Top Ten Cloth Diapering Essentials
Only the first three are essential to cloth diapering, but it’s not a top ten list with only three items.
1. (Access to) A washing machine and dryer or clothesline/drying rack.
2. 12-24 cloth diapers (AIO’s, pockets, prefolds and covers, or combination)
When we discovered our baby was on the small side, we realized that the one-size pocket diapers would not fit her right out of the womb. We bought 24 newborn prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and six Thirsties covers using store credit from Target and BabiesRUS. After about three and a half weeks, we started using some of the pocket and all-in-one diapers and now we use whatever is available and clean.
3. Laundry detergent
Here is a chart comparing laundry detergents. We use All Free and Clear.
4. Wet bag(s)
We started out with one large and one small wet bag. Last week, I bought a third medium-sized bag. I didn’t expect our wet bags to fill up before we run out of cloth diapers, but they do. Unless you pay close attention to the laundry and time it perfectly, you need two wet bags or a place to put dirty diapers when one is in the wash. The small wet bag is good to put in your diaper bag or else you’ll find yourself scrounging around for a plastic bag to hold your diaper when you’re out.
5. CD safe butt cream
Traditional butt paste will (allegedly) build up in your diapers, which sounds gross. I did use Boudreaux’s Butt Paste with my newborn-sized prefolds (before I found CJ’s BUTTer), because they only cost $2 and I don’t plan to use them for that long.
6. Reusable wipes
These are great to use for wiping bums, faces, hands, and mom’s shirt. If you use cloth diapers, it’s not a big deal to use cloth wipes, too. You can make your own, buy from etsy.com, or baby stuff retailers. The chemicals in disposable wipes can be too harsh for newborn skin and cause diaper rash. My baby came home from the hospital with mega diaper rash and the pediatrician told us to stay away from disposable wipes.
7. Wipe solution
You can buy a bottle (or make your own) of a wipe solution. Cloth diaper retailers will usually carry a couple of different brands. We use BabeeGreens Cleansing Greens Set or just plain tap water.
8. Changing table/station
When you have a place to organize all of your cloth diapers, wipes, solution, wet bag, etc., it makes it easier. We have one changing station in our (small) house and it makes diaper changes simple for everyone.
9. Changing pad (s)
You need a changing pad for your table or to thrown down on your bed (unless you want to wash your sheets every day) and something to bring with you if you ever plan to leave the house. Babies pee everywhere. I usually throw down a prefold diaper on top of the changing pad to soak up the pee. When pee hits the plastic on those portable changing pads, it goes everywhere. Then you will change clothes and diapers. On our changing station, we have a changing pad from IKEA and I use a flannel receiving blanket as a cover (and reinforce during changes with a prefold).
10. A good attitude
It was hard to come up with ten things, but a good attitude is important. You’ll find friends and family questioning your choice to cloth diaper. Just laugh it off or use it for motivation to keep going (especially if some are betting that you will fail). Only you know what’s right for your family. If uncooperative relatives put a disposable diaper on your baby when you’re not looking, don’t freak out about it. If you must supplement with disposable diapers (e.g. on road trips), it’s not the end of the world. Cloth diapering does not have to be all or nothing. Be flexible and you’re more likely to succeed.
* I wasn’t paid for reviews of any of the items on this list. I either bought them or our parents/friends bought them for us.