It can be extremely overwhelming to decide which cloth diapers to buy when it’s your first time using cloth. There are a lot of tough “baby gear” decisions that need to be made when you’re pregnant, but cloth diapers present their own unique challenges. Most parents don’t have access to a brick and mortar store to see cloth options in person, and if you don’t have cloth diaperers in your entourage, you may feel like you’re going in blind. I have tried a lot of cloth diapers, so I like to think that I’m well positioned to give parents advice on what to choose. I’ve only ever pushed a couple strollers in my life, but I have used almost every major brand of diapers out there.
Since Earth Day is prime time for some sweet cloth diaper savings, I thought I’d put together what I would consider a simple, affordable example diaper stash based on what I use and love. One of my first mistakes when I started cloth was thinking I had to choose one brand, and use only that brand. That’s a bit like limiting yourself to only ever shopping in one clothing store: you might love underwear from American Eagle, jeans from Gap and tops from H&M, and the same goes with cloth diapers.
The minimum amount of diaper changes I recommend if you’re starting cloth diapers from birth is 24. Any fewer, and you’ll find yourself doing laundry even more than you already do with a new baby in the house. More is always merrier: a larger rotation extends the time you can go without doing a load of diapers, and also extends the life of your diapers since each one is being used less frequently.
Funky Fluff LUX Shells in Bamboo and/or AWJ
Why Funky Fluff? They’re one of the diapers that fit the earliest on Little Miss Cub (we were using them at 8 lbs), but that also had a high enough rise to fit my son when he was an above-average three-year-old, about 40 inches tall and 35 lbs. I recommend having a mix of bamboo and athletic wicking jersey (AWJ) inner Funky Fluff shells. Both are super stretchy. I only own one AWJ Funky Fluff shell, but that’s only because they just released them! I’d love a full stash of AWJ Funky Fluff shells.
Another reason I’ve chosen to recommend Funky Fluff shells is because they can be purchased without inserts. As I’m about to explain, I have found myself swapping out the inserts that came with most of my pocket diapers in favour of Öko Creations inserts, so it makes sense to suggest a pocket diaper that can be purchased on its own.
Öko Creations Hemp Inserts
Funky Fluff’s diapers are manufactured in China, like most of our consumer goods. It can get very expensive when we try to buy only products made in North America, so I like to strike a balance. Öko Creations makes its organic cotton/hemp blend diaper inserts in a small workshop (which I have visited) in Vieux Ste-Rose, Quebec. I have been in love with Öko inserts for almost three years now, and I’m now using the same ones I used on Cub in his sister’s diapers.
I use my Öko inserts stuffed inside the pocket of my Funky Fluff shell.
Öko’s inserts are rectangular, and you can fold them however you need to fit your baby’s needs. I folded the top insert down at the top before folding it in three, making it short enough to use in a Funky Fluff on its smallest rise, and adding extra absorbency up front for a boy or at the back for a girl.
The inserts themselves are 2-ply, but when you fold them you wind up with at least 6 layers of absorbency. They are easy to launder because they’re not thick (wash water easily penetrates them) and they don’t take long to dry. (I put them in the dryer. Hemp air-dries quite stiff.)
More information: Öko Inserts Review
Funky Fluff Double Pocket Wet Bags
I own at least six of these wet bags. I recommend two so you have one clean while the other is in the wash. This is what you use to bring dirty diapers home while you’re out and about. You can even keep clean ones in one pocket and dirties in the other.
Funky Fluff Hanging Pails
Save space, skip the diaper pail! You can hang the Funky Fluff Hanging Pail on a towel bar, on a doorknob, on a back-of-the-door hook—anywhere you want! I have never had my hanging pail overflow before wash day, even after three days and two kids in cloth.
More information: Hanging Pail Review
Additional Options for Overnight
You might have noticed I suggest 22 inserts and 22 shells when I said you should have 24 diaper changes. That’s because I’m considering that you’ll use two diapers for overnight. I’m recommending one cover, which you can rinse off and hang to dry, then reuse the following night with a fresh set of inserts.
It’s usually around 2-3 months old that most parents will start leaving baby in a diaper overnight (10-12 hours on average, but we often go 13). My preference is to have four overnight diapers, but in this simple stash I’m starting you off with two, assuming you are washing, at the latest, the morning of the third day so you have a clean one for that night.
I have tested a lot of overnight diapers, but always come back to the combo of a Flip Overnight Insert folded over a GroVia Booster and topped with an AMP Hemp Booster. I tell you all about it here. I call it a twelve-hour solution, but sometimes we even use it for thirteen.
A Rumparooz cover fits both newbies and preschoolers, so it’s my favourite one-size cover to recommend for a starter stash.
Prices are listed in Canadian dollars and do not include GST.
Funky Fluff Shells
11 x AWJ @ $15.45
11 x Bamboo @ $15.99
(Earth Day Sale @ 15% off = $293.96)
Öko Creations Inserts
22 x $9 = $198
(Earth Day COUPON CODE “earthokocreations” for 20% off = $158.40)
Funky Fluff Double Pocket Wet Bags
2 x $16.95 = $33.90
(Earth Day Sale @ 15% off = $28.90)
Funky Fluff Hanging Pails
2 x $24.95 = $49.90
(Earth Day Sale @ 15% off = $42.41)
Flip Overnight Inserts
1 x 2-pack $35.95
(Earth Day Sale @ 10% [?] off = $32.35)
1 x 2-pack = $13.95
(Earth Day Sale @ 10% [?] off = $12.55)
AMP 3-ply boosters
2 x $3.95 = $7.90
(Earth Day Sale @ 10% [?] off = $7.11)
Rumparooz One-Size Cover
1 x $17.99
(Earth Day Sale @ 10% [?] off = $16.19)
Total at regular price: $703.43
Total at usual sale price: $591.87
Most cloth diaper retailers are having some kind of sale for Earth Day! Note that the promo code for Öko Creations is good ONLY on April 22! You can shop at Lagoon Baby or Bumbini, (or Nicki’s, if you’re in the US) where I am an affiliate, or check out Maman Loup sponsors Lollypop Kids, Gentle Nest and Lil’ Monkey Cheeks. I’ve also got listings for Cozy Bums’ Earth Day Promotions here!