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Cloth Diapering: What do I absolutely need?

Posted by Becca on 7/7/2011 to Getting Started

It can be staggering to think of making the paradigm shift from disposable diapers to cloth diapers when you think of all the things that are out there that you absolutely need in order to start successfully. The thing is, though, you dont need most of those thingsthough many of them certainly make life as a cloth diapering parent easier. When I started shopping for cloth, looking at the list of these important things was dizzying to my head and to my budget:

I just couldnt handle all that as I made my transition. So, instead, I just focused on what I could handlewhich was only a couple of diapers at a time. Over the next few months of my daughters life I gradually grew my stash and as I did so I discovered the things that I really needed and the things that could wait.

A great side effect to gradually growing my stash and my necessary accessories was that I didnt have to jump into cloth diapering all at once and I never got overwhelmed by the lifestyle changes that it included.

For instance, I was very excited about using cloth diapers, but I thought that the idea of cloth wipes was silly and even gross. It took me a couple of months buying wipes over and over again to realize how much money Id save if Id switch over to wipes.

I didnt have money for a diaper sprayer at first but spraying off my diapers in the shower with the removable shower head started wearing thin and I realized that for me, a diaper sprayer attached to my toilet was absolutely necessary.

I used Tide for the longest time to wash my diapers and they werent ruined. I just had to make sure to use a small amount and to add extra rinses, and to strip them regularly until Id found a natural laundry detergent that worked for me.

The thing is, in my group of friends, some of us cloth diaper and some of us dont. Those of us who do all have different styles. Some of my friends prefer to dunk their diapers and dont need a diaper sprayer and some prefer the disposable wipes over the cloth ones. Since were all different, we all have different needs when it comes to how we cloth diaper our children.

So what do you really need to start out? In my humble opinion, the only things you MUST have to cloth diaper are the diapers and a diaper pail or some wet bags for dirty diaper storage. From there, you can take a couple of days, weeks, or months to get used to the change and you will soon discover what else will be absolutely necessary for your diapering style. Im not saying you dont need cloth wipes, special detergents, and diaper sprayers. You will most likely need some, if not all, of those things. What I am saying is that you shouldnt overwhelm yourself at first. Give yourself time to get into your cloth diapering routine and to find out what your preferences are. Then, you can focus on which doublers are best for night diapering and whether or not you prefer to spray your diapers or dunk them.