Updated on January 21, 2016
Seven Things You Need To Start Cloth Diapering
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You’ve made up your mind about how you’ll be diapering your baby and you’ve decided to cloth diaper! Great choice (obviously)! Now what? The next step is to make sure you have what you need to begin cloth diapering. Whether you’ve decided on cloth before baby makes his or her arrival, or you’re switching to cloth after 14 months (it’s never too late to switch), your needs are pretty much the same. I’m going to walk you through all the things you need to get started with cloth diapers. As you continue with cloth, you may find you want to add more items and that’s okay! This list is just the basics and meant to help you get started right away!
1. Diapers. Who would have thought you’d need diapers to cloth diaper? This seems like an obvious one, but what may not be so obvious is how many diapers you need to get started. There’s a magic number of diapers that you want in your stash to get you started. That number is 24. Why? Most newborns go through 10-12 diaper changes a day (it’s the same number for disposables, by the way), so unless you want to be doing laundry on the daily, you’ll want at least 24 cloth diapers. This allows you to do laundry every other day with a newborn, and if you’re diapering an older baby, it’s usually enough to go three days between washings. If you’re using pocket diapers or AIOs, you’ll want 24 complete diapers. If you’re using AI2s, fitteds and covers, or prefolds and covers, you will want at least 24 soakers/fitteds/prefolds and 5-6 covers.
2. Wipes. If you’re going to use cloth diapers, I’d highly recommend using cloth wipes too. You’re already laundering diapers anyway, and cloth wipes get washed with the diapers. It’s no extra laundry at all, and it’s a huge cost savings over disposable wipes. Best of all, you don’t need to have a garbage can in the nursery for throwing out wipes. Win win. Grovia wipes are my favourite ones. They have the perfect texture for wiping up all kinds of poop (this is important), and they are soft and thick. I rarely need to use more than one wipe, even for edge to edge EBF poops. I get by just fine with 36 cloth wipes, so that’s a good starting point.
3. Laundry Pail. You’re going to want somewhere to put those cloth diapers when they come off the bum. What you’re looking for in soiled diaper storage is room for 2-4 days worth of diapers and wipes, leak-proof, and some air flow. There are lots of different options out there for soiled cloth diaper storage, but my preference is to use a hanging wet bag. What’s a wet bag? It’s a leak proof storage bag made for wet things. They are usually made with PUL, the same waterproof material used in many cloth diapers. I made do with just one large hanging wet bag with The Heir, so it’s certainly doable, but I would suggest getting two. It’s nice to have an extra so you don’t have to find somewhere to put soiled diapers when the hanging wet bag is in the washing machine. There are two hanging wet bags that I really love. The first is a Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag. It easily holds 2-3 days of diapers and wipes, and it’s super waterproof so when it comes time to spray poop off diapers, you can throw dripping wet diapers right in and not have it leak at all. The second is the Funky Fluff Hanging Diaper Pail. This one hold 3+ days of diapers and wipes and MORE. I’ve never run out of room in this one, it’s awesome. It also has two different ways of hanging: on a door knob or hook, or on a towel bar. The Funky Fluff and Planet Wise hanging wet bags are available at Lagoon Baby.
4. Travel Size Wet Bags. Eventually, you’re going to want to leave the house with your baby. What are you supposed to do with soiled diapers on the go? This is what travel size wet bags are for. Just like their large hanging counterparts, these wet bags are waterproof, but they are much smaller. Designed to hold around 4-5 diapers, these bags are a must have item for cloth diapering on the go. An integral feature for me is a snap handle. This allows you to hang the wet bag on your diaper bag strap, the stroller, even the carrier straps. The Funky Fluff Double Pocket Wet Bag and the Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag are both great choices (available at Lagoon Baby).
5. Cloth Safe Diaper Rash Cream. Though rashes are pretty rare with cloth diapers, sometimes you need a bum cream as a barrier or to heal up some redness from those acidic teething poops. You need to be a little bit careful about what diaper rash cream you use with cloth diapers as some leave behind a greasy residue on the diaper which can lead to repelling. I’ve always been happy with Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment (available at Lagoon Baby). It’s safe to use on cloth diapers, doesn’t stain, and works really well.
6. A Cloth Diaper Wash Routine. You want to make sure you’re washing your diapers properly right from day one. It’s so much easier than you think. Here’s how to do it: Fundamentals of Washing Cloth Diapers.
7. Detergent. Notice that I didn’t say a “cloth diaper safe” detergent? That’s because you don’t need to buy special detergent to wash your diapers. The odds are good that whatever you’re using for your clothing will work just fine for the diapers too. You can read my tips for choosing a detergent for the diapers HERE.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to start cloth diapering!
Is there anything you would add to this list?