Cloth Diaper Starter List – Must Haves & Nice to Haves

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Getting started in cloth diapers can be very daunting! There are so many options out there, from prefolds to flats, pocket to all-in-one, hybrids to fitteds, it’s a plethora of confusion to anyone who is new to cloth diapers. If only there was a starter list, a checklist of sorts! Hmmmm….

Here’s a list to get you started on what you will need and some optional items that some people may consider necessities in cloth diapering. Each home is different, resources are different, so this is just a guide.

Must Haves

  1. Diapers – the minimum number is debatable, I recommend a minimum of 24-30 diapers so you are able to do laundry every other day. I wish I could tell you which brand to buy, but all babies are different and what we love might not work for someone else. Just in case you’re wondering though, our current stash includes (bulk of our stash are the top 3):
  2. Dirty Diaper Storage – this can be a trashcan lined with a pail liner or it can be a hanging wetbag.
  3. Travel Wet Bags – something to store dirty diapers in when on the go. I recommend a minimum of 2, one for washing, one for using.
  4. Cloth Diaper Safe Rash Creams – take your pick, there are many. Some of our faves have been California Baby, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Grandma El’s, CJ’s BuTTer. Coconut oil also works, sometimes better than actual rash creams. It is very important to have a cloth safe rash cream, standard rash creams will not rinse out of your diapers very easily and this could cause leakage issues.
  5. Cloth Diaper Safe Detergent – there are many to choose from, I wish I could tell you what is the perfect detergent, but every washer and water type is different. I’m partial to Eco Nuts Laundry Soap right now, but we’ve used Rockin’ Green, Bum Genius, and Tide Original Powder. Just make sure it’s CD safe and you’re good to go.
  6. Drying Apparatus – in other words, a drying rack, clothes line, or if you’re a rebel like me, a dryer.

Nice to Haves

  1. Diaper Sprayer – in our house, this is a necessity, but it’s not really. You absolutely can do a dunk and swish in the toilet.
  2. Cloth Wipes – we started out with disposable wipes and later switched to cloth. I found them much easier and didn’t spend a dime since I made my own out of extra flannel laying around.
  3. Wipe Solution – if you go the cloth wipe route, you’ll need wipe solution. You can buy online, or you can make your own. We’ve opted for a spray bottle with water, some baby wash, and grape seed oil. Water is fine though if you do not want to make a full on solution.
  4. Wool Dryer Balls – you cannot use dryer sheets with cloth diapers (even when doing regular laundry – it leaves a residue. Residue = Repelling issues = Leaks). Wool dryer balls are a great option to fluff up your laundry and help them dry faster.
  5. Spray Pal – a handy dandy accessory that keeps the poop spray splatter off of you when spraying diapers. We do not have one, we learned how to keep from getting sprayed as have most families, but it would have been nice!
  6. Doublers – something else I consider a necessity. I recommend bamboo, hemp, charcoal, zorb, something that is super absorbent that will get your babe through the night without a diaper change (when you’re looking for that to happen anyway), or if you have a heavy wetter and your regular microfiber inserts just aren’t cutting it.
  7. Flushable Bamboo Liners – a great option if you feel a standard diaper rash cream is needed. It will protect your diaper and it just flushes down the toilet. Some like them for on the go, or to catch the poop and save some spraying later.
So, there you have it, the cloth diaper starter list.

What would you add?

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12 thoughts on “Cloth Diaper Starter List – Must Haves & Nice to Haves

    1. We’ve done both, but I think I prefer the pail with a liner. For the longest time pee dipes went in the pail/liner in his room, poop dipes were put in a hanging wet bag and we’d spray several at one time. That was too much though so then we sprayed right away and stored a separate pail in the bathroom for sprayed poop dipes (no liner – it was a CD specific pail).


    1. Oh man! There’s no way we would have gotten away with only 18. We went through at least 12 diapers a day, even at 3-4 months of age. It’s so interesting to hear about other people’s experiences. I agree, fleece is awesome!


    1. It worked with us, I didn’t have to feel stressed about running out of diapers while diapers were in the laundry. Many can get away with fewer dipes though. And, I love our cloth wipes! Makes it so much easier!


  1. This list is so informative! I have been wanting to cloth diaper, but it is all so overwhelming…this list has helped me become more knowledgeable. Thank you for sharing! 🙂


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