This is the big question everyone has. I know I read a lot of blogs when we decided to consider cloth diapers for our little one. I started reading months and months before Paige was born, and even still I am looking for more information.
My biggest question at the start was what do I need. I received many different answers on this and it was valuable information.
What we had to start:
19 cloth diapers – this seemed to be enough for us if diapers were done every other day, we did have some disposables for backup as well just in case
20 cloth wipes – this gave us more than enough so that we could also use them for hand and face washing
cloth diaper friendly bum cream
flushable liners – didn’t need these and only used them once (can’t flush them since we are on septic and we thought they made diapers changes kind of gross).
disposable inserts – these were handy when my daughter got a rash that only zinc would clear up and to make it easier during the first few days of cloth diapering
1 wet bag – definitely needed at least 2, but 3 is preferable so you can one for dirty diapers at home, 1 when the first one is being washed and 1 for the diaper bag
diaper sprayer – couldn’t live without this
While we had chosen to go with pocket diapers and a couple AIO, we chose to try out a variety of diapers. Our first diapers were of various makes and models. We tried one size fits all and sized systems, diapers with adjustable leg elastics and those that weren’t, aplix and snaps, cotton, fleece, bamboo, microfiber. I would definitely recommend doing this as the diaper you think you might like might not be the best fit for your little one. Even as our daughter has grown our favourites change and we still have 6 different brands of cloth pocket diapers in our stash that we rotate.
As for number of diapers, I think that will be a personal preference, since I don’t mind washing them every other day. I have found now that our stash is about 18 diapers and my daughter doesn’t need changing as often that I only have to wash diapers every 3rd day or so now. Also don’t start off with too large of a stash since you will see new ones you like the pattern or colour of, or a different style you may want to try after you start cloth diapering. To keep cloth diapering cost effective you don’t want to have too large a stash or else it can become rather costly.
We chose to go with cloth wipes and just use water for diaper changes. We didn’t want to expose our little ones bum to anything that might cause a reaction. Cloth wipes are super easy, since you are already doing laundry for the diapers so just tuck the wipes in the wet bag as well for laundry day and they can all be washed together.
Flushable inserts could come in handy when out and about with a dirty diaper. I tend to take extra cloth wipes with us so if there is a dirty diaper I just lay that in the diaper before I fold it up to go into the diaper bag and then I can spray it down when we get home.
We don’t have a diaper pail, we just use the wet bag. We chose to get wet bags that zipper closed. Wet bags are also handy for wet clothing rather than using a plastic bag and handy for at the pool.
As for bum cream, there are many cloth diaper friendly creams out there. Just make sure to avoid anything with zinc or beeswax as these can plug up your diapers.
A diaper sprayer is not a necessary item as you can dunk the diapers in the toilet and have a scrub brush in the bathroom if you wanted instead. I feel a diaper sprayer makes cloth diapering just as easy as disposables since it takes 2 seconds to spray the diaper and you have to wash your hands after a change anyways so you are already headed to the bathroom. It might give you a few laughs at first (bathroom sprayed down!) but in the long run it makes life much easier.