Cloth diapering is the cheapest way to diaper a baby. Here are my tips for cloth diapering with very little money.
1) Flats are your friends- I know. I’ve already sung the praises of flat diapers so I promise that I won’t repeat myself. I’m just reemphasizing it as an affordable option.
2) Create an affordable stash- Prefolds, just like flats, are more affordable than all-in-ones. I tend to invest in lot of prefolds and flats for home use and have a few all-in-ones and pockets for when we’re not at home or for when my husband has to change a diaper.
3) Ask for them- I put diapers on my second son’s baby registry, and I’ve put them on Christmas/ birthday wish lists for both of my children. No one has purchased them from the lists, but my mother has bought a number of cloth diapers for me for no reason at all.
If you’re worried that your friends or family may not purchase the diapers, you can also add things like wash clothes, flannel receiving blankets, and cotton burp clothes. The wash clothes make great cloth wipes while the receiving blanket and burp clothes make great diapers. You don’t have to explain to your friends or family what you intend to do with them.
4) Buy Seconds/Used- I’ve bought seconds, and I’ve never been able to tell any difference between them and those bought in a store. Usually seconds are sold because they didn’t pass the rigorous inspection. Maybe the stitching is off. Maybe the snaps aren’t aligned perfectly. In either case, the diaper still works fine.
Buying used can also be a good thing. Many times parents are simply trying to get some money for their initial investment because their child has potty trained. Quality diapers will last a long time. Make sure you do your homework, and buy long lasting diapers. Ask for pictures, and inquire about any stains.
5) Look for deals- A number of online retailers will have deals particularly around the holidays. You can easily find buy 1 get 1 free, free shipping, etc on a number of name brand diapers. Be on the look out for coupons that give you a free diaper with a certain dollar amount purchase.
Another thing to do is to make sure you sign up for the online retailers rewards programs. After so much of an investment, you can cash in your points in order to receive another diaper.
6) Take advantage of package deals- Some sites will lower the cost of each individual diaper depending on the amount you plan on purchasing. I used a package deal when I invested in infant prefolds and covers.
7) Check out Freecycle and other ‘For Free’ groups- My local Freecycle chapter listed a post with a free diaper in it. The diaper had never been used. When I had a chance to inquire, someone had already snagged the diaper. Darn.
8) Make them- Maybe you are a wiz with a sewing machine or maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re better at knitting. In any case, you can easily find free diaper patterns for sew/no-sew and knitted diapers online. You can easily recycle old t-shirt, towels, sheets, and wool sweaters to save additional fabric costs. Making your own diapers will save you money.
9) Giveaways- Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with online giveaways. It’s just so tempting to click a few buttons to enter. I’ve won two diapers this way.
If you’re not interested in entering a giveaway, you can always offer to host a giveaway. Many diaper retailers, diaper manufacturers, and work-at-home moms are willing to have bloggers host a giveaway. In exchange they usually give you a free diaper to review. It’s a win-win situation. You get a free diaper. They get to reach more people with their product.
10) Look for discontinued products or closing retailers- Many diaper manufacturers turn over their product periodically. Maybe they are changing their prints or the product’s design. The diaper is still good; it just won’t be their latest model. You can take advantage of this when they deeply discount to move the old product off the shelves. I got two diaper covers this way.
Unfortunately as we are still in the Great Recession, a number of small retailers haven’t been able to stay in the black so they are closing. In order to try and reap some last minute profits and get rid of stock, they will often discount their store products. These products are the same exact things at other stores, only cheaper.
11) Use Search Engine Reward Programs- Search engine rewards programs like Swagbucks have you earn points by searching online. You can take these points and turn them into gift cards. Swagbucks, for example, periodically lists baby shops that carry cloth diapers. They also have gift cards to Amazon, who also carries cloth diapers.
Believe it or not, it’s perfectly inexpensive to cloth diaper a child from birth to potty training. All you have to do is know how to do it, and the good thing is that I’ve already showed you how.
Article by Laura Weirich
Laura Weirich has been married for four years and has two sons. She's been breastfeeding for nearly two years and currently tandem nurses her toddler and infant. A big proponent of breastfeeding, she's been educating her friends and family about the benefits of breastfeeding and helping other women along the way. When she's not nursing, she chases a toddler all day, washes cloth diapers, tries to catch a few zs and reads up on the latest research about children.
Laura has written 33 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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