An Intro to Cloth Diapering
Paint this picture in your mind…the average baby goes through around 3000 diapers a year. If you figure 30 diapers in a package at the cost of $10 per package, that makes it $1000 per year just for diapers. No wonder people say that having a baby is expensive! If your little one isn’t potty trained by the age of 3, which means you will spend over $3000 in diapers. Have a couple kids and that amount will go up to over $10,000 by the time all is said and done.
So what is a parent supposed to do about it? Look into cloth diapering! Cloth diapering is a good solution to this diapering expense. It sounds a little scary at first and somewhat intimidating (and maybe a little yucky!), but let’s look into it and see what cloth diapering really looks like.
Each day, the average baby is changed about every 2 to 3 hours. That means you will use around 6 to 8 diapers in a good day (maybe more depending on your baby!). You would use the same amount of cloth diapers in a day as you would disposable diapers. So if you are looking to start out with cloth, the minimum amount of diapers you should have on hand is about 15 – 20. (Unless you feel like washing every day!)
Cloth diapers do cost more than disposable diapers up front (around $10 – $20, depending on brand). However with the proper care you can use them for years and for multiple children.
Here are the different kinds of diapers available to buy:
- AIO – All in ones. These are one piece and very much like a disposable.
- AI2 – All in two. These have 2 pieces to put together each time you diaper baby.
- Pockets – These are a shell diaper that is meant to be stuffed with an insert (or more than one insert).
- Fitteds – These are soft inner diapers that require a cover.
- Cover – A wetproof shell to go over a fitted or a prefold.
- Prefolds – Cloth diapers that must be folded to be inserted into a cover.
If you are just starting out with cloth, you may want to try several different kinds of diapers first before you know which ones you should go with because you may not like them all. Fitteds, Prefolds, and AIO’s are great for newborns because they are the most absorbent. AI2’s and pockets have a great fit so they are good for older babies and toddlers. AIO’s are also great for easy changes (and dads!).
A normal daily routine with cloth diapers looks like this:
You start by changing baby’s diaper just as you normally would. Then head to your sink or tub and rinse the diaper. You can throw it straight in the wash after this or have a special wet bag (a bag that will hold in the water and smell!) or bucket to keep the diaper in until you are ready to wash. Repeat.
Cloth diapers can be washed the same as your other clothing, even with your other clothing, as long as you use a non-scented detergent and you may not want to dry your diapers, they do better if they are hung up to dry and will last longer.
The upfront cost for cloth diapers can seem intimidating, but there are many ways to reduce that cost.
- Buy used. -This may seem a little crazy but if a diaper was properly cared for there is no reason if can’t continue to be used.
- Buy from Ebay. -Ebay has some great little cheap cloth diapers. Yes, they do take a while to ship since they come from China, but they work well and look cute.
- Watch garage sales and thrift stores. -You never know where cloth diapers may pop up and someone might even be selling them brand new if they received them as a shower gift and don’t plan on using them!
There are many ways to save on buying cloth diapers but the biggest savings of all is cloth diapering its-self! Many more mama’s are choosing cloth diapers in this frugal day and age so chances are you have a friend that has cloth diapered and if you aren’t sure about all this, just ask her to show you how easy cloth diapering can be!
Looking for a good place to start? Amazon has a ton of cloth diapers to choose from.