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Contemplating Cloth (Part 2)

By request, Krista is delving into writing about cloth diapering!  Check out Part 1 of her Contemplating Cloth series!

Okay, so if I want to start using cloth diapers, what do I really need?  Where do I buy this stuff?

You first need to figure out how many diapers to have in your stash.  Think about how often you want to go through your washing routine (more on that later), how many times you’ll be able to do that every week.  Then figure out how many diapers your baby goes through in a typical day.  Let’s assume you’re using pocket diapers.  They can only be used once before washing, and let’s say your baby is being changed eight times per day.  You figure you could do diaper laundry three times per week, so let’s say 2.5 days between washing.  8 x 2.5 = 20 and let’s add 2 more for good measure.

The options for purchasing cloth diapers has exploded over the past few years.  You can now look online for special cloth diaper retailers as well as well-known baby product retailers, Amazon, and even local brick and mortar stores! There are even businesses with Independent Consultants that can come to your home and do a cloth diaper party!  There are no shortage of places to buy diapers!

Spencer in a Happy Heinys cover

There are many brands out there with pros and cons to all of them. is a great resource for reading reviews of different brands.  Cloth mamas, share your favorite types and brands in the comments below!

You’ll also need a place to store your wet and dirty diapers, your diaper pail.  No need to have them soaking in water, a dry pail is all you need!  A trash can with a lid works perfectly and while there are cloth diaper pail liners you can purchase many places, use what works for you.  I don’t have any special pail liners, I just have a mesh laundry bag in our pail.

You’ll also need detergent for washing your diapers.  This is an aspect of cloth diapering that can actually get kinda heated, so I’ll say that you need to do your research.  I have used many many many different types of detergent on my diapers, including a homemade detergent.  Most of them have worked pretty well.  Currently I use Crunchy Clean and LOVE IT.

That’s not so bad, but what are some things that would be really nice extras?

What I outlined above is really basic.  There are lots of other things you can purchase that might make your experience better.  For instance, a diaper sprayer. Personally, I’m more of a dunk and swish gal, but lots of mamas swear by their sprayers.  Disposable or cloth liners can also make cleanup easier, and a nice waterproof wetbag is great to have in your diaper bag (though a large Ziploc bag might do the trick for you!).

Veteran cloth mamas, what are some other extras you think every mom should have?  Tell us in the comments!

How can I make my cloth diapering change even less expensive?

There are lots of ways you can cut down on your expenses.  First of all, you can buy used diapers in many places.  Probably the most popular online site for purchasing used (and new) diapers is Diaperswappers.comDiaper Swappers is an invaluable source of information as well!  Second, you can build your stash over time.  You don’t have to start out going 2.5 days between washes.  Many moms do diaper laundry every day!  Third, you can use cloth as much as possible.  If you can find a setup that works for you, use them at night!  Look into using cloth wipes instead of disposable.  Don’t shy away from using cloth out in the “real world.” 🙂

Finally, there are many brands out there and your options really run a wide spectrum of prices.  I currently have my son in a well-known but less expensive brand of pocket diapers and I am really pleased with them!  They are almost half the price of a very similar brand that is one of the leaders in the industry but I honestly think I like the Kawaiis better!

Cloth mamas, tell us about your stash!  What brand(s) do you use?  Has your stash changed over time?

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We’ll get into more of the nitty gritty on Friday in my final Contemplating Cloth post, because I know you’re all wondering about POOP! 🙂

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.


  1. With Krista’s recommendation, I started out with 5 or 6 Kawaii Heavy Duty diapers to give cloth a try with my then 20 month old daughter. Once I was hooked and had the money, I ordered ten more. My stash of 15 leaves me doing laundry every other day or so. I started using disposable wipes with them, but quickly switched to cloth wipes. They’re much easier to use than having to separate dirty wipes out of your dirty diapers. The Kawaiis I have should work for our new baby after he’s a few weeks old (or sooner!), so I’ll be adding to the stash before long to accommodate two kids until my daughter is potty trained. I love my Kawaiis!

  2. Cloth wipes are such an easy switch, aren’t they? Do you store them wet or dry?

    What’s your plan for newborn diapering? Are you just going to use any disposable diapers you get from friends and family?

  3. I just want to suggest Spots Corner ( as a great place to buy diapers as well. You have to know what you want (or just do like me and buy whats dirt cheap to find out what you want). I have a stash of about 20-25 diapers and I have bought all but 6 on Spots! I’ve never had a negative experience there, LOVE it.

    I’m really not happy with my pockets right now — it may be a fit issue, or it may be that my kid drinks WAY to much right now… but she is leaking out of everything. I may sell some off and try and get some more fitteds. I still don’t see what all the hype over GoodMama fitteds are, but, having ONE, I do truly, truly love it.

    I’m still learning, but I’m doing cloth from the start with #2!

    Oh, and Krista? Ziplock bag idea BLEW MY MIND. I don’t have any idea why I never thought of that. Doh.