This post was originally published on the Kelly Wels blog. Post may contain affiliate links meaning if you click and buy I receive a small commission. Thank you. When I began cloth diapering more than 7 years ago, I was overwhelmed by all of the accessories I “needed” to have. Wet bags and liners and sprayers, oh my! How would I know which to choose, which I needed now, which could wait, and how would I pay for it all?
It seems that many cloth diapering families have their own list of what accessories are absolute must have items and what are a waste of money. I’ll be the voice of dissent and say – all you need in order to cloth diaper are cloth diapers and a baby.
That’s not to say that there aren’t lots of goodies available to make cloth diapering easier or more fun, but don’t feel like you have to go out and buy a bunch of stuff to make cloth diapering work. Here are some common cloth diaper accessories and why you might want them.
If you’re already using cloth diapers, it just makes sense to use cloth wipes as well. Cloth tends to do a better job cleaning messy bottoms than disposables, disposable wipes are expensive, and a pain to pick out to throw away! You can even fold cloth wipes to pop up. You don’t have to buy wipes; you can use baby washcloths or even cut up scraps of fabric you have. My first wipes were made from burp cloths that were too thin for my spitter upper.
You can moisten your wipes with water, or use a wipes solution (homemade or store bought). Many families find water works just fine but I prefer a little extra oomph. I recycle bottles from pre-made spray with wipes bits dissolved in distilled water.
When I got started, I took my diapers directly to the laundry room and set them beside or in the washing machine. I had very few diapers in my stash so I was washing daily. As I began washing every other day, a hanging wet bag in my laundry room served as a convenient pail for dirty diapers.
Wet or wet/dry bag for travel
When you’re out and about it’s handy to have a small or medium wet bag to stash soiled diapers until you get home. Instead of lugging a big diaper bag everywhere I go, I carry a small purse and keep diapers and wipes in a wet/dry bag while we’re out. This way I don’t have to take it with me everywhere but can keep it in the car unless I need it.
A lot of people can’t live without their diaper sprayer once they’ve tried it but you can definitely do without it! I scrape dirty diapers with toilet paper and some people keep a dedicated spatula or scraper for this purpose. You can even “dunk and swish” diapers without ever touching the water.
An add on to a diaper sprayer, splatter shields help you avoid overspray when cleaning diapers.
Reusable fleece liners are a great addition to prefolds or flats since they keep skin dry and help solids roll off more easily. They are also nice to have on hand to protect diapers while using rash creams. Alternately, disposable liners are the preferred method of some for making poop disposal a bit easier.
Hemp inserts or prefolds
Hemp inserts or prefolds can turn just about any diaper into a nap or night worthy option, with minimal added bulk.
If you’re using prefolds or flats you can trifold/pad fold, or fold around baby and cover. If you want a more secure fit, these modern fasteners eliminate the need for pins.
My son’s persistent diaper rash disappeared when we switched to cloth diapers, but I still have a package of diaper cream on hand. Most “cloth safe” creams won’t damage diapers when applied in a thin layer, sparingly and work wonderfully as a skin protectant when you are dealing with acidity from foods your baby consumed, or an upset tummy. If you are using a lot of cream, or a traditional rash cream, it’s a good idea to use a fleece liner. Many successfully use plain old coconut oil in place of rash cream.
In my opinion, when it comes to cloth diaper accessories, the only ones that are “must have” are the ones that you want, love and find worthwhile!
What are your must have accessories?