Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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Cloth Diapering Recommendations for Every Budget!

My sister in law is currently pregnant with her first baby, due in April 2010. Thankfully, she has shown interest in cloth diapering her baby, so that has gotten me thinking about advice I could share with her. I know she is interested in cloth diapering not only to protect the environment, but also to save money. I know there are probably a lot of other mom’s in the same situation, so I thought I’d share some of the ideas I’ve come up with. I remember all too well how overwhelmed I felt when I began researching cloth diapering, so hopefully I can help make some of the decisions a little easier by sharing a few options for the mom who is just beginning the journey into cloth diapering.

If saving money is your main motivation to cloth diaper, the cheapest route, hands down, would be "flats" and several diaper covers. There are a variety of ways to fold a flat diaper, and they can easily be used from newborn to toddler. For just $17.95/dozen for birdseye flats (less if you buy 3 packages or more), you can get easily cloth diaper for under $100 with flats and diaper covers. Flat diapers are easy to wash, quick to dry and take up very little room in on the changing table. For those of you who are afraid of using diaper pins around the baby, you can purchase a few Snappi's. Snappi's are a flexible diaper fastener which replace the need for scary pints and hold the diaper on just as well!

The next step up would be prefolds. Prefolds are similar to flats, in that you need fasten the diaper onto baby, however, much the majority of the "folding" has been done for you and they are sewn in such a way that the center panel has several layers for optimal absorption. Like the flat diaper, you must then use a waterproof cover over the diaper to keep babies clothing dry.
For moms who are able and/or willing to spend a little more money on a diaper stash, the all-in-one and pocket diapers are simply wonderful. They are literally just as easy to use as disposables and are the most daddy/babysitter/daycare friendly cloth diapers available. The majority of my stash is made up of pocket diapers and honestly, I’m just as happy with the $14.95 Smartipants One Size pocket diaper as I am with the $33 Blueberry Bamboo Minky One Size diaper. I jokingly compare it to shopping for a purse. I know several people who think nothing of dropping $300 on a designer purse, but does it really do anything my $30 purse can’t?

Two of the newest diapering systems I’ve looked at also are worth mentioning for the mom who is looking for a budget friendly cloth diapering option… Econobum and Flip. Both products are offered by the same manufacturer of the ever popular bumGenius diapers. While I don’t need to add a new diapering system to my cloth diaper routine, they look like a wonderful way to get started without breaking the bank. When it’s all said and done, you can get started with a nice cloth diaper stash spending as little as $100 and working up to several hundred dollars. If you are looking to begin cloth diapering and have a limited budget, I would suggest purchasing several pocket diapers for on-the-go (my personal favorites are the Smartipants and bumGenius One Size pocket diapers), a dozen flats and a dozen prefolds (or more), and 4-5 waterproof covers (my personal favorites are the Blueberry One Size Coveralls and Thirsties). Additionally, I would suggest a few Superdo inserts for overnight, as well as a few hemp inserts for extra absorbency when needed.

If you want to cloth diaper, there really is a system out there for every family and every budget.

-- By Katrina W.

11 comments:

Crystal said...

I've really gotten into using Flip and would recommend them to moms trying to cloth diaper on a budget. While they cost a little more than prefolds or flats, they still are far cheaper than pockets, and you still get the benefits of a stay-dry layer, one-size cover (so you won't have to buy more as your baby grows) and no pins or snappis. You can get 24 diaper changes for $200 (or less if you catch a sale!).
Thanks Katrina for writing this article! I wish I had read it when I started out!
aboverubies15 at yahoo dot com

Matt & Jennifer said...

We are in the process to adopt two infants. I want to cloth diaper but don't want to use flat or prefolds. I really like the AIO's and AIT's. I have recently bought 3 smartipants, 2 bum genius, 2 gro baby's and 2 soft bums. I was wondering how many diapers do you recommend I should have in my stash. Our babies should be anywhere from 6-9 months when we bring them home. Thanks.

Megan said...

Thanks for the thorough post....decisions, decisions..

Mindy said...

I've wondered if any of those $30 diapers could really be that much better. I'm glad to read that more money doesn't mean more absorption or a better diaper. I have tried the flip and would not recommend it for first time cloth diapering moms. It's convenient, good for day time (not naps), and fits well in a diaper bag. But I think there are definitely better options for a beginner.

Shelly said...

Great article:-) As an expectant mother due in April 2010 myself, I'd love for some CD experts to share their most sucessful routines for the tiny newborn stage. It seems to me that most one size dipes simply won't work on a newborn...

mommyx12 said...

You know I don't even know what my motivation for cloth diapering was. In the beginning I just didn't know any better. My hubby is the eldest of 11 kids and all his siblings were cloth so when our first was born I just let him do the diapering. Of course it only lasted long enough until I learned which maybe was a day!!! It's funny. For the last 8 babies my husband has worked at Kimberly Clark and we got all the pull ups and diapers we could handle. Huggies, wipes, pull ups. Our garage was packed with them. And I still just continued using cloth. Don't really know why either. Finally we moved and we gave all that stuff away. Even with my twins we got double the diapers from them but they were in cloth most all the time. Even traveling didn't stop me. There have been times though when I am out and about if I get one that is just toooooo messy. I toss it just as if it were a disposable diaper. Some things just aren't worth washing out in a public restroom!!

Big Mama said...

dont forget Miracle Diaper as well!

Beth Irish said...

Isn't it crazy how little or how much you can spend? We started out "cheap" and have moved to "moderate". I have to say with baby #3 on the way, I've been much more liberal than I was with the others when I buy for little guy #2, knowing that the diapers will have a long life! Thanks for your testimony.

kia said...

Thanks, I am due with my first in June and appreciate this kind of information in a post. My husband and I plan to cloth diaper and researching the choices is pretty laborious since we can't test anything out right now.

Emily said...

After cloth diapering since my baby was born (except when on extended vacations) I have to admit that I am looking to purchase more but at a smaller price point. I have all pocket diapers from a few different manufacturers (plus some Gro Babies)and they were all $17 and up each. Now I see that even the most expensive will tend to fall apart under such repeated use and need fixing or replacing. So I am now looking at getting some less expensive brands which I am sure will work just as well as the major 5-6 brands I use regularly.

Melissa N. said...

Thanks Katrina! As your sister-in-law it's great that I have you to ask questions. I'm just getting around to catching up on blogs and this is helpful! I got my first order of 2 BumGenius yesterday (a friend got them for me) and I ordered 3 BG too so I'm up to 5, just getting started! I will look into a mix of different kinds as well.