A Beginner's Guide to Frugal Cloth Diapering
Using Cloth Diapers
Why I Choose Cloth Diapers
Hidden Benefits of Cloth Diapers
I am soon to become a new mommy and want very much to try cloth diapering to save money, protect the environment, and diaper naturally. The quality of cloth diapers, covers, and accessories appears to be very expansive and expensive. Does anyone know of a good company or resource out there with dependable, easy-to-use, economical supplies? Need quickly! Thanks!
I am using diapers that either have snaps or Velcro closures that come from a company called My Lil Miracle. They have a website at mylilmiracle.com. I have found the customer service excellent and they endeavor to get the diapers to you as soon as they are manufactured to order. They have nylon pants and other nursing accessories, as well as detergents, etc. for you to browse through on the website. I have saved about $1000 so far by not using disposables.
I have cloth diapered both of my children and will be using cloth again this spring. With my first I used a diaper service. The service I used had "retired" diapers available for a discounted price. They were perfectly serviceable just a little on the worn side. I would still recommend a service for the first month if there were one available. You will have your hands full. When my second was born, we had moved to an area without a diaper service.
Personally, I like my unbleached Chinese diaper service quality prefolds with a prowrap cover. They are very cost effective and convenient. My favorite web sites to buy from are Katie's Kisses (Joyce is a sweetie that will answer any questions.) and WeeBees.
Enjoy your little one.
I am a mom of a two-year-old and have used cloth diapers all along. I found a website that I love. It has diapering supplies as well as many other baby and maternity related items. The customer service has always been excellent. It is a company run by a Canadian woman who has two preschoolers of her own. I believe it is a home-based business as well.
A couple great features are free shipping and handling for any order that is $40 U.S. or greater which will be easy to do for cloth diaper start up costs. There is a Diaper Analyzer on the site too that shows many brands absorbency, how long they take to dry in the dryer, measurements like depth, crotch, waist, leg. I found this particularly helpful when looking at all the different options out there. It can be expensive to buy a bunch of diapers and find that they don't work like you want them to and then have to buy something else. The website has a Clearance page to see items that are at much lower prices. There are "How to wash cloth diapers" and "How to fold prefold diapers" sections to look at for reference which I found to be quite helpful. There are good parenting links too.
I am almost done for now since my child is almost all the way potty trained. That is until we start all over next year.
I use the Kushies Brand of All in One diaper for my one-year-old. They are made almost just like a disposable with Velcro tabs that are adjustable. They don't leak if you are careful to make sure the soft lining is tucked into the legs each time. It only takes an extra second or two to do this and is well worth it. Also, you can buy doublers for these diapers and they make the diapers even more absorbent like for naptime. I use the doublers in every diaper. Also you can put a fleece liner inside the diaper right next to baby's bottom, and it will help with the dirty diapers. The poop will fall off the fleece (most of the time!) and it will help to keep your diapers nice and white inside, too. I love these diapers. I will have two in diapers in about five and a half months and I will be buying these same diapers for my new baby as well.
A good resource to go to is diaperpin.com where they have consumer ratings of all the different diapers. Because you're just starting out, the most frugal thing to do would be to buy a couple dozen "diaper service quality" Chinese prefold diapers and some good quality Velcro diaper covers. I had a great experience with Bummi's, but also found some others at resale shops and garage sales for as little as a quarter each. The cloth diapers you can buy at K-Mart are not the same and do not absorb like the real Chinese prefolds. It really is worth the extra money. Shop around online. If you have more money to work with, try some of the fitted and all-in-one diapers, which make it so much easier. Again, check diaperpin.com and epinions.com to find out what other people have liked. Also, I think you can buy secondhand diapers on ebay. Good luck. However you do it you'll save a bundle.
I use Dappi Diaper covers (no pins needed!) and Gerber pre-folded diapers. Sears also offers their store brand pre-folded diapers. I have found that all of these brands offer great quality. A few tips: Pre-wash diapers and wraps in warm water and vinegar to cut the ammonia and help disinfect the diapers, then wash as normal. Using warm water instead of hot will prolong the life of the diaper wraps and by not using bleach, you prolong the life of the diapers and wraps.
Congratulations! What an exciting time for you! I would be glad to offer what advice that I can based on my experience using cloth diapers on my daughter, who is now 15 months old. I've truly found them to be only a little more work than disposables. Most importantly, don't skimp on quality. Good-quality cloth diapers are worth the investment, especially if you plan to have any more children. To save money, I've found that eBay is the best source for second-hand diapers and covers. Even if you buy them all new, you'll still save lots of money over purchasing disposables.
Diapers - For the diapers themselves, you have two basic choices -- prefolds and fitted. "Prefolded" diapers are large rectangles, with an extra-thick section in the middle third of the diaper. You fold them into thirds and place them inside your diaper cover. These are the kind that I use and they've worked well in a variety of diaper covers that we've used to meet my daughter's changing needs as she's grown. The Chinese prefolds are the best quality, and they are available in bleached or unbleached. "Fitted" cloth diapers are shaped to look more like a disposable diaper, with leg gussets. Some need to have a diaper cover used over top; others are all in ones and include a waterproof outside layer.
We've used two different sizes as my daughter has grown. You'll also want to have some doublers for nighttime use. They give you additional absorption without as much bulk as using a second diaper. A half-dozen doublers is a good number to start with.
Diaper Covers - These come in a wide variety of styles, materials and prices. You'll have to learn from experience what type will work best for your baby. Factors include how chubby their legs are, and how heavy of a wetter they are. You can often find a variety offered for sale on eBay. I would recommend purchasing one each of perhaps three different kinds, and then when you see what you prefer you can purchase a few more. When my daughter was an infant, my favorites were
ProWrap Classics, which are a very economical choice from Earthbaby. I am currently using Stacinator So-Simple covers, Stacinator Snap Fleece covers, and Polar Babies Happy Pants covers, which have soft fabric leg gussets, all of which I've purchased from Diaperware.com
Some people love wool covers, especially for overnight use, because of the inherit properties of wool to absorb lots of wetness but not develop odors or bacteria. They're very breathable, and are a 100% natural fiber.
Accessories -- There are two accessories that you'll need, and two I'd recommend. The two you'll need are:
The two accessories I'd recommend are:
Cleaning - There are also a variety of choices in how you care for your diapers. My goal was to try to find the easiest method of dealing with the dirty diapers! Here's what I do:
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