Like many natural parents you may have taken a stance in the great diapering debate and decided that the comforts and benefits of cloth diapers for baby and planet win out. Now that this important decision has been made it is time to decide what type of cloth diapers you will use and start building your diaper stash. The choices are endless… prefolds, pockets, AIOs, and fitted diapers are just a few of your cloth diaper system options. Add to that the choices you have for different fabric prints, colors, and textures and your head might start to spin. For many moms this decision also includes finding the most affordable cloth diapers available. Cloth diapers don’t have to require an expensive initial investment.
Even the most expensive cloth diapers are a more frugal choice in the long run compared to disposable diapers but when you see several cloth diaper brands selling for upwards of $17 a diaper, that pack of disposable diapers for only $14.99 starts to sound like the better deal. So what can moms on a more modest budget do? Here are some ideas:
Prefolds – A Classic and Affordable Choice
Prefold diapers are probably what your mother or grandmother used. They are flat diapers with layers of fabric quilted together with a larger and more absorbent portion running down the middle. They can be folded in many different ways to increase efficiency and they are usually secured with pins, a Snappi, or a wrap style, diaper cover. Prefolds are typically the least expensive choice in cloth diapers, costing in the area of $15-$20 per dozen. They are affordable, very absorbent, easy to clean, and quick to dry. Since these diapers are not waterproof they do require a diaper cover to contain but even with the extra “pieces” you need for prefolds they are still a tried and true favorite among frugal moms. Most moms, no matter what cloth diaper system they choose, keep a few prefolds around. They’re great for when baby has a rash, you can just pin one on without a cover so baby can “breathe”. They also make great burp cloths, and when you’re done with diapers, window cleaning rags.
Used Cloth Diapers
One of the great things about cloth diapers is that they have resale value and the used diaper market is growing more and more every day. This is great news for you because it means you can sell your used diapers to recoup some of your money after your diapering days are long gone. It is also great because it means that if you are in the market to buy you can get some great deals on previously loved cloth diapers. A diaper that retails for nearly $20 may be purchased used for a fraction of the original price. Buying used allows you to try out several different diapering systems cheaply so that you can experiment and decide which system works best for you. Used diapers can be found on diapering forums and message boards and on local lists such as Craigslist.com and Freecycle.com. Thrift shops and consignment stores are good places to search too.
Sewing Your Own
Cloth diapers can be made out of a variety of materials so get creative and sew some truly unique and affordable creations yourself. Check bargain bins at your local fabric store or see if you have any used clothing or blankets that can be recycled into cloth diapers. Free patterns can be found online for diapers, covers, and even wool soakers. Garage sales and thrift stores are excellent places to pick up wool yarn to use in making wool soakers or covers and fabric remnants and thread that can be used to make diapers.
With all of the affordable diapering options available today, cloth diapering on the cheap is not a hard task!