Yes, cloth diapers do exist that actually fit a small baby, they are just not widely available. You have found the internet's largest cloth diaper source for premature and small babies.
Why cloth? It is easier to monitor your baby's output when using cloth diapers.
A proper fit really does make a difference. If you have a tiny one, don't waste your precious energy struggling to stuff diapers that are too big into a cover that doesn't fit correctly. Purchasing preemie size diapering items for any baby under about 6 pounds 10 ounces is a worthwhile investment you will be glad to have made.
Using cloth diapers that fit correctly is easy, but figuring out what diapering items to buy is the hard part! The preemie diapers will be your doublers later on, so you never need to buy a doubler. The wipes will be used like crazy all the way to potty learning also. The only thing you won't keep using are the covers, which will get outgrown, but the rest of the items you need to get started you will keep using for then next 2.5 years. Thus, if you have a little one, it's actually a very economical purchase the suggested amounts.
3 or 4 dozen preemie prefold diapers (the diapers are little so you can fit a lot in the washer. 4 dozen recommended.)
4 or 5 covers
3 or 4 packs of birdseye wipes (birdseye are thinner than two-sided wipes which is nice for a tiny one)
Bummis Super Brite Newborn
Preemie in Bummis Super Brite Newborn over a preemie size prefold diaper.
5 pounds 4 ounces, 1 month old born 6 weeks early in preemie purple edge prefold fastened with a Boingo
5 pounds 7 ounces, 37 days old, born at 34 weeks
half flat shown Snappi fastened, but for little ones we recommend pinning it instead. The Birdseye Flat diapers in size half, called "Half Flats" are nice preemie or newborn diapers, but the Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers in size Preemie are easier to use and more popular.
Bummis Super Whisper print size newborn. This is a much bigger cover. Notice the big gap at the leg. The velcro tab should have been pulled in to overlap each other to snug that up on this little one. Snugging it in would make it workable on her.
Below is Charlie in Thirsties Duo size 1 Storm Cloud at about 5.5 pounds and 3 weeks old with a preemie size prefold diaper underneath. The trick to making this cover work is using the preemie size diaper underneath. It's really not a preemie size cover and it is much larger than the Bummis Super Brite size newborn cover. This storm cloud color cover is the old-style hook and loop closure. The new style is larger thus choose the snap version for a little one.
Preemie baby, 5 pounds 8 ounces in a Thirsties Duo size 1. The trick to making this work on such a little one is using a preemie prefold underneath it.
Preemie twins just home at about 4.5 to 5 pounds in Thirsties Duo size 1 over a size small/one-size birdseye flat diaper. A half size flat would be trimmer, but with all that cotton of the small/one-size flat in there to absorb, there are no leaks even though the cover is still so roomy. They are comfortable and leak-free.
Size preemie is thinner than size newborn. It has fewer layers. Preemie has 2 layers on each side and 6 layers in the center, called 2-6-2 ply. Preemie are just a little bit longer and narrower than newborn. The length is folded down on the baby in this picture.
Newbie grey edge is a large preemie size. 2-6-2 layering.
Newbie is preemie layering but it is about the same size as the newborn orange edge. It is wider than the typical preemie diapers are.
Preemie purple edge is preemie layering 2-6-2 ply, the same layering as the Newbie grey edge prefolds. But the Preemie purple edge is smaller, at 9.5 wide x 10 inches long. This is a new size, which is a little wider and shorter than our old white edge preemie size which we no longer carry. Moms of babies in NICU have requested this size - many moms told us this over the years, so we finally made this custom preemie size. We don't have pictures on a tiny baby yet, but we do need some. Send pictures to email@example.com.
Newbie grey edge, twist fold. 5 pounds 7 ounces. 5 pounds 7 ounces, 9 days old. Newbie grey edge "large preemie" size. It is a very lightweight 2-6-2 ply diaper suitable for preemies or for just the first week or two for a full term baby. They are the same size as newborn orange edge prefolds but much thinner. These are nice if you don't want bulk on your newborn. Change often. You can always add a doubler to it. They newbie grey edge are make wonderful doublers all the way to potty learning so if you have some, you will use them and keep on using them. Newborn orange edge are 4-8-4 ply and Newbie grey edge are just 2-6-2 ply. 2-6-2 ply means 2 layers of cotton on the outside ends and 6 layers in the center panel. 4-8-4 ply means 4 layers in both outside panels and 8 layers in the center panel. More cotton=more absorbency, but it also means thicker of course. Newbie grey is a lot wider than regular preemie diapers, but still preemie layering. Full term babies will out-wet this diaper before it is outgrown so plan on adding a small doubler to it.
Newbie grey edge on an 8 pound baby. By the time baby is 8 pounds, the diapers will fit fine but they are only 2-6-2 ply, so baby will out-wet the diaper quickly. Just add a small yellow edge doubler to this to increase absorbency as needed.
Size preemie/newborn Thirsties Cover on a 2 week old baby in the 6 pound range. This can work on a preemie from about 4 pounds. Thirsties (Original) Diaper Cover in hook and loop closure. The Thirsties COVER is not the same as the Thirsties DUO. They are different items. I don't have a picture on a preemie baby in the Thirsties Cover yet though. If you have one, or any preemie pictures that you'd like to share for this page please email firstname.lastname@example.org.