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What do I need to start cloth diapering?
June 9, 2017 8:00 am | by
NuRoo Breastfeeding Cover

With so much information available at your fingertips, getting started can often feel overwhelming. Perhaps you realize the benefits of cloth diapering but want to know more about how to start cloth diapering. The great thing about it is that it only takes a little bit of knowledge and a handful of products. We’ve found that if you keep the products and process simple, cloth diapering can become a natural part of any family’s routine. After all, Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.

So, here’s what you’ll need to get started cloth diapering:

24 cloth diapers.

Choose your cloth diapers in the style of your choice. If you’re choosing a two-piece system, such as Flip or Econobum, we recommend 24 inserts and a minimum of eight covers. You’ll use a cover 2-3 times before changing it. Through the first few months of life, parents will be using and washing approximately 12 diapers per day.  Newborns are fed about every two hours and will likely need to be changed each time they eat.  As a baby gets older, diaper changes happen a little less often.

We recommend that you wash cloth diapers every other day. With a minimum of 24 diapers, you’ll have enough clean cloth diapers on hand to get you through while the rest are in the washing machine.

One of the easiest ways to begin building your cloth diaper stash is with a beginner pack, designed to get you started on the right foot. You can start out small with a six-pack, save even more with a larger 12-pack, or get started with our easy Elemental Joy Cloth Diaper Kit, including cloth diapers and accessories! No matter what you choose, you’re sure to save even more when starting your stash in bundles.

As you grow confident in cloth diapers, you may find you want to branch out to try new styles of cloth diapers, use cloth baby wipes, or try new accessories. As always, we are glad to answer any questions you may have if you give us a call at 314-892-1855.


About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



  • Sarah said...
    July 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Great post to show how easy it is to get started cloth diapering. The common misconception is that cloth diapering is super expensive and difficult to manage! Not the case at all (how many times have you heard, “I thought they were a wrap and pin”)

    The next step would be to add in some cloth wipes. This can be free! Simply cut up an extra receiving blanket into 4×4 inch squares and wipe away! I’m SURE you have extra receiving blankets around from your baby shower dont you!!

  • nymommy1980 said...
    August 31, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I started with pre folds to save money then went to pocket diapers. I liked how the pocket diapers were thinner and dried much faster than the bumgenius 3.0’s. I had about 12 and did laundry every evening. I just put them in a regular plastic clothes basket and washed in Purex or all FRee and clear. The great thing about the cottonbabies website is that you can slowly build up your stash and not get killed on shipping.

  • Anonymous said...
    August 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Great post! Thanks!
    When I started cloth diapering my firstborn about three years ago I was fortunate enough to have plenty of time to research and figure out what I needed, but there’s a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming. I ended up purchasing a mixed lot of diapers on Craigslist and then supplementing with some additional diapers. This turned out to be a great idea because I got to try out several different styles and brands of diapers, so by the time I was ready and needed to purchase larger diapers, I knew what I liked. I’m having baby #3 soon, so this newborn stash that I bought has already diapered two of my babies, and soon a third. Also, I’ve loaned our newborn stash out to several friends and family members when we aren’t using them. Babies are rarely in newborn diapers for all that long (mine especially) so the diapers, after six babies so far, are still in great shape and it’s allowed several other families to try out cloth diapering to see if it’s for them before investing any money in their own stash. It’s convinced them that they can do it and they know what they need to get from there.

  • Toni Keltner said...
    August 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Great post for a newbie like me!!!! I just placed an order with Cotton Babies today! I was one of the moms who had the opportunity to have coffee with Jennifer in Tulsa earlier this month!

  • ERMama said...
    June 21, 2011 at 6:29 am

    One thing that came in VERY handy for me was a friend who was already cloth diapering her babies! She was gracious enough to answer all of my questions which was a big help and a big reassurance. I bought exact what she had gotten for her kids and it’s worked out beautifully. We purchased:

    -2 1/2 dozen bumGenius AIO 3.0
    -Extra diaper doublers/newborn inserts
    -bumGenius bamboo and Thirsties cloth wipes (the colors of the Thirsties were -soooo tempting…and they are SO soft!!!)
    -Bummis fleece liners
    -2 large Bummis diaper totes
    -1 medium Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag
    -1 trashcan from Target with a lid that pops up and stays out of the way when open

    Since we’ve been cloth diapering our daughter, I’ve had a few moms-to-be ask me about the way we do it. I am GLAD to offer them any info I can! Someone did it for me and I pay it forward. It’s wonderful to know that another baby might be wearing cloth diapers because of us!

  • etta said...
    June 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    What a helpful post! My husband and I are expecting our first baby in October and plan to cloth diaper. I have a friend who uses CDs (probably the reason I’m going to also) and I’ve been picking her brain trying to figure out what I need!

  • JLo said...
    June 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I agree, this is a great post – 18 months ago when I was researching cloth diapers for my son who is now 1, I went round in circles trying to figure out what I’d need! I started out with a couple of Flip daypacks and went from there. The great seconds sales have been a big help! Thanks Cotton Babies!

  • Kelsie said...
    June 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for this post. I wish I had read it before I began cloth diapering. I did not know any cloth diapering parents when we began looking into cloth diapering before my first child was born. I had no clue where to begin! It was a little overwhelming at first. How many diapers do I need? What type of diapers should I try? Where do I buy them? How do I fold flats and prefolds? What kind of covers do I need? Most of my stash consists of Indian prefolds sold on cotton babies and econobum one size covers, but we have tried other types. I definitely love the prefolds and keep coming back to them. They are so absorbent and easy to use/wash/strip/line dry. With all of the information out there, it seemed more complicated than it really is. I find that cloth diapers work so much better than disposables (which we used briefly because someone bought some for us). I ended up giving away most of the sposies’ we had after numerous leaks. So for parents feeling overwhelmed by all of the information, don’t give up. Cloth diapering is great.