Sunday, November 10, 2013

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The Road To Cloth: Budgeting, Saving & Starting Your First Stash #SchoolOfCloth

First and foremost, I want to wish you a great big congratulations to you and your baby for making the decision to use cloth diapers!  Beginning your journey with cloth can be a bit nerve racking.  For a parent who is new to cloth, the information can seem overwhelming at times and I'll admit, there is a lot of information out there!  But the most important thing to remember is that there is a vast world of resources out there to help make the first steps easier....and fun!  The great thing about cloth diaper moms is that we love to talk about cloth and we love to school other moms on the how to's of the cloth diaper world!  So if you ever get discouraged, don't give up because cloth moms stick together and we've got your back!

Now that you've decided to use cloth, the next thing to do is start your stash!  For some parents, the start up cost can seem like a lot but if you keep in mind the cost savings over the course of your little one's diaper years, its really just small pennies compared to the cost of disposables!  Not only can cloth diapers last you through multiple babies, but if you take care of your cloth diapers, you can resell them and make back some of your initial investment.  Its healthy for your baby, healthy for the environment and better for your bank account!

Now, lets get started on that stash!  My best tip for you, is to start early!  Start as soon as you find out your expecting.  I've heard other moms say that the initial start up cost of cloth diapers seems overwhelming and too much to handle at once.  But if you spread it out and purchase diapers a few at a time, the cost seems far less stressful.  You'll want to start with around a dozen diapers per day for a newborn.  Maybe a few less for older babies and toddlers.   Its good to wash diapers at least every other day with a cloth diaper safe detergent.  Otherwise dirty cloth diapers can get a bit stinky and you don't want stains setting in from waiting too long to wash.  So a stash of 2 dozen total is a good place to start!  You can always add more once you get the hang of things!

So here are my tips to getting your cloth diaper stash started:

Start Early!
Start before your baby arrives if possible.  The sooner the better!  If the idea of cloth has in any way crossed your mind, then go for it!  Whether you're set on it or still deciding, I can assure you, you wont regret the decision to use cloth!  So as soon as you find out your expecting, start building your stash.  If you already have a baby and you've decided to use cloth, start today!  If you are not able to start your stash while you're expecting, there are great ways to build an instant stash on a tight budget so you can dive right into cloth.

Start With a Super Saver Stash
 If you want to start cloth right away and your baby is already here.  Try starting out with flats, prefolds and coversFlats and prefolds are lower in cost and covers can be used for several diaper changes before throwing them in the dirty diaper pail.  Simply wipe the cover clean with a moist cloth wipe and place it back on over top of a clean flat or prefold!  This will at least get you started and if you decide you want to add in some more styles of diapers, you can slowly add these to your stash a few at a time.

Your Cloth Doesn't Have To Be Fancy
Cloth diapers are much different now then they were when my mother used cloth on me almost 30 years ago.  Cloth has evolved far beyond my mother's stash of flats and plastic pants.  These days, there are all sorts of "fancy" cloth diaper styles like All-In-Ones, Pocket Diapers, Hybrids, etc.   But if you're on a really tight budget, those good old fashioned flats, prefolds and covers that I just mentioned can be all you need to cloth diaper your baby until potty learning time!  And FYI, there are cloth training pants available as well!

Watch For Sales & Free Diaper Promotions
Always keep your eyes peeled for sales and couponsKelly's Closet has great coupons for free diapers with a minimum purchase amount. These coupons vary, with some requiring a $39 minimum purchase and others requiring say $79.  But those higher purchase amounts usually earn you a free diaper of higher retail value.  For me, I love using the coupon for a free diaper with a $39 purchase.  Kelly's Closet also offers free shipping on orders over $49.  When I purchase diapers online, I always purchase when they offer a free diaper with a $39 purchase but I make sure to spend $50.  So you can get free shipping and a free diaper!

Buy Used
There are many resources online for purchasing used cloth diapers.   You can find great used diapers on Craigslist and you can even find free diapers on sites such as Freecycle.  One of my favorites places online to purchase used diapers is DiaperSwappers.  Its sort of like Craigslist but its specialty is cloth.  You can buy used cloth diapers online and pay with Paypal and the selling momma ships your diapers to you!  And don't forget garage sales.  Just the other week, a mommy friend of mine stumbled upon a dozen bumGenius cloth diapers that were practically like new.  She got them for a deal at $25 for the dozen! You never know what sort of treasure you'll find at a garage sale!

Shop Local For Cloth Diaper Re-Sales
A local cloth diaper store in a neighboring city from us has a cloth diaper resale several times per year.  Local moms can bring in their cloth diapers to consign and sell and you can also purchase diapers from other moms at the sale as well. I've bought diapers from these types of sales and have also sold diapers there.  Another cloth diaper store about a hour from us has a similar type of sale every year as well.  You can find great bargains at these re-sales!

Have A Cloth Themed Baby Shower
Kelly's Closet has an online cloth baby registry, where you can create an online cloth diaper wish list, choose the diapers you want and add them to your registry.  Your baby shower guests can go to the website and order your gifts right there and they don't have to know a single thing about cloth diapers!

Win Cloth From Blog Giveaways
This isn't a surefire way to build your stash but some moms have had luck.  Mommy bloggers often host cloth diaper giveaways on their blogs.  I myself, love hosting cloth diaper giveaways on my blog because I'm a cloth diaper fanatic and I love bringing attention to my favorite cloth brands.  Enter these giveaways and you may get lucky and win a cloth diaper or two.  It usually doesn't take more than a couple of minutes to enter and these cloth diaper mommy bloggers usually have some great cloth info on their blogs as well. So you may learn something new while you're there or even discover a new brand.  A good way to find these giveaways is to type in something like "cloth diaper giveaway" in your search engine.

Start With A Variety
Not every style of cloth diaper will work for every family or every baby. Different diapers may
work better for and your baby than others.  Many have different fit, material, absorbency and closures. If you invest in an entire stash of All-In-Ones and then realize a month in that All-In-Ones are just not your cup of tea, you're right back where you started.... building another stash.  Start with a variety of brands and styles.  If you find the perfect niche for you, you can always re-sell a couple of the ones that weren't your favorite.  For us, we're all over the place!  We started with a bit of everything and kept with it.  We love them all and have a variety of styles and brands that we use.

Avoid The "Cheapies"
There are some cloth diaper brands that are dirt cheap. A lot of them are made overseas.  Some of them are priced around $5 a diaper and sometimes even less.  But its true what they say.....you get what you pay for!  These cheapie diapers can bust your cloth budget.  They seem like a good deal in the beginning with such a small investment for a large number of them, but the quality is poor and they don't last.  I purchased a few of these in the beginning while I was still learning the cloth diaper ropes and they all ended up delaminating before my baby was even 3 months old.  I had to spend my money all over again buying new diapers to replace them.  Spend your money on good quality diapers that are made to last.  Good high quality cloth diapers can last you through multiple children!

Hopefully these tips are helpful in getting you started on your stash!  Just as I said before, there is a wealth of knowledge out there and a lot of cloth moms are willing to help and answer questions.  Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for advice!   You're now on your way to being an official cloth diaper mom!   Congratulations and enjoy the fluffy road ahead!

Bio:  My name is Maegan and I'm a stay at home, cloth diapering, babywearing, blogging momma to one amazing little baby girl. Becoming a mom has been an amazing adventure.  I've always been an explorer, looking to venture out into the world to discover everything I can.  I've traveled the world but to tell you the truth...there really is no place like home! Check out my life and adventures as a new mom at The Bee Hive Buzz.


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1 comment:

will smith said...

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