Cloth Diapering 101

What You Need for Cloth Diapering

What you need for cloth diapering, the essentials needed for cloth diapers

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How many diapers will I need?

Needs honestly vary, but you need about 24 diapers minimum. I own 36 pocket diapers (various brands) and a few fitteds. I find that having 24+ allows you to rotate through them. More rotation, the less wear and tear they get.

Now 24+ diapers means something different to a prefold or flat mama. This means 2-4 dozen  prefolds (or flats) in various sizes (again needs differ, .i.e. how often will you be doing laundry).  You’ll need about 8-10 OS covers, or 8-10 covers per size. Remember that covers are reusable with flats, prefolds, and fitteds.

What am I talking about flats, prefolds, covers, pocket diapers? Check out What types of Cloth Diapers are There? For the inside scoop!

How many diapers a day does an infant go through?

Well this depends on how old they are. At first they are pooping machines. I mean it, they poop a lot. Cloth diapers are really good at holding blow outs, but once in a while the baby masters the diaper. Hey it happens. Baby’s are poop cannons. Don’t believe me…you just wait!

The image below can help you determine how many diapers you need based on age, daily use, and how often you will wash.


How many diapers will I need?

What essentials do I need?

Cloth wipes are a MUST

If you’re going to do cloth diapers you might as well add in cloth wipes. Less trash = happy environment. Or however you want to see it!

Cloth wipes come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are flannel, cotton, or bamboo. I’d recommend two ply and this is coming from experience. Having one ply between you and a massive poop isn’t a great feeling. Two ply feels a bit more durable and less flimsy. I personally like cotton flannel wipes, they are just the right thickness and they are soft.

How many cloth wipes will I need? 

Okay, so, personal experience you’ll need at least 50. I have 150 wipes and sometimes I run out. That could be due to the fact that I do laundry every 2-3 days. But having some extra on hand isn’t a bad thing. Looking for a good cloth wipe? Check these out.

Cloth Wipe Solution

When I first started researching cloth diapers I didn’t even think about wipe solution. Because, hey, all store bought wipes are already wet. DOH! So a cloth wipe solution is a must.

Cloth wipe solution comes in different forms, spray or cloth wipe bits (or cubes)

  • With cloth wipe bits (or cubes) you need to melt the cubes/bits in hot water. You can dump these over cloth wipes in a container or place in a spray bottle.
  • Sprays are convenient because you simply spray onto the baby’s bottom and wipe away with a cloth wipe. No need to be melting and mixing!

I make an organic diaper spray here at Elyfant Cheek Boutique!

Sprayer & Spray Shield

This is a sprayer that attaches to your toilet. Its main purpose? To spray poop into the toilet. Yep you read that right. It sounds gross, but if you get this AWESOME spray shield, it lessens the gross factor…a wee bit. Trust me you’re going to need the sprayer. You don’t want to be scrapping the poop off yourself do you?

Back to the shield.. 

Look you are going to need this. This helps prevent poop water or straight up poop splashing onto you. I thought I wouldn’t need one. Big mistake. The first time water poop splashed onto my cloths I screamed on the inside. I bought one that day. Best investment ever.

Wet Bag

A wet bag is what holds your dirty diapers. The insides are usually made with a waterproof material. I own two large ones and two medium sized ones (I travel with these). I do laundry every 2-3 days, so I only need 2 large bags. If you stretch it out, I’d recommend three.

I personally recommend planet wise wet bags. They hold the stink in VERY well. I don’t even notice the smell even after 3 days.

There are many different wet bags, some are hang pails like this one or you can get this Thirsties one and place it in a regular pail up to 54 quarts.  I have even seen some people use a diaper genie.

Other Essentials

Extra inserts – Most diaper systems come with them, but having extra is always helpful, especially if you have a heavy wetter.

Snappi’s- if you are using flats, prefolds, or fitteds. You won’t need these if you are not using any of them.

Liners – Oh these puppies. They catch poop and you simply throw the liner away. Most are bio-degradable. So if you are not a fan of spraying poop away, these may be an option.

Cloth diaper safe creams – Okay here is the truth, cloth diapers rarely cause diaper rash. My little one is ten months and ZERO diaper rash. But sometimes when teething, starting new foods, or exposed to wetness (especially overnights) their skin can get irritated.  A cream is helpful here. You can find my organic and cloth diaper safe cream here.


  • Kristin Brown

    Excellent post! I have a stash of almost 40 diapers so I only have to wash once or twice a week. You are definitely not kidding when you say you need a spray shield! We use pockets so I pull the inserts out before I spray poop, I recently got poopy spray back so I’m ordering a shield come payday.

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