Guest Post by Erin of The Humbled Homemaker
When I first set out to cloth diaper, one of my first challenges was simply affording the diapers and all the extra accessories it seemed were necessary to ensure a successful cloth diapering experience.
There were the wipes and the wetbags and the special creams and sprayers and liners. Not to mention the diapers themselves!
Sure, I knew using cloth diapers would be better for my baby’s bum, kinder to creation and better for our budget (eventually), but how in the world could I afford to fork out all the upfront costs of all the accessories involved?
I found out that the best way to afford cloth diapering supplies is to buy them little-by-little, and that there are very little cloth diapering essentials. Really, you can have a successful cloth diapering experience with much less than you can imagine.
So what are the biggest cloth diapering essentials?
Yes, this is a no-brainer! You can’t cloth diaper without the diapers themselves!
How many do you need? Well, that is really up for debate and dependent on the age of your child and how often you do laundry. But a good rule of thumb is to have around 24 diapers for newborns (if you want to wash the diapers every other day) and about 12 to 18 for older babies who are already eating solid foods.
You may get a bit of a sticker shock if you look at the price of modern cloth diapers and multiply that number by 12-24! Prefolds are a very good, easy, affordable option for the newborn stage, and if you want to use modern cloth diapers later, you can purchase a few at a time until you have your stash built. Buying used or making your own are also very good options!
No, you do not have to use cloth wipes, and I go back and forth in using them myself. But you will obviously need some kind of wipes!
My preferred wipes are baby wash cloths. They are cheap, and, to me, they are the perfect thickness to make sure those little cracks and crevices are clean and rid of poop.
Sure, you can splurge on some fancy, hand-made cloth wipes if you want, but they are not necessary. Save your money to add another diaper to your stash and stick with cheap wash cloths.
If you’re going to use cloth diapers, you must have the ability to wash them. There are a ton of cloth diapering detergents on the market today, and plenty of cloth diapering mamas just use Tide.
Finding a good detergent for your diapers can be a challenge at first. There is no one right answer here. What works for one will not work for all. Everyone has a different water type, and different detergents work differently depending on your water type–or even depending on your washing machine!
I personally use Country Save detergent on my diapers. You can get it pretty cheaply on Amazon.com, but I actually purchased a huge case of it on Craigslist from another cloth diapering mom, and it’s lasted me for two years!
Although some moms do not have issues using Tide or a “free and clear” type detergent, I personally do not recommend this. My recommendation is to ask what other cloth diapering mothers who live near you use because that may be a good indication of what detergent will work for your water type.
I love this handy detergent determiner tool from The Real Diaper Association. It will rate your detergent.
Some cloth diapering mamas make their own detergent. I have personally stayed away from this because some homemade detergents can leave residue.
The most important thing is to find out what works for you and stick with it!
Psst…I just had to pop in quickly. This week, through Friday, A Practical Guide to Children’s Health is on sale! Don’t miss that…it’ll be awhile before you see a deal this good again!
What do you see as cloth diapering essentials?
I recently released a 200+-page cloth diapering ebook with everything you need to know about how to have a successful cloth diapering experience! I am offering all MAM readers 20% off the book now through April 29 using code MAMCloth! Read more about the book or purchase it here.