Cloth diapers have a lot of benefits including reduced waste, less chemicals and are super cute. One of the biggest benefits is the money saved by using cloth diapers. In order to use them, you do need have them physically and it would be great to have enough to be able to make it through at least a day.
The start up cost of cloth diapers tends to be a big factor when people are deciding between cloth and disposables. Disposables you buy week to week, so at first it appears cheaper. Head into month 3 and that is no longer the case. So, how do you get the diapers you want without spending $500 or more out of the gate?
Five tips to get the diapers you want and save money:
Build A Stash
1. Start buying 1 or 2 a month during your pregnancy. Except for a small minority of cases, you know you’re pregnant for about at least 8 months. Rather then spending your money all at once when baby arrives, start building your stash early. I’d suggest buying a variety and have no more that 14 to 16 by the time baby is ready to put them on. You can purchase more of the ones you really like later and if you have ones that you are not fond of, you can sell them used. You don’t need a stash of 40 plus diapers. Add in a few more to extend the life of the diapers and the time between washing, but there is no need to go overboard.
Create A Registry
2. Make a registry and make request that others buy from it. This way you don’t have to pay for them all, people can help you by buying something practical and cute all at the same time. Be vocal. Remind people. Not all things have to be diapers, add accessories to make diapering easier as well as items like home cooked meals, laundry helpers and nap assistants.
3. Buy used.This one is a bit trickier, but there are quite of bit of EUC (excellent used condition) or NWOT (new without tag) diapers available. Check on B/S/T (buy/sell/trade) groups on Facebook, Kijiji and other forums. Try to see them in person so you can inspect them if you can and ask about yeast issues. Smell them, look for staining, small tears in the fabric and in the PUL (polyurethane liner). Test the snaps and check the hook/loop for excessive wear or improper washing. Ask what their washing routine was and what detergent they used. Ask if they have every bleached them with chlorine bleach (most diaper manufacturers don’t recommend this). Not everyone is honest, but many will tell you straight up why they are selling them. Once you have bought them, inspect again. Natural fabrics (cotton, hemp and bamboo) in my opinion are better to buy used than micro fleece inserts since they wash and clean much easier.
Explore Your Options
4. Don’t ignore prefolds and covers. They are not just for people who can’t afford diapers. They are actually wonderfully easy to use and can be quality diapers when they come from a reputable brand (Bummis is my favourite). They can be used as inserts in other pocket diapers, doublers or for car washing rags when babies are out of diapers if you don’t want to sell them.
Shop Your Local Retailer
5. Buy a reputable brand from an authorized retailer. Not only do you get great customer service including what styles and fabrics best meet your families needs and troubleshooting assistance, you also receives fantastic warranties from the manufacturer. This means if a snap breaks, elastic goes or there is a fabric defect you have the ability to send it to the manufacturer and receive a replacement. Warranties vary, but they are all pretty good. These warranties save you from having to buy another when one has defects out of your control. Manufacturers will typically authorise retailers sales, so you should be able to find a good deal every couple of months that doesn’t void your warranty (purchasing below MSRP without permission will void warranties). Also, they will have certificates showing that their material is free of heavy metals, PVC and such.
Planning your budget ahead of time and starting early will help ease the burden making cloth diapering, in the diapers you want to use a real option. Remember that cloth diapers should be able to go through several children and a huge number of washings as long as you take care of them.