What do I need?

While it might seem like there are lot of options and your shopping list is a mile long, the actual bones needed to start are minimal.

When planning your cloth stash, there are six areas you need to address -
  1. Which diaper(s) will you use?
  2. How will you store and transport dirty diapers, at home and on errands?
  3. Which detergent will you use?
  4. Which rash cream will you have on hand?
  5. How will you deal with poop
  6. Will you use cloth wipes

First, diapers.
Rather than trying to research all of the brands and individual diapers available, I instead recommend researching the types of cloth diapers out there. Once you have figured out the type(s) of diapers you want to use, then focus your research on the individual options available. By focusing your research in this way, you ensure you are not test driving a Porsche on a Ford budget (I use this analogy endearingly, as my father owned a Ford franchise for many, many years), or kicking the tires of a two-door when you really need that minivan.

Second, storage.
Out & About: Wet bags are fantastic tools for storing wet and dirty diapers outside of the house.
At Home: Choose from a large wet bag or pail liner. Wet bags are admittedly cuter, and do not require any floor space. Pail Liners are functional workhorses, lining your diaper pail. Some choose to use both - a diaper pail in the bathroom or nursery, and a smaller wet bag in the master bedroom or family room.

Third, detergent.
I will admit I tend to get a bit worked up when discussing detergent during the 101 diaper classes. Your diapers are an investment, and starting with a good detergent ensures you are taking the best care of your investment. For some great options, check out our detergent selection here.
For a thorough run-down on detergents and ingredients, please see here.

Fourth, rash cream.
Very few babies will have chronic diaper rash in cloth diapers (and if your baby does have persistent redness, please take a look at our troubleshooting guide). But, it is very, very nice to have something 'cloth safe' on hand for times when some redness crops up. This is much better than a drugstore run at midnight (and then wondering if what they happen to have is cloth friendly).

Fifth, the scoop on poop.
When baby has any formula or solids in their diet, that poop needs to go into the toilet. So, what will be your weapon of choice? Will you use a diaper sprayer? Diaper liners? A mix of both? If you are exclusively breastfeeding, this is a decision you can put off.

Last but not least, will you use cloth wipes?
Cloth wipes are pretty fabulous. Check out our cloth wipes tutorial here.