Cloth Diaper Start Up Fees #SchoolofCloth

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.

school of clothCloth 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.

China Cheapies

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.

Buy Used

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.

Find Sales

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?

What Do You REALLY Need to Start Cloth Diapering?

I’ve learned a ton in the four years between now and when I decided to start cloth diapering.  I never really am aware of how much I’ve come along until I start looking at my throwback posts… and then I kind of have to laugh.  In a recent throwback, I had my theoretical “what I need to start cloth diapering” list.

Here’s the thing, though, the more I think about it.  You really, really don’t need much to start cloth diapering.  You can start small and build up as you go.  I mean, really, I have a ridiculous amount of diapers now, but I most certainly didn’t start out that way. [Read more…]

Cloth Diaper Stash of Dreams – Starting Over

Tara of Padded Tush Stats asked a simple question: If you could start cloth diapering all over again, what would you buy?  That’s a tricky question.  Would money be an object?  Or would it be the cloth diaper stash of dreams?

Cloth Diaper Stash of Dreams - Starting Over (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

I’ve been pretty fortunate.  Over the past three and a half years, I’ve been able to build a cloth diaper stash of dreams.  It’s excessive big.  It’s bright.  It’s cheerful.  It’s fun.  But really, there are some things that I would do if I started all over again to make my cloth diaper stash of dreams on a smaller less excessive scale.

WAHM Cloth Diaper Stash of Dreams

I would have seriously raided several WAHM diaper makers much earlier than I did.  I’d have about half a dozen yoke style (or Flip style) diaper covers by Diapers by Chris.  I’d have three or four hybrid fitteds.  And then, of course, I’d have to go on an Ella Bella Bum raid.  I’d go with… half a dozen Ella Bella Bum pocket diapers with an athletic wicking jersey inner.  But since I’m dreaming here, I’d probably add a couple of Jelly Bear Boutique diapers and Harp Diapers to my stash to further develop my cloth diaper stash of dreams.

Big Business Cloth Diaper Stash of Dreams

I’d definitely keep the Best Bottoms diapers that I have.  I love them for how well they fit all of my littles, big and small.  Blueberry has made some beautifully patterned diapers over the years.  I desperately love my Butterflies print and would keep them for my start over stash for sure!

Really, though, the more I think about the Cloth Diaper Stash of Dreams, the more I realize that I already have the cloth diaper stash of dreams.  Why on earth would I want to start over?  I’d have exactly what I have for the children that I have.  I’d probably add a few and maybe sell off a few as I go, but that’s part of the usual ebb and flow of my cloth diaper stash anyway.

If you started cloth diapering all over again, what would you start with?

Cloth Diaper Stash of Dreams - Starting Over (Cloth Diaper Addicts)