cloth 101 BLOG_clothdiaperbasics

Published on October 6th, 2013 | by Brittney French


Cloth Diaper Basics: What do I need to start cloth diapering?

Deciding to use cloth diapers is one of the best choices that you can make for you and your family.

Cloth diapers are eco-friendly,  better for your budget, and more gentle than disposables. When you use cloth diapers from birth to potty training, you can save more $1,000. This means that you can use that money to buy better-quality food, plan for a family vacation, start a college fund, or buy more cloth diapers! 


Bringing cloth diapers into your home for the first time can be done in one or two ways: you jump right in with a leap of faith and go all out, or you dip your toes in the water and take small, gradual steps to ease your way in. But no matter the route you decide to take, you're going to start in the same place. 

So you think you're ready to use cloth diapers? Here's what you need:

- Twenty-four cloth diapers. You choose the style. Why 24? Newborns often go through eight to 10 cloth diapers a day. We recommend washing your cloth diapers every other day to avoid stink, mold, mildew and other issues. With 24 diapers, you also have a few extra clean cloth diapers to get you through a day or two while the rest are in the wash machine. With cloth diaper systems like Flip or Econobum, you may want to have at least 10 covers and 14 prefolds or inserts. If you have more than one child in cloth diapers. We find 36-40 cloth diapers is a good number for two children, especially if you are using a one-size style that can fit both children.

-Diaper pail or wet bag to store dirty diapers until laundry day. Vented diaper pails allow air flow, which 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 two 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.

- Cloth diaper safe laundry detergent. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS use a cloth diaper safe detergent, as this will help prolong the life of your  stash (not sure what stash means? See this post). These detergents do not contain enzymes, brighteners, dyes, scents or fabric softeners, which can cause cloth diaper build up, leaks, rash or odor.  Make things even easier on yourself by checking out the natural laundry section on, where we sell only cloth diaper safe detergents and offer free economy shipping.

Once you're familiar with cloth diapers and feel confident, reach out and try other systems and accessories. Cloth diaper wipes and diaper sprayers are meant to enhance your cloth diaper experience, so don't rule these type of products out because you may feel intimidated! 

The last thing that will help you get started with cloth diapers is remembering to ask questions! Don't be afraid to ask! Give us a call at 1-888-332-2243 if you need assistance.

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About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook page, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and cheers for her favorite sports team.

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