Below are just some easy pointers for those that are truly looking to budget and cut corners when it comes to diapering their baby. Cloth diapers save money no matter which route you choose, but these pointers below can help you really get by on even less.
1. Skip the fancy detergent. If you notice in our store, we do not promote a particular detergent as "the one you must use." When I started cloth diapering I would drive twenty minutes to get a nearly $20 detergent that didn't last us that long only to later find out that I was misinformed about it's "success" as a cloth diaper detergent. You really do not need a fancy detergent, however you do need to look for certain things. Make sure to choose a detergent that is free of additives, fabric softeners, brighteners and anything along these lines. If you're using a plant based, natural detergent (which we recommend), then make sure it has the proper enzymes to clean the diaper. Some natural detergents do not contain enough enzymes to really clean them which can lead to stink issues later on.
2. Go the old school route. Modern cloth diapers are so different in comparison to the old school days of cloth diapering, however the old school ways are still an option. Rather than investing in pocket diapers or All in One diapers, which typically run $20-30 per diaper, you can go the old route with covers and prefolds. A good cover runs around $15 on average and a package of six prefolds will typically cost you $12. With two covers and one pack of prefolds you can have six diaper changes just right there.
Breakdown of Covers and Prefolds vs. Pockets/AIO
Average Pocket/AIO cost: $25
Average Cost for six Pocket/AIO: $150
Average cost of One Diaper Cover: $15
Average cost for six package of prefolds: $12
Average cost for six cover/prefold diapers: $42
Total Savings of Pockets/AIO vs Covers and Prefolds: $108
*prefolds are typically sold as a package of six as are flats. You can use flats, prefolds, soakers or any insert inside of your cover typically. All of this is available in our store.
3. Purchase used cloth diapers. I know this may sound a little crazy to some people, but many mothers typically begin their diaper stash by buying lots of used cloth diapers. This is great because if you turn out to not like cloth diapering, then you didn't really invest a whole lot of money and can likely still sell the used diapers again. It's also great because you can figure out which styles and brands you prefer and then purchase just a few more brand new ones of those favorites to finish off your stash. As long as you bleach your used diapers before using them, there is nothing wrong with diapering with second hand diapers. Cloth diapers have a long life to them if they have been taken care of properly.
4. Sun dry your diapers. This helps with reducing dryer use and it fights stains naturally. Sun drying (or line drying indoors) helps extend the life of your diapers (especially for shells and covers).
5. Join the appropriate diaper groups on Facebook. Joining these groups will help you find used diaper deals; will provide you with a place to sell your diapers; will provide a support group for you to troubleshoot any diapering issues; and will provide a fun sense of community.
6. Stick to just what you need. Cloth diapering is very addictive because there are so many amazing companies, brands and prints out there. Many mamas get hooked on one particular brand and feel the need to have every print and color that brand produces, even if it means they will have more diapers than they need. Stick to the basic 18-24 diapers and try not to extend too much past this. If you want new prints and colors, try selling some of your old ones first.
* We recommend 18-24 to allow you to wash every other day.
7. Sell what you don't like. It's easy to want to keep all of your diapers because you think you may need them or can't part with certain prints. Or perhaps you're like me and you keep the ones you really don't like as "backup" for days that you may wait too long to do laundry and so on. If you do this and have a handful of diapers that never get used, SELL THEM.
8. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Seriously, if you care for your diapers the right way then you will more than likely be able to use them on more than just one baby. Line dry them, use the right detergent, wash them every other day (no longer than every three days), use cloth diaper safe rash creams and wash them as a load and not mixed in with ya know, jeans and stuff. Take care of them and they will last a long time! We currently use the same diapers on our second child that our first born wore. Cloth diapers can truly save you money!
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