Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cloth Diapers - What do I need to get started?

We didn't start using cloth until Bug was 4 months old. I finally decided it was about time!

I started with only two pocket diapers. My next diaper purchase was more thought out. I purchased a Flip Day Pack. This pack was a hybrid two part system, it came with two diaper shells and six stay dry soakers. I also purchased a Best Bottom shell and 3 Best Bottom stay dry soakers. For a couple weeks I did diaper laundry every day! And still had to use disposables while I was trying to build up my stash. I then added some Imagine pocket diapers to my stash. I still felt like I didn't have enough though, I wanted to get through two full days of cloth diapering both the boys (Squirrel still used diapers for naps and overnight). I wanted to get the last few diapers without spending too much money. So I went to my local cloth diaper store. They have a diaper service and sell used unbleached cotton prefolds from their service. I got 10 prefolds for $10! I use them trifolded in my Flip covers. This is what I needed to get me through two days. I have continued to slowly add to my stash and now have enough to get me through three days, but you don't want to leave your soiled diapers sitting for any longer than that. You want to wash every 2-3 days.

You really don't need a whole lot to get started:
  • Diapers
  • Cloth Wipes (not necessary, but much easier)
  • Diaper Pail
  • Newborns go through 10-12 diapers a day.
  • Older babies and toddlers go through 6-8 diapers a day.
If you are going to wash every day you'll want 12 diapers on hand, if you'd rather wash every other day, you'll want 24 diapers. This is if you are using pockets or all-in-ones. If you are using a hybrid system, prefolds/flats, or fitteds, then you'll want 12-24 soakers as well as 4-6 diaper covers. Hybrid systems as well as the oldschool prefolds and flat diaper folding styles are definitely a more economical approach.

Cloth Wipes:

2-3 dozen, you can make them yourself, or buy them.

Diaper Pail or hanging wetbag:

Doesn't have to be anything fancy. We use an aluminum garbage can that has a flip lid and a removable bucket. The important thing is to not put water in the pail or bag, other wise you'll have more bacteria and a mess. Be sure to knock/scrape solids off diaper into toilet before putting them into the diaper pail.

That's it, that's all you really need. Diapers, wipes, pail.

  • One size diapers don't always work on newborns. You may wish to invest in newborn cloth or check out your local cloth diaper store for a rental program. Even if you rent newborn diapers, you'll spend less than purchasing disposables. If you do buy them, they have a high resale value. You could also purchase used ones on craigs list.
  • If you are hoping to use cloth from day 1, buy some diaper liners. The meconium poops are super sticky and you don't really want that in your cloth. Use the liners until the meconium passes. Some people choose to use disposables until baby has passed this stage, usually a day or two.
  • Don't stock up on a bunch of the same type of cloth diaper. No matter how much research you do or how much your best friend likes a specific brand, you won't know what works for you and your baby until you are trying them out. I thought for sure I was going to love Best Bottom diapers, turns out, I did not like that diaper shell at all! I was glad I had only purchased one shell. I wound up finding someone on craigs list to trade me for a Flip shell. You may also find that a specific diaper is your favorite for naps/overnights, but you'd prefer a different one during regular day time use.



  1. I am just getting started. Thanks for this post, it is really helpful.

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