You are probably thinking I am either crazy or a hippie. I might be a little of both, but I look forward to the challenge! I first started thinking about using cloth diapers when I realized how much money I could be saving. That is the primary reason I am doing this. Sure there are other great benefits (better for the planet, more natural on baby's skin, etc) but I am going to save money so sign me up!
Let me start off by clarifying---I am NOT going to be using the fancy cute trendy cloth diapers that are so popular right now. Those suckers cost at least $15-$20 PER diaper and I would have to spend hundreds just to get a start-up stash going. I am sticking with the old-fashioned way of folding a cloth diaper over baby then using a waterproof cover. Easy peasy!
For those who aren't very familiar with the different kinds of cloth diapers, I have been doing my research so I will share with you what I have learned....
There are pocket diapers where you literally have a pocket in the cover that you stuff an absorbent insert into then you put the whole thing on baby. When it is soiled, you get the fun job of disassembling the yucky dirty diaper and removing the insert before you get a clean cover+insert to put on. I am not a fan of this style:
Next is called the All-in-One cloth diaper. This is style is most "convenient" and similar to a disposable diaper. The cover and absorbent insert are one piece and you must wash with each soiling. I am definitely not a fan of this style either.
The third major style (and most affordable) is Prefolds. They have been around for many decades and even some of our parent used them on us. They are used with some sort of waterproof cover that can be used until it gets soiled, so you end up just changing the actual prefolded cotton pad with diaper changes. The cotton prefold is basically a big square of 100% cotton that you can get in different sizes for baby size, or you can buy a big size and just fold it how you want it to fit. There are tons of different ways to fold the cloth depending on where you need more absorbency, and you can learn them all on YouTube. The cloth does have to be secured somehow but poky diaper pins are no longer needed--there are these things called Snappis that hook onto the cotton quickly and easily without the risk of poking baby.
This is the route I have chosen! It may not be as convenient as some other styles, but I refuse to pay hundreds more just for convenience. I'll be off work for 3 months so I'm up for a challenge! Now for the money-saving part:
There are really not any physical stores around me to go to for buying affordable cloth diapers. In fact the options really suck here. When I looked online I had to weed through tons of trendy expensive styles before I even found what I was looking for. But after much searching I have found a super cheap way to get the prefolds and the covers. As for how many to get, I estimated I would be changing 10-12 diapers per day for the first few weeks so I should get enough to supply for 1-2 days of that (depending on how often I will do wash).
(These are actually large squares that are folded into thirds)
Surprisingly Walmart carries a limited variety of Gerber prefold cloth diapers in packs of 4 for about $6.50. They have boy and girl solid colors, plus some prints. I got some of each and will aim for 6 packs (24 diapers total) to have in my stash.
Next are the covers. These have proved much harder to find (except for online). They are typically around $10-$20 per cover (even used!) and I knew I could find a better deal than that. That is where China comes in for supplying me with an affordable option :) I found several Ebay stores that have a vast selection of covers that run around $2-$3 each. Since covers can be reused until they are soiled, I am not planning on getting much more than 8-10. I bought these today online (except for the pink and purple) and should be getting them in the mail soon!
These are some prints that I am thinking about getting online, I am just waiting on an invoice from the seller. These run about $3.50 each.
The snaps that you see on the covers is so that you can use one cover from newborn up to around 28lbs. They are full adjustable so that I won't have to buy new ones with a bigger baby! Gerber does make white vinyl waterproof covers (around $6 for 3) but they are elastic pull-ups and I don't see that being very easy with a wiggly baby on a changing table. I like the regular diaper design of the snap covers, plus that they grow with your baby.
Nick thinks I'm a little nutty for wanting to do more work but he sees where I'm coming from and he is all about saving money too. He is on board (yay!) and hopefully he adapts without much of a fight.
So my total cost to build my cloth diaper stash is:
24 cotton prefolds = $39
8-10 waterproof covers = $20-$25
3 Snappis = $5
What that means is for around $65 I can potentially diaper my baby from birth all the way to potty training!! How awesome is that? I see it as a test that I will do my best to pass.
There are a few other "accessories" I am still deciding on to use--wet pail, detergent, washable wipes--or not but I'm narrowing things down with only 11 weeks to go until I meet my baby boy! As always I don't know anyone else who is doing this so I am teaching myself and trying to learn from the internet as I go.
Don't worry--once I actually start cloth diapering I will post again about how it's going and what my routine is. Thanks for reading!