You’ll also need 2 or 3 changing pad covers (roughly $10 a piece). They get soiled pretty quickly so you’ll need more than one. On top of the changing pad cover, you will also need a whole bunch of waterproof pads (the white pad) as an added layer of protection — these are much easier to wash than the covers, and run $13 for a 3 pack. Get a whole bunch; you’ll be washing them all the time.
There are variations in the care of cloth diapers that can account for different measures of environmental impact. For example, using a cloth diaper laundering service involves additional pollution from the vehicle that picks up and drops off deliveries. Yet such a service uses less water per diaper in the laundering process. Some people who launder cloth diapers at home wash each load twice, considering the first wash a "prewash", and thus doubling the energy and water usage from laundering. Cloth diapers are most commonly made of cotton, which is generally considered an environmentally wasteful crop to grow. "Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, sucking up 10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides on 3% of our arable land; that's more than any other crop per unit." This effect can be mitigated by using other materials, such as bamboo and hemp.
A baby may need to be changed up to 14 times a day, which makes buying diapers and wipes in bulk a smart and convenient solution. Stock up on baby wipes designed to keep your baby's face, hands and bottom clean and soft. Choose from wipes that feature soothing aloe, are eco-friendly, or fragrance-free for sensitive skin. From preemie to toddler sizes, you can wrap your baby in a diaper that gently hugs their body and offers superb absorbent protection both day and night.
There are several different organizations around the country that distribute free diapers to needy and low income families. Many of these are charities or churches, with some government programs also assisting. There are programs for single mothers, teenage moms, and families living in poverty. Anyone that needs free or low cost diapers near where they live, and that meets qualifications, may apply.