I started this series to try and answer some people's questions on cloth diapers and how it works. If you missed the other post and are interested, please go check it out.
When you are preparing to cloth diaper, you can never start too early with your research. There are so many options, and not only do you need diapers, but you also need accessories.
One of the questions I have received is "How many diapers does it take to get started?" With this question in mind, I decided to add in all of what you would need in order to successfully cloth diaper. In reality, it depends on your personal lifestyle and your intentions with cloth diapering. Are you doing it to save money? Are you doing it to save the environment? Are you doing it for the health of your child? Do you have a budget? Will you be traveling with cloth diapers? Are you doing it as a fashion statement? Etc. Many questions to take into account. With that in mind, I have broken it down (based on my experience) as to what you will need and how to get started.
Common sense says you will need diapers. Going back to your goals, intentions, and lifestyle, you will need to think about this. How often do you plan to wash? I personally wash every 2 to 3 days. I do not want my dirty diapers sitting for a long time. With that in mind, I decided that I needed about 20 to 30 diapers. On average, a newborn baby can use anywhere from10 to 14 diapers a day and a toddler will go through less, say 6 to 10. Now ideally with cloth diapers, you will not need to change near as often as with disposables. That is something I learned quick. If you want to wash everyday, then you could get away with 15. Or if you do not want to wash but once a week, you would need a lot more.
Not only do you need a diaper system, but you will also need a few accessories to go along. You will need a diaper pail or wet bag. I personally like wet bags better because I can tote them around the house with me or take them up and down the stairs with me. I just do not have enough room to have a diaper pail in her room and in the living room. However, if you use a diaper pail, you will need the pail and a pail liner. If you go with a wet bag, you will just get those. Both you will have to wash each of these, so you will want to make sure that you have an extra of each when a load is washing. For me, I have an up and down stairs so I have four for when I am washing. If you plan to cloth diaper while traveling, then you will need travel size wet bags. I have 3 because you will want a new one for every outing and (of course) you will need to wash these once you use them.
Chances of your baby getting a diaper rash with cloth diapers is lower than with disposables; however, it is still something you will want to consider. With cloth diapers, you can only use all natural products. Anything else will tear up the insides of the diapers and make them nonabsorbent. With this said, you will need an all natural diaper ointment. Another thing to consider is liners to protect the diapers. I know some people who will take the chance with just every day ointments, like Desitin or A+D. With this, they will use a fleece liner inside the diaper, up against the baby's skin to protect the diaper. This is possible. In that case, you would want a diaper liner. They have flushable ones and washable ones, too. I also know some people who take extra caution with their diapers and use an all natural diaper cream AND a liner. The decision is yours and what you think is best for your child and your diapers.
Most pocket diapers will come with its inserts. Some even come with a newborn insert and a larger insert. These are generally One Size pocket diapers; however, there are some options where you have to buy the inserts separately. This could be the case if you choose to go with a hybrid or diaper cover. Another thing to consider is whether your child is a heavy wetter or not, even if it is only at night. Then you would want to add a doubler to maximize the absorbency.
Another option to add to your cloth diapering experience is cloth wipes. Now that is kind of a topic on its own, and maybe towards the end of this "series" I will do a post on it. But to just get the basics out there, it is an option. I personally use disposable wipes on the go because I spray each wipe before I use it at home. Traveling and days out, that is just not worthy of my time. However, it does save our disposable wipes for out and about, and cloth wipes do absorb and clean up easier than disposables. Compared to Mr. Man having to use 6-8 wipes on a poopy diaper, he can use just 1 cloth wipe. Sometimes I will double clean with two wipes, but that is just how I am. So with cloth wipes, there are different options. So I guess I should save that as another post, so this one does not get too long. Be on the lookout for it.
Overall, these are the things that you could potentially need in your cloth diapering kit. But to get started, for the ones that want to take it nice and slow, just a few diapers of your choice and a wet bag will have you on your way.
Until next time.