Thinking about cloth diapers? This article covers the basics on how to cloth diaper, including a checklist to help you decide what you need to buy.
If you'd like to get your feet wet with cloth diapers before you decide to jump in, there are two main ways to test-drive them:
you're just starting out, it's often a great idea to test out your
preferred diaper brand before you place a full order. That way you'll
be able to make sure they provide a good fit on your baby, and you like the features.
And don't forget to properly prep your diapers before you test them out! You'll save yourself the frustration of leaky diapers. Prepping is important since most new fabric isn't very absorbent until it is washed a few times to remove the natural oils that repel moisture.
Read a few articles, and you'll see some pretty big differences between them in what people suggest you buy for cloth diapers. While every family's needs are slightly different, we've pulled together a checklist to help you decide what you need to
buy. You can add all the bells and whistles you would like, but these are "the essentials"!
Depending where you look, you'll find a wide range of recommendations on the number of cloth diapers you need to purchase. While you can always start with a small stash of cloth diapers and do laundry more frequently, most parents prefer to have enough cloth diapers for 2 to 3 days. Even with a higher number of diapers, you won't want to go more than 3 days between washings, because after this, odors can start to set in. If you don't mind doing laundry a little more often, you can buy fewer diapers.
For brand new newborns, many parents will
find that 24
diapers is enough, but there may be a few weeks early on where you have
do laundry more frequently - some parents are more comfortable with 30
to 36 diapers to start. If you are starting cloth diapering after your
baby's first month, 20 diapers will likely be enough. Older babies'
bowel movements are less frequent, so if you're starting even later, you
can usually get away with a smaller stash.
Checklist For Pocket Diapers or All-in-One Diapers:
Checklist For Pre-Folds:
Planning to Cloth Diaper a Newborn?
Are you wondering how to cloth diaper a brand new little one? Many parents (myself included) decide to purchase a set of newborn-sized diapers for the early days, and then move baby into one-size or larger diapers later on. If you're working with a tight budget and your newborn is likely to be full-term, you may be able to get away with a single set of one-size diapers with minimal issues - as long as you select a brand that offers a snug fit. Read our article on newborn diapers here for our favorite one-size options that size down for wee ones.
My sister was so helpful when I first learned how to cloth diaper. Below are some of the tips my sister gave me: