September 21, 2009

Cloth Diapering on a Budget

In these turbulent economic times, the cloth diapering industry has actually seen a boost in sales. Why? Simple – using cloth rather than disposables saves money.

However, with the amazing array of diapers and accessories that are now available it can be easy to get carried away with purchases and end up spending a small fortune on a diaper stash! Whilst I sometimes peek enviously at the stashes of multi-coloured, fabulously designed diapers that some people display, it’s not an option I can afford. Instead, I have learned that with a few strategic purchases all my cloth diaper needs can be satisfied and I have saved $1000’s when compared to the cost of disposables.

I think the first word in budget cloth diapering has to be ‘Prefolds’. Prefolds have so many advantages, with the main ones being that they are inexpensive, easy to clean and quick to dry. They are so durable that many mothers report that they last through several babies and then get recycled as household cloths! I have about 30 prefolds in the size my baby wears now and this is enough to always have some ready with a routine of washing every 2 days.

The next money savers are One-Size Diapers. These one-sizer’s usually come as Pockets or All-in-Ones and since most claim to fit babies from 7-35lbs they will usually last for the duration of their diaper life. Since they are more expensive, I have saved on the amount I need by only using my pocket diapers for night time, long journeys and when baby goes to Granny! By trying a few different ones I have found those that I like best and I recommend trying one of each type before splurging on just one brand.

Another potential cost cutter is the One-size Cover. Both Thirsties and Wonder Wraps offer a range of one size covers and although I have not tried these yet, I love the regular Thirsties covers so I think the one-size version will be an investment for my next baby on the way!

Spending on cloth diapers usually requires one major purchase which psychologically can seem to be an expensive outlay when compared with disposables which are usually bought on a weekly basis. I found that online cloth diaper calculators to be a great way of showing me how much I would be saving and further convince me that for my budget, cloth is the way to go!

--Written by Terri H.