Start Up Cost for Cloth Diapers

One of the biggest hurdles that struggling families face when looking into a sustainable diapering solution is the start up cost for cloth diapers.

I can’t afford the start up cost for cloth diapers!

Start Up Cost for Cloth Diapers (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

The cost of getting this much fluff to start can be intimidating…

Starting with premium brands like Fuzzi Bunz and BumGenius can be expensive.  Starting with, say, 18 Fuzzi Bunz Elite diapers with no sort of volume discount or sale comes out to right around $400 in Canada, or $360 in the US.  But you’ll spend right around that in six months on disposable diapers.

There are a few ways that you can work around the scary price, including using prefolds and covers, buying diapers here and there, or starting out with a non-premium brand.  You can start out with a stash of prefolds that will work for you for right around $100.

There are also brands of diapers that are less expensive that can be bought online in bulk.  Keep in mind, though, that with these less expensive diapers, the quality is not always the same… but it’s still better than disposables and a cheaper option until you can bulk your stash up with better diapers.  If you start out with the inexpensive brands (or “China cheapies”), it will at least pay for itself in the first month or two.

Plus, if you’re open to the idea, you can always start out with used cloth diapers.  There’s absolutely no harm in buying used cloth diapers.  In fact, I have a few used cloth diapers in my own stash that I bought because I wanted to try out that brand or it’s just not something sold locally in my area.  You can often buy very good to excellent quality used cloth diapers for 50% to 75% of retail value.  Sometimes you can get new cloth diapers that the seller hadn’t even washed for 75% of retail.  There are ways to start slowly with building a cloth diaper stash when  you’re on a budget.

Not only that, but you can recoup some of your expenses when you’re done with diapers by reselling the used ones.  There are groups online and on Facebook that are great places to sell your used diapers.  Those are also the great place to buy your used cloth diapers when you’re starting out or are looking to experiment.

If you’re still in a bind, there are groups dedicated to loaning out cloth diapers to those who cannot afford them.  I work with Cloth for a Cause‘s Prince George chapter.  There’s also The Rebecca Foundation in the States.

While the initial start up costs of using cloth can be scary, it’s something that can be overcome!

How did you cope with the start up costs of using cloth diapers?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I spent $180 when I first started. If I washed my diapers every day, I could have gotten away with that little. When you think about how much you will spend on disposables, $180 is nothing!

  2. I started searching Kijiji as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I bought a little of everything to find out what I liked and got great deals on everything because I could be patient. I’ve since sold off that entire stash and recouped almost everything I spent.

  3. Mindy - @The Inquisitive Mom says:

    I’m like a broken record, I know. Cloth diaper trial. Find what you like. Use incentives from that to buy enough diapers to wash every day. Slowly build your stash from there. Buy detergent or diapers from places like Kelly’s Closet where you often get free diapers with purchases. Consistently buy from the same store and save up rewards points. Enter giveaways. There’s lots of ways to build your stash!

  4. Sarah Shepler says:

    I’m getting some used and some new diapers. ‘Looking forward to selling my stash once I’m done!

  5. Rachel N says:

    I lucked out and bought a bunch of my initial stash on clearance. An online store was closing out so I bought fuzzi bunz OS and applecheeks diapers at 40% off retail. I have also bought some used diapers.

  6. if you go to this website you can get very nice cloth diapers for really cheap

    a lot of times they will have a package deal on diapers. I love them!! They have gone through two babies now and I am about to have our 3rd baby and will use them on the new baby as well.

    I hope this has helped everyone out that wants to use cloth diapers for a cheaper price.

    • right now they have a package deal of 12 diapers for 69.99….that comes out to about $5.83 a diaper which is a really good deal.

      • They’re cheap for a reason… usually that cheapness comes with a lack of quality. I would describe them as “possibly serviceable” but definitely not “very nice.” 🙁

  7. Heather Fantasma says:

    It cost me $15. Which consisted of a package of hotel towels purchased from Cargo Largo, polar fleece remnants, elastic, velcro, and thread. I borrowed my sister in law’s sewing machine and found free patterns online. They weren’t as cute or as trim as the more expensive diapers, but they sure got the job done when we were in a financial pinch. And we had no laundry problems or leaks with those simple fitteds and fleece covers. Worked like a dream.

  8. Megan Gardner says:

    This is great! We’re still working out how to pay for all our diapers since we got exactly 1 that I registered for at our baby shower. Everybody prefers to give cute clothes, I guess… We’re probably going to use all of our gift cards on diapers 🙂 And I love the comment about using a cloth diaper trial – we have a local cloth diaper store that does a 6 week trial for $80, and you get $20 back in store credit when you return them. We’re considering that a must since we don’t know yet what kinds of diapers we’ll like!

  9. I was fortunate enough to decide I wanted to use cloth diapers early enough that I won a stash-worth prior to my first little one being born!

  10. I got 25% off six BumGenius at with a promo code for new customers. I love them so now I am entering giveaways online and I’m going to investigate buying used ones. I might even have my mom place an order for me with 🙂

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge