I get plenty of comments from moms wondering how in the world people buy $40, $25 and even $17 cloth diapers. Not everyone is going to be able to buy $20+ cloth diapers but price isn’t what matters. It’s the fact that you have stopped doing what everyone else is doing and considered that there is something better.
How do most people stumble onto cloth diapers? Did your venture into cloth diapers go something like this?
- A mom or dad discovers something shocking: gel crystals on baby, the enormous amount of disposables filling the Diaper Genie every week, the Quick Books column titled “Diapers” that is surpassing the “Auto” category…
- They look for alternatives. Perhaps a Google search using “disposable diaper alternatives” or “natural diapers”. They’ll probably discover G-diapers.
- Once they research g-diapers they discover real cloth diapers. Then they hit a wall called choices. Almost every new user emails me saying they are completely overwhelmed.
That’s pretty close to how it went for me. (3 Reasons I Cloth Diaper)
So, now that you have decided to cloth diaper you attempt to maintain your zeal for this new world while navigating the millions of cloth diaper websites. It’s so easy to keep doing what you’ve been doing. Sure, disposable diapers cost a ton, sit in a landfill and contain nasty chemicals but it’s comfortable. We all do it in some area of our lives and it’s never a good thing.
But, I’m not going to let you do that. Just like I wouldn’t let you eat Little Debbie’s treats or buy an item I knew you couldn’t afford. The whole point of this blog is to make the choices easier for you.
Here are ways that you can start cloth diapering on a budget:
Make them: Check out this post listing many sites on how to make cloth diapers. Diaperkit.com is the one I would start with first. She has a sale box on the homepage that includes kits and patterns.
Buy used: Once you’ve narrowed down a system or even some brands that you’d like to try go to a site like www.diaperswappers.com, www.swapmama.com or www.hyenacart.com/spotscorner to find second hand items. If you’re grossed out by the thought of used cloth diapers you can always wash them in some bleach when you receive them. If you have friends that cloth diaper ask them if they have a couple you could borrow to try out. I’ve seen many great deals on Craigslist as well.
Start small: The ideal number of cloth diapers to have on hand is a minimum of 12. However, you can easily get by with a lot less especially if your child is a year or older. When we began cloth diapering, at one point I was using 4 Happy Heiny’s for 90% of my stash. I had few prefolds and prowraps that I could use in a pinch but I preferred to use the HH. Needless to say, I did laundry 2x a day :)
Buy new: You could buy a stash of made in China cloth diapers off Ebay like Coolababy, Sun Baby or Sweet Baby but you are taking a big risk. Reviews are iffy on whether they are worth it or not. They are super cheap though and would make a great re-gift to someone in need when you buy better ones. These will work they just won’t be leak proof, so change often.
Purchase a system like Econobums and Flips. For $100 you’d have enough to last more than a day. You’d run a small load every night and have them ready in the morning.
For birthdays, Christmas and anniversary ask for money to purchase diaper packages from sites like Cloth Diaper Superstore, Banana Peels Diapers, Kelly’s Closet or Great Lakes Diaper Company. And don’t forget about tax returns and garage sales. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend you purchase a package of cloth diapers that you’ve never tried first.
Enter every cloth diaper giveaway you can find. And trust me there are plenty. Check out Emi @ The Cloth Diaper Report or Kelly @ The Cloth Diaper Whisperer to find many opportunities for winning cloth diapers.
Join the Baby Half Off facebook fan page and know what the next deal is first! www.babyhalfoff.com
Finally, Kelly’s Closet has a page called “Diaper Value“. This page contains many cloth diaper choices all under $15. Check out the sales page on each of the listed sites. Sometimes cloth diaper makers discontinue a style and you can get the old one for really cheap.
For my recommendations on prefolds and covers see my post How To Start Cloth Diapering On a Budget.