Preparing For Baby: Essentials Before Baby Arrives
Hello, new cloth diapering mama! Congratulations and welcome to motherhood. The overwhelming amount of things you need to prepare before baby gets here is enough to bring on a contraction. If you’re considering cloth diapers, think of this as your easy stockpile checklist. We will go over the number of diapers and wipes you will need, as well as must-have diaper cleaning supplies. There are also a few extras thrown in, so you’ll be prepared like a pro. These easy essentials will allow you to coast through those first newborn months of cloth diapering.
Diapers for the Newborn Phase
- 20 – 24 Diapers
While you can go crazy and buy diapers for all the phases of your baby’s diaper journey, I find it easiest to just start out with a newborn stash. Once your baby is a couple of months older, you can start to build your cloth diaper collection.
Newborns have different needs compared to older babies and even toddlers. To begin with, your sweet little one will come home with a freshly clamped umbilical cord. We have to be extra careful with these. You’ll need a diaper that gives this sensitive area enough space to heal. Newborns also have the tiniest legs, making larger, one size fits all diapers a gamble in the first few months.
This article discusses three easy options for newborn diapering. We’ll discuss below how many of each option you’re going to need to stockpile. In general, newborns will wear 8-12 diapers per day. (Don’t worry, this will decrease as they get older.) 24 diapers in your stash will allow you to have a full day of diapers while you wash and dry the other set. If you want to increase the days between washes, just add 10 – 12 more diapers.
Easy All in Ones
- 20 – 24 All In Ones
The easiest way to start are all-in-ones or AIOs. They are the most similar to regular diapers. If you plan to have extra help from grandma, or if your husband isn’t sure about learning new diaper folds in the early days, this style is ideal. However, these do tend to be more expensive. Once this diaper is soiled, it has to be washed before it can be worn again. For this reason, you will need to buy around 24 individual diapers if you wash every day. To increase the time between washes just add 12 more for each day. (Although I wouldn’t go beyond washing every third day.) The Lil Joey AIO cloth diapers are a popular choice since they fit babies as small as 4 lbs and can be found on Amazons’ website here.
Moms’ Newborn Favorite: Fitted Diapers with Covers
- 20-24 Fitted Diapers
- 8 Diaper Covers
Fitted diapers with waterproof covers are another easy option. They are popular because you put the fitted diaper on, similar to an all in one, then just put a cover right over. If you use waterproof covers, you can even wipe them out between diaper changes and reuse. These would also be easy for other caregivers to use. If you want to increase the days between washes, add 10 – 12 fitted diapers and 4 more diaper covers per day. Sustainablebabyish makes super absorbent fitteds and you can take a peek at them over at Happy Baby Company website here. You can pair these with Thirsties covers available on Amazons’ website here.
- 20 – 24 Prefolds
- 8 Diaper covers
- 1 pack of Snappis
Prefolds are the workhorses of the cloth diaper world. They can do and be absolutely everything. These are the most economical option if you’re looking at the prices of those other options and gasping. Even if you decide to go with another option, having a cheap stash of prefolds on hand are great in a pinch. * Bonus points* Prefolds are the best newborn spit cloths you will ever find. Put one over your shoulder each time you burp baby and you will never feel a tidal wave of half-digested milk roll down your back. To cloth diaper with prefolds, you fold the prefold, secure with a Snappi, and finish with a waterproof diaper cover. Aplix (velcro) diaper covers are the easiest to handle in those early weeks. Snappi fasteners, available here on Amazon, are the modern-day version of diaper pins, sans scary needles. OsoCozy unbleached prefolds are a cloth diapering staple, also available on the Amazon website here.
- 48 Cloth wipes
If you are already using cloth diapers, cloth wipes take very little effort. Yes, they can be thrown into the diaper pail with soggy cloth diapers. When you are ready to wash, they get tossed in at the same time. No extra effort needed. To keep up with washing every other day, I suggest having 48 thick cloth wipes. Use this as a minimum. It won’t hurt to have more though.
If you would like an easy option to put on your registry, premade cloth wipes are a great choice. These GroVia wipes, available here on Amazons site, are the perfect size to fit in a diaper warmer or dispenser.
If you’re feeling the need to get crafty while decorating the nursery, you could also make your own cloth wipes for a cheaper and more personalized solution. This is a low budget alternative to explore different materials and textures. Personally, I preferred a thin cotton t-shirt material with a light spray for my babies. Some moms prefer thicker terry cloth or flannel. Before you commit to buying cloth wipes, you could try these out, or even use these to supplement your premade stash.
Another option if you’re still a bit unsure about the cloth wipes route, is just buying a few packs of eco-friendly disposable wipes. Babysitters and relatives might be a bit more comfortable using these. There are bamboo options, like these Caboo wipes on Amazon, that biodegrade so you won’t have to feel guilty about throwing away your baby’s disposable wipes. Plus you can always add a premade pack of wipes to your registry to give them a try when you’re ready.
To help clean the baby’s bottom and keep her fresh, you can use a wipe spray. These are great for soaking the dry wipes in or spraying the dry wipe before use. To get ready for your newborn, you can buy natural, premade solutions. This is probably the easiest route to go if you are both new to cloth diapering and this is your first baby.
The Baby Bits Wipes Solution, seen here, puts together all the ingredients for you in a solid cube that you just dunk in water. It can’t get any easier! If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try out a DIY recipe.
Diaper Cleaning Supplies
- 1 Diaper Pail
- 2 Diaper Pail Liners
- 1 Diaper Sprayer
- 3 Cloth Diaper Safe Detergent Bottles
- 1 Drying Rack
You don’t want to be caught with a pile of stinky diapers and no way to wash them. This list will ensure you’re ready for those first dirty diapers.
Cloth Diaper Friendly Diaper Pail
While there are many diaper pails on the market, there are only a few that are cloth diaper friendly. The Diaper Dekor is not only cloth diaper friendly, but it also has its own custom washable liners. Buy 2 of these liners to get started.
Initially, when your baby is born and exclusively breastfed, her stools are safe to leave in the cloth diaper until it is ready to be washed. However, if baby is formula-fed, then you should rinse the stool into the toilet before storing/ washing the dirty diaper. For this, a diaper sprayer is a must. Set this up ahead of time to ensure it will be ready to clean up any extra diaper messes baby makes.
To ensure your baby’s diapers continue to soak up moisture and smell fresh, it is important that you buy the right type of detergent. The detergent should not contain bleach, fabric softeners, soap, brighteners, dyes, and enzymes. Especially for that first couple of weeks, it’s easier to have a stockpile of cloth diaper safe detergent you can rely on. For cloth diapering, you will wash about every day for a newborn if you have around 24 diapers.
These are especially handy if you live in an apartment or a more compact arrangement. Diaper covers with waterproof layers will need to be air-dried to last and remain effective. While not necessary, drying racks are a great way to guarantee that diapers will dry quickly and are close at hand.
- 1 Box of Diaper Liners
- 1 Tube of Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Cream
- 2 Mini Wet Bags for the Diaper Bag
Diaper liners are a great option to have when you want the easiest cleanup. I liked to use diaper liners when I took my babies out of the house. If you need to change baby’s diaper while out, you can throw away a soiled diaper liner, and easily stow the dirty cloth diaper in your diaper bag. Diaper Junction liners are made of unbleached bamboo and can biodegrade.
Just in case your little one gets a diaper rash you can be prepared with cloth diaper safe diaper cream. Diaper rashes are not as common before solid foods and are even less common in cloth diapered babies. However, it never hurts to be prepared.
Mini Wet Bags for On the Go
Where do you store used diapers when you’re out with your baby? In your mini wet bag. These are the same waterproof liners you use in your diaper pail, except these are much smaller and zip at the top. You will not want to leave the house without these! The Alvababy 2 zippered pocket travel wet bags here are perfect to put in the diaper bag