Last week I went over the pros and cons of both cloth and disposable diapers. When I was first looking into cloth and disposable diapers, one of the biggest concerns I had was what I would need to successfully and easily cloth diaper our child. Helping take care of my nephews gave me a pretty good working knowledge of things needed for disposables: diapers, wipes, a trash can and the occasional butt cream. Cloth diapers was a whole new experience.
So what exactly do you need in order to cloth diaper a child?
- Diapers- cloth diapers come in a variety of different styles. I will go over the different types of cloth diapers in my next post. Essentially you are going to need an absorbent material and a waterproof outer cover. The number of diapers you will need depends upon how frequently you plan to wash them and what style of cloth diaper you use. The generally accepted minimum number of diapers you will need is 24-36, which should be enough to wash them every other day. If you are looking at all in one or pocket style diapers, you will need a total of 24-36. If you are looking at using all in twos/hybrids, fitted or prefold style diapers you will need 24-36 soakers or inserts and 6-10 waterproof outer shells.
- Additional inserts or soakers – you may not need these, but it is good to have extras on hand if you need to add some absorbency to a diaper for nap time or overnight use.
- Wipes – you will need something to wipe the baby during a diaper change. You can use either disposable or cloth wipes depending upon your preference. Many cloth diapering moms prefer a spray bottle and a cloth rag that can be tossed in with the diapers for cleaning.
- Diaper pail or wet bag – you need something to store the dirty diapers in until wash day. I will go over different storage methods in an upcoming post.
- Travel wet bag – if you are planning on cloth diapering while you are out in public, you will need a waterproof bag to store the soiled diaper in until you get home.
- Laundry detergent – there are specialized laundry detergents out on the market specially made for cloth diapers. You can also use a gentle free and clear laundry detergent, but make sure not to use soap.
There are other products out on the market that make cloth diapering easier. These are optional but helpful.
- Diaper Sprayer – a diaper sprayer hooks onto the existing plumbing connected to the toilet to make cleaning the poop off of diapers easier. You spray water on the poop and it will rinse right into the toilet.
- Pins/Snappis – these are good to have if you are using flats or prefolds with a waterproof cover. They hold the diaper in place.
- Liners – rather new to the cloth diaper movement are the use of liners in the diaper. The liner is made of a very thin biodegradable material that goes on top of the soaker to catch solid poops. When it comes time to changing the baby, you simply grab the sides of the liner, toss it in the toilet and flush. Some poop can make its way through the liner but it makes cleanup easier and leads to less staining.
- Cloth diaper friendly rash cream – not all creams are created equal when it comes to cloth diapers. Some can leave behind a residue that decreases absorbency of the material.
What else do you use when you cloth diaper?
Next Up: Types of cloth diapers