First of all, some basic information:
There are two sizing options in the diapering world: adjustable-size diapers (also called one-size diapers, or OSFM "one-size-fits-most"), and then traditional sized diapers with small, medium, large, etc. (Prefolds and flats are somewhat adjustable, depending on the style/fold pattern you use, but if you're going that route then you are probably not thinking about getting special newborn sized diapers anyway. )
The average newborn size diaper fits from about 5-10 lbs. The average size small diaper starts around 7-8lbs and fits until around 15lbs. The average adjustable-size diaper fits babies down to about 8lbs (and up to 35lbs).
Do YOU need to worry about getting newborn size diapers?
- Well, if you have 5lb babies, then newborn size diapers make a lot of sense because they will probably last 2-3 months for your child. Also, small diapers will be way too big for them at first. Some ethnic groups are predisposed to smaller babies (a Japanese friend of mine pointed out that a 7lb baby would be enormous for her), and some kids are just built little and will probably end up potty trained before outgrowing a 'medium' diaper. Of course babies born prematurely are also smaller and benefit from having smaller diapers.
- If your babies are 7+lbs at birth, then newborn size diapers will probably only fit for a few weeks. That can be a lot of money for a diaper that will not fit for very long, especially because a small diaper will fit that size of baby pretty well right from birth. On the other hand, you may prefer to have some tiny diapers for those early weeks, especially if you use adjustable-size diapers which can be quite bulky on the smaller settings. If you plan to have several children use the diapers, then of course they become more cost-effective.
- If you have a 10lb baby, as one of my customers did, you may find that the newborn diaper you bought barely fits him on the day he comes home from the hospital. ☺
Remember that almost any diaper will be a little bulky on a newborn, but that most babies grow very fast. So consider how big your baby is likely to be (consider your other children, or if this is your first baby then look at your mother's or sister's children for an idea of how big yours might be).
Of course, if you are still not sure what diapering sizes or styles will be best for you and your child, feel free to contact any of us on the team, we're here to help!