Using Soaker Pads on the Newborn Setting

“If my Shell is on the newborn setting, can I use Soaker Pads?”

This is a question that we see frequently from parents who are new to cloth diapers—and it’s a great one!

An unprepped Soaker Pad looks gigantic; it really does. Once your Soaker Pads, which are made from absorbent natural fibers, are in the prepping process, you’ll watch them shriiiiiiink until, after about 10 washes, they reach their permanent size. This is true for all natural fiber cloth diapers.

After they’re prepped, it’s easy to see how they will fit your baby when your Shell’s “rise snaps,” or the grid of snaps across the front panel used to adjust the diaper to fit your baby at her current size, are set on the medium or largest (fully let-out) settings.

But do they fit on the newborn/small setting?

They do! I happen to have a tiny, but not newborn, model who can show you:

Mathilda is one year old, 17 lbs., and only about 25” tall. She’s compact, but not skinny, filled-out, but has very narrow hips. She's a shrimp!

“So, how is she wearing that?” you ask. “Are you sure that’s a Soaker Pad under there? When I snap a Soaker Pad into a Shell on that setting, it sticks out!”

You’re right: it does. But a simple tuck does the trick. All you do is swipe your finger to move the back elastic outward and allow the Soaker Pad to be fully surrounded by it. It doesn’t even take me a whole second to accomplish:

Smoothen and spread out your Soaker Pad with your hands and make sure the gussets are in place and tucked into the leg elastic. Your fully assembled Hybrid cloth diaper will look like this:

That little tongue in the front will disappear when the Shell is brought up between your baby’s legs.


So why not just design Soaker Pads so that they fit newborns without that little tuck? Because they also need to fit your baby as she grows.

Note that as your baby grows and you are able to let the rise out on your Shells, the Hybrid system will become trimmer and trimmer… just in time for your baby’s clothes to become less baggy and babyish. If you’re looking for a cloth diaper that is super-duper, under-tiny-jeans trim while your baby is still very small, pick up a four-pack of either Newborn Cloth Diapers or One-Size AIOs, depending on your needs!

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