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Published on June 20th, 2011 | by Heather Vaughn

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What do I need to start cloth diapering?

Everyone has to start cloth diapering somewhere. With all the information available online at your fingertips, it can be very overwhelming. The great thing about cloth diapering is that it only takes a little bit to get started. A question we are frequently asked is

"What do I need to begin cloth diapering?"
 
If you want to start cloth diapering an infant we recommend:
  • 24 cloth diapers in the style of your choice. If you are choosing a two-piece system such as Flip or Econobum, we recommend 24 inserts and 6 covers. This number is based on changing an infant 8-10 times a day and washing your diapers every other day. We recommend washing every other day to prevent mold and other issues.
  • A diaper pail or wet bag to store dirty diapers until laundry day. For a diaper pail, we recommend a vented pail. The air flow also helps to prevent mold. Wet bags come in a variety of sizes, fabrics and styles to suit the needs of any family. If you are not using a diaper pail, you will want a wet bag large enough to hold 2 days worth of dirty laundry. You may also consider a wet bag that is a smaller size to hold a few dirty diapers for your daycare provider or those times you are out and about with your little one.
  • A cloth diaper safe laundry detergent- Safe detergents are those without enzymes, brighteners, dyes, scents or fabric softeners. More information on why to avoid these ingredients can be found in our detergent blog post. Make things even easier on yourself by checking out the natural laundry section on CottonBabies.com where we sell only cloth diaper safe detergents and offer free economy shipping.
If you are beginning to cloth diaper an older child, you may not need a full 24 cloth diapers. Many people even begin their cloth diapering journey with just a few cloth diapers for each day. Our Change 3 Things campaign encourages any parent to change just 3 cloth diapers a day. We chose 3 cloth diapers because we feel it's a manageable goal for any parent, whether all of baby's caregivers will change cloth diapers or not.
 
For a gradual start like this, we recommend checking out our Change 3 Things packs. Don't forget to add a wet bag and detergent to your Cotton Babies order as well. These 3 things are all you really need to begin your cloth diapering journey.
 
As you grow confident in cloth diapers, you may find you want to branch out to try new styles of cloth diapers, use cloth baby wipes, or try new accessories. As always, we are glad to answer any questions you may have if you give us a call at 1-888-332-2243 or live chat with us at www.cottonbabies.com

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About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



8 Responses to What do I need to start cloth diapering?

  1. Sarah says:

    Great post to show how easy it is to get started cloth diapering. The common misconception is that cloth diapering is super expensive and difficult to manage! Not the case at all (how many times have you heard, “I thought they were a wrap and pin”)

    The next step would be to add in some cloth wipes. This can be free! Simply cut up an extra receiving blanket into 4×4 inch squares and wipe away! I’m SURE you have extra receiving blankets around from your baby shower dont you!!

  2. nymommy1980 says:

    I started with pre folds to save money then went to pocket diapers. I liked how the pocket diapers were thinner and dried much faster than the bumgenius 3.0’s. I had about 12 and did laundry every evening. I just put them in a regular plastic clothes basket and washed in Purex or all FRee and clear. The great thing about the cottonbabies website is that you can slowly build up your stash and not get killed on shipping.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great post! Thanks!
    When I started cloth diapering my firstborn about three years ago I was fortunate enough to have plenty of time to research and figure out what I needed, but there’s a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming. I ended up purchasing a mixed lot of diapers on Craigslist and then supplementing with some additional diapers. This turned out to be a great idea because I got to try out several different styles and brands of diapers, so by the time I was ready and needed to purchase larger diapers, I knew what I liked. I’m having baby #3 soon, so this newborn stash that I bought has already diapered two of my babies, and soon a third. Also, I’ve loaned our newborn stash out to several friends and family members when we aren’t using them. Babies are rarely in newborn diapers for all that long (mine especially) so the diapers, after six babies so far, are still in great shape and it’s allowed several other families to try out cloth diapering to see if it’s for them before investing any money in their own stash. It’s convinced them that they can do it and they know what they need to get from there.

  4. Toni Keltner says:

    Great post for a newbie like me!!!! I just placed an order with Cotton Babies today! I was one of the moms who had the opportunity to have coffee with Jennifer in Tulsa earlier this month!

  5. ERMama says:

    One thing that came in VERY handy for me was a friend who was already cloth diapering her babies! She was gracious enough to answer all of my questions which was a big help and a big reassurance. I bought exact what she had gotten for her kids and it’s worked out beautifully. We purchased:

    -2 1/2 dozen bumGenius AIO 3.0
    -Extra diaper doublers/newborn inserts
    -bumGenius bamboo and Thirsties cloth wipes (the colors of the Thirsties were -soooo tempting…and they are SO soft!!!)
    -Bummis fleece liners
    -2 large Bummis diaper totes
    -1 medium Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag
    -1 trashcan from Target with a lid that pops up and stays out of the way when open

    Since we’ve been cloth diapering our daughter, I’ve had a few moms-to-be ask me about the way we do it. I am GLAD to offer them any info I can! Someone did it for me and I pay it forward. It’s wonderful to know that another baby might be wearing cloth diapers because of us!

  6. etta says:

    What a helpful post! My husband and I are expecting our first baby in October and plan to cloth diaper. I have a friend who uses CDs (probably the reason I’m going to also) and I’ve been picking her brain trying to figure out what I need!

  7. JLo says:

    I agree, this is a great post – 18 months ago when I was researching cloth diapers for my son who is now 1, I went round in circles trying to figure out what I’d need! I started out with a couple of Flip daypacks and went from there. The great seconds sales have been a big help! Thanks Cotton Babies!

  8. Kelsie says:

    Thank you for this post. I wish I had read it before I began cloth diapering. I did not know any cloth diapering parents when we began looking into cloth diapering before my first child was born. I had no clue where to begin! It was a little overwhelming at first. How many diapers do I need? What type of diapers should I try? Where do I buy them? How do I fold flats and prefolds? What kind of covers do I need? Most of my stash consists of Indian prefolds sold on cotton babies and econobum one size covers, but we have tried other types. I definitely love the prefolds and keep coming back to them. They are so absorbent and easy to use/wash/strip/line dry. With all of the information out there, it seemed more complicated than it really is. I find that cloth diapers work so much better than disposables (which we used briefly because someone bought some for us). I ended up giving away most of the sposies’ we had after numerous leaks. So for parents feeling overwhelmed by all of the information, don’t give up. Cloth diapering is great.

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