Starting cloth diapers. There are a number of reasons why parents want to do it, but there are two main reasons why parents fear it. Reason #1 is fear of poop. After realizing that smells and contact with feces can be less in cloth, we get to objection #2… which has nothing to do with “number two.” The last intimidating hurdle is the cloth diaper start up fees.
Cloth Diaper Start Up Fees – Less in the Long Run
It’s really easy for people who are sitting back with a calculator to point out that the cloth diaper start up fees are significantly less than the long term cost of disposable diapers. Sure, $3,000 is a lot less than $300… but if you’re doing great to manage the $12 for a pack of disposables, $300 is way out of reach. If you’re doing okay financially, $300 can still be a good chunk of change to put down on something you’re not even sure will work for you.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost $300 up front. There are ways to get around it and make it cheaper. This way, the cloth diaper start up fees can be broken down into a more manageable, “bite size” purchase.
Start with All-in-Two Diapers
All-in-two or hybrid diapers from your big name manufacturers can make the cloth diaper start up fees far less painful. If you’re in Canada, you can get a Flip Day Pack for around $61 at Cozy Bums. (You can also find a Flip Day Pack at Nicki’s Diapers in the States for $50.) A Flip Day pack will get you 6 diaper changes, which is a full day for a toddler and half a day for a very young baby. Flip also has a disposable insert option if you’re having a rash problem, need to travel, or are not ready to cope with carrying a wet bag of dirty inserts for whatever reason.
Best Bottom also provides a cost efficient way to start. You can get an equivalent package of Best Bottoms (2 shells, six inserts) for $65.50 at Cozy Bums or $57.60 at Nicki’s Diapers.
Prefolds and Covers
If you’re starting with a newborn, prefolds and covers are an absolutely fantastic beginner option. Sure, they’re a lot like the diapers that your mother or grandmother would have used, but you can avoid pins and they’re wonderful for little newbies. (Less amazing for bigger babies that will kick you in the face during a diaper change, but that comes later.) You can get 6 newborn prefolds and 2 covers at Cozy Bums for under $35. A same size package can be put together at Diaper Junction by hitting what’s on clearance at the time of post for $20.82.
These will provide you with about half a day’s worth for a newborn. When your newborn outgrows that size, you can use those same prefolds for a ton of different things.
I’m not going to tell you that your China Cheapie brands like AlvaBaby and Sunbaby are just as good as the premium brands out there because, well, they aren’t. Not with their warranty, not with their ability to absorb. But I will tell you that China Cheapies like Sunbaby can be an excellent place to start. If your finances allow, you can always upgrade to better diapers later. That being said, they are pocket diapers, which are popular because of their similarity to using disposables. They are cheap, which puts them in reach for most people. They can even be bought in co-ops if you can find one.
The only brights sides to them are that the prints are cute and they can be a “gateway drug” to finding better diapers out there. The downside is that there are enough people who have problems with them that give up on cloth altogether because they think that all diapers are created equal. (They aren’t.) They can be found for around $45 for six changes, or less if you get them from a co-op.
What makes cloth diapers so amazingly sustainable? Not only can they be used on more than one of your children… but they can also be sold when the family has no further use for them. Buying used cloth diapers can be a great way to try a brand without making a huge commitment. It can also cut your costs down by as much as half.
A lot of cloth diaper retailers have “price breaks” for buying multiples. There are also diapers that go on sale because the manufacturer is having a sale or has discontinued a color or print. You can get these diapers for 15 to 25% off, which can be a huge savings for you when you’re starting out.
Win Your Stash
This takes a lot of luck and dedication to entering giveaways on your part… but at any given time, there are at least 30 diapers up for grabs. In fact, I currently have four cloth diaper giveaways up on my blog at the time of publication. We do joke in my local community that one of our members has a Golden Horseshoe based on how frequently she wins giveaways. It seems to be contagious; diaper wins in our area are up. (And they aren’t just winning on my blog, either.)
Cloth Diaper Lending Banks
There are organizations out there that have one mandate in mind: get cloth diapers on babies’ bums. These organizations are meant to be sustainable because it’s a one time loan per family, and that family can return the diapers when they are no longer needed so that they can be loaned out to the next family. Cloth for a Cause is one such organization that services Canada. Giving Diapers, Giving Hope and The Rebecca Foundation Cloth Diaper Closet offers assistance across the United States.
As you can see, cloth diaper start up fees can be easily adjusted for what your family can afford. You can spend nothing or you can spend a fortune. It’s all a matter of what you find that works for you.
What suggestions do you have for reducing cloth diaper start up fees?
Today’s fluffy model is Heather’s daughter Poppy over at The Parenting Patch. Poppy is fit for fall in the Pink Giraffe diaper in brown with a pink giraffe print, pink trim, and pink snaps from Best Bottom Diapers.
Potty training. The bane of my existence. When it’s time for potty training (or potty learning, whatever), getting the right pair of underwear for your toddler can make all the difference. For Norton, I found that the Best Bottom trainer was a great trainer.
Best Bottom Trainer Style
The Best Bottom trainer is a sized trainer that looks a lot like underwear on the outside. The inside is lined with PUL and the trainer is designed to be used with particular inserts by Best Bottom. Another great thing is that they are made in the USA!
What’s Awesome About the Best Bottom Trainer
The Best Bottom trainer is often sold in a pack with three feel wet inserts. However, just because your little one is begging to wear underwear, that doesn’t mean that he necessarily gets the idea. (I know that Norton didn’t.) And sometimes, it’s good to have extra wetness protection. With that in mind, you can use the Best Bottom diaper inserts in sizes small and medium. It’s also possible to just get through the entire day in one trainer, particularly if you change inserts.
The design also makes it easy for your toddler to pull the underwear up and down. The lack of side snaps make it feel more like underwear and less like a diaper to my boy. I find the price (typically around $25 CDN/$23 USD) to be pretty reasonable, especially considering how many uses you can get out of the Best Bottom Trainer.
What’s Not Awesome About the Best Bottom Trainer
There are very few colors in the Best Bottom Trainer line up: blue, green, pink, purple, and white. I’d love to see more fun colors and prints involved! I like to match my son’s underwear to his clothing just as much as I enjoyed matching his diapers. The lack of side snapping, while awesome for feeling like underwear, sucks if there’s a poo. I also find that the fabric flap can get wet on my son, which leads to me putting a shell in the wet bag earlier than planned. I’m also not too keen on the instructions calling for a warm wash instead of a hot wash. That means that I either a.) have to do a separate load with my cloth diaper safe detergent or b.) have to wash them on the “wrong” setting. I wash mine on hot, anyway, because washing something that my kid defecates in on warm is just… gross.
In a Nutshell?
The Best Bottom Trainer isn’t perfect, but it’s my absolute favorite trainer to date. And it’s one of Norton’s too. If it only had a picture of Lightening McQueen, he’d never want to wear anything else.
Today’s fluffy model is Heather’s daughter Poppy over at The Parenting Patch. Poppy is celebrating Halloween in the Key Lime Pie diaper in avocado green with white trim and avocado green snaps from Best Bottom Diapers. The Key Lime Pie shell is perfect for Halloween.
Today’s fluffy model is Heather’s daughter Poppy over at The Parenting Patch. Poppy is celebrating Halloween in the Cookies ‘N Cream diaper in black with white trim and black snaps from Best Bottom Diapers. The Cookies ‘N Cream shell is perfect for Halloween.
Today’s fluffy model is an older picture of Heather’s daughter Poppy over at The Parenting Patch. Poppy is celebrating Halloween in the Plum Pie diaper in plum purple with avocado green trim and plum purple snaps from Best Bottom Diapers. The Plum Pie shell is perfect for Halloween.
Today’s fluffy model is Heather’s daughter Poppy over at The Parenting Patch. Poppy is celebrating Halloween in the retired Orange Sherbet diaper in orange with blue trim and orange snaps from Best Bottom Diapers. The Orange Sherbet shell is perfect for Halloween.
For a few years, brown was the new black. It was wonderful for children’s clothing and nurseries; a lot of people don’t believe that black is appropriate for children because of its funereal uses. It spawned a whole series of collections of pink or blue with brown accents. Of course, like many trends, they find their way to cloth diapering. Brown cloth diapers were plentiful.
Now, though, brown cloth diapers seem to be going out of fashion. Best Bottom diapers discontinued their double chocolate diaper in February. FuzziBunz discontinued the Choco Truffle diaper around July. AppleCheeks announced that they were retiring Chocolate earlier this month. Brown cloth diapers seem to be getting phased out by numerous companies. [Read more…]