Today’s guest blogger is the lovely Amanda from Creative Hobbyist! She’s a crafter, hairstylist, Pinterest addict and mommy of two who sells adorable baby goods on Etsy. She’s written a comprehensive guide to using cloth nappies (or cloth diapers, as you folks up on the other side of the world call them 😂), and how she managed to do it cheaply and without the hassle.
She’s made some great suggestions here (for example, using disposables at night) that will make using cloth nappies so much easier than all the horror stories you’ve probably heard.
We both hope you enjoy this post! ❤
How I built my Cloth Diaper stash for $115
Thinking about trying cloth diapers but worried about the initial start up costs? Don’t worry. I was too. You can cloth diaper without breaking the bank and SAVE money.
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First, let me give you a little back story on my journey to cloth. I became interested in cloth diapers after I learned about some of the bowel issues my son was facing with his Spina Bifida. I knew he would be in diapers longer and would require more frequent changes than a typical child. Therefore, I needed a way to make that more affordable.
That’s how cloth came in. It took me a while to get to the cloth because he was so small when he was born. #preemiemom As he got bigger, the diapers started to fit a little better. When he was about 8 months old I started using the cloth diapers more consistently. But, I refused (still do) to use them at night, when we are traveling or even if we’re going to be out of the house for too long. Why? Because I’m lazy and need my sleep. #noshame I am a bear without my sleep.
I’ve read all the horror stories of people dealing with soaked through diapers while trying to find the perfect nighttime diaper. I didn’t even want to attempt it so we use disposables at night. Baby sleeps. Mama sleeps. Everyone is happy! I also have zero interest in carrying around soiled diapers in a wet bag. My diaper bag is heavy enough. I don’t need to add soaked diapers to it. So, disposables when we’re out and about. That’s what works for me. A combination of cloth and disposables.
Don’t fall into the trap that if you use cloth, you must use cloth all the time because that is simply not true. When I first started using cloth diapers I had 5. I was still experimenting with what I liked (Snaps, Velcro & Fit). I would use the 5 cloth diapers and use disposables while those were washing. It was tiresome and I don’t recommend having that few but it can be done and still save you money. Every time you use a cloth diaper you are saving approximately $.20. So even with 5 cloth diapers I was saving $1.00 a day, $30 a month, $320 a year. Wait! That’s double how much I paid for my entire stache! My current stache is 15 diapers + 2 that my son has outgrown (not pictured).
I spent approximately $115 on them all.
That’s the cost of approximately 575 disposable diapers which at the rate we use them would only last 8 weeks. We have been using our cloth diaper stache steady for 8 months. That doesn’t even include some of the experimental savings during the early months. So Yes, Cloth Diapering can definitely save money, even if you use some disposables.
My first piece of advice is to figure out how many diapers you need and buy that many. No more! First, you need to decide how often you plan to wash them. Keeping in mind the diaper manufacturer’s guidelines as well. For example, BumGenius recommends washing every other day. Thank you, Alicia for this information I had no clue. I don’t know about other brands and their recommendations but if you love a certain brand you should find out to expand the life of your diapers. Next, think about how many diapers you change a day. They say the average newborn uses 10 diapers a day and the usage typically goes down as the child gets older (unless they have Spina Bifida in which we still use about 10 diapers a day). So let’s say you’re washing every other day at 10 diapers a day that’s only 20 diapers plus lets say 2-3 to get you through the wash routine. So 23 diapers. That’s all you NEED!
Now, how did I get my cloth diapers so cheap?
First, is Wish. In the cloth diapering community these are commonly referred to as China Cheapies or something like that. That’s where I got my first cloth diapers. I purchased set of pockets(4) and an AIO Alva. Later I purchased this Alva Pocket with insert. The pockets are thin and I stuff them with Prefolds that I was given as burp cloths that we didn’t need. The pockets are not the best quality but I’m home so if we get leaks it’s usually no big deal. I’m already doing laundry every other day anyway. Both orders costed about $22 with shipping.
Buy Used. We have a local shop Green Baby that sells pre-loved diapers and I’ve been able to find some good deals on diapers there. I usually avoid the buy/sell/trade groups because of the shipping charge and people want you to pay the same price they paid for a diaper that their child has USED. It drives me crazy!!! But anyway, I was able to buy a BittiD’lish(AIO), G-Diaper Cover(used homemade inserts), and 3 Fuzzibuns for about $5 each (on separate occasions) from Green Baby. These were all in great condition and the Fuzzibuns each included two inserts. Which was a major bonus. I definitely suggest searching in your local area for shops that specialize in Green Living, Natural Baby, or even baby boutiques. Call to ask if they carry pre-loved diapers and shop often. People are constantly bringing in the diapers they no longer need therefore, there is always new inventory.
Also, check your consignment stores, kids consignment sales, baby related stores or sales. Cloth Diapering has become popular lately. With more and more people using cloth the diapers are becoming easier to find. One time at a random consignment store I found a bin full of Bum Genuis for a really great price (unfortunately, I had not committed to cloth at the time and didn’t purchase). I am constantly kicking myself for passing on this steal. I did however purchase two of my diapers came from a kids consignment sale. $10 for two BG hook & loops with inserts.
Check with your friends. Like I said cloth diapering is becoming more poplar (With first child no one I knew used cloth now almost all the babes my son’s age are in cloth and they are only 2 years apart) you never know who may have some cloth diapers they aren’t using or have out grown. I purchased one diaper from a cloth diapering friend because I wanted to try out the fit of the BG Elementals. I paid $15 for it which oddly enough was probably my most expensive diaper.
Now, remember with used diapers you need to take proper precautions and ALWAYS Sanitize the diapers. If you’re new to cloth diapers let me point you to the best resource out there for learning how to clean your diapers Fluff Love University. They will become your best friend. I use their site to figure out how to properly wash my diapers based on my specific washing machine, how to sanitize my diapers and many other diapering questions. They have all the answers.
Lastly, Look for sales. These don’t happen often but when they do shop fast because they sell out quick. I was able to snag two cloth diapers from a Bum Genius sale Albert and a plain teal one for $26. Later, I got Spence at a seconds sale for $13. I know many other diaper companies do sales too. So keep your eyes open. Try joining some Cloth Diaper groups on Facebook so you can be notified of sales. My local cloth diapering group is my favorite the girls in there are always posting about sales, tips and reminders.
But, if you find yourself constantly oohh and ahhhing over the latest print release from BumGenius, Bella Luna or whatever your favorite brand is and you’re unable to keep your wallet under wraps then you need to leave those cloth diaper Facebook groups at once. Leave them now and Don’t look back. These groups are full of what I call enablers. They are the ladies with huge diaper staches that they never use. If you can not keep a lock on your debit/credit card and keep shopping in these groups leave now! Find a local cloth diaper chat group that can help answer your cloth diapering questions or join Fluff Love and CD Science Group. Avoid the enablers at all costs. They will tell you that you always need more cloth diapers. But as we saw above that is NOT true! YOU DO NOT NEED 100 CLOTH DIAPERS!
When you decide to cloth diaper there are several accessories that you will need. Some people will suggest more or an over abundance. I’m going to give you the necessities list.
1) A dirty diaper holder. I use my Diaper Champ without a wet bag. It keeps the smells contained and on laundry day I just spray it out. You could also just use a trash can with a lid but I love my diaper champ. Plus, I just converted it from sposies to Cloth.
2) A diaper sprayer. Yes, you need it. But, you don’t have to buy the pricey kit. You can DIY it. That’s what I did or my husband did at my
request demand. However, if you don’t have any clue about what you’re doing which I didn’t, hubby did. I’d buy a kit just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to end up with a flooded bathroom.
3) A small wet bag. I don’t even use mine because I don’t cloth while traveling but if you’re going to travel with your fluffy bum then you will need one of these. If you are a sewist you can also make one yourself. I made mine. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial one day. It’s super easy.
4) Cloth Diaper Safe Cream. I’d even go so far to say that this is optional based on your situation. I don’t use a diaper safe cream because it’s super expensive and we use a lot. #spinabifidaproblems. Instead, I use homemade liners with my regular butt paste. But if you only get typical diaper rashes then I’d go with cloth diaper safe cream just so you don’t have to worry about liners. Also, by using cloth you may even have less frequent rashes since cloth is better for baby’s bum.
That’s it really. That’s all you need. Cloth diapering is not as hard, scary or expensive as all the fanatics make it out to be. So, now that I’ve shown you my stache, show me yours. Head over to my facebook page and show me your fluffy bums, cloth diaper stache or even just your cute kid or bump. I can’t wait to see your pictures!