Budgeting Like a Mom: Cloth Diapers

diaper stash

I spend quite a bit of time finding ways to save a couple bucks here and there. Being part of a young and new family often times means that you must live on a budget. This is especially true whenever you are expecting a new addition in your family. I was trying to find ways to stay on budget once I found out I was pregnant. The one option that I liked most was cloth diapers.

When I first started looking into cloth diapers I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had evolved tremendously. I thought I would have to use the old style Prefold diapers that use safety pins to be kept together, but none of the diapers in my stash are like that. All the ones I have are already in diaper shape and use snaps to stay together. They have an opening in the back where I stuff an insert made of any one of numerous absorbent materials. With the right combination of inserts Andrew can be in the same diaper all night without leaking. Considering Andrew usually sleeps about twelve hours that’s pretty impressive.

The fact that cloth diapers are so much cuter than disposables is also a plus. Most of the different prints and colors I have seen for cloth diapers are far better than the one or two cartoon characters on most disposables. Often times I don’t even want to button Andrew’s onsies because I want to actually see his diaper!

Now for my favorite part about cloth diapers, the cost. Here is a picture I found online that gives a pretty good idea of cost of cloth versus disposable diapers.

The thing that can make cloth diapers most difficult though is the initial cost. Price per cloth diaper depends on which type you want. If you want to go with the old style Prefold diapers, then you chose the cheapest option at a few dollars a diaper. If however, you choose the All-in-One style which are the most user-friendly option, then be prepared to spend about $20.00 a diaper! Because you can’t get away with only a couple diapers, the cost adds up fast. The average newborn goes through about ten diapers a day, so the lowest recommended amount of diapers for you to have in your stash is 24. That way you do diaper laundry every other day. Most people, myself included, think you should have more than that because cleaning diapers every other day is a bit monotonous.

What I did to save money getting my cloth diapers is I put them on Andrew’s baby registry. So many people give disposable diapers as gifts anyway, so instead of them giving a big box of disposables they gave a cloth diaper or two. With the diapers and the gift cards to buy diapers I was given, I only had to pay a total of $32.70 out of pocket for my stash of 35 diapers! That includes the diaper sprayer and 89 different diaper inserts I own. (Yes I know that is an excessive amount of inserts, but I wanted to try different materials to see which suited Andrew best.)

I know of a lot of other cloth diapering mommas that bought most their stash used as a way to save money. It is possible to find gently used cloth diapers that look brand new. A lot of people take amazing care of their cloth diapers so they last for years. They know it is worth the time to care for the cloth diapers so they can resell them and make some of their money back, or even to be able to keep them to pass down to their next baby.

Now for those of you who are worried about the cost of having to wash the diapers, don’t worry it’s really not that bad. Most people say their water and utility bills only have increased a couple of dollars since they switched to cloth diapers. Some people don’t even notice the difference in their bills! Detergent can be expensive, but if you stay on the look out for sales or coupons, your wallet won’t take a beating.

Cleaning the poop off of a diaper sounds really gross, but if your like me you won’t mind because it’s your baby’s poop. I also have a diaper sprayer that attaches to my toilet so I don’t even have to touch the poop if I’m careful. Good news for moms of exclusively breast fed babies, that poop is water soluble so you get to just throw it in the washer without having to worry about it.

As you can tell, I’m crazy about cloth diapers. I felt a little overwhelmed when I first started researching them, but now I’m an old pro. I also love the many cloth diapering mom’s Facebook pages. It’s great to know so many people are just as excited about something as you are, and having so much troubleshooting support is wonderful.

Still on the fence about cloth diapers? Here are a couple pictures I took today of one of my diapers. Andrew has used this one (that includes going number two in it several times) ever since day one in cloth. Just look at how clean it still is!

owl diaper inside owl diaper front

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