Things you don’t need

to cloth diaper 

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Common Swaps

Alternatives to cloth diaper gear – simple things that you can repurpose or find in your home. 

You don’t need everything to cloth diaper.

Yes, there are lots of lists of things that will make cloth diapering easier for your family, but I just want to remind you that you don’t need to buy these things. You can use other things, or just not.

Not every cloth diaper contraption is a must-have, and remember that people have been cloth diapering forever without all the gizmos. You totally got this. 

1. Diaper Sprayer.

Diaper sprayers are used to clear poop from the cloth diaper. They are used by formula fed families from the start, and around 6 months when solids are introduced. If you’re looking to learn about all the different options for removing poop, check out this episode of the Cloth Diaper Podcast.

The Alternative: Dunk & Swish, Fleece Liners, Disposable Liners

2. Wet Bags

Wetbags are PUL lined bags with zippers (most of the time) to store clean or dirty diapers. The idea is that you have somewhere to store a dirty diaper that doesn’t get other clothing in your diaper bag dirty.

The Alternative:  plastic grocery bag

3. Boosters

Boosters are used to help increase the absorbency of cloth diapers. I typically like to approach this conversation two fold:

1). Replace your inserts with a higher absorbency product. This is often a much cheaper route that can be way more efficient and absorbent. If you are struggling with microfibre inserts, consider swapping them for prefolds or flat diapers. 

2) Use repurposed products like socks, cloth wipes, pieces of cotton, to add absorbency to your diaper system. This is a great hack from the Mama Knows and can help increase absorbency without buying expensive boosters. 

The Alternative:  repurposed natural fibres, or replace inserts with higher performing products. 

4. Diaper Bags

Yes, yes you can use a backpack. It doesn’t have to be a specialty diaper bag, or anything fancy. So many parents successful parent with just a large tote bag or diaper bag. This is an extra, nice-to-have, but also a great place to save a few hundred dollars. 

5. Wool Covers

Wool covers are highly sought after solution for leaky diapers and overnight cloth diapering. But you don’t need wool. You can simplify this by using fleece pj’s or finding other leaky diaper solutions. 

6. Cloth Diaper Detergent

Yes, cloth diaper specific detergent can be a great choice for your family but you don’t need to rush out and use a high price detergent to be successful at cloth diapering. Many families find an array of detergent products that work for their family without changing up their current routine.

This great episode with Cristina talking about how to find a plant-based detergent that works, and in 2021 I’ll be sharing how Esembly designed their detergent to be efficient for cloth diapering. 

7. Fasteners

I wish someone told me that I didn’t need fastners – that I could just padfold a prefold and go. Or that I could just fold the diaper onto baby and do up the cover and the cover would hold it all in place.

You really only need fasteners if you plan on using prefolds with wiggly babies, and with wool or fleece covers. As I got more experienced with flat folds, I would typically fodl the flat on, hold the flat, then do up the cover overtop, no fastners.

8. Deordorizers 

 some brands sell a deodorizer to help reduce smells with pails and bags. Again, only if you have the problem. I don’t have a stink problem so it’s not worth the cost for me, but you won’t know till you get in that moment.

9. Change Pads 

Matching change pads, is a thing, at least in the cloth diaper community. But I just want you to know that you don’t need it. IT’s an extra for those who can afford one and prefer to use a change pad. I was always a fan of small blanket, or maybe just changing on the grass. 

10. Fancy Cloth Wipes

Are fancy cloth wipes nice? Why, yes, the Thirsties wipes below or these favourites of mine, are a great choice…. but they are expensive. And you know what else works? Cheap face cloths. Repurposed flannel blankets, and any other natural fibre scrap of material. It all does the same job.

Cloth diapering does not have to be pretty.