What do I really need?
Getting Started with Cloth Diapers
New to cloth diapers? Overwhelmed and wondering where you start and what you need? Don't worry, we're here to help!
Need to haveThese items are on our list of things you NEED in order to cloth diaper, full-time, successfully.
Diapers –While cloth diapering part-time certainly is possible, cloth diapering full-time and eliminating your family's dependency on disposable diapers is typical the goal. We recommend washing no less than once every other day. We recommend you have at least 18 cloth diapers to get you through until laundry day in order to wash every other day, however 24 is nicer to have on hand for emergencies and washing mishaps. (Like forgetting to put your diapers in the dryer overnight!)
Diaper Covers –If using a prefold, flat, or fitted style diaper , you will need diaper covers. Diaper covers differ from pocket diapers and other styles in that they can be used over and over until they're soiled and need washing. This means you don't need a new cover for every single diaper change. We recommend you start with 6-8 diaper covers to use with your prefolds, flats or fitted cloth diapers.
Diaper Pail & Liners –Diaper Pails and Diaper Pail Liners are used for storing your dirty diaper laundry until wash day. Pail liners fit most diaper pails and work well inside standard 13 gallon kitchen size garbage cans. If using a diaper pail or garbage can, you’ll want two pail liners so you have a fresh clean pail liner to put in the pail while the other pail liner is in the wash. Similarly, if you choose to forego the diaper pail and use a hanging pail or hanging wetbag, you'll want two for the same reason.
Wet bag –Cloth diaper wetbags are for outings and generally don't have enough space to hold all your cloth diapers until wash day. Wetbags are perfect for your vehicle, in your diaper bag or baby stroller. You only need one wetbag for when you’re out and about but it’s always good to have a spare wetbag for backup or in case you run out of space.
Wetbags can also be used to store wet or soiled clothing, bathing suits, diapering accessories and more.
Diaper Doublers –Diaper doublers are also called boosters because they do just that, they give your diapers a boost in absorbency. Most cloth diapers come with enough absorbency for newborns but as your baby grows you might experience the need to add doublers or boosters to your cloth diaper stash.
Nice to have
Cloth diaper accessories you don't necessarily need but are nice to have and might make cloth diapering easier.
Cloth wipes –We say that if you’re going to cloth diaper, you may as well use cloth wipes too. Cloth wipes eliminate the need to separate disposable wipes from your cloth diaper laundry. Cloth wipes not only clean and wipe better, they'll save you money, they're chemical free and they have many uses beyond just wiping baby's bum.
When choosing cloth wipes be sure to check out your cloth wipes solution options. Cloth wipe solution can be used in a spray bottle at diaper changes or can be used to pre-moisten your cloth wipes. Cloth wipe solution can be purchased, made from scratch or made from wipe solution bits like our Baby Bum Drops or Washy Wafers
Diaper sprayer –Diaper sprayers are lived without by many but once a cloth diapering family tries one they claim they can't imagine life without it. Diaper Sprayers attach to your toilet's plumbing and allow you to spray your soiled diapers over the toilet. Spraying your diapers can prevent staining and make cloth diaper washing easier and more effective.
Disposable liners –Disposable liners are helpful, especially if you decide not to invest in a diaper sprayer. Disposable liners lay inside your baby's diaper and help make diaper clean up easier. Liners should catch some or all of the mess and allow you to easily flush it away. Flushable liners can also protect your cloth diapers during those times when you absolutely must use a rash cream that is not CD safe.
Swim diaper –Reusable swim diapers are the perfect alternative to disposables. They're cute, can eliminate the need to buy a swimsuit for your child, can be reused over and over, and come in a variety of prints, closures and styles. Swim diapers are not designed to be absorbent, they're designed only to look cute while containing messes until baby is out of the water.
Diaper Cream –
A cloth diaper safe rash cream is an often overlooked necessity for families using cloth. Don't wait until your baby has a rash to realize you don't have a cloth diaper friendly cream to use. Diaper creams are important to research and have on hand so that you'll have an effective rash preventative or treatment when you need it, but with the peace of mind in knowing that your diapers won’t become covered in greasy residue and often permanently stained if you use it.
Want to know more? Visit our Cloth Diaper How To section to learn how to choose, use and wash cloth diapers.