Finding what you need for cloth diapering for less
Used Cloth Diaper Resources
A Beginner's Guide to Frugal Cloth Diapering
Using Cloth Diapers
Why I Choose Cloth Diapers
Hidden Benefits of Cloth Diapers
How Do I Use 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!
Cloth Diapers: A Satisfied Customer
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.
Used Cloth DIapers for Both Kids
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.
Enjoy your little one.
A Favorite Brand of Cloth Diapers
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.
Cloth Diaper Washing Tips
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.
Great Ideas From Experience
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:
- A diaper pail - I use a basic step-on metal bullet wastebasket, with a separate plastic liner pail inside that I can pull out and wipe down. The step-on feature is nice when your hands are filled with a baby and a messy diaper! But the key is to make sure the lid fits tightly enough to secure odors. If you plan to use a "wet" diaper pail method, you'll also want to make sure the lid secures on in such a way that once your child is a toddler she won't be able to pull the lid off and spill the water everywhere (or worse, fall into it and drown).
- Diaper pail liners. Get two large waterproof pail liner bags, so you can have one in the pail and one in the wash.
The two accessories I'd recommend are:
- Reusable Cloth Wipes. I prefer reusable cloth wipes instead of disposables. They're more economical, better for the environment, softer on skin, and I think they clean better. I wet them with plain water that I keep in a squirt bottle on the changing table, or you could wet them and keep them in a container with a lid. I toss them in the diaper pail and wash them with the diapers. Mine are flannel squares, which were given to me as shower gifts. But you can cut them from flannel into sizes about the size of a baby washcloth. Or you can use baby washcloths. I've found that with six dozen I never run out.
- Fleece diaper liners. They go between the diaper and baby, and keep wetness away from the skin and into the diaper. These are important for my daughter, who tends to develop diaper rash even when her diapers are changed frequently. You can wait and see if you need them. I purchased mine from Diaperware.
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:
- Rinse v. No-Rinse. Some people rinse their poopy diapers in the toilet. This chore alone discourages many people I know from using cloth. I don't do it. Once the poops became solid enough to shake off of the diaper, I shake them into the toilet. Until then, I just dropped the diapers in the diaper pail, poop and all, and let the washer do the work for me.
- Wet Pail v. Dry Pail. Some people soak their diapers in a "wet" diaper pail until it is time to launder them. The downsides to this are that you have messy water that a toddler could knock over, or worse, fall into and drown and a heavy pail to carry to the laundry room. I use a dry pail. I just drop the diapers into the pail liner. If you don't want any stains on your diapers, you'll probably opt for the wet pail method.
- Cleaning. I've seen many different cleaning methods recommended. Ideally, I'd wash my diapers twice a week. You'll have absolutely no problems with odors from the pail if you do it this frequently. I put all of the diapers, covers, and the pail liner into a cold water wash for the maximum cycle. This removes poop and the cold water does not set in any stains. Some people use two diaper pails and keep poopy and wet diapers separate. If you do this, you only need to put the poopy ones into the cold water wash. I add detergent. I also add 1/2 C of Washing Soda (you can find it in the detergent aisle of your local supermarket). This really helps to get the diapers clean and fresh-smelling. Do not use fabric softener. It will reduce the absorbency of the diapers. Then I do a second wash in hot water for the maximum cycle, also with detergent and Washing Soda. This disinfects the diapers and your washer. If the diapers do not smell clean and fresh after this wash, you can do a second hot-water wash. Then I remove the pail liner and any laminated covers from the washer, because the next step can reduce their waterproofing, and hang them to air dry. Then I run a cold-water rinse, adding 1/2 C of white vinegar. Buy it by the gallon because it is much cheaper than fabric softener, and it won't affect diaper absorbency. This softens the diapers and neutralizes the pH from the Washing Soda. Then the diapers go into the dryer on high heat until they're dry. Or you can hang them in the sun, and take advantage of the sun's natural bleaching and disinfecting.
Take the Next Step:
- For more used cloth diaper resources or to share your own ideas, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Community.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- Is your family normal? See how other households spend their money
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Where to find the best deals in February
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- When your teen is ready for their first car
- Save over $2000 in baby's first year
- Get rid of lice for good!
- Ways to avoid the high cost of a divorce
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator