What You'll Need To Get Started With Cloth Diapers

Ready to go cloth, but aren’t sure where to begin? You’re in the right spot. Here’s the basic list of everything you’ll need to hit the ground running with your new system.  

And click here to download your printable punch list!



While every baby is on a different changing schedule, you’ll want to have enough on hand for between 1-3 days (this way, you’re not constantly doing laundry.)

For example most newborns need to be changed every 1-3 hours. That translates to roughly 12+ diapers per day.

Here are a few estimates about how many diapers you’ll need for your baby, depending on their age:

(You may choose to adjust the amount of diapers to your baby’s needs and your laundry agenda. However, these are good foundational numbers for getting started.) 

Newborn – 4 months: 24 – 36 diapers
4 – 10 months (Infants): 16 – 20 diapers
10 months – Potty Training (Toddler): 12 – 16 diapers

Deciding not to use disposable wipes? Having between 12-24 cloth wipes on hand will help you keep up with your changing schedule. You can pre-moisten them with cloth wipe solution or wipes bits, or just water, and wipe away.

Diaper Pail
To keep dirty diapers from making your room smell, place a waterproof pail liner into a small kitchen trash can with a lid. This will keep the smell under control, and the dirty diaper bag out of sight. You can also use a hanging wet bag with zippers (these are great for keeping the small contained).

Travel-Sized Wet Bag
When you’re away from home, having a small or medium wet bag on hand will make cloth diapering on the road so much easier. They fold up easily, and can be closed with drawstrings or zippers. Another great perk? They can be machine washed right along with your diapers.

Extra Inserts
Depending what cloth diapering system you’re using, you may not need inserts. However, if your baby tends to go through diapers quickly, extra inserts can be a huge help – especially for overnight use.

Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent
Make sure the detergent you use to wash your diapers is perfume-free, and doesn’t contain enzymes, fabric softeners, whiteners, brighteners, or bleach.

If your washing water is hard, it can cause mineral buildup and potentially stinky diapers! But there’s a simple solution for that: just add a little Calgon to your next batch of laundry. You can find it at most grocery stores!

Diaper Sprayer
Although this isn’t necessarily a must-have in your cloth diaper arsenal, it’s perfect for parents who’d rather keep their hands free of poop. The sprayer attaches to your toilet. All you have to do is spray the solid stuff off your baby’s diaper, flush it away, and you’re golden!

Clothesline (optional)
From time to time, cloth diapers can get stained. When that happens, line drying your diapers in the sun acts as a wonderful natural bleach on diapers fresh out of the washing machine. It also helps your diapers last longer, and reduces dryer heat damage that can weaken fibers and elastic.

Snappi's or Pins (optional)
Using a flat or prefold diaper? Pins, or their less-pointy alternative Snappi’s will keep the diaper securely in place underneath its cover. 

Liners (optional)
Want to protect your baby’s skin with an extra, breathable layer, and make dealing with poop easier? Diaper liners are for you. They’re also great for keeping cream off the diaper’s fibers, which will keep your little one drier, longer.

Cloth Diaper Cream (optional)
Yes, diaper rashes happen less often when your baby wears cloth. However, it doesn’t eliminate the risk completely! But before you go out to the store to pick up a cream, do a little background research to make sure it’s cloth-diaper-friendly. Some creams can make the cloth fibers clump, repel water, and cause leaks!

Swim Diapers (optional)
Love the water? Check out our Freestyle re-usable swim diapers, and your baby will be able to splash right along with you. Swim diapers aren’t as heavy as cloth diapers, so they make paddling easier for your child, while still keeping solids in the diaper (where they belong!)