Monday, March 5, 2012

Top 15 Modern Cloth Diaper Must Haves

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but when posted their "No Pins Required Pinterest Contest" it really pushed me into gear. I've been officially cloth diapering Lincoln for over four months now and have a pretty good idea of what I bought that helped, what didn't, and what I couldn't live without. Listed below are my top 15 must haves for cloth diapering. Stick to this list and I assure that you will be ready for any and all cloth diaper situations ... Adventures In Fluff style.
#1 - Supportive Community - Why is a supportive community number 1?  Because you just can't do this alone.  I don't know how many times my cloth diaper support groups have helped me.  Too many times to count I would assume.  This was especially true in the beginning.  In the beginning I had nobody near me that knew about cloth or even supported my decision to cloth diaper.  Where do I start?  What do I do?  How do I fix this?  So many questions.  Who else are you going to run to when you get a new diaper in the mail and want to share your excitement?  Certainly not your next door neighbor that's going to think your pregnancy knocked one too many screws loose in your head.  So where do you find these communities?  Online forums like DiaperSwappers is great.  There are tons of Facebook groups.  If you have a local cloth diaper store then start there.  Maybe they have a group.  The Great Cloth Diaper Change is coming up April 21st.  You'll meet LOTS of cloth mamas there.  Whatever your source, you're going to need a group of parents that you can go to when it comes to The Good, The Bad, and The Poopy of cloth diapering.  My Faves: Fertility Friend "The Cloth Diaper Crew" (paid subscription), Facebook Group "Cloth Diaper Chat", & all the cloth diaper Facebook pages (I tend to frequent my favorite brands, stores, & blogs).

TIDE Ultra Detergent
#2 - Laundry Routine And Detergent - This was a VERY close second for me.  I almost put it as number 1.  I don't know how many people I've seen quit cloth diapering because they can't get a good laundry routine down.  This was one of the areas that I spent most of my time researching before Lincoln was born.  There's nothing more discouraging when you really want cloth diapering to work, but you keep getting leaks, stink, buildup, and stains.  This is a tricky one though because everyone's laundry routine and detergent that works for them is different.  It all depends on your water, your load size, the age of your child (pee concentration and poop type), the washer you have, and the types of diapers you have.  Do you have hard or soft water?  Do you have large or small loads of laundry?  Do you have a newborn or a toddler?  Do you have a top loader or a front loader washing machine?  Do you have mostly synthetic diapers or natural diapers?  It all comes into play when trying to come up with your laundry routine and detergent type.  I don't mean to scare you.  It's really not that bad.  Most routines are fairly similar in fact.  It's just a matter of tweaking it to fit your needs.  My Faves: My Cloth Diaper Wash Routine with Tide Ultra.

Bumgenius 3.0 All In One
#3 - Easy All-In-One Diapers - These diapers are perfect for dad, grandparents, and childcare facilities.  To tell you the truth I LOVE them for myself too.  They're just so easy and about as close to a disposable diaper as you can get.  Get these with hook and loop closures and you pretty much have a disposable diaper.  Sure they take longer to dry and you can't customize the absorbency as easy as a pocket diaper, but they are soooooo easy.  I just love them.  These are my out and about diaper.  If I have to run errands then you can bet an All-In-One diaper is what's in my diaper bag.  My Faves: Ragababe & BumGenius 3.0 AIO (discontinued)

SoftBums Echo AI2 Diaper
#4 - Economical All-In-Two Diapers - When I first started researching cloth diapers I totally did not understand the point of an All-In-Two diaper.  How could a little snap in insert contain everything?  How could you possibly re-use the diaper shell again?  Wouldn't that be gross?  Wouldn't it be soaked with pee or smeared with poop?  Ick!!!!  Then I tried a few.  OMG!  I love them!  I just love being able to take out a wet soaker (I just use my wipe to unsnap it and throw it in the laundry bag) and then snap in a new soaker for the next change.  It makes me feel so great that I get to use my super cute shells more than once.  If the shell is slightly damp then I let it dry and use it for the next diaper change.  If it gets poop on it (Linc doesn't poop as often as I thought he would), then I just throw it in the laundry.  Not only do I love that I can use my cute diapers more than once, but I'm saving money by doing so.  The shell is the most expensive part and if I get to use it 2, 3, or even 4 times, then I'm usually paying wayyyy less than any other diaper system (except prefolds and covers).  I also find that my All-In-Two systems are much trimmer fitting than most other diapers.  Great when you're trying to fit jeans over a diaper.  That said, I normally use my All-In-Two's at home so I have somewhere to hang my diaper shell up in between changes.  I also use these for long distance travel since they take up the least amount of space in my luggage.  My Faves: Ragababe Two Steps, SoftBums Echo, & Grovia Shells.

Tiny Tush Elite Pocket Diaper
#5 - Night Time Diaper Solution - When your baby starts sleeping through the night ... or more than a two hour stretch, you're going to need a night time diaper solution.  Now that solution is different for everyone.  It depends on several factors.  Is your baby a heavy wetter?  Is your baby sensitive to wetness?  Does your baby sleep on their back, tummy, or side?  Linc is easy.  He sleeps on his back, he's not a heavy wetter, and he's not sensitive to wetness.  We can do almost anything.  That said, Linc does go 12 hours without a diaper change at night so we do need a solution that can hold a lot of liquid just in case.  Some parents use fitted diapers with PUL or wool.  Some parents use pocket diapers with lots of inserts.  There are many other options as well.  I myself am a pocket with inserts type of girl.  My Faves: Tiny Tush Elite or Kawaii Heavy Duty, paired with a Thirsties Hemp Insert

Hefty Pail & Planet Wise Liner
#6 - Dirty Diaper Storage Solution - You're going to need somewhere to put all your stinky diapers until laundry day.  There are lots of options out there, but I've found that it's best to take the following into consideration.  A diaper pail with airflow keeps stink away better than a diaper pail that is tightly closed.  I also find that a plastic container is best, just in case your pail liner springs a leak.  Once in awhile I like to set that bad boy outside and let it air out with the fresh clean air.  Using a pail liner will help to keep your pail clean and avoid having to wash it every other day.  I own two so that while one liner is in the wash, the other goes into my pail.  Another option is to use a large hanging wet bag.  This is a great option if you just don't have the space for a diaper pail or if you move your diaper changing station from one area to another depending on what time of the day it is.  My Faves: (2) Planet Wise Pail Liners and Hefty 13.3 Pivot Lid Wastebasket

Home Made Cloth Wipes
#7 - Cloth Wipes - I can't say enough good things about cloth wipes.  I LOVE them!  Gone are the days where it took 10 wipes to clean up a poopy mess.  I use at the most 2 cloth wipes for each diaper change and 90% of the time I only need one.  I have about 50 cloth wipes on hand, but you could easily get away with about 35.  My Faves: Ragababe & My own home made cloth wipes made with terrycloth and flannel (tutorial here)

Mommy Loves Maddy Cover

#8 - Newborn Diapers - Some debate on whether newborn diapers are necessary or not.  Some go with prefolds and covers till their baby can fit in one-size diapers.  Some just go with disposables.  Not me!  There's something about newborn diapers that just makes your eggs drop in hopes of another newborn to put them on.  Newborn diapers are just toooooo cute to pass up.  Not only are they too cute, but they have a great resale value so you usually get a lot of your money back on them.  Not in the mood to buy newborn diapers and deal with selling them?  Try renting them instead.  I almost did.  My Faves: Kissaluvs Cotton Fleece Fitted Diapers (Size: 0) with a Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size: 1).  See more of my favorite newborn diapers HERE.

#9 - Wet Bags - You're on the go and you've got to change a diaper.  What do you do?  Yes, you could throw it in your diaper bag and hope it doesn't leak (yes, I've done this before).  You could leave it on the floor of your car till you get home (can someone say hot stink box? ... ummm no thank you!).  You could just leave the diaper on the baby and let them marinate in their own sloshy mess (hmmmm ... not a bad idea.  Ok, I'm not that mean).  What you do is get a wet bag.  Wet bags are waterproof bags that zip up and hold your wet stinky diapers till you get home or it's time to wash them.  They come in several sizes and I recommend you get a couple sizes.  I have a couple small ones (they'll hold about one or two diapers), and a couple medium ones (they'll hold about 6-8 diapers).  The small ones are great for really quick trips out of the house.  The medium ones are great for all day trips out of the house.  The large ones are great for overnight trips (I still need to get one of those).  The best part?  When you're done with cloth diapering these can be used for pool or beach bags to hold your wet swim suits.  My Faves: Planet Wise & KAEL&KAED

CJ's Butter
#10 - Diaper Rash Cream - Now one of the reasons that I decided to cloth diaper Lincoln was because I heard that babies got less diaper rash when cloth diapered due to the diaper being more breathable and less chemicals being used.  For us that has been pretty much true, but we do still get the occasional diaper rash.  When using cloth diapers you can't use the typical diaper rash creams that you would use with disposable diapers.  They would leave a buildup on your diapers that would cause your diapers to repel and leak.  You need to use a diaper rash cream that is labeled to be cloth diaper friendly.  My Faves: CJ's Butter & Mum Mum Crafts Baby Booty Balm

Blueberry Pocket Diaper & Ragababe Doublers
#11 - Diaper Doublers - A diaper doubler is basically anything that you can use to boost up the absorbency of your cloth diapers.  There are many reasons why you might want to increase the absorbency.  You'll probably need a doubler at night since your baby will be in the diaper for a long time.  You'll probably want a doubler for long car rides since your baby will be pressing on their diaper in a seat.  You'll probably want a doubler for a heavy wetter baby.  There are many options out there to choose from.  You can use hemp, cotton, bamboo, microfiber, prefolds, etc.  My Faves:  Thirsties Hemp Inserts , Ragababe Doublers & Inserts & BabyKicks Joey Bunz

Sigma Diaper Sprayer
#12 - Diaper Sprayer - I haven't used my diaper sprayer yet, but you can bet that it was at the top of my list to buy one for later on down the road.  We're actually only about a month or two away from breaking that bad boy out.  So what's a diaper sprayer you ask?  Oh well let me tell you it's a super fun device that you hook up to your toilet plumbing to spray your @$$ with after you take a dump.  Haha!  Ok, that's what my husband thinks it's for.  Actually it is a device that you use to spray the poop from your diapers onto you, your toilet, and the walls of your bathroom (if you're not diaper sprayer skilled).  That said, I plan to conquer the diaper sprayer technique so that I can avoid having to swish Linc's diapers in the toilet... and clean my walls  The point of the diaper sprayer is to get as much poop off the diapers before you throw them in the wash.  You don't need to do this with breastfed poo since it's water soluble (thus I have not broke my diaper sprayer out yet), but as soon as babies start solids or formula then you're going to need to break that bad boy out.  I'll be practicing with a clean diaper at first.  My Fave: Sigma Diaper Sprayer

Ju Ju Be . BFF Diaper Bag
#13 - Diaper Bag - Now here's an area where I splurged.  I knew this item was going to be with me everyday and a part of my cool mommy wardrobe for the next 2-3 years (nothing says cool like a big teddy bear on the side of your diaper bag).  I knew I needed something big enough to carry all of Lincoln's stuff as well as my stuff (this would be my new purse), plus some little things for the girls such as snacks.  I also knew that I wanted a backpack.  I just think that backpacks are super easy to carry around while trying to manage two kids and a baby at the same time.  My Fave: Ju-Ju-Be  B.F.F.

Ragababe Easy All In One Diaper
#14 - Super Cute Diapers - You might say "What??? Why do I need cute diapers???". Ok, all cloth diapers are cute, but I'm talking super cute. Those diapers that just make you squee with delight and bust your budget trying to collect them all. Now you don't have to bust your budget to get super cute diapers. Just get at least one or two. So what's the point you ask? The point is to make other parents swoon and other babies wish they had back like your baby does. I find this really helps when all your friends and family can't understand your cloth obsession and swear you're going to quit one day. Oh yes! When they see that cute fluffy bum they will secretly wish they had picked cloth too.  My Faves: Ragababe (I also have a Doodle Dypes on the way and Chelory on my purchase radar)

Smart Snugs Diaper & My Little Legs
#15 - Leg Warmers - I know technically leg warmers are not a cloth diaper accessory, but oh how they make cloth diapering easier.  Don't be deceived by the name and have visions of Flashdance in your head (Oh memories!  I should watch that movie again).  They're basically really long socks with no feet that cover the entire leg.  Ok... they're leg warmers, but I try not to call them that around my husband since Linc is a boy.  I love that I can leave them on during diaper changes and I don't have to worry about pulling pants over his fluffy bum.  Plus they come in so many cute prints and I can show off Linc's cute diapers since they're not covered up with pants.  At the same time his legs are warm and protected while crawling.  My Faves: My Little Legs & Making my own (tutorial here)

So there you have it!  Those are my Top 15 Cloth Diaper Must Haves.  Not sure what I would do without them.  I definitely wouldn't be having as much fun as I am right now.  I definitely had a lot of fun creating this list.  Thanks for hosting such a great contest.  Here's a link to my Official Adventures In Fluff  "No Pins Required" Contest Entry.  I'd LOVE to see all your entries too!!!  Feel free to post a link to your No Pins Required contest entry below so we can all get some great ideas of new products to try.


  1. Hey Chana, Great post!!! I fully agree with #14, hehe!

    Also, I'm not sure where to let you know about this.... but there are 2 typos you should fix!

    #2 - Laundry - you typed "quite" instead of "quit" in sentence 3.

    #12 - Diaper Sprayer - you typed "concur" (meaning 'agree') instead of "conquer".

    :) Hope you can fix those quickly!

    1. Concur is correct. Conquer would mean to take over or take control of...

  2. Ooops! Thanks Selina! That's what happens when I try to post while running around like crazy. : )

  3. Really fantastic post after read your post everyone can know the value of cloth diapers diapers for babies

  4. Pockets aren't a must-have? They are for me :) Might have to try some AIO and AI2 sometime, though.

    Could you possibly do a blog at some point on re-selling cloth diapers?

    1. I do have lots of pockets Jen (actually most are pockets). They just didn't fit into my top 15... unless you count my nighttime solution (which are pockets). I'm losing the pocket love and moving to AI2's and AIO's. You should totally try some!

      Great idea to have a post about selling. I need to sell some right now.

  5. I just got $66 for 5 FB OS on eBay. (I'm over the elastic button-holes on the outside!) Not too shabby! I have 10 more to sell, too. Since I'm selling, I'm going to be re-stocking. I'm still in love with pockets, but I'm tempted to try AI2/AIO, so I will be looking into those. I'm also thinking about investing in more Kawaii. I have some and they seem to work just as well as FB at a fraction of the cost, but I'll have to go back and re-read your reviews to be sure :)

  6. That's awesome Jen! Where did you sell them! Definitely try an AIO or AI2! I love all the ones I listed above and I have some reviews of other AI2's coming soon.

    As far as Kawaii I like the HD2 with aplix the best. I'm not a fan of their snaps.

    1. I sold them on eBay. They have *really* good re-sale value there!

      Going to order some Kawaii HD2 now. DH is a big fan of aplix. I agree about their snaps - they are difficult!

  7. I know this is a year late but I'm new. I completely agree with #14! I brought my pink newborn minky AIO to a baby shower where the mom was considering switching to cloth. Everyone was instantly smitten, and I was able to talk openly about how I CD my first the last few months before potty training and will continue with my soon due baby without the usual "nose-scrunch" reaction. I think I opened the idea up to many moms that day.

    1. Awesome that you were able to open up a lot of moms to cloth diapering. I always love that! : )


Thanks so much for taking the time to show your support with a comment! I LOVE reading all of them and will try and answer any questions that you might have. :)