Types of Accessories


In addition to cloth diapers, there are several items available which can help make cloth diapering a breeze. Please do not be intimidated by the list of items, believing it to be a definitive shopping list. Rather, read through each item's description to see what will most closely match your needs. 

Covered in this section:
Cloth Wipes
Coconut Oil
Detergent
Diaper Liners
Diaper Pail
Diaper Sprayer
Doublers
Dryer Balls
Drying Rack
Enzyme Cleaner
Pail Liner
Pins
Rash Cream
Snappis
Wet Bags
Wipes Warmer

Cloth wipes are fabric wipes used in place of disposable wipes at diaper changes. Cloth wipes are an easy switch to make if you already are switching to cloth diapers, as everything can go straight into the same diaper pail and be washed together at laundry time.

Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is a fantastic natural diaper cream. It soothes chapped red skin, is not greasy, and is cloth diaper friendly (as it has a low melting point it will easily wash out of all cloth diapers washed on hot). It is also a great natural lotion for those with eczema.
When shopping for coconut oil, try to buy the highest quality coconut oil - look for 'cold-pressed' or 'extra virgin.' 
Detergent
Picking a detergent in which to wash your cloth diapers is an important decision. The wrong detergent can cause diapers to repel and eventually leak, or worse, mix with baby's urine and cause skin irritation.
That said, there are many conventional as well as all-natural detergents which get the gold seal of approval for cloth diapers.
For natural detergents: I recommend Country Save and Rockin' Green.
For a conventional detergent: I recommend Tide Original Powder or Tide Free (be sure to rinse well)
For more information about washing diapers, see here.
Diaper liners are small bits of fabric or disposable material which are laid in the diaper to create a barrier between baby's bottom and the diaper. Common uses for liners: wick moisture away from baby's bum, protect diapers from non-CD-safe rash creams, provides a barrier to keep poop from touching diapers (in other words, just throw the liner away rather than having to use a diaper sprayer). 
For wicking moisture: I recommend microfleece liners. These can be laid over a natural fiber diaper such as a fitted or prefold to keep little one feeling dry.
For protecting diapers from contraband rash creams or poopy messes: I recommend disposable or flushable liners. These can be laid in any diaper as a barrier between the mess and the diaper beneath.
 
Diaper Pail
Most cloth diapering parents use some variation of a repurposed kitchen trash can with lid (lined with a pail liner). Some even choose not to use a lid on their diaper pail, as attempting to prevent air circulation is actually what causes stink in the first place. We did not cover our diaper pail when our daughter was exclusively breastfed. Now that she has solids in her diet I find the pail can start to smell by the second day, and a lid helps us to make it to the third day (aka laundry day). 
A note on using a disposable diaper pail for cloth: A cloth diaper pail does not require air-tightness like a disposable diaper pail does. In addition, most disposable diaper pails are designed for small wads of plastic rather than fluffier cloth diapers, so cloth diapers generally do not fit through the dropping mechanisms. After rescuing the third Pocket diaper from our disposable pail's piston-like drop we switched to an inexpensive white plastic trash with magnetic lid and are very happy with it.

Diaper Sprayer
Designed to remove poo from diapers similar to a sprayer in your kitchen sink, a diaper sprayer is a handy tool to have in your arsenal. It is attached to your toilet and allows you to clean the diaper into your toilet.
A note on when you need to clean poo: Exclusively breastfed babies' poo is water soluble. However, once any formula or solids is added to baby's diet, the poo must be removed from the diaper prior to washing (I recommend spraying immediately after the diaper change, rather than waiting until laundry time). Once baby's poo is more solidly formed, it should easily roll off the diaper and 'plop' into your toilet. 

Doublers
Doublers are fabric inserts designed to 'double' the absorbency of your diapers. If you have a heavy wetter or require additional stuffing for overnight diapers, these are exactly what you need! 
I recommend hemp doublers over any other material as hemp absorbs a ton of moisture, moreso than microfiber or bamboo or cotton.
If you choose to use hemp doublers in pocket diapers, I recommend placing the microfiber insert in the pocket first, closer to the inside of the diaper. Then sandwich the hemp doubler behind the microfiber, towards the outside of the diaper. This works well as microfiber absorbs quickly, but hemp absorbs more and usually proves to be the perfect overnight diapering solution.

Dryer Balls
Dryer balls are added to dryer loads to speed up drying time as well as soften fibers by beating them into submission. There are several types of dryer balls on the market, generally made of wool or plastic. Although you can even use two tennis balls if you prefer. 
If you plan on drying your diapers in the dryer, especially Prefolds or Fitteds, dryer balls will definitely help.
Drying Rack
A drying rack, if not already in your laundry arsenal, is a great way to save money on your energy bill. When we began cloth diapering we barely noticed a jump in our water bill. However, our energy bill increased enough to raise an eyebrow. After seeing this, we switched to line drying all of our diapers. It does require a larger stash as the diapers usually require a day to dry, but both the economic and energy savings makes the additional diapers a sound investment.

Enzyme Cleaner
An enzyme-based cleaner like Bac Out is a versatile and inexpensive product to keep on hand! Not only does it work on dirty diapers or diapers in need of stripping, but it also works wonders on pet, food and beverage stains on carpet, clothing and anywhere else your little one has left his or her mark.
For dirty diapers: after disposing of any poo (formula and/or solids poo, remember exclusively breastfed babies' poo is water soluble!) into the toilet, spray down any remaining spots with Bac Out and throw the diaper into the pail; the greedy little enzymes will eat all the nasties away, making your washing machine's job easier! And it helps keep any smell at bay until laundry time.
For stripping diapers: Add approximately 1/2 cup of Bac Out and the diapers into the machine. Wash on hot with the most water possible. Ensure to thoroughly rinse the diapers, as lingering Bac Out can be harmful to skin (just as the little buggers will eat through all nasties, it can also eat at skin if it is in the diapers once they are peed in).

Pail Liner
A pail liner is essentially a reusable trash bag. Made of thick PUL (polyurethane laminate - the same material used as waterproofing fabric for cloth diapers), a pail liner lines the inside of your diaper pail. At laundry time the contents as well as the pail liner itself are dumped into the washing machine. I usually line dry my pail liner, but it can also be machine dried. 
I like to have two pail liners, so the pail is never left unattended when the other liner is in the wash.

Pins
Pins are used to hold diapers in closed, and are used primarily on Flats and Prefolds. You should only use pins manufactured for cloth diapering as they are made with locking heads to prevent baby from accidentally opening the pin. 
For an alternative to pins, please see 'Snappi' below. 

Rash Creams
Rash creams are great for calming irritated bottoms. However, some rash creams have ingredients which will melt into the pores of the diaper, and prevent it from doing its job - absorbing. 
On the occasion you require a rash cream, choose one that is safe for cloth diapers. A 'safe' rash cream will easily wash out of the diaper in the wash.
If you need to use a heavy-duty rash or prescription cream, you will need to use Diaper Liners to protect your cloth diapers.
If a well-meaning friend or relative accidentally uses a contraband rash cream, please and read the section under 'My diapers do not seem to be absorbing.'
Also see 'Coconut Oil.' 
Snappis
A Snappi is a plastic device designed as an alternative to pins and, in my humble opinion, one of the most brilliant additions to the history of cloth diapering. A Snappi allows you to get a close fit with your Contours, Prefolds and Flats. The Snappi has three heads, each with a small row of 'teeth' which grip into the diaper just like an elastic bandage closure. I like to have at least two, as there always seems to be the elusive missing Snappi misplaced by a well-meaning diaper changer or cat.
One note: some Fitteds also do not come with closures and require pins or a Snappi. 
Wet Bag
A wetbag is essentially a reusable plastic bag. It is lined with PUL (just like a Pail Liner) to give you a waterproof storage system for your dirty diapers when out of the house. Wetbags range in size from small to large, allowing you to buy to match your needs.
People in a small home might consider a large wetbag as a home storage option, rather than a free-standing diaper pail (larger wetbags usually come with handles to hang on doorknobs).

Wipe Solution
If you decide to use cloth wipes, you may want to consider wipe solution. While some choose to wet their wipes just with water (especially good for newborns' sensitive bums), others choose to use a wipes solution which is squirted on cloth wipes prior to each diaper change.

Wipes Warmer
Just like you can use disposable wipes in a wipes warmer, you can also use one for cloth wipes. For best results (aka preventing mold) use distilled water and change the wipes and water frequently.