lbs and up.

The Bottom Line

So when can you expect to size up your cloth diaper stash? Here’s a general timeline:

Newborn: Birth to ~10-16 lbs (around 2-4 months on average)
One-Size: ~8-36 lbs (from the end of the newborn stage up to 2-3+ years)
Bigger sizes: ~28 lbs and up (a few toddlers and older kids)

Remember, every baby is different, so use these estimates as a loose guide, not gospel. When in doubt, trust your gut! If your diapers are consistently leaking, leaving red marks, or feeling too snug, it’s probably time to size up. A comfy, clean baby bum is always the goal.

Author Bio:

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 95,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through the Cloth Diapers for Beginners website, the handbook, YouTube, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group. Her Complete Cloth Diapering Course is set to be released in 2024.

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