Cloth Diapering Logistics

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Coming from Pinterest? I’ve got lots of other cloth diapering posts here.

I think the most overwhelming part of cloth diapers (aside from the sheer number of types of diapers and resources available) are the logistics of cloth diapering. When I first started, I just had so many questions…like, “how many diapers do I need?” and, “what do I do with dirty diapers when I’m out running errands?”

I’m going to try to simplify a few of the cloth diapering mysteries that used to baffle me in my early cloth diapering days so that you can have a simpler cloth diapering experience!

cloth diaper changing table

How many cloth diapers do I need? I started with just two cloth diapers and slowly built my stash from there. This system worked great for me. But if you want to go all in, I recommend at least 24 for a newborn and around 18 or so for an older baby.

How often will I need to wash my cloth diapers? I wash mine every day or every other day, depending on how many are dirty. When Claire was a newborn, I was washing them every day. Now that she’s older, I usually go a day (and sometimes, two days) between loads.

Tip: I do all of the diaper laundry around here, and by choice. But *just in case* I need assistance, I’ve made it as easy as humanly possible. I’ve labeled my cloth diaper detergent and written the instructions on the container, so there should never be a question on how to wash them!


How often do I need to change my baby’s cloth diaper? I change Claire every 2-3 hours (and of course, whenever she poops!). You can always adjust the diaper’s absorbency if you need (or want) to go longer between changes (just remember that the more absorbency you add, the thicker the diaper will be).

What cloth diaper should I use on my baby overnight? There are lots of overnight options out there, and cloth diapering overnight is totally doable! I have used many solutions – a fitted with a wool cover, a Lollidoo “overnight” fleece pocket diaper, covers with different inserts, and even regular pocket diapers with super-absorbent inserts. You’ll have to play around and see what works for you. Don’t be discouraged if your first choice doesn’t work…you might have to try a few things to find that magic nighttime solution!

If you’re nervous about trying cloth overnight because your baby is a heavy wetter, I recommend a Flip cover with a Flip organic insert, topped with a Flip stay-dry insert. I’ve yet to have a leak with this combo.

What do I need to keep in my diaper bag for cloth diapering on the go? I keep 2-3 extra diapers, a wet bag (to store dirty diapers), about 10 cloth wipes, and a squirt bottle of “butt spray” that I made using a wipe cube (basically, a teeny little piece of soap designed for this purpose) and water. Not much different than the things you’d pack in a diaper bag for a baby diapered in disposables…except it takes up a little more room!

Where do I put the poop if my baby poops when we’re out and about? You can dump it in the toilet if you’re changing your baby in a restroom. Worst case scenario, you roll the diaper up and put it in your wet bag and dump the poop in your own toilet when you get home. Gross, yes…but not any grosser than carrying around a poopy disposable because you aren’t near a trash can (and on that subject, it’s kind of gross to think about putting poop in a trash can!).

What do I do with all these cloth diapers after my children are potty trained? Here is another great thing about cloth diapers…they hold their value! I have sold tons of diapers on ebay and Craigslist, and always for about half of what I paid for them (or more!). If you’re done diapering your own child, or children, you can sell them and recoup some of the money you spent buying them. Or, you can donate them…there are several organizations that provide cloth diapers to low-income families (disposable diapers are expensive, and some families will actually dry and reuse disposables to save money). An example of a group like this is the DFW Cloth Diaper Project – they’ll even take diapers in need of repair (this is where I send my diapers in need of new elastic or with worn-out velcro…they are handy and can repair them).

You can read the first of my cloth diapering series here.

What questions do you have? What logistics are you trying to sort out?

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  1. says

    Cloth diapering is a lot of fun. It also saves the landfills. It saves on your pocket book because you can reuse the same diapers for future children. It saves…it saves…it saves.

    Yes, it does take a bit of work (with the washing) but it’s worth it.

    It really is.

    And the baby looks so cute with their little fluffy butt!
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Time to go Paper Towel-lessMy Profile

    • carrie says

      I never did make my own, although I tried a BUNCH of different detergents…at least four brands I can think of off the top of my head. In the end, I stuck with the BumGenius detergent because it worked the best (by far) with our hard water. I wish I had made my own, though…it would have saved me even more money. I noticed with all detergents – even the BumGenius – that you really need to use a lot more than they recommend to get your diapers clean and odor-free. I would always use two scoops in a cold wash, and then two scoops in a hot wash…I went through a lot of detergent and it would have been AWESOME to find a homemade version.

  2. says

    Cloth diapers have changed so much from my first baby to my last. When my oldest was little, I used prefolds and plastic pants (diaper service). By the time my 3rd, 4th, and 5th child were in diapers, I’d discovered MotherEase. Later on, I got into the world of WAHM dipes, and I got a little obsessed, lol. Eventually, I began sewing my own. Now that #10 is the last one in diapers, my stash is falling apart a bit, but cloth still makes me smile.
    Shecki @ Greatly Blessed recently posted…WAY Comes Home – homeschool wellnessMy Profile

    • says

      I can safely say I was obsessed!! lol. One of the reasons I tried to learn to sew was because I wanted to make my own diapers…but it was no good, it was more fun to buy them all!

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