I have a tendency: when I find a brand that I like, I go through everything that the company offers. I know that I love BumGenius 4.0, BumGenius Freetime, and Flip hybrid cloth diapers, so when Flip trainers came out, I figured it was a given that I’d buy them and I’d love them. After all, I’ve loved everything else that Cotton Babies makes, so why should the Flip trainers be any different? [Read more…]
When writing about affordable cloth diaper options, I quickly realize that we all have different definitions of “affordable.” Some people consider a stash of Ragababe and Chelory to be an affordable cloth diaper stash, while others struggle with Babyland. Some affordable cloth diaper options may require a sacrifice of quality. Some offer quality at a mid-range price point.
Things to Keep In Mind
While the sticker price on the cost of a diaper change may seem like using cloth diapers is anything but affordable, you’re going to get to reuse that diaper over and over again. Even that $40 Ragababe is still going to be less expensive over time than using disposable diapers. (Figure using it once a week for 2 years… 110 uses comes out to 36¢ per use. If you use it more often than once a week, then you’ll come out even cheaper.)
Affordable Cloth Diaper #1: Best Bottom
Best Bottom diapers are a premium but still affordable cloth diaper made by the same company that owns Nicki’s Diapers and Planet Wise wet bags. On top of them being one of the more affordable premium cloth diapers, Best Bottom diapers are also made in the USA. The shell costs roughly $17 ($19 in Canada). Each stay dry insert is roughly $4. You can reasonably expect to get 3 changes per shell, depending on how your child poops. Sometimes I’ve gotten 4 changes before switching out the shell. So, $17+$16= $33, which comes out to $8.25 per diaper change.
Affordable Cloth Diaper #2: Flip
Flip diapers are a hybrid diaper made by Cotton Babies, the makers of BumGenius. You have the option of using the Flip cover with another type of insert (Flip stay dry, Flip organic, Blueberry Capris, Flip disposable, and gDiaper inserts will all fit) or with the super cost effective prefold diaper. If you use Flip covers and Flip stay dry inserts, you can reasonably expect to get 3 changes per shell, though I can often stretch it out to 4. A shell is roughly $14 and an insert is approximately $5. Sometimes you can find them for less in bundles like the Flip Day Pack or buy multiple inserts for less. $14 + $20 = $34, which works out to $8.50 per diaper change.
Affordable Cloth Diaper #3: The Prefold
Prefold cloth diapers can be an exceptionally affordable cloth diapering method. While some find it very intimidating, it’s actually one of the most cost effective ways of getting a made in North America product. Bummis, in particular, are made in Canada. As for price, six Bummis prefolds can be had for about $18. For that number of prefolds, I’d go with one shell, which will run approximately $12. (You may end up wanting to buy more covers later… or go with a one size cover like Flip, Best Bottom, or Thirsties.) Still, though, assuming that you again get four changes per cover, and each prefold is roughly $3, 12 + $12 = $24, which breaks down to about $6 per diaper change.
Of course, there are other ways to get cheap cloth diapers for a lower cost. However, those diapers are often made overseas and one can’t always be sure of the conditions where they are made, nor do they have a particularly long warranty. I don’t think that an inconsistant diaper is necessarily an affordable cloth diaper option, but to each’s own.
What’s your favorite affordable cloth diaper?
When I first started out with cloth diapers, I vowed to use cloth diapers and cloth diapers only. Many of my wonderful friends who also use cloth diapers admit to using disposables overnight. Despite their attempts at using cloth during the night, the results had been so disastrous that disposables were the only thing keeping the sheets dry in any way. When the choice comes between washing sheets every day and using disposables, I would pick the disposables too.
Fortunately for me, my desire to use cloth diapers all the time has been a success. When I first began with overnight cloth diapering, I used a Blueberry pocket diaper with two Blueberry bamboo inserts and one microfiber insert. Since that time, though, I have moved away from any type of cloth diapers and have begun using Best Bottoms almost exclusively. [Read more…]
One of the questions that people have when they realize that “which diaper is the best” is outrageously subjective is “well, then which diaper holds the most?” I’ve been going through and testing insert absorbency on some of my diapers. This time, I’m going to do some all-in-two insert absorbency tests. I’ll test the all-in-two insert absorbency of Flip Organic, Flip Stay Dry, and Swaddlebees Capri. [Read more…]
I’ve already done some looking at the benefits of choosing your premium cloth diapers versus the inexpensive cloth diapers made overseas (also known as “China Cheapies”). There are pros and cons to going in either direction, but today, a cyber buddy posted about a brand new diaper (one of the China Cheapies) having a snap break.
I’ve had snaps break. I’ve had elastics fail. With the snaps that broke, the diapers were heavily used in my cloth diaper stash rotation. Really, it was disappointing, but it’s not like they hadn’t been work horse diapers. (And now I have friends who have snap pliers, so I can get them fixed!) With the elastics that failed, I’ve had three outcomes. 1.) It was a FuzziBunz one size diaper, so I didn’t have to worry about it because the diaper comes with extra elastics that can be fixed without sewing. And it had been used for a couple of years, so it’s not like it wasn’t due to get a little TLC. 2.) It was a diaper that I’d had for at least a year, so elastics wearing out wasn’t unreasonable. There are people in my area who can fix them (like Pearl at Cloth for a Cause). 3.) It happened with a brand new GroVia shell. Actually, it was my very first GroVia shell, and I’d used it twice before an elastic actually broke in the washing machine. Cozy Bums, my local cloth diaper retailer, replaced the diaper for me and took care of the warranty stuff. (Best customer service ever.)
With the vast majority of my diapers, I have a one year manufacturer’s warranty. That’s the warranty on GroVia diapers, Swaddlebees and Blueberry, and Cotton Babies products – Flip, Econobum, and BumGenius. Happy Heinys has a different warranty depending on what it is, but elastics have a six month warranty and they’ll send you the materials to replace the elastics after that. (Snaps are lifetime. Hmm. I really should have been better about keeping my receipts for my diapers!) Rumparooz has a variable warranty similar to that of Happy Heinys. Fuzzi Bunz now has lifetime warranties.
I don’t mind paying twenty dollars or more for a diaper when I know that the manufacturer stands behind what they make.
Some of the China Cheapies brands don’t have that same guarantee. Sunbaby has a thirty day guarantee. AlvaBaby (and its rebranded diapers) don’t have a date deadline. I haven’t heard of people having great luck with getting anything repaired or replaced by other China Cheapies brands. In fact, I tried a China Cheapies that I bought off of a daily deal site once as an experiment. The diaper didn’t work. I messaged the diaper company on Twitter and was ignored. Fortunately, it was cheap, so I shrugged it off as “no big loss.”
I like knowing that my diapers are made to last. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the same quality or support from a diaper that I buy for five dollars as I would expect from a diaper that I buy for twenty-five dollars. It’s where that old adage of one getting what one pays for comes in.
Have you ever had any warranty issues with a diaper company? How was it resolved?