How To Use Cloth Diapers What You Need To Get Started

You've decided to give cloth diapering a go, now you need to figure out how to use cloth diapers. This page is designed to help you get started right.

Cloth Diapering Glossary

First things first. AIO? Pocket? What do all these words mean? I think there is a secret language used when talking about cloth diapers. But, never fear! We have put together a list defining all the most commonly used cloth diaper terms. We also have a glossary of all the different types of diaper fabrics.

Baby in Cloth Diaper

Our cloth diaper glossary will help you decipher the "secret code" (and sound like you know what you are talking about!).

How to Use Cloth Diapers - Diapering Systems

Now that you know what all those abbreviations stand for, time to decide on a cloth diapering system.

Everyone out there has their own method and they really love their method. Just because someone else raves about one brand or one type of diaper does not mean that system is the be all-end all.

There are many different types of cloth diapers out there, and everyone has there own preferences of what they like and why. You need to decide how to use cloth diapers the best way for you.

You do not have to run out and buy everything on the market! Try what sounds like will be a good fit for your family. If you find something that works, stick with it.

Some people go gang busters and get REALLY into cloth diapering. You don't have to do that! (but you can if you want to!)

Click here to read about the most popular Types of Cloth Diapers.

Typed of Cloth Diapers

Again, don't make this harder than it needs to be! Figuring out how to use cloth diapers is just a matter of making a few smart decisions.

For our family, I know that my husband is kind of lazy and likes things simple. He doesn't like messing with too many particles and accessories, and he could care less about things being "pretty".

So, we started out with prefolds and wrap covers. Once I knew for sure I was going to stick with cloth diapers, I invested in some pocket diapers.

Go with the system your family can most afford or that will be the most convenient. You can always try new things later.

My advice to people just starting out is to go slow. Remember, you don't need to go out and buy your entire diaper stash in one day!

Newborn Advice

Newborn Cloth DiapersFor the first few months, just use prefolds and wraps. You don't need to invest in expensive AIOs or Fitteds in the newborn sizes. Most babies will zoom through the newborn size super quick, anyway.

As your baby gets a bit bigger, try some of the other methods if you like.

Also, all babies are different. Some are big and chunky, some are skinny minnies. Some will have skin sensitivities to various materials, etc.

If you buy everything before seeing what works best for your baby, you could end up wasting a bunch of money!

How Many Diapers Do You Need?

That really depends on you! How much money do you want to spend? How often do you plan on washing them?

For us, I initially bought 5 wraps and 24 prefolds. This worked pretty well for the first few months.

I then started buying some medium Fuzzi Bunz, a few at a time. I really liked them, but we were on a tight budget, so I ended up getting only 14 in total.

My little guy is really skinny, so we were able to use those along with the prefolds and wraps for a long time, never needing to get the next size up. I did my wash every other day or so.

Here is a chart that is a good guide for how many cloth diapers you need to get started, depending on which system you prefer.

Cleaning Your Diapers

When figuring out how to use cloth diapers, the most important thing you need to know is how to keep them clean.

Washing Cloth DiapersWashing cloth diapers is really easy and quickly falls into your regular washing routine. I think this is one of the biggest stops to people giving cloth diapering a go, but it is not as hard as you think!

I figure, I have to change my baby's diaper anyway. There is no way to avoid the poop and the pee and the mess. Might as well take it one step further and do something that is better for my little one and better for the environment.

Yes, there are times when the stink is gross and you just don't want to do it! But isn't that the case with the dishes, your other laundry, sweeping, and all your other chores?

Cloth Wipes

Cloth Baby WipesDon't forget your cloth wipes! Yup, that's right! You don't have to, but why not use cloth wipes also? Just wash them right along with your diapers.

I keep a small plastic bottle of wipe solution in my diaper bag and in our changing area. I just squirt some onto a cloth wipe when I need something wet to clean baby with.

Super easy! And so much better for baby than whatever is in those baby wipe packages! And, it is really easy to make your own wipes, even if you are a beginning sewer.

How to Use Cloth Diapers on the Road - Transporting Your Dipes

Not sure how to transport your cloth diapers while you are out and about?

I carry a diaper bag with a small wetbag inside. When picking out a diaper bag, I do recommend getting one on the larger side, since cloth diapers take up a bit more room than paper diapers.

After a diaper change, I just put the soiled diaper in the wetbag. When I get home, both the dirty diapers and the wetbag go straight into the wash.

It's good to have a few of these around, they are so handy! The are great for dirty diapers, used wipes, wet clothes, etc.

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