How Much Do Cloth Diapers Cost? #schoolofcloth

Investing in Cloth Diapers

Welcome back to the School of Cloth.  This is a month long educational event sponsored by the Real Diaper Association, cloth diaper businesses, cloth diapering bloggers, and the entire cloth diaper community to help raise awareness about cloth diaper.  We’re glad you found us!

In week 2 of our School of Cloth we’re going to be talking about investing in cloth diapers.  Be sure to check out the schedule of live classes listed on the RDA website and Attend the School of Cloth!

Many families today choose cloth diapering for the financial savings.  I will admit though that first time you visit a cloth diaper store (online or in person) you start to question your decision when you see the price tag on some of the diapers.  Does a cloth diaper really cost $19 or more?  My baby is going to go through 12 diapers a day (or more); that’s $228 for ONE DAYS worth of diapers.  If you are already tight on cash you may just go spend $20 on a pack of disposables instead….but…what if I told you there was another way?

Actually there are several ways you can start using cloth diapers without having to fork out $250+ at one time.  Are you ready for the challenge?

Option 1:  Build Your Stash While Pregnant (Estimated 3-6 months)

Let’s use the bumGenius 4.0 pocket diaper for our challenge since that is one of the best selling and most reliable diapers on the market.  <In fact, bumGenius diapers are a gateway drug to your cloth diaper addiction>

Can you afford $50-55 a month?  You’ll easily have to spend that on disposables when the baby arrives so why not start budgeting that money while you are pregnant.  With $55 you could purchase 3 bumGenius 4.0 cloth diapers, get free shipping, probably use a coupon for a free diaper with purchase and earn reward points with many online retailers.  After month one you have 4 diapers and 55 Diaper Dollars (using Kelly’s Closet’s reward program as an example).

After 3 months: 12 diapers and 165 Diaper Dollars.  (Total spent: $165)

You could stop here and plan on washing every day.  It may be a lot of work but it’s only one load of diaper laundry each day.

After 6 months: 24 diapers and 330 Diaper Dollars.  (Total spent: $330)  You also have enough Diaper Dollars to earn a $10 gift certificate to Kelly’s Closet. 

This is the ideal starter stash size!  You could diaper your baby from birth through potty training with just these 24 diapers!  You would be washing every 2nd day for a while but that’s ideal to keep your diapers nice an clean anyways.

Option 2: Pre-folds (or flats) and Covers Stash While Pregnant (Estimated 3-6 months)

Pre-folds and flats are a much less expensive diapering option.  It may intimidate some parents who look at them as “old fashioned” cloth diapers.  Please don’t be scared of “old fashioned” diapers.  They don’t have to be complicated and many parents still prefer them over the newer, modern diapering systems.

Pre-folds: $13-25 for 6 prefolds (prices vary by size and brand)

Flats: $23.97 for 12 flats

Covers: $8-17 each.  If you get wipe clean covers you can reuse them 2-3 times (or more if needed) before you need to wash them in the machine.  You could diaper full time with only 3 diaper covers each day.  Again, it may not be ideal but if you are strapped for cash you’ll make anything work.

Total cost for 12 prefolds (OsoCozy Size 1) + 3 OS diaper covers (using Sweet Pea covers as our example) is only $59.85.  That’s only $19.95 a month if you saved for 3 months or $9.97 a month if you saved for 6 months.  This would give you 12 diaper changes; enough for one day.  Double it and you have enough for 2 days for only $119.70.

To learn more about using flats instead of prefolds; Flat Diapers, Everything You Wanted to Know!

Option 3: Borrowed or gently used.  Prices range from FREE (check Freecycle, Craigslist, garage sales, consignment stores, etc) to just a few dollars for each diaper.  Prices will vary widely depending on the brand name and condition of the diaper.  You may be able to afford better quality, brand name diapers for just as cheap as you could diaper using prefolds and covers.  This is a great option for the bargain hunter!

Option 4: FREE!  If you honestly do not have any money to spare to diaper your baby you DO have options!  You can use t-shirts and covers (Wal-Mart usually sells “old fashioned” rubber pants for just a few dollars) and make your own diaper for your baby.  For some amazing free diapering resources you can download the Cloth Diaper Solutions for Families in Need ebook from Dirty Diaper Laundry and learn even more ways to diaper your baby for FREE!

BUYER BEWARE!  There are diapers on the market for $2-5 each.  These can look very appealing when you are comparing them to the $17+ diapers on the market today.  Please know that these less expensive diapers may not last more than a few months before you’ll have to replace them.  They won’t come with any warranties or customer support if you have problems.  They may steal the patent (design) from other companies.  They may not even be legal business or pay taxes here in America (or Canada).  You may pay for these diapers only to wait for weeks or months before they even arrive to your house (if they ever do).  Buying these cheaper diapers may actually be hurting small family run businesses here in the US who helped to create the cloth diapering community that we know and love today.  If you have questions about the integrity or quality of any brand of diapers, please ask.

The owners, manufacturers, designers, retailers, and bloggers who have been in the cloth diaper industry for 5, 10, or even 25 years are working hard to provide you quality products at the most affordable prices they can.  They provide you with diapers that you can use for more than just one child.  They provide you with their time when you ask them for advice.  They provide you with their heart when you place their diaper on your baby’s bottom.  Let’s support these businesses with your cloth diaper purchases.  There really is a cloth diaper for any budget and if there is no budget; we have programs to help you in your time of need as well.

For more information on cloth diaper banks in your area:

Option 5: Keep reading this week’s School of Cloth!  There are many other ways to help manage the costs associated with cloth diapers that haven’t even been discussed in this post.  Be sure to click the links below to read how others have built their cloth diaper stashes.

Join us back here next week as we talk about cloth diaper banks and more about diapering in need.

Before you leave, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me how you managed to save up to buy cloth diapers?

Looking for cloth diapering resources and tips? Visit my cloth diapering archives, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and on Pinterest.
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One Response to How Much Do Cloth Diapers Cost? #schoolofcloth

  1. Pingback: School of Cloth: Week 2 Investing in Cloth Diapers | Mabe, With Love

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