Basic Supplies and Inserts

So you have decided to go the cloth diaper route. Hooray for you!!! There are a few basic supplies you will need  to have your changing area up and running for the new baby. I will list the items in a bullet list and explain each in detail.

Must Haves

  • Step Can for a Diaper Pail -No matter what brand of diapers you choose this will be something you will need. It can be a simple step- can with a lid that you buy from a container store. Something to remember is that the tighter the lid fits the better it will contain the smell. You can always sprinkle a little baking soda in the can to help absorb the odor.  You will also need something to keep the wet diapers in until you can laundry them.
  • Diaper Pail liner-  You will need at least two sets of these so that when one set is being washed the other can be used. This way then you wash the diapers you can just throw the bag in and you don’t have to touch the messy diapers! 
  • Wet zippered bag- These help keep the smell away/contained. Also can be used to stow dirty diapers in between washings.
  • DiapersNo matter what diapering system you decide to use you will need about enough diapers to last for 1-3 days. It all depends on how often you want to do laundry. See the note below.
  • Extra Insert- These are helpful if you have a heavy wetter. Mostly these are used overnight.
  • Wipes- You have a choice here. You can get cloth wipes that are pre-moistened with a wet solution or you can use dry wipes and just spray the baby’s bottom with the solution. The wipes come in flannel, cotton, hemp and velour fabrics.
  • Diaper Sprayer- Some people consider this a luxury item while others think it is necessary. Simply put, this item attaches to the toilet and allow you to spray off the poop right in without ever having to touch it.


Optional accessories

  • Snappi’s or pins If you decide to use pre-folded or flat diapers then you will find a benefit to using these items. They are used under the diaper cover to hold the sides together.
  • LinersAre thin disposable sheets that make dealing with poop a little easier.
  • Cloth Diaper Cream- It’s true that you get fewer diaper rashes with cloth, but there are those rare times when you can still get them. Most diaper rash creams aren’t cloth friendly and will clog the fibers of the diapers. This will make them leak and repel moisture. There are some diaper rash creams that are cloth friendly on the market today.
  • Swim Diapers- If you near a pool or the beach you might what to invest in a few swim diapers. These are just like cloth diaper without all the absorbent materials that will weight your child down in the water. These will keep all the poop in and out of the pool.
  • Changing Diapers, A Hip Mom’s Guide to Cloth Diapers book- This is a handy diaper changing guide for any mom or mom-to-be. Makes a great shower gift too!

Diapers Note

Remember you have the choice between AIO, pre-folds, or a combo platter. For more detailed information on diaper choices check out the article on Styles of Diapers.  As far as changing goes, a newborn usually needs about 15-20 diapers a day. That means you will need about 40-45 diapers in your baby’s size. Count on doing laundry a least every 2 days. If you don’t want to do it that often then you will need to buy more diapers.


There are 2 rules two remember

  • #1Have enough diapers on hand but don’t overbuy.
  • #2Use this guide to know which cloth diaper accessories to have on hand.

You don’t want to overbuy because your needs will change as your baby grows. For instance, it’s smart to try different brands to see which brand is best for YOUR baby. You can get a lot of input from other moms that brand X is the best except that may not work the best for your child. In my experience, what worked best for my daughter wasn’t the best for my son.

The key word is “Guide”. Use what is most comfortable for you. You can read lots of information about what is best but it all boils down to what YOU and your baby are most comfortable with. I will give you information but you will make the final decision.




What did I find out about insert? That they are used mainly for extra absorbency. This is how they rate. Cotton is good,  Bamboo is better,  but Hemp is the best.


  • Cotton- Cotton is the oldest of the natural fiber liners. It is very affordable and the absorbency is good.
  • Bamboo- A super soft liner that will keep a baby “feeling” dry even when they are wet. It’s absorbency rating is better than cotton for this reason.
  • Hemp- Considered the “workhorse”  in the cloth diapering world. They are durable while being super thirty! This makes them a very good choice for heavy wetter and/or nighttime. They are usually a blend between cotton and hemp which will make them softer and more comfortable.
  • Microfiber- There is micro fiber which tends to dry out and irritate a babies sensitive skin. These are man-made absorbent “sponges”. Since they are so fluffy moisture will tend to “wring out”
  • Minky- There are also Minky inserts which are similar to microfibers in absorbency but they are less bulky, repels stain better, and don’t feel as rough as microfiber. They are also easier to clean leading to less smell issue in the future.
  • Zorb-  A blend of bamboo, cotton, viscose, and microfiber. Insert that is thin but absorbs 20x faster than other will hold more moisture. A miracle fabric for diapers too!
  •  Disposable InsertsThese are very thin, biodegradable and disposable. They are a perfect option for when you are out and don’t want to carry a dirty diaper home with you.

Many sites and experienced mom I have talked with all agreed that natural fiber insets were the most preferred. Many complained about the features in the microfibers.


If you have any questions or need a hand, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.


All my Best,

Elaine Smith