Before I first started cloth diapering with Jocelyn, one of the biggest questions I had was, what items will I need? I knew that I needed the diapers themselves, but how many did I need? I had an idea that I needed a way to store my soiled diapers, but what kind of pail did I need? And then, there were some things that I did not even think about like a wet bag, special laundry detergent, a diaper sprayer, extra inserts, and cloth wipes. Luckily, over time I figured out all the things that I would need.
I thought that I would take a moment today and share my advice for stocking up with cloth diaper necessities. I would suggest that if you plan on using cloth full time on your baby, you will need: the diapers themselves, a dirty diaper bag, a small wet bag, and cloth diaper approved laundry detergent.
Obviously, purchasing the diapers themselves is most important. Purchasing enough diapers for approximately 24 diaper change is what I recommend. I suggest this number because it will give you enough diapers to last approximately two days. I have found that doing laundry every other day is the best situation for our family. You can purchase fewer diapers and inversely if you plan on doing laundry more frequently. However, if you plan on doing laundry less frequently, you will need to purchase more diapers. If you have chosen to use pocket diapers or all-in-ones, this will mean you want 24 individual diapers. If you have chosen to use a hybrid system or standard diaper cover system, this will mean you will want 6 covers and 24 inserts. You can check out the “Best Cloth Diapers” page for a look at what I use and recommend.
The next important item to consider is the laundry bag. In my opinion, the best way to store dirty diapers is in a cloth laundry bag with a waterproof lamination. With these bags, you simply throw in the dirty diapers until they are ready for washing. If you choose to use cloth wipes, they can also be stored in the laundry bag once they are soiled. The bag itself can also be washed if it gets soiled. You can read more about my laundry bag in my post from yesterday “Best Hanging Wet Bag For Cloth Diapers.”
Small Wet Bag
Next, you will definitely want a small wet bag if you ever plan to leave the house. A wet bag is a small cloth bag with a waterproof lamination which can be put in a diaper bag to store dirty diapers while out of the house. I have found my wet bag extremely useful and would highly suggest getting one.
When it comes time to wash your diapers, you will need to purchase a laundry detergent which is approved for use on cloth diapers. Generally, this means that the detergent does not have any dyes, perfumes, or other additives. Each diaper manufacturer has their detergent own recommendations which should be consulted before choosing a detergent.
Finally, you will want to look into purchasing a diaper sprayer to remove solids from soiled diapers, extra inserts to provide extra protection for times of heavy wetting, and cloth wipes. (I personally like the BumGenius Diaper Sprayer [see it here]. The company is extremely generous and replaced my gasket for free when it started leaking.)
These are my suggestions, what cloth diapering items would you suggest to someone just starting out?