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Unnecessary Necessities

Like everything else in life, you have to start somewhere with cloth diapering and for most people that begins with as minimal an investment as possible. For me, personally, I was torn between wanting to give it a fair trial without spending a ton of money, just in case I didn’t like it. I started as simply as possible with a couple of different brands and styles of cloth diapers and little else. I definitely got enough of a feel for the diapers to know that it was something I could really get on board with, but it certainly wasn’t as convenient and easy of a process as it is now. Other than not having enough diapers and washing every night the hardest part was not having what I now call my “unnecessary necessities.” These are my luxuries, my add-ons, the things that a true minimalist cloth diaperer would say are completely superfluous, but they make my day-to-day diapering much easier and smoother.My Top 5 “Unnecessary Necessities” for Happy Cloth Diapering:

  1. Diaper sprayer– In my first post on The Cloth Diaper Whisperer I promised some embarrassing stories once we got to know each other. So here is my first…I sprayed myself IN THE FACE with the sprayer, not once, not twice, but at least three times! I’m talking full-on-square-in-the-face doused myself and the mirror, walls, ceiling (yes, I said ceiling)! I promise you it was total user error, no fault, whatsoever, on behalf of the sprayer. Despite these early snafus I looooooove my sprayer. It worked beautifully on EBF diapers and now that she’s eating solids it’s even better. Not one of my diapers has ever stained because of this little magic wand.
  2. Wet bags– I loathe plastic bags.. If I get stuck with one in my house I prefer to recycle it rather than reuse it and have it end up in a landfill in the end anyway. So I carry the Planet Wise small size wet bags in my diaper bag and car for storing dirty/wet diapers on the go. These things contain the smell and moisture and they are just so pretty! I also have a large wet bag I take on vacation with me. I fill it with all of my cloth diapering supplies on the way out, use it as my hamper throughout the trip and pack it as my dirty diaper laundry bag coming home. Couldn’t live without them.
  3. bumGenius Odor Remover– I’m pretty diligent about rinsing my inserts after each diaper change, but I don’t rinse the actual pockets themselves. I do, however, give them a little spray with the bumGenius Odor Remover. I truly believe this has helped cut down the smell in my dirty diaper basket. I have been known, on occasion, to stick my nose right in the basket to check the smell (I think that qualifies as embarrassing incident sharing #2) and this spray really seems to keep the smell at bay even after 2 days.
  4. BabyLegs– If I can, I will always avoid putting pants on my little girl for 2 reasons: first, since her bum is a bit bulkier with her cloth diapers certain pants can look quite silly on her and second, I despise covering up her cute little cloth diapers! BabyLegs keep her legs warm, give her cloth diapers their proper exposure and they are adorable in and of themselves. Remember, I said unnecessary necessities!
  5. Clothesline- I love my clothesline for so many reasons. It helps me take advantage of the awesome power of the sun to “bleach” my diapers, it exposes them to the breezes that keep them smelling beautiful and is another step towards an environmentally friendlier home. I think we can all agree that there is just something about doing diaper laundry and the clothesline takes that a step further. It reminds me of a simpler time. When I bring my basket out and hang those beautiful cloth diapers on the line it allows me to slow down and just enjoy the simple task at hand…if only for a moment.

While the beauty of cloth diapering is its simplicity, the routine can be tweaked and enhanced a bit to make it your own. When you want to enjoy the experience rather than just get through it, your unnecessary necessities can make a world of difference. Whether they’re fun, helpful or just plain obvious I’d love to know what unnecessary necessities my fellow cloth diapering moms out there use.

— By Jennifer G.


  1. Arizona Girl said...

    Those are all awesome things. Most of which I don't use, mostly because I'm still new to the whole cd thing. I didn't know about the oder spray. I'm going to have to look into that one.

  2. Mindy said...

    This post made me smile! I don't have all of these things, but want them. It's these little extras that puzzle my husband, but they're fun!

  3. rocketgurl said...

    hmm… nice list of things! As a newbie, I keep asking myself where do I start.. Thanks for sharing your list as it definitely give a good idea of where to start!

  4. Sierra said...

    I've already been gifted the diaper sprayer (yeah!) and I'd love to have a clothes line. If I can't get a real one I will settle for a hanging clip Drying Rack that they sell at Ikea and amazon.

  5. Attila & Tamara said...

    As a newbie to the world of CDing, I have been pondering these "unnecessary necessities" as well. I am seriously considering a diaper sprayer!!!

  6. Amanda said...

    LOVE the baby legs! So glad our cooler weather is rolling in so I can start using them again. (Just too hot and humid in FL to use them year round).

    My biggest unnecessary necessities are the Bummis Biosoft Liners & my Medium Planet Wise Wet Bag for the diaper bag.

    Amanda G.

  7. Sara said...

    I'm so glad you wrote this post! With my first child, she was 3 years old before I tallied up all of the little 'unnecessary' things I could have done to make life a bit easier, and could have kicked myself. Sure, we didn't have much money and convenience costs but time saved means a lot.

    I decided to cloth diaper my now-4 month old and there are some conveniences I bought right away. Some things I took a month or 2 to decide on, but I did get like the diaper sprayer and a wet bag is a MUST. After doing cloth diapers at home, I couldn't bring myself to use disposables for travel or going out and I have to say wet bags make it just as easy to cloth diaper as use 'sposies.

    The one thing I'd add to that list of necessities is LINERS. I've been using liners since day 1 and I've never had a really huge mess to clean up thanks to that. 🙂

  8. Sara said...

    rocketgurl – Everybody starts out somewhere. 🙂 I just bought the odd little thing every few weeks, and before I knew it, I had everything we need for now.

  9. I agree, totally! Those things you don't HAVE to have, but it sure is nice if you do!

  10. Big Mama said...

    what a dear post this is. So honest and heartfelt. I love the sharing taking place!

    As the other girls who commented.. I am VERY new to cloth.. as in this is my 2nd week.. LOL

    And I SOOO want some babylegs…

    😀 Good post darlin.. good post!

  11. Owen's Mom said...

    That is a great list! I wish I had it when I was getting started. I cloth diapered my son part time so far (He is 2 and not ready for potty training yet.), and I hope to use more with my daughter. I think these tips will help me to make a more whole-hearted attempt at exclusively cloth diapering her. I now need to add the sprayer, spray, bag and baby legs to my Christmas list. 🙂

  12. natalie said...

    Thanks for the post. I'm preparing for diapering by building up a nearly complete stash, having wetbags, and getting a sprayer. A small trial might have been wiser in terms of money but I think we'll enjoy getting started more if we're fully prepared. Hopefully it goes well 🙂

  13. Gwenn S. said...

    Lovely post! I hope to get a diaper sprayer and clothesline one of these days!

  14. Tiffany said...

    LOVE wetbags!! At least one cute diaper or cover…fun, and a party in the middle of an axhausted day!

  15. Tamara said...

    I totally understand. I, like you once were, am in the beginning stages of CDing and don't have any of those "unnessesary necessities" yet. I can't wait until I can afford to add them, though!

  16. I'd never heard of the bG odor remover spray!!! I think I will be getting some of that!! Any guesses on how long a bottle lasts??


    mrandmrsryankolbe @

  17. rebecca said...

    This list was classic. It is so interesting to see what items other mom's "almost" can't live without. My list is not the same, but I do have a list… 🙂 I really need to try baby legs!

  18. i love this list, especially the title–so true! I really think i'm missing out by not having a diaper sprayer. We EC and nearly 100% of her poops go on the Baby Bjorn little Potty but the fact that we have misses makes me really want an easier alternative than the dunk and swoosh!

  19. Missy said...

    Good to know about the sprayer. I have been contemplating getting one soon since we will be starting solids in the next month or so.

    I too love my wet bag and I am so glad that someone suggested it to me.

  20. Stacey said...

    I'm a liner user myself. At the risk of over sharing, my two year old son STILL has very soft, almost peanut-butter consistency poop. Without the flushable liners I'd be in a world of hurt. Seriously don't think I'd be as much of a CDing fan without them.

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