Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cloth Diapering Basics, What do you need?

Cloth diapering really can be simple.  Everyone can agree that there are a lot of choices, styles, brands and tons of accessories, but there really are basics and once you have them you'll be cloth diapering before you know it.

The 1, 2, 3 most basic things you'll need in order to get started with cloth are...

1.  Cloth Diapers of course!  You need to decide what type of diapers you'll want to use.  Since we're talking about quick and easy cloth diapering in this blog post, getting the basics for cloth diapering without over-thinking or over-complicating things, we'll suggest you use One-Size Pocket Diapers.

One-Size Pocket Diapers generally are designed to fit babies from birth through potty-training.  You change the entire diaper at diaper changes and replace with a clean one.  The younger the baby the more diaper changes per day, the older the baby the less.  So for little ones you can count on needing about 8-12 per day to be safe.

One-Size Pocket Diapers generally also come with two inserts each.  You can use one insert when needed and for nap times and overnight add the second to make the diaper more absorbent.

2.  A Pail Liner or Hanging Diaper Pail!  Since you won't be tossing diapers in the trash after their used, you'll need a waterproof place to store them until laundry day.  For tight living spaces, bathrooms, etc. a Hanging Doorknob Pail or Hanging Wetbag are recommended.  For baby's room or places where you can fit your average kitchen garbage pail size diaper pail, a Diaper Pail Liner works perfectly.

Pail Liners and Wetbags can be washed with your diaper laundry.  You might want to consider having two so that you'll have one to use while the other is washing.

3.  Cloth Diaper Friendly Laundry Detergent!  One of the first things anyone new to cloth diapering or considering cloth diapering should know is that you CAN NOT use fabric softener in the dryer or washer and you must make sure that your detergent is additive free.  Many of today's laundry detergents contain brighteners, fragrances and built in fabric softeners that can coat your diapers causing them to leak and/or repel liquid and this can also lead to odor problems.

Free & Clear Detergents may work or you can purchase a cloth diaper friendly specialty detergent like Rockin' Green Soap, Tiny Bubbles, Thirsties and more.

And so those are the three basics of cloth diapering!  All you need to get started, the rest can be left to decide upon after you've gotten the hang of the basics.  So what do you think?  Ready to give cloth a try?


  1. I'm confused about how people keep odors down with just using a wetbag instead of a diaper pail. We tried out our Bummis wetbag this week to see if we could use it on an upcoming trip instead of bringing our diaper pail. Whew! I'm not subjecting our hosts to that ammonia smell (granted, it really only stank this morning when it was time to wash the diapers anyway), and we have to figure out how to fit the diaper pail in the car now!