Everything You Need to Set up a Cloth Diaper Changing Station

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Perhaps you are reading this post because you have decided to start cloth diapering and are getting ready and organizing! Hooray! You won’t regret it. Here is a list of everything you need to get a cloth diaper changing station organized, set up and running.

Maybe you are still exploring options. There are lots of reasons why parents today are choosing cloth diapers, including the environment, saving money, being softer and less toxic for baby, less diaper rash and looking cute! To see a lot of great diaper statistics check out this link.

My path to cloth diapers was kind of round about. My mom loved to talk about dunking poopy cloth in and out of the toilet. No way was I going to do that. (Of course, now that I am 16 months into this parenting thing, a little poop doesn’t faze me, but don’t worry, it is not a requirement anymore!) Neither was I interested in using diaper pins, folding up sad looking rags, or being the parent of “that” child with the pee leaks.

Luckily, sometime before I was even pregnant, I stumbled upon the website for a hybrid diaper company and bookmarked it. (Yes, this was in the days before Pinterest.) An option that uses less plastic, creates less waste and was less toxic to baby immediately appealed to me. As it turns out, hybrid diapers were my gateway drug to cloth. And what is a hybrid diaper? Basically, a reusable outer diaper cover with a disposable or biodegradable insert. They may also be used with a cloth insert.

A day or two after bringing baby bird home from the hospital, we realized cloth wipes were so much softer on her little bum than disposable wipes. In about a week (when she was back up to 7 pounds), she fit into newborn sized gDiapers. We started with the biodegradable inserts, but once we got over our fear of washing something with poop on it, we realized how great it is to use cloth. You buy it once (or twice) and done! No late-night trips to the store for a box of Huggies.

We are in no way endorsed by or receiving money from gDiapers. There are other great cloth diapers out there, and I know of moms who try lots of brands before settling on the ones they like. However, we started with their newborn pack and loved them. I have tried only one other cloth brand and hated them. I also believe that “one size” diapers that are meant to fit all babies from newborn to toddler… don’t. For us, the option to use gDiapers with either biodegradable or cloth inserts has been great. We use cloth during the day and biodegradable while she sleeps. We take the bio while flying on planes, but have been able to use cloth on vacation. For more on composting biodegradable inserts, check out the next post.

After it languished on our baby registry, we purchased the newborn package which includes newborn and small sized gPants plus a package of biodegradables. But I started thinking that maybe that wasn’t all I needed. Because you don’t put dirty cloth diapers in a diaper genie, do you? So, I am now writing the post that I wish I could’ve read 1.5 to two years ago!

Here is a list of supplies and products that help make cloth diapering easy as pie! As many of us do with our first baby, I spent hours upon hours researching each and every product. Please comment if you have any questions. In the photo below you can see our set up.

Organize a Cloth Diaper Changing Station

A- step can as a diaper pail – There is no need for a fancy diaper trash can, just use a well-made but inexpensive step can, such as this simplehuman one, and use a washable, waterproof liner (B) .
B- diaper pail liner – Tip: Buy two so you always have one available while the other is in the wash. Wash by dumping the diapers straight into the washer and then throw the liner in. (See? No touching poop.)
C- compost pail –  This can hold wet, as in pee-only (no poop) biodegradable inserts before going out to the garden. Even if you have a compost pail in your kitchen, it’s convenient for those middle of the night changes to have one in the nursery. For more on composting diaper inserts, check out this next post.
D- gDiapers gCloth Inserts – For full-time use, I suggest 24-30 cloth inserts.
E- gDiapers gPants  – For full-time use, try 8-10 gPants. This link is to a 6-pack, a great value to get started. but they also come individually or in 2-packs in other colors and patterns. I have seen the 2-packs at Target, Babies R Us and Whole Foods. The cutest, limited prints (and yes, one of ours has a ruffle-butt) are found on gdiapers.com. Tip: Attach velcro under a book shelf to hang diapers. <–Have to give Papa Bird the credit for that. He’s handy that way.
F- BabyKicks Natural & Organic Baby Wipes (the rolled up cloth wipes)  Plan on having about 40 wipes in total. These BabyKicks ended up being the softest after a few washes. We use these wipes for her hands/face and wash them with her clothes.
G- and/or FuzziBunz Wonder Wipes (folded cloth wipes) – After a lot of use the other wipes were softer, but I still like the size and shape of these wipes. Since we use these ones just for wiping her bum, we throw them in the diaper pail to wash with the cloth diapers.
H- a box of gDiapers Cloth Diaper Liners – These are a cool invention: easily pull off and plop poop into a toilet. The wet-only ones can also be composted.
I- aden + anais 3 Pack Muslin Washcloths – After wiping baby’s bum with a warm washcloth, I use a washcloth to gently pat dry.
J- gDiapers Biodegradable Diaper Refills – Tip: To really save money use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. The biodegradable inserts hold a lot more liquid than cloth, maybe even more than a disposable diaper. We prefer them for night-time and planes. Also sometimes you just want to change it up!
K- extra Gdiapers Snap-in Liners – I recommend purchasing an extra 6-pack. That way if one gets messy, it can be washed and the gPants can be worn again. I wash poopy snap in liners with the cloth diapers and wet ones with her clothes. Do not put them in the dryer.
L- hand sanitizer (similar) – This is handy in case you can’t wash your hands immediately.
M- diaper area wash  – We spray a spritz spritz or two on a warm, wet cloth. Such a nice way to wipe baby’s bum. (Tip: I’ve found Target has this for the lowest price.) After cleaning baby’s bum, gently pat dry with the wash cloth (letter I).
N,O – changing pad and its cover – Mine was a hand-me-down, originally from Pottery Barn Kids.
P- aden + anais Muslim Hooded Towel – This came as a set with one of the washcloths (I).

Not pictured:
Wet Bag
-Essential if you ever want to leave the house. This holds wet diapers, clothes, bathing suits, etc. without messing up your diaper bag.
Coconut Oil  – Yup, the exact same we use to cook. (And make belly butter.) This is the only diaper cream we use. (Keep in mind cloth diapered babies get less diaper rash.) Be careful, as many conventional diaper creams will block the absorption of cloth diapers. Coconut oil is the only “lotion” we let little one use.
Diaper sprayer – Optional, especially if you use the cloth liners.
Detergent –  I believe in KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid.) I like to use the same detergent for diapers as I do for baby’s clothes and our laundry. There are manufacturers of diaper-specific detergent, but as long as you are using an unscented, natural one, it will likely be fine. Please check out this comprehensive table to see if you favorite detergent is already on there and how it rates. Currently, I am liking BioKleen Cold Water Formula liquid detergent. It is not too expensive at my local health food store (Sprouts) and I haven’t had to strip, or deep clean, my cloth diapers since I have been using it.
Newborn pack – This link goes to the best price by far for the newborn bundle starter pack.

For reference, our little one has always been 50th to 70th percentile in height and 15th to 25th percentile in weight. She wore newborns from 2 weeks old to 5 weeks. She wore smalls from 5 weeks to 7-8 months old. Pictured are her mediums. She is still in them, and hopefully will potty train before she outgrows them! Since mediums fit up to 28 pounds, she might not ever need larges.

Again, please comment with any questions. Below are picture links. I have also placed many of these products in the “cloth diapering” page in our Store.



31 Responses to Everything You Need to Set up a Cloth Diaper Changing Station

  1. What an awesome, comprehensive post. Just pinned it on Pinterest!

  2. Thanks Charlotte! I imagine hybrid/biodegradables might be easier living on a boat than all cloth.

  3. We’ve thought about gDiapers for cruising especially because you can’t throw plastic (disposable) diapers into the ocean. So on long passages, they have to stay on the boat until you can get to a trash can on land. The only problem is they don’t sell gDiapers in Mexico, or the South Pacific, Central America, etc….And trying to hand wash diapers would be a huge waste of water from our supplies. I just dream about cloth diapering live vicariously through people like you!

  4. What do you do with kitchen waste? Compost or toss into the water??? The gDiaper biodegradables compost very easily. (Actually writing a part 2 post on composting now!)

  5. Yep, kitchen waste can go right in the water on passages, but again, the problem is, how do we get a big enough stash down here? They don’t sell them in Mexico. I’ll still love to read your post!

    • Seems like your best option is to EC! Hold baby over the edge to go!!!

      • Hee hee! More sailors fall overboard/drown from peeing over the side, or butt over the side, than almost anything. I’d be pulling a Michael Jackson if I did that to our baby!!! But we could try on the toilet on the boat :) I’m just not that patient. At least we are only having two babies total and will be done with diapers in another 2 years or so!

  6. lol, that is too funny, Charlotte!

  7. Wow, this post is amazing! I just love the plethora of information you share!

    We too, have loved gDiapers for years, and highly recommend them to anyone who will listen. :)

    We are migrating to cloth diapers due to an upcoming move to a locale where gDiapers won’t be able to deliver. Thus, we have been exploring cloth diapering options. It seems each answer prompts 3 more questions!

    So thank you so much for your extensive research and for sharing your experiences. We feel blessed to be benefitting from your experience and expertise!!

    • Good luck with your move, Amy. Do you already use gCloth? If you want to try the gDiaper cloth inserts, than you could reuse the little pants.

  8. Pingback: Composting Diapers? | Baby Bird's Farm and Cocina

  9. Great post, thank you! I love the way you organized everything. Out of curiosity, where did you find the shelf? It’s perfect!

  10. Pingback: Composting diapers? guest post from Abby of baby bird's farm

  11. Pingback: Thank you gDiapers! | Baby Bird's Farm and Cocina

  12. Pingback: Traveling with Cloth or Hybrid Diapers? | Baby Bird's Farm and Cocina

  13. Pingback: Traveling with gDiapers.

  14. I just ordered my first set of gDiapers to try them out on baby #1 before diving in full force with baby #2 who is due in November. Thank you for your post! I now feel like I can handle this like a pro!

    • Yay! Thanks Terie! If I could offer one more piece of advice: take advantage of calling, emailing, tweeting, fb’ing, etc., the gdiapers diaper therapists. They are responsive and can help troubleshoot. And congrats on number two!!

  15. Soon-to-be first-time mom here, so forgive my naivete. If your baby wore newborn size from 2-5 weeks, what did she wear from 0-2 weeks?

    • That’s a totally valid question, Dawn! When we were in the hospital they gave us disposable diapers and we were too tired and otherwise distracted to argue! We were also worried that meconium poops would be hard to clean. In addition, our daughter lost 11% of her weight, so when we tried the newborn g’s on her at 5 days old or so, they seemed a little big on her 6 lb body. So we used disposables until 2 weeks when she had regained her birth weight (6-11) and filled out the newborn g’s a little better. I’m pretty sure nb g’s are meant for 7lbs and up. If you are bound and determined to cloth diaper from the start, and suspect you will have a little or premie baby, there are some cloth diaper brands that make premie sized diapers. But the time goes by so fast! I think a couple of weeks of creating garbage in the grand scheme of things isn’t so bad. (I also feel like there is a time and a place for an emergency stash of huggies- like on short trips out of town.) We did start using cloth diaper wipes right away, though. Disposable wipes made her all red. Congratulations on your new baby! So exciting!! Enjoy. (And just get through it.)

  16. Pingback: Composting diapers? guest post from Abby of baby bird's farm

  17. Okay, so we are trying to see gDiapers will work (shipping them down at extra cost to Mexico (boooo!). I’m up in the states and using them now. She just had her first poop. It totally got the liner and the a bit of the diaper itself poopy. That part isn’t surprising because her once-a-day poop is messy no matter what. I was just at a loss with how and where to rinse the poopy liner before putting it in a bin to completely wash later. My sister suggested swishing the liner around in toilet water, which I did, but ewwww. So, please tell me your secrets about dealing with poops and gGiapers.

    • Are you talking about the plastic snap in liner? Or a cloth liner? If it is the snap in liner, don’t worry about it that much. Just throw it in the pail. It will get clean. It will stain very easily, no matter what. But they bleach well in the sun. Just lay it out to dry in direct sunlight. For cloth liners, some like the paper liners that go over the cloth and get flushed or discarded. Others like a diaper sprayer.

  18. Questions 1.) Do you rinse all your cloth diapers, poo and potty? 2.) Do you soak any of your diapers until wash day 3.) Do you have any issues with smell?

    • Hi Heather, Sorry for the delay in responding! I do not rinse or soak my diapers. I find that the diaper pail (the same one in the post above–going strong 2.5 years later) does not smell when it is closed. It does smell a little when it is opened. Washing a load every 2-3 days can help manage it, though.

  19. A guest at our baby shower made a ‘diaper cake’, so we used those disposables the first month and are now (as in, today!) moving on to gPants with snap-in liners and cotton pre-folds. I, like you, have used cloth wipes and even have been making my own cleaning solution to spray on the wipe and/or his booty. The recipe for that can be found here: http://wellnessmama.com/1459/homemade-baby-wipes-recipe/
    Just wanted to share! Thanks for the helpful tips in arranging a changing area! Your idea to line the pail with a cloth bag is especially smart! (:

    • Thank you for the kind words! I love the link to the homemade wipe solution. :) Good luck with the new diapers and let us know how it goes!

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