In our ongoing efforts to try to make cloth diapering a breeze, we have put together some simple guidelines for essential items that might make the diapering process a bit more eco friendly and manageable. Hooray, if you have decided that cloth diapers are right for you! Now it’s time to get busy and stock up on the basic nursery items that you’ll need to make the diapering process easy and fool-proof for everyone involved!

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1. Diapers: If you’re home laundering, plan to purchase at least 36 diapers, which will enable you to wash a load of diapers every two or three days without running out of clean diapers. If you’re going with a diaper service, call to find out how many diapers they recommend you begin with.

2. Covers: If you are using a type of diaper that requires covers, plan to buy at least six covers, to ensure that you’ll always have a clean cover.

3. Diaper Fasteners: If your diapers don’t have snaps or Velcro, you’ll want to purchase at least three diaper fasteners. I found Snappi brand fasteners to be excellent. They hold amazingly well and last at least six months each.

4. Clean Diaper Storage: Decide how you’ll want to store your diapers. I kept my prefolds in a laundry basket on top of my daughter’s dresser. It was great because it was large enough to allow me to lay the diapers flat, which saved me hours of folding. If you’d rather keep the diapers out of sight, consider dresser drawers, collapsible canvas containers, or wall-mounted cupboards.

5. Dirty Diaper Storage: For my dirty diapers, I bought a mesh laundry bag and 13 gallon trash can with a revolving lid. When placed inside the can, the bag kept the mess to a minimum, and I could lug the bag and diapers upstairs to the laundry room with ease. Then, I just dumped the diapers into the washer and threw the bag in, too.

6. Detergent: I used a dye- and scent-free detergent to wash my daughter’s diapers. If you’re planning on home laundering, make sure to purchase an eco-friendly detergent that won’t be too harsh on baby’s skin.

7. Rubber Spatula: If you’re home laundering, a rubber spatula is priceless! Buy a good one to use just for scraping out dirty diapers. Keep it clean and store it with your toilet brush.

8. Clothes Line: It’s not essential to hang diapers outside to dry, but sunlight is marvelous for bleaching out dingy diapers. I try to hang my diapers out to dry at least once a month in the summer.

9. Baking Soda: Once again, this isn’t essential, but it’s very nice to have! Just sprinkle a bit on dirty diapers every once in a while, and it will really cut down on odors.

Stay tuned, new parents, for more eco-friendly cloth diapering how-to’s!

Lead image via Suzannah Paul.