While most moms would agree that cloth diapering is affordable in the long run compared to disposables, the “start up” cost to cloth can be a hurdle for some. I truly believe you can get NEW, QUALITY cloth diapers and all the needed accessories for just $100…and I’ll show you how today! The great thing is, even if you give cloth a try or only use it part time, you will start saving money within a few months. AND you can sell cloth diapers when you’re done and get money back – something you definitely can’t do with disposables!
HOW MANY DO YOU NEED?
To do a full load of diaper laundry every two-three days, you will need about 24 diaper changes. At some points in your baby’s life, you may need even less than that (I do about six diaper changes a day now that Jeremiah is one). With that said, there are many different kinds of cloth diapers, but today I’m going to focus on a system that will save you the most cash.
Covers – You will want 8-12 of these. The nice thing about covers is that you can reuse them as long as they are not soaked or soiled. I alternate between 2-3 covers each day. This means less laundry AND less wear-and-tear on them since you’re washing them after 2-4 uses instead of after each use.
I’ve found two brands of one-size covers (fit from birth-potty trained) that will be within our $100 budget:
Diaper Safari. Watch their website for sales. Right now, they have Buy Two, Get One FREE. During their Black Friday Sale, they had BOGO for the covers…that means each costs less than $5!
Assunta. While I haven’t personally ordered from them, I’ve heard so many great reviews from other cloth diapering moms, I would still recommend them. Each cover is $4.99, and they come in both solid colors and prints!
Inserts – You will want 12-24 of these, since you will be changing them out with each diaper change.
Some of the most popular inserts cloth diapering moms recommend are…flour sack towels! These are found in the kitchen towel section at Walmart, Sams, or Target. They are thin, cotton towels, but at $1 each, they are AMAZING! I use them every day, and highly recommend them. They are also very simple to wash, since they are a single layer, the inserts are easy to clean and air dry in record time!
If you’re planning to use cloth diapers overnight, you’ll want something more absorbent, since your baby will (hopefully) be sleeping 10-12 hours without a diaper change. This does not have to be expensive either. The Econobum Trial pack comes with one cover and three prefolds. These prefolds work great for us overnight and are easy to use. Just fold in thirds like a newspaper and lay inside the cover. Done!
Ok, have you done the math so far? Here’s where we are…
Eight covers: $36
12 inserts: $12
Econobum Trial Pack: $17
= $65 on diapers!
Wipes – If you’re using cloth diapers, cloth wipes are easy to use as well. You just throw them in with your diaper laundry and they clean up just fine. You can get 15 wipes for $7 from Buttons Diapers, and I would recommend getting two sets, if you can afford it. Or, save some money and cut up a flannel receiving blanket (I bought four for $2 from a consignment sale) into 8-inch squares. They make wonderful cloth wipes!
Wet Bag – These are a place to carry dirty diapers if you are away from home. I found a small wetbag at Walmart in their baby travel section for just $5!
Pail Liner – This washable, waterproof liner is used inside the diaper pail. On laundry day, you just take it, dump the diapers in the washing machine, and throw the liner in too! You can use a waterproof pillow protector case from Walmart for $9 and it will work just fine.
Diaper Pail – Any trash can will work. It doesn’t have to be pretty or even have a lid. Some moms say that actually no lid is better for cloth diapers because the airflow in the pail makes it less stinky. Just get one you can fit the pail liner inside. OR, you can just hang up the pail liner in the bathroom or baby’s room and not have a pail at all. Here is a Rubbermaid Soft Molded-Plastic Rectangular Trash Can, 10.25-gallon for under $8.
What’s the total?
Cloth diapers ($65) + Accessories ($35) = $100
MORE MONEY SAVINGS:
There are other ways to get an affordable stash of cloth diapers, if you’re willing to do a little more work.
1. Buy Used. I’ve had good experiences buying used. Just make sure you’re educated about the brand of diaper you are wanting to buy. I’d highly recommend looking at new diapers first to establish a baseline to compare used diapers with. You can get used diapers for at least 30-50% off retail price. Here’s one of many great blogs about buying used diapers:
2. Make Your Own. This is a great way to really save some money! Here are a few blogs that shows you how to make your own cloth diapers using old shirts and towels. You still would need a cover for these, but I’ve made a couple myself, and they are very simple to make if you have basic sewing machine knowledge/skills.
- Dirty Diaper Laundry: No-Sew Fleece Covers and $0.25 T-shirt Flats
- Adventures in Fluff: Upcycled T-Shirt Prefolds
WHAT ABOUT “CHINA CHEAPIES?”
Many moms starting to cloth diaper find online deals for pocket diapers and inserts for under $5 each (often called “China Cheapies”). Yes, they are inexpensive, but in this case, you get what you pay for. Many do not have a good reputation for quality. Also, while I don’t have issues with China-made diapers, I do want my purchases to support good work conditions and fair pay for the people making them. Therefore, I don’t recommend those brands of diapers. If you’d like to read more about the ethics behind these diapers, I’d highly recommend taking the time to read this article.
Of course, there are MANY more cloth diapering options than the ones I mentioned here. Hopefully I helped you see that cloth diapering can be VERY AFFORDABLE. If you’d like to see more about cloth diapering for $100, check out my Pinterest Board: Cloth Diaper Stash on a $100 Budget.
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