Once you’ve gone through all the cloth diaper options and finally settled on diving in, it can be daunting trying to figure out just what you actually need. Do you really need every single diaper and accessory? How many diapers DO you really need?

Cloth Diaper Necessities

Most people wash every other day so we will base this list off of that.
  • 12 Diapers per child per wash day. (if you want to wash every other day then you need 24, if you want to wash every 3 days then you need 36) Since this is an every other day list, you would need 24 diapers.
What 24 diaper equals in each style:
Flats/Prefolds – 12 flats/prefolds with 4 diaper covers and snappis or diapers pins for fastening
Fitteds – 12 fitteds with 4 diaper covers
Pockets – 12 pocket diapers with the 12 inserts that go in each diaper.
AI2’s – 12 inserts with 3-4 shells
Hybrids – 12 disposable or cloth inserts with 3-4 shells
AIO’s – 12 diapers


Diaper Note: This amount refers to one-size diapers. If you are buying a sized diaper system (small, medium, large, etc) then you will need 12 diapers/day in small, 12 in medium, 12 in large.


Newborn Note: Depending on what type of diaper system you go with, you may need to buy a few newborn specific diapers. Many one-size diapers do not fit newborns even though they say they fit at 7 lbs. (Personally, my GroVia’s fit my newborn daughter just fine, albeit they were bulky.) If you decide to go with a sized diaper system then you’d want to see if the smallest size will fit your newborn. Otherwise, plan on getting at least a few newborn diapers to last your baby for a few months.
  • 24-36 Cloth wipes
  • 2-6 Doublers/Boosters – for adding absorbency to diapers.
  • Diaper pail with 1-2 diaper pail liners OR 1-2 Hanging Wet Bag
  • 1 small or medium Wet Bag (for when you are out and about)
  • Cloth Diaper approved laundry detergent
  • Cloth Diaper safe diaper cream – my preference is coconut oil.
That is it! That is all you NEED. Now there are of course some luxury items.
Starting Cloth Diapers - everything you need to know! Wish I had this resource when I first started cloth diapering!


Nice To Have But Not Necessities:

  • Diaper Sprayer
  • Liners
  • More diapers, shells, covers. All you need are the basic 24 but it helps to have more so that you put less wear and tear on the diapers or just in case you can’t get to the laundry in time.

That sounds simple enough right? It really and truly is. Give cloth diapering a try if you have not done so yet; you will not regret it.