Cloth Diapering 101: Getting Started

I have a couple of friends who are expecting and are thinking about using cloth diapers. They have both asked me about what they need to get started, so I thought I would post my advice here on the blog in case any of you are wondering the same thing.

First up, I would recommend purchasing used diapers from either Craigslist or Diaper Swappers. That will save you a lot of money up front and allow you to try out cloth diapering without investing too much money. If you have never shopped Craigslist or a FSOT (For Sale Or Trade) Forum before, tomorrow I will be posting some tips on using these.

Next up, you need to determine how much you want to spend starting out. If you want to keep the costs down, I would recommend going with prefolds and covers. If you can afford to spend a little more, I would recommend going with one-sized pocket diapers.

Prefolds and Covers
If you are going with this option, you will need to purchase about 24 prefolds, 2 snappis, and 4 covers. (Around $100 NEW plus tax & shipping/$75 USED no tax, shipping included) That will have you washing diapers every 2-3 days. I would recommend Cloth-eez (GMD) Prefolds. My favorite covers are the Thirsties Duo Wrap and/or Grovia. And then Snappis are a must have when using prefolds. For photo instructions on using prefolds, click here and scroll down the page a little bit. You can also use fleece and/or wool covers. Click here to read more about these types of covers.

Pocket Diapers
If you have a little bit more money to spend, I would definitely go with pocket diapers. I know when I posted about pocket diapers before, I wasn’t a big fan. But that was before I tried the bumGenius One Size Pocket Diapers. They are amazing and now I use them exclusively. These go on just like a regular diaper and are very easy to use. The other great thing about these is that you can use the same diaper as your baby grows. You can also purchase replacement elastic and hook/loop (velcro) for repairs if necessary. This allows you to use the diapers for years on multiple children. They are definitely worth the investment in my opinion. I have 18 diapers (Around $325 NEW plus tax & shipping/$200 USED no tax, shipping included ) and that is enough for me to only have to do laundry every 2-3 days.

The other things you will need to get started are:

  • Special Laundry Detergent (Click here to read my washing recommendations.)
  • Something to put your dirty diapers in at the house and also a small wetbag (or a large ziplock bag) for when you are out. (Click here for more information.)
  • If you want to use cloth wipes, you can make your own or just use washcloths. (Click here for my recipe for homemade wipe solution.) You can also use regular wipes, you just have to remember to throw those away in a separate pail or trash can.
One tip that I have if you are cloth diapering a newborn baby is to either protect the inside of your cloth diapers from the meconium poo by using flushable liners, or use disposables for the first few days until all of the meconium has passed.

So that sums up my advice for anyone asking the question…”What do I need to start cloth diapering?” Of course there are other kinds of cloth diapers out there. You can read more about these by reading through  “Cloth Diapering 101” on my Natural Parenting page. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will also answer in the comment section so that everyone can read.Always,


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