Many people choose to use cloth diapers because of environmental reasons or because they feel it’s more comfortable for the child. Some people use cloth to be more natural or to keep chemicals away from their baby’s skin. And still others make this choice of the cost factor. With our first child I chose cloth diapers because I wanted to avoid anything toxic touching her skin and I wanted to save the planet at the same time! I started off with cloth with our second child, then switched to Seventh Generation disposables after a short time. What can I say? I was a less ‘perfect’ mommy the second time around! (I’m just kidding – diapers will never, ever determine how wonderful of a mommy you are!)
You can save a lot of money by using cloth diapers instead of disposables, but you can also spend a lot more if you’re not careful. If you’re looking for more environmentally friendly, less toxic ways to diaper without breaking the bank, here are some ways you can do it.
Go traditional. Use prefolds and diaper covers. Prefolds are the least expensive type of cloth diapers available and you can get good, quality diaper covers without spending a lot, either. Prefolds generally run between one and three dollars each and covers usually cost anywhere from seven to fifteen dollars each. This is a great way to save money when diapering! Of course you could spend even less money if you have some sewing skills -sew your own prefolds and save a few more dollars.
Buy one-size diapers. Don’t want to use prefolds? If you would prefer a diaper system that includes fitted, pocket or all-in-ones, then using one-size diapers can save you a lot of money. One-size diapers are generally designed to fit from around 8 to 12 pounds up to around 25 to 35 pounds and are meant to be used from soon after birth to right up to potty training. Basically this means you buy fewer diapers since you don’t need to keep buying the next size up.
I tried both the prefolded and the all-in-ones and I LOVED the all-in-ones! Easy, easy, easy.
Use a clothesline. A clothesline is a great thing to have around anyway if you’re going to be using cloth diapers since sunning diapers can help take out stains. But it’s also a great thing to have around to help save some money on your electric bill every month and help out the environment. Instead of tossing your diaper load into the dryer everytime, hang it on the clothesline every other wash and save yourself some money.
Buy used. There are lots of places you can buy used cloth diapers over the internet and this is a great way to save some money, especially if you want to use modern diapers like pockets or all-in-ones. Many people will buy a few diapers to try a new brand or a new style and find they don’t work for them and then sell them, so you might even be able to get some barely used diapers this way. Try to use a site that has user ratings so you can have an idea of how reliable and honest the person you are purchasing from is. Look for diapers that are in good or excellent condition so you can get lots of use out of them. Make sure to give them a thorough cleaning before using them on your little one.
This is how we stocked up on plenty of all-in-one cloth diapers. E-Bay to the rescue! We saved a ton by doing our homework and found some great prices.
Sell your used diapers. Consider selling your diapers after your baby has outgrown them or if a particular style isn’t working for you. You won’t be able to recoup all the money you spent buying them new, but you can get a good percentage back if your diapers are in barely used or excellent condition.
Read reviews. Browse through sites that house cloth diaper reviews before you purchase. This is a good way to get an idea of whether or not a certain style diaper might work for you (thus, saving you money because you’ll be less likely to buy things you don’t end up using). It also is a great way to find out which diapers are built to last. Try to find reviews from people who have been using a diaper for awhile – this will help you to know which diapers will stand up to the tons of washing you will give them. This leads to the last tip:
Keep your used diapers for future children. This is one way that families can really get a lot of bang for their buck when using cloth diapers. If you spend only a couple hundred dollars building up a cloth diaper stash for your first baby and can use most of those diapers for your second or even your third baby – that is a huge amount of savings over buying disposables for each child. Buying quality diapers that are made to last and making sure you care for your diapers the way the manufacturer recommends are two ways to keep your diaper stash usable for baby after baby.
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