Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cloth diapering gear

So just like I promised I'm back with a summary of all the gear I use to make cloth diapering work in our home. I have a list of 7 main items, some of which are not really essential but quite helpful all the same. All those with the red asterisk are the ones I consider my top essentials.

1 Diaper stash  *
This is of course a no brainer! The first and most important decision to make is the type and brand of cloth diapers. There are so many different types and brands of cloth diapers, some are the very traditional types that require folding or inserts and have a separate cover. We decided to go with a one size,  all-in-one diaper so we wouldn't have to deal with stuffing inserts, prefolds etc... plus we can easily adjust it to fit our baby as she grows!

The number of diapers you need really depends on how often you want to do laundry. Most people would suggest having atleast 18 to 24 diapers on hand, although I have read that some people survive with only 12. Considering that babies go through 6- 10 diapers a day in the early months, we decided the more diapers we had the better, so we bought 24 of the Freetime Bum genius diapers. We ordered ours from cotton babies; they have the best prices out there especially if you are buying in bulk! If you stalk their website you may even be lucky to come upon a sale or promotion which saves even more money!

As you can see from the photo below, the free time diapers come with two fasten options, either the snaps on the right, or the hook and loop (velcro) on the left.  I wavered back on forth on which type to order. The velcro is much easier to deal with especially when the baby gets to the squirmy stage, but on the other hand velcro doesnt wash well and after a few runs in the washer, it will curl up and look frightful! I also decided to avoid velcro because I know that babies get to a stage where they figure out how to open velcro tabs and then they can take off their own diapers, so we went ahead and ordered the snaps.

Our cloth diaper stash

2 Diaper pail *

Ok this is where a lot of people get icky, because in the old days, dirty cloth diapers were often stored in a pail of water to make them easier to wash. But keeping them soaked in water for days really isn't ideal or the most sanitary way to go about it. If you are washing your diapers every single day then its probably fine to just keep them soaking in a "wet pail" but otherwise a dry pail  is the best way to go.  There are many expensive diaper pails out there, but honestly a regular trash can with a fitted lid will do just fine. We bought this 10 gallon hefty step trash can from walmart. A step trash can is so much more convenient because you can open and close it without using your hands, and trust me your hands will most definitely be occupied with other things. 

Inside view of our diaper pail

3 Pail liner *

This is really important when it comes to containing mess and odor. A good pail liner makes all the difference.  The pail liners we use shown in the picture above and below are by Planet Wise. They are machine washable and really strong and they never leak or let odors through.  They also come in lots of great colors and prints so there is something to match every nursery!

Pail Liner

4 Wet bag

Planet Wise wet bags are great for days out, when you have to change your babies diaper outside your home and you need a place to store the dirty diapers. You could just as easily use a plastic shopping bag, but these are much better because they look great, are 100% leak and odor proof and if you order the medium size they are big enough to store wet clothes too. They are also multi-functional and can be used on swim days too!

5 Diaper sprayer

Ok, this isn't an essential by any means, you can easily skip this, but a diaper sprayer makes life so much easier. Basically a diaper sprayer attaches to the incoming water supply for your toilet and is used to spray poop off the diapers before putting them in the diaper pail. This makes them so much easier to wash, and they come out much cleaner this way.  Although bum genius does make a diaper sprayer I would avoid theirs and get The potty pail sprayer which is the far superior in quality .  The reason why I prefer the potty pail version is because their connections are all made of brass, so you can feel confident that you have gotten a tight seal and that the connection won't leak and flood your home, unlike other sprayers that have plastic fittings. The potty pail sprayer is hand made in the USA, they also have the best customer service in the event that you have any  issues with the product.

6 Drying rack*

A drying rack is important for the type of diapers that we use, although we can put them in the dryer on low heat, we prefer to follow the manufacturers instructions and air dry them to maximise their life as machine drying can take its toll. We got these Pressa spinning racks from Ikea for $4.99 each, they have 16 cloths clips on each rach and they are really great!

Our diapers drying in the bathroom

7 Detergent *
 This one is another no brainer, because of course the main thing about cloth diapers is that they need to be washed! However it is important to use the right type and amount of detergent otherwise you will end up with detergent build up on your diapers and they wont absorb properly. There are many cloth diaper friendly detergents out there such as Bum genius, Charlies Soap... etc but we use Seventh Generation fragrance free and it has worked great for us so far.

What items are on your cloth diapering list?


  1. It seems like a lot more work than the disposable diaper but so much better for baby and the environment. The dryer that you have with 16pegs is fantastic!

    1. Its definitely worth it and once you get the hang of it, its not that much work