- 12-24 covers and liners
- 1-2 reusable diaper pail liners
- 1-2 reusable wet bag
- Line or rack for drying (This is totally optional. I usually just draped the diapers over the backs of chairs and I remember Drea’s kitchen cabinet knobs were more often than not covered in drying diaper covers. Whatever works)
- Free & clear detergent
- Sprayer attachment for rinsing (neither of us used this but it seems pretty handy.)
Unlike Emily, I didn’t start cloth diapering right away. (Look at this four month old diaper butt!) I wanted too, but only picked up two diapers and debated on it. Two cloth diapers isn’t enough— cloth diapering is mostly an all or nothing thing. You can do it part time, but to have it work smoothly it’s best to do it completely so you can create a proper washing schedule. About two months in of the ‘raising a baby’ thing, I had had enough (with diapers, not the baby). I felt awful seeing our trash pile up from and with diapers. Diapers aren’t the most bio-degradable thing, it’s estimated they take about 500 years to decompose— and with billions of diapers making they’re way to the landfill each year, well, thats a lot of garbage. Anyway, this isn’t an environmental lesson, the point is, I had never had more than a grocery bag or so of garbage every month (unless you count food trash) so I felt bad. The other big factor for me was money. I like to be smart about money (cough: frugal) and I just couldn’t get comfortable spending so much money on diapers, when I was already struggling with money as is. So to literally spend money (to fill up with crap) and throw in garbage? No, I’ll pass. (Read more about my thoughts on that HERE).
So I started cloth diapering— and sure it takes a tiny bit more work than the disposable option, but it was one of the best decisions I made for our lives and my wallet. I should mention, I never even purchased a pail or liners for the pail. With it being only M and I in the house, I was able to just toss the (rinsed) used diapers into the washer— I never had to worry about anyone else ever needing laundry done, and once I had about 4 left, I’d run the load. I had somewhere between 12 and 14 diapers total.
-diaper rash is less likely
-you never have to worry about late night diaper runs to the store, you always have them.
-they look adorable! seriously, who needs pants?
-look at your initial purchase as a smart investment. The number is much larger than just buying a bag of disposables, but if you do the math, you’ll find yourself very, very pleased in the long run.
-decide to do it and commit. It takes a bit of adjusting if you’ve already started using disposables, but if you plan to do it, and buy all the things you need off the bat, you’re set!
-line drying your diapers outside will do wonders for stains and keeping your diapers bright! Emily is right, I did have diapers hanging in my kitchen—- basically 100% of the time during rainy season. But in winter I line dried them outside, insides up. The sun helps to bleach away stains.
-create a schedule. sure you can’t really predict the number of soiled diapers you’ll have in a day, but you can mostly guesstimate to create a weekly schedule between diapers and regular clothes.
-don’t wash the diapers with your regular laundry. keep it separate.
-speaking of which, follow wash directions carefully. If you want your cloth diapers to last up until potty training (or better yet, through to your next kid) then watching to take proper care of them is key. Over time the protective lining can wear, so properly washing will help them last longer and throughout the years!
-avoid creams, unless it specifically says it’s safe for cloth diapering. Creams can create a barrier between the absorbent layer and other problems.
-between the snap variety and the velcro variety, i’d personally recommend the snaps. They can be a touch tricker to close, but the velcro can wear over time.
-if you have your own blog, consider doing these posts when your child is still in cloth diapers, not two years later, it just makes more sense.
-Emily’s list of what you’ll need is perfect. Sprayer is optional, but a lot of people recommend it. Other than that, it’s not at all as hard or as messy as it seems, we promise!
Happy cloth diapering!