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Cloth Diapering (How to Get Started)

Maybe you are pregnant with your first baby and exploring diapering options, or maybe you are a seasoned mom who wants to make a change for the next baby.  Or maybe you are just really tired of spending so much money on Diapers that you throw away.  

Whatever your reason is for wanting to make the change to Cloth diapering, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Talking with those who have cloth-diapered for years is beneficial, but likely, you’ll find a great way that works for you.

Wondering how to get started? I’ve put together some simple tips that I wish I knew in the beginning.  

Know Your Why

It’s important that you know your “why.” Your reasons won’t be exactly the same for you as it is for another mom. And you might have a few different reasons. 

Knowing your why will help keep you motivated during the learning process. There is a tiny bit of a learning curve with Cloth Diapering. The additional laundry and rinsing out those dirty diapers might make you question your choice, but hang in there. I’ll warn you, once you get the hang of cloth diapering, it can become addictive with all of the cute prints. 

Know Your Budget

The number of cloth diaper choices might overwhelm you when you start this journey.  If you set a budget before you really start looking then it will help you narrow down your choices right from the beginning. 

Some people will set a monthly budget so they can add to there stash as they go.  Making the initial investment can be a little expensive.  However, if you get a small stash to get started and add monthly that might make your wallet (and your husband) a little happier. 

You may spend $100 to $200 to start off with a good stash.  But as you really start to love cloth diapering your stash will grow.  Trust me. 

Know the Style You Want

Cloth diapers are not the same as decades past.  They are no longer simply a pre-fold with a cover.  There are so many great options, styles, and patterns.  Cloth diapers are really adorable now and can match all of your baby’s outfits. 

If you are new I would encourage you to reach out to other cloth diapering mamas to ask their favorite style.  Here are just a few of the styles to choose from.

  • Pre-folds with Cover
  • Flats
  • All in One
  • Pocket
  • Hybrid

All in ones are great for those just wanting to get their feet wet but I have met plenty of moms who love the pre-folds with covers.  This is a personal choice that each mom needs to make. I began with pocket diapers, but once I became experienced, I absolutely adore the convenience of pre-folds.

Know How Many You Will Need

This is going to depend on what style you choose.  However, the general rule is to have at least 24 diapers in your rotation.

Only having 24 diapers in your rotation will result in your diapers wearing out faster.  But like we said above, you can add to your stash over time to increase this number.  Starting out with 24 diapers will be fine and will be kind to your budget. 

Know What Else You Need

To be successful with cloth diapers you will need to have accessories in addition to the diapers. While you may not need or choose to use all of these things there are some that really should be used.

Wet bags

A good wet bag is essential.  Actually more than one and in different sizes.  They come in small, medium, and large. Some people use large wet bags at home instead of a diaper pail.  While the small bags are for traveling.

Two small wet bags and two large wet bags would be beneficial but you can cloth diaper with less. 

Cloth Wipes

There are some people that do use regular wipes with cloth diapers.  It is kind of a pain because they end up in the trash or making a mess.  They can also end up in your washing machine and dryer. 

You can either purchase specific cloth wipes or those really soft baby washcloths do a great job as well. 

Laundry Detergent

Any laundry detergent that is scent-free will do nicely for cloth diapers.  There are more natural options like wash berries that are popular among moms that cloth diaper. I’m a big fan of using Thieves laundry detergent.

Just be sure that whatever you use doesn’t leave a harsh scent or residue on the diapers. If the detergent does that then you will have to strip the diapers more often. Stripping the diapers is a deep cleaning method that removes any residuals that are in the diaper. 

Clothes Line

This is another optional item.  Drying the diapers outside in the sun will help keep odors and stains away. You can dry your diapers in the dryer with no problem but it is a good idea to lay them in the sun a few times a month if possible. 

Do you have any other ideas for clothing diapering? Leave a comment below, and share your best advice!

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