I've been doing a TON of research on Cloth Diapers and I am STILL confused if there is money to be saved in this venture.
We are a family on a healthy, but budgeted income, there is no room for mistakes. I'm wondering if we cloth diaper, and pick an option other than prefolds (I was looking at the fitted ones) will we really save money?
Correct me if I'm wrong - but won't I need to buy about 24 diapers for my newborn, and then after the baby grows up a few months, have to buy a whole bunch more? Plus covers, and inserts, etc?
I obviously want to do this for the lessened impact on the environment, but we can't handle paying MORE to use cloth diapers.
Also, my 1st child was 9 lbs at birth, and we had the hardest time finding a diaper that fit around his huge legs - of course only the most expensive pampers held in his leaks and didn't get off blood flow to his legs! And he, at 2.5, is telling us he wants to wear diapers and refuses to potty train. So I'm worried I'll buy diapers that won't work for the build of my children.
Please help me understand if there's money to be saved, if I'll be spending about the same, or if I'm going to end up paying more to CD!
You will definitely save money. I switched to cloth with my first at 9 months old and I still saved money. I figured it out at the time, but even buying new bumgenius pocket diapers, I still saved. Also, look into cloth wipes. Those will definitely save you money too.
Yes, I think you will.
Depending on where you live there may be a diaper service-- some in our area allow you to rent the diapers, covers, pail, wetbags, etc. and then they pick them up weekly and launder them. They will bring larger sizes as needed. It seems to me that the base plan was around $10/week.
I was able to purchase prefold diapers secondhand-- they had been washed/stripped at a professional laundry/diaper service. I purchased one-size flip and econobum covers from cottonbabies.com and they have seconds which are flawless and super affordable ($5-9 each). My gal has chubby legs and they fit just fine-- I know they do make some especially for babies with chubbier legs.
Many companies allow you to do a trial run of diapers to see the kind you like and you can often score deals on the diapers that others have returned.
I don't regret it a bit.
I think there's an expensive way to cloth diaper, and a cheap way.
Expensive: AIO's, brand names, fancy covers, latest design of everything, etc.
Cheap: prefolds, a few gerber covers, a few Thirstie covers, and you're set!
I started doing CDs when my 2nd child was 18 months old. I got the motherease fitted diapers that last from newborn to toddler (35lbs). The only things that changed sizes were the covers, so you buy a few for each stage, they only have to be change 1-2 a day. So, now I have 5 kids, my 2nd child is now 7 years old, and I have twins in the same diapers I have had for 5 1/2 years. When the twins were first born I had them in the CDs and my 2 year old was still in them too. I do a load of diapers 1-2 a week. Super easy. And think about the money you can save. Another great way to save money is to get hand me down CDs or buy used online. Ebay used to have them, not sure any more. But some people only last a short time and then want to get rid of them.
Oh and some of mine are being passed down to my friend and her new baby, so who knows how long they will go.
There's no rule saying you have to buy brand new diapers, either. They hold up really well, and have a great resale value. I've exclusively cloth diapered my 6 month old on about $300. I have a dozen nice, fitted pocket dipes (bum genius, happy heinys, fuzzi bunz) that I got second hand or on clearance, or on loan from a friend. I have another dozen random AIOs and pockets that I picked up at my local resale store for under $5 each, a couple still had tags on them.
One diaper company had a sale on an inexpensive fitted, for $3.95 each - I bought 6 of those and knit a couple wool covers ($12 skein of nice, soft wool = 2 soakers). Keep an eye out for sales. On facebook, many of the dipes sites have giveaways - I won a $25 gift certificate just two weeks ago, and bought my first Bum Genius 4.0. :lol
Check resale stores, check ebay, check freecycle and craigslist. even some diaper sites have a "previously owned" section with cheaper, used diapers. I buy a lot of seconds from the Bum Genius folks, I've never even noticed what they were seconds FOR.
For $300, most of mine are one-size - she'll be in them until she is potty learned. I had a handful of newborn diapers, maybe $80 worth TOPS, I passed those on to friends - newborn diapers are always in almost perfect condition used, as they grow out of them so fast and aren't crawling around and "wearing" them out. So for $380, I've had all the diapers I'll need...that's a couple months worth of disposables. Not even a question as to whether or not we've saved money.
PS, if you're handy with a sewing machine or can knit, it's even cheaper. I can barely sew, and I've made a few fitted diapers out of old t-shirts (super cute) and I love to knit, so I knit wool soakers a lot - they are absolutely my favorite diaper cover, and they're cheap to make.
any thoughts of going with a one-size diaper? I used disposibles on my first two and decided to purchase fuzzibunz one size w/ my third. I didn't purchase them until he was 7 months old, but I am confident they would have fit him at birth as well, and he was over 9 lbs. If you used a diaper that would work all the way through, like a one-size, you'd only need to purchase them once, either new or second-hand, and they should last all the way through until potty-trained. I also use cloth wipes, and that's a huge savings in itself. I just wish I bought them with my other kids, the savings would have added up even more!!!
Well, I've saved money switching to cloth, but we didn't switch until my daughter was two, so we've only bought them once. I have eight diapers (Six fuzzibunz insert diapers and two bumGenius AIO's) and I wash just about every day.
You will most definitely save money, especially if you consider buying one-sized diapers. I have used the same 30ish diapers on two of my children (mostly at the same time) for almost two years now. I spent a maximum of $175 total for all those diapers and they are still in great shape. I started with this set when my daughter was one and a half, and then continued to diaper her and my newborn. She is now potty-trained, but the little guy is still using them.
You can also make your own laundry detergent to save money in that department as well. I also saved money by just buying a large tupperware container to hold the diapers in. It was cheaper than things designed for diapers (the bags and the cans).
I subscribe to the "hybrid" method of CDing. I use cloth when it is convenient and I use sposies when it's not. I have a stash that is WAY too big and I have not spent more than a few hundred bucks.
I agree with everyone else. You definitely CAN save money cloth diapering. Prefolds are cheap and last forever. And waterproof diaper covers are reasonably priced. Some brands (Thirsties is my favorite) fit baby for a long time so you only buy two sets. Think about getting a couple of pocket diapers for overnight which are a little more expensive but better at keeping your baby dry.
Check out my cloth diapering seminar on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JaimeeGleisner?feature=mhum. I talk about quantities, prices, accessories as well as money saving ideas. Hope that helps! You WILL absolutely save money even if you choose more expensive types of premium diapers.
Mama to Avalon 1/07 , Austin 1/10 in between and Avery 12/11
This is my first time cloth diapering... we spent about $100 on the diapers we have and so far at 2 1/2 months we are all good.
We have 2 packs of prefolds and about 15 cheap one-size pocket diapers with microfiber inserts (i got them on eBay for like 5 bucks each) which grow with her.
At 2 months... we have to do diaper laundry every other day or so... sometimes every three if we can change the insert without changing the pocket diaper (we do not actually put them IN the pocket but more use the pocket diaper to keep the prefold in place and as a diaper cover)
Its definitely saved money. By now we would have gone through well over $100 of sposies
If you are on a really tight budget, you might want to see if you can get some free cloth diapers to use from The Cloth Diaper Foundation: http://www.clothdiaperfoundation.org/. I actually just found this non-profit organization through a web search last night, and I have already e-mailed in my application because my family is on an extremely tight budget, too.
They will loan you 12 diapers for as long as you need them. You just have to pay shipping. The goal is for those granted loaned diapers to slowly build their own stash while using their diapers.
Check it out! I really hope I will get accepted when they start reviewing application again after the holidays!
You will save BIG bucks by using Cloth Diapers, even if you opt for the more expensive diapers new.
Check out www.everythingbirth.com for several great cloth diaper trial options. And I agree with someone else's suggestion -- look into cloth wipes, too. They are extremely easy to use (especially because you toss them in your diaper pail and the wash with your dipes!)
And as an aside - we used Bum Genius 3.0s (they now have 4.0s out), and our daughter went through a majorly chunky phase when she was younger, and she is now a slim 2-year-old. They have always fit her well (even as a newborn - she was 8 lbs 10 oz at birth!). We will be using them on our next baby, too. (Talk about huge savings!)
I would recommend a one size diaper, too. You are only purchasing the dipes once, and the ones I have used really do work and "grow" with your baby!
Don't forget used diapers. Most of my diapers were hand me downs (some from me when I was a baby that my mom saved) or i bought used at the local cloth diaper store. They work perfectly find and saved me even more money.
I was really scared of prefolds but let me tell you... not only are they the cheapest route they are also not really that scary and are in fact totally easy :) my husband actually prefers the prefolds because they are so easy.
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
You will absolutely save money! I have heard that an average family spends 4K on diapers/diaper accessories throughout a child's diaper years. We bought everything we need - one size fits all diapers and wipes for a little over $300. I absolutely love Soft Bums. They are so absorbent and wick the moisture away from my baby's bottom.
Here is the site if you care to check them out: http://www.softbums.com/
My 7yo still wets the bed. The other night he wore a fuzzibunz stuffed with a flat + hemp doubler that I bought for him when he was 6 months old (large) at the time they were a little loose around the legs for him and some other ones have a better leg fit at that age (for example, my first class fleece pocket). He is on the slim side. He's also wearing XL bummis covers.
Newborns definitely need a separate stash, but you only use them for a while and can resell (mine have been passed through at least 4-5 babies). Then, depending on the kid, you can move up to mediums and larges that will last a very, very long time!!
I think if the majority of your absorption comes from flats & prefolds (I ADORE flats) with some fitteds, you'll do great. For covers, some pocket and some PUL covers along with a few fun, fancy ones will get you a long, long way.
Donna (exculsively CD'ing for almost 7 years!)
I think you'll save money. one solution to the multiple covers issue are the one-size covers. adjustable like bumgenius, but they are only a cover. once nice thing about these is that you can adjust the fit pretty well, accommodating for thick legs, skinny legs, whatever http://nickisdiapers.com/catalog.php?category=2236
Not shown at the link above, but I really like the "wonder wraps" - they are a nice material that is waterproof but breathes and doesn't feel plastic-y, and adjustable rise snaps so it grows with your kid (cleans very nicely too). you will have to buy multiple prefold sizes, but you can use the previous size as a doubler when you move up a size. I actually skipped a size and just dealt with adding an extra fold to my prefolds. DS is nearly 20 months and I've only bought two sets of 24 prefold diapers (I bought this current size WAY to big by accident and just made do, and it's been fine). pretty cheap.
I always recommend Flip diapers to people who want to save money. A "day pack" of two covers and 6 cloth inserts is only $50. You can buy factory seconds covers for about $10 each and just use prefolds, which are $1/each. This is similar to a gDiaper system but the quality is far, far better, and it's a one size diaper that you can use from birth to potty. We spent around $75 on our collection and do laundry every other day. You could probably do it for even less with 3-4 factory seconds covers and a dozen prefolds - that's less than $60!! And these are really nice diapers, easy to use. I have picked up a couple of used pocket diapers along the way but still prefer the Flip system!
If you're expecting another 9 lb baby and finances are a big consideration, I'd probably think about going right to one-size diapers. You can still get a mix of different types - one size fitteds + covers, one size pockets, etc. to figure out what works best for you. Definitely look into buying used, I got a great deal on used fitteds and covers on our local craigslist. If you get different types you can then resell what doesn't work for you, again on craigslist/kijiji/etc.
Things are more expensive in Canada but there are a few US retailers that will ship here for little/no extra cost, some great local companies (like Motherease), and you can try those cheap "made in china" diapers like Kawaii/Sunababy/Coolbaby that are definitely less expensive than the mainstream brands.
If you go with one size diapers they may not fit perfectly at the beginning or may be too big for a couple of weeks. I'd probably buy a package of newborn disposables and not open it until you see how your cloth fits - you can always return it if unopened. This wouldn't be my ideal but it may well be the cheapest till your kiddo fits into the one size.
We use Mother-Ease, though we're not quite as happy with them as we'd hoped. We launder them every two days. I could see a difference in our water bill. We pay about $3 (including sewage) per cubic meter of water, and I estimate that we spend about $30/month on water. I saw no difference in our electrical bill, despite using the dryer each time. We used disposables for 5 weeks solid for our second one, because it took that long for his cord to fall off, and it's very annoying realizing that you've run out of diapers and have to run to the store to buy more. It's also A LOT of garbage. For all the diapers (36), liners (18), and covers (I think around 20) that we've had to buy so far, we've spent about $800 CDN. Our second one is now transitioning to cloth. But we do use disposables at night - it seems to mean a better sleep for everyone. But I know others have had just as much luck using cloth at night.
I think that even if you don't buy used, re-use on another baby, sell your dipes when you are done, or chose an inexpensive system, you'll probably save money on Medium sized diapers - they last most kids from 6months or so to potty-learning, so you'll use them for over a year. At $30/month that's $360 - which will buy you pretty expensive diapers, and that assumes the kid PL's at 18months.
Small sizes are worn for less time (5-6 months) but can still save money if you don't go overboard and make smart choices (buy used, re-sell when you are done, etc)
Newborn size can be iffy, financially, IMO, and if I were expecting a 9lb baby I don't know that I'd bother, unless I planned more children to pass them down to. Even then, most babies fit in smalls by 9-10lbs, so smalls would fit practically from birth. Even for our twins (born 5lb 11oz and 6lb 11oz) I'm not sure I would have, but I was gifted some covers, had some prefolds (and we love prefolds) made a couple of covers - so it didn't cost me much (like $20 total). And it's for twins, so the disposable cost would be doubled. They still ended up in disposibles until today (4 wks) because they were in preemie size. (super tall skinny boys, most newborns would have fit at their weights)
One-size diapers can be really great too. For a baby that big they might fit from birth. If not, they'll probably fit within a couple of weeks, so you can just do disposibles for a few weeks. I have a friend who got 30 BumGenius for her first child and used disposibles until the BumGenius fit. Her first child wore the diapers until she potty-learned, and the second has now been wearing them for a year, so she easily got 2.5 years of wear out of the diapers. Even at the $400 (guessing) that she probably paid for them, that's a good deal! Plus she can potentially sell them if they're still in good shape when this child potty-learns.
Here is what I would recommend and is what we do.
I'm in love with my one-size diapers. We use Bum Genius 4.0 with snaps. They fit my DD who was tiny and scrawny at birth by the time she was a few weeks old. They still fit her awesome now that she is a very chunky 4-month-old. They also fit her 27 month old sister who still wears a diaper at night.
They are on sale right now as well (buy 5 get one free). They are about $17-18 a piece. But 18 of them and be set until your babe potty trains. No need to buy extra sizes, inserts, or covers.
Elizabeth - Doing life with Scott
SAHM to Evelyn - my crazy little Celiac (4) Annabelle (2) and Abraham (born 6/20)
Follow our journey
This is what I did and would highly recommend. (I had a 8lb 8oz baby boy.)
Buy just 12 fitted diapers (kissaluvs or swaddlebees) and a few Thirsties covers for the first few months. Chinese Prefolds on hand just in case you run out. Don't put a lot of money in these first few months.
Then buy 18 pocket diapers (Fuzzibunz) - size Medium. Stores will encourage you to buy as many as 36 diapers, but 18 was enough for me and I washed every other day. Size mediums lasted my son from 3 months until 2.5 years! I bought just 6 large Fuzzibunz diapers for later. You'll also want a few hemp inserts for night diapers.
Other than diapers, you'll need a diaper pail (just a flip top garbage can) and a liner. Plus Allen's Detergent (about $40). My son is 3 and there's still half of the huge jug left!!
I'm pregnant again and will use the newborn fitted diapers for my second child since they are barely used. And then I will be buying 18 new medium Fuzzibunz! The ones I have could probably work, but they have gotten a little thin and less absorbant over the 2.5 years.
I definately think I saved money. And used nice convenient diapers at the same time.
All the best!!
We are in need of small diapers right now, and I'm basing my decision in part on the ROI (return on investment). Let's say a disposable costs 20¢ per dipe. I am looking at fitteds that range from $7 (workhorse from GMD) to $12. If I use a dipe ~15 times per month (that's every other day, so laundry ever two days), the $7 fitted pays for itself in 2.5 months, and the $12 in 4 months. (a pre-fold would pay for itself in less than a month, and an expensive AIO would take over 7 months of use to be worth the money). That's a straight diaper-to-diaper comparison. My DD is small - 8.5 pounds at just over a month - so we will likely be in smalls 3-4 more month...not enough to justify a new sized AIO. But she will likely be in Mediums for over a year, in which case "splurging" on a few pricier dipes isn't much of a splurge at all.
I cut up and zig-zagged acouple of old receiving blankets for wipes and have enough to fill the warmer twice over. We use straight water, although I do put a few drops of TTO in the bottom for bacterial control.
I also like not thinking about that twenty cents "wasted" when baby poops in a freshly changed diaper.
Or, you could look into Tiny Tush fitteds. I have one and like it. They are OS I can see how it would fit a small baby.
You may find it cheaper to use sposies until your dc fits into smalls.
Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
ive spent about $250 on fuzzi bunz. i aveaged a $6 per diaper (shipped and have enough dipes for all sizes. And I can turn around and sell `the smaller dipes for what I paid for them. had I been using sposies I would have spent about $800 or so by now. so I have totally saved. haven't seen a dramatic increase in my water bill either.
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.