Read on to learn about some of the most popular ways to save more money with cloth diapers.
1) Buy Used Diapers
Because cloth diapers can last for years, you can almost always find gently used diapers for sale somewhere. Some of the most popular sites for used cloth diaper sales are diaperswappers, Spot's Corner and there are many facebook groups that focus only on buying, selling and trading (b/s/t) used diapers. Many cloth diaper stores also offer a gently used section. You can usually buy an entire stash of gently used cloth diapers at 50% or more off the retail price.
Personally, I've never had an issue with the gently used cloth diapers I've purchased but there are some things to consider if you decide to buy previously used diapers:
- Yeast and bacteria can live in cloth diapers. If possible, try to bleach any microfiber inserts and wash well before using. You may also need to sanitize the rest of the diapers and inserts. You can find a good article about sanitizing cloth diapers at PinStripes and PolkaDots.
- Many gently used diapers have already gone through some wear and tear so they won't last as long as brand new diapers would. You may have to replace some of the used diapers before your child is potty trained.
2) Make Your Own Diapers
If you are handy with a sewing machine or serger, you might want to try making your own cloth diapers. As cloth diapers and diaper making becomes more common, the materials are becoming more accessible. Babyville produces a whole line of diaper making supplies that can be found at many JoAnns and Hobby Lobby stores. Fabric.com now offers a whole Diaper Central category. Wazoodle and Nature's Fabrics are both sites that are dedicated to diaper making. You can make cheap diaper inserts with the microfiber towels found in the automotive section of Walmart and Target.
There is a bit of a learning curve when making your own diapers. Just like premade cloth diapers, not all diaper patterns will work with all babies. So you might have to adjust or change your pattern a few times before you find what works for you. Also, some diaper materials can be expensive. Diaper manufacturers are able to buy their materials in bulk which is a lot cheaper than buying a yard or two at a time. And, they are able to pass that savings down with the cost of their diapers.
3) Buy Prefolds & Flats with Covers
This is probably the easiest way to save even more money with cloth diapers. You could easily purchase 24 prefolds and 6-8 diaper covers for under $200. For example:
24 Sweet Pea Infant-sized Prefolds = $78
6 Diaper Covers = $60 - $100
2 Snappis = $8 or less
Total Cost = $146 - $186
The medium sized prefolds will work at pretty much any age. They can be folded down for newborns and folded in thirds and laid in the cover for toddlers. My favorite way to fold a prefold is the Angel Wing Fold but there are other folds that can be used too. You can find some nice fold tutorials here: http://diaperpages.com/pf_folds.php
Prefolds and flats aren't hard to use, but they aren't as easy to use as pocket or AIO diapers so they can be intimidating to some people. It can be harder to get family and caregivers on board with cloth diapering if they have to use prefolds or flats.
Have you done any of these things to save money with cloth diapers?