My mother-in-law was a bit shocked when I said I would like to cloth diaper my baby. She had flashbacks to plastic pants, pins and poopy prefolds soaking in the toilet. After a bit of explaining and a few pictures I was able to show her how easy and cheap cloth diapering can be.
Not All Cloth Diapering is Cheap Cloth Diapering
When I found out I was pregnant, one of the million things I began researching was cloth diapering.
At first I got pretty disappointed because all I was reading about was $700-$1000 investments to start! Yeah, yeah. They all said in the long run I it would still save money especially once you cloth diapered your second or third child.
But I couldn’t justify that huge amount of money when I had so many unanswered questions:
- What if I hated cloth diapers?
- What if something happened to me and others had to care for my child?
- What if my baby didn’t do well in cloth? Or reacted to detergents?
- What if I by the second or third child I was so overwhelmed I didn’t want the hassle of cloth diapers?
All these questions and a few more discouraged me from considering cloth diapering.
Then I realized everything I was reading was about all-natural-fibers-top-of-the-line-best-ever-going-to-last-100-years cloth diapering.
What I Knew I Wanted in Cloth Diapers
Even though I didn’t know much about cloth diapering, there were a few things I did know I wanted after all my research.
- They had to be cheap.
- I wanted cloth diapers that had removable inserts.
- I wanted cloth diapers with snaps. Not Valcro. Not pins.
- I didn’t want to spend my life savings on them.
- I wanted them to resemble disposables as much as possible so others could easily change my baby’s diaper.
- They had to be durable.
- I didn’t want to deal with plastic outer pants.
Cheap Cloth Diapering: The Brand
I had read about people buying several different brands to decide what was the best fit for them and their child. There were so many giveaways and sales they would participate in to build their stash. These people would end up with a great stash of cloth diapers, for cheap.
To me, a mixture of several different brands sounded chaotic. At 2am I wanted to be able to reach in the drawer, pull out a diaper and an insert and know it was the right brand match.
Then one day…
Kristen talked about how affordable Alva diapers are .
I began reading about Alva diapers. There were a few bad reviews I came across. Other reviews talked about how they have lasted them through several children. Mostly the reviews were great.
I decided I could reasonably cloth diaper with the Alva brand.
The Cons of Alva
I absolutely love my Alva diapers! However, to be fair, I must mention the two drawbacks for me.
- They are made in China. As much as I like to support American made products, I didn’t have the money to purchase an American diaper line.
- They are microfiber. If you want only natural fibers like cotton, bamboo and wool around your baby’s tush, then Alva is not for you.
Cheap Cloth Diapering: The Accessories
Now a true minimalist, frugalist would not look into any frilly (can I say ‘frilly’ while talking about poop things…?) accessories for cloth diapering because truthfully nothing more than the diapers and a can is necessary.
However, I knew I needed some of the frilly accessories to make my job easier. I didn’t want to quit because of inconvenience.
There were 3 things I knew I needed to make my job less nasty and keep me from quitting.
- Diaper Sprayer – A diaper sprayer is a little costly but so worth it. It simply hooks up to the water line at the back of your toilet and hangs on the tank. A diaper sprayer eliminates the need to hand swish each poopy diaper in the toilet bowl. I had a cheaper one on my registry that didn’t get purchased. One day this one came up for 40% off so I bought it myself! I love it! Plus, it is a great conversation piece…
- Washable Can Liners – These can liners fit perfectly in a 10-gallon kitchen trash can. I love them because you can just pull out the bag and throw everything in the laundry. No touching the dirty diapers. And they are so cute! A true frugalist would just use a can with no liner and wipe the can clean each time. I have two so that I can fill one while the other is in the wash.
- Wet Bags – So these were something I thought I needed to make my cloth diapering less nasty. Actually, a grocery bag does the trick just as well. Even though these wet bags are super cute and affordable, they aren’t entirely necessary. But I do use them! And so cute!
What I Spent
I know not everyone is beginning their cloth diapering journey with the first child and the usual time to have a baby shower. I was, though.
For my baby shower I registered on Amazon. I loved it! I was able to find everything I wanted and even link items from other stores.
Plus, Amazon’s fulfillment incentive is great. After $1000 was purchased off my registry I received $100 of free diapers and wipes. [The registry is valid for several months, so whenever I needed anything I put it on my registry and then bought it. Detergent, maternity clothes, etc.] I also got percentages off certain items that I purchased myself! Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry[Sorry, I can’t list individual prices.]
Charcoal Bamboo Inserts (for overnight)
Diaper Sprayer (I wonder if this sat on my registry so long that Amazon did a “sale” of 40% off to get me to buy it…. it worked!)
Total Out of Pocket to Start Cloth Diapering – $96.46
Cheap Cloth Diapering Is Doable
Now you know how cheap cloth diapering can be! Decide what style of diaper fits your lifestyle. Pick a brand name that has good reviews or try out several. Figure out what accessories will make you stick with cloth diapering even when you want to throw in the towel.
Enjoy the challenge and the journey of cheap cloth diapering!