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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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how to save on cloth diapers, when to buy and how much

Yesterday we talked about how to save big on disposable diapers and today I want to share another option – Cloth Diapers!

Your initial reaction, like mine, might be that it’s a lot of work and that you have to deal too closely with unsavory substances. But after talking to a lot of frugal moms who cloth diaper, it seems that many of them actually like cloth diapers for other reasons too: They come in cute patterns and colors, reduce diaper rash and make great conversation starters with other new moms!

I asked my friend Amy (who uses cloth diapers on her baby girl) for her best tips and thought I would share them with you all. Remember the goal here is to save money on whichever approach to diapering works for you and your family not to debate which one is better.

How many cloth diapers do I need?

This depends a lot on your washing routine and the type of diaper you choose. So lets break it down a little:

We established yesterday in the disposable diaper post  that newborns go through 8-10 diapers per day. This gradually tapers off to 6-8 diapers per day as baby grows.  At a minimum, 12 cloth diapers allows you to wash every day and a half to two days. If you want to go 2-3 days between washings then 24-30 diapers is a good number to shoot for.

Diaper Types

The most confusing part of cloth diapering for me was deciding which type to buy from all the options:

“Fitted” diapers come in sizes (S, M, L etc.) for a certain weight range, much like disposables. If you choose this type of cloth diaper, then you will have to purchase enough of each new size as your baby grows. If you decide on 20 of each size, fitted diapers can get pricey fast.

“Prefold” diapers are the traditional square cloth that many people think of when you say cloth diaper. They are fairly inexpensive but require a cover to be waterproof and they can also come in a variety of sizes.

“One size” or “All in One” diapers expand as baby grows using elastic and velcro or snaps. These cost a little more upfront, but you only need to buy one set that will last from infancy to potty training.

We chose one-size diapers for our family, but this will depend on your personal preferences. Choose diapers that work for you so that you will stick with it and not waste money on the investment. Just keep in mind, the only money you save is money that you don’t spend. Some moms like trying lots of different types of diapers and then stocking up on one particular brand, others add to their collection over time.  The main thing is to set a goal for a number of diapers you are comfortable with and then buy when they are on sale.

One tip: Cloth diapers don’t always fit well at tiny newborn stage so many moms opt to stock up with disposables or buy XS fitted diapers to get them through the first 4-6 weeks. Using disposables at the beginning has other advantages in that mom is still trying to adapt to having a new baby in the house. Assuming 10 changes a day for 6 weeks, that would mean 420 size 1 diapers.

What are some tips for saving on cloth diapers?

Jenny has taught us that everything goes on sale at some point, and it’s true for cloth diapers too! The retail price for common fitted and one size diapers is around $20 per diaper. Many times you can find deals and get them for $10-$15 instead, you just have to get creative.

Although they are gaining popularity, there aren’t many retail stores that sell cloth diapers. Target gave it a go in some Texas stores, but those have recently been clearanced out and are now only available online. The best deal for getting them at an actual store is to use a $5 off $15 purchase coupon at Buy Buy Baby. They only carry two or three brands, so it doesn’t give you much selection, but you could walk in and buy them today if you needed to. (Definitely a plus in the later stages of pregnancy or early motherhood!)

Since I tend to do a lot of my shopping online anyway, it’s easier for me to watch for daily deals instead. You can often add in a coupon code and use a cash back site to save even more. Here are several places to watch for deals:

Plum District – Watch for deals
Zulily – Daily deals on various brands at 30-70% savings
Fuzzibunz – Often does a buy 5 get 1 free sale
Cotton Babies – Often does a buy 5 get 1 free sale
Diaper Junction – Daily deals and other discounts

Used Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are reusable and durable. If you maintain them, they can even be used for multiple kiddos which is where the real savings are with cloth diapers.  Because they hold up, they are often sold used. It might surprise you, but cloth diapers retain a lot of their initial value even after a few years of use. You might not love the idea of buying used diapers, but it can save you money or help you recoup the cost of the diapers by selling them once baby has outgrown them.

Cost of Water & Detergent

Unlike with disposables, cloth diapers require additional expense in water and laundry detergent. I can’t help you on water deals, but you can find the detergent on sale!

For most diapers the recommended wash routine is cold rinse, followed by a hot wash with detergent/cold rinse. The first rinse removes residues allowing the hot wash to really clean the diapers. The second rinse is part of a normal wash cycle to remove detergent. This adds 3-6 extra loads of laundry each week depending on how many diapers you purchase.

Cloth diapers also require certain types of laundry soap, but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Various detergents range in price from 12¢-$1.50 per load. A really helpful break down of cloth diaper detergent options is available here and of course there are sales on those too.

Here are some great ways to stock up on popular diaper detergent brands:
Big Lots – Wait for a 20% off coupon and use it on Country Save detergent in store
Grocery/Drugstore Deals – Purex Free & Clear, All Free & Clear etc.
Vitacost – Use the $10 sign up bonus offer on Biokleen, Earth Friendly or Charlie’s products
Ecomom Plum District Voucher – Use 50% off voucher on Rockin Green or Charlie’s

Because there are many permutations of diapers types, number of diapers, washing routine and detergent preferences I’m going to share the costs I’ve estimated for the first year of my cloth diapering adventure as an example.

How much it cost me to cloth diaper this year:
To give you some background, we have a water saving top-load washing machine and wash every day and a half, for an average of 4 loads per week.  I also chose to use disposables for the first 6 weeks until I was settled into a routine and diaper changes were a little less frequent.  Following the manufacturer’s instructions on my detergent, it took me 17 weeks to get through my first 80 load bottle which cost $12.99. From that, I estimate detergent costs at $42/yr (using coupons, this could be lower). Our local utility charges .0113/gallon for water/sewer and each load consumes 40 gallons, so this works out to $94/year in water costs. The energy consumption on our washer is $13/yr from the little yellow sticker that came on it and since we are basically doubling our washing, this is a good estimate. We also air dry our diapers to make them last longer, so we don’t have any added costs there.

Example:

(12) One-Size Diapers from a Zulily deal at $13.99 each = $167.88
(10) packs of Size 1 diapers purchased with drugstore deals at an average of $5 each =$50
Laundry Soap, $42/year
Electricity, $13/year
Water, $94/year

So for the first year, we estimate $366 for our total expenditure. The nice thing about cloth is for the second year it goes down to $149 in washing costs and will stay that way for future kiddos.

Regardless of whether you choose cloth diapers or disposables or a combination of each, you can save money on them. I know that many of you have cloth diapered a lot longer than I have, so I’m anxious to hear more tips on how to save!

 

    • Sarah

      Love cloth diapering.  I have spent less then $800 on CD 2 kids!  For great savings check out online sores like Mother’s Milk Botique which often does 25% off everyting online- including their cloth diapers.  Cotton Babies also does 2nd sales which are diapers that have tiny defects (stitching not perfectly straight) that are heavily discounted. 

    • Jodi

      I bought my first “lot” off of craigslist, locally, when my older two children were both in diapers.  I bought newborn prefolds and covers off of diaperswappers.com when I was pregnant w/ #3.  Both were great experiences, and I loved how much I saved on the initial investment b/c they were “seconds” (used).  Sadly, our first bunch of prefolds has been gradually deteriorating over the past year due to constant use for more than 3 years, but it’s still totally worth it.

    • Whitney626

      Thanks for including cloth diapers in your discussion or how to save with kids.  We use cloth diapers and just not having to worry about running out of diapers is great.  If we are running low, all I have to do is pop a load in the washer and within 2 hours we have a fresh load of clean diapers!  
      To save on the initial cost I have bought gently used diapers on Craiglist and have had great luck with the Cotton Babies seconds (which often I can’t find what makes them a second).  

    • Mamad1xx4xy

      I cloth diapered my three kiddos.  I can’t say I broke down any cost savings, though obviously I’m sure I did save plenty.  You missed a few obvious adventages though….the environmental impact.  By using cloth diapers you are not adding excessive waste to our already growing landfills.  Plus children who are cloth diapered generally tend to potty train earlier and easier.  This was true with my first two and the third, who will turn two in late September, is about ready to train in the next couple weeks.

      • Jessica

         Yes, the environmental impact is HUGE.  I think if we all saw what the landfills actually looked like piled high with diapers that may take a few hundred years to decompose, there’d be more CD’ing.  My first is 3 months old and we started using cloth about a month ago…so easy, and not any grosser than  using a ‘sposie!

    • Johanna

      Another great resource for cloth diapers, covers, detergent, wet bags, etc. is a deal of the day type site called http://www.ecobabybuys.com. Another is http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com.They both have great deals! I’ve used all different types of cloth diapers & have found the old fashioned cotton prefolds to be my favorite. They are, by far, the most economical, the gentlest on sensitive skin, and don’t require special detergent.
      I second the author’s views on second hand diapers. Most cloth diapers users take incredible care of their diapers since they want them to last a long time. I found that buying lots of different styles second-hand was a great way to find what worked best for me without a big up-front investment.

    • Jenni P.

      Just a heads up, the SUMMER2012 code for Plum District is “not available”. Still a decent way to save, though.

    • Arat1986

      Another thing to keep in mind: buying and selling used! There’s a great market for gently used diapers (try re-diaper.com or diaperswappers.com) online. Diapers can easily be disinfected and I’ve had zero issues with anything I bought used. 

    • alison v.

      the picture above reminds me of loveybums.  they were great b/c the lady who sews them makes covers that are NOT wool so i didn’t have to lanolize them.  also, she clearances out irregular sizes or cloth diapers that got the wrong stitching on them.  all this to say, she makes cloth PULLUPs!  so you have even more options as you potty train.

    • Laini M

      If you want to know what your wash costs would be, this is a great site: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html  (You’ll need to wash on hot and dry for 50-60 minutes if you can’t hang dry.) I have to be honest and say I saved less than I thought I would, mostly due to not counting on wash costs.

      If cost is your main motivator, I really suggest considering prefolds. Covers like Thirsties Duo Wraps work wonderfully in just two sizes.

    • Jessie 3

      Diapers.com also sells complete kits which are nice b/c you don’t have to buy each diaper individually and you save buying as a bundle.  We wanted to do this to save money but our daycare wouldn’t use them.  I coupon heavy for diapers and am not brand specific which allows me to save even more on disposables and I’m still spending 3x more a year on the disposables :( Wish my daycare kept up with the times. Geeze, lol.

      • Mrs. McCray

        Me too. I was told it’s not sanitary…but a trashcan full of different poops is???

    • Mamameg721

      Wonderful article! We also CD & love it! I just wanted to share my experience with Sunbaby Diapers. They are the cheapest pocket diapers I have found. They are durable & perfect for our family.

    • Jenn3299

      I cloth diapered my son from birth to potty training & now (after replacing the elastic & velcro) I’m using the same set for my 6 month old daughter.  I agree with the previous posters about Cotton Babies seconds sale! They do it several times a year & I bought our entire set of 24 diapers for less than $300.  I also save money by making my own cloth diaper laundry detergent.

    • Even if you don’t wait around for the “deal sites” to have a sale on diapers, they are still going to save you THOUSANDS, even if you pay full price. You can get a full stash of diapers at full price for anywhere between $100-$800, depending on the brand and kind of diaper.

      • Gooch Buffington

        I agree. I did not buy anything on sale and my kit cost me $60 for 2 dozen cotton trifold diapers, $48 for 4 onesize diaper covers, $6 for 3 Snappi’s, $25 for 2 dozen wipes. Total $138 which will pay for itself in a little over a month. 

    • Even if you don’t wait around for the “deal sites” to have a sale on diapers, they are still going to save you THOUSANDS, even if you pay full price. You can get a full stash of diapers at full price for anywhere between $100-$800, depending on the brand and kind of diaper.

    • Greenmamaem

      I am so excited to see posts like this pop up on mainstream mom blogs, but I just had to let you know that a lot of the information you shared is not correct. First of all, “fitted” cloth diapers are diapers that need a cover, not diapers that come in sizes. The correct term for that would be “sized” diapers. A fitted diaper is a diaper that is fitted to fit your baby’s body but still needs a cover. Fitted diapers are available in both sized and one sized. Also, one sized and all in one diapers are two completely different things. All in one diapers are diapers that are all one piece and come in both sized or one sized.

      As for buying, any seasoned cloth diaper user will tell you the best place to buy cloth diapers from are boutiques and small businesses. The people that work there are cloth diaper experts and are able to help you pick the best diapers for your baby and your lifestyle as well as troubleshoot when you have problems such a stink, repelling, or leaking. Big box stores will not be able to help you at all and many moms that buy from big box stores or deal sites end up getting frustrated and giving up when problems arise because they have no support. Then all that money they invested in diapers is wasted.

      Lastly, when it comes to diapers you really do get what you pay for. Buying cheap china diapers that are inferior in quality and testing will not last you through multiple children. Whereas buying brands with a reputable names will allow you to save even more. Many of my diapers have been worn by all three of my children and will go on a fourth. No china cheapie would be able to do that. Again $5 diaper that last less than one child are a waste of an investment. 

      Like I said above I am excited to see posts like this on a mainstream mom blog site, but as a fellow blogger the next time you write a post on a subject you know very little about it might be a good idea to consult an expert or ask an expert to write the post for you. I know lots of cloth diaper retailers and bloggers (myself included) that would LOVE to write a post for you with the correct information.

    • Greenmamaem

      I am so excited to see posts like this pop up on mainstream mom blogs, but I just had to let you know that a lot of the information you shared is not correct. First of all, “fitted” cloth diapers are diapers that need a cover, not diapers that come in sizes. The correct term for that would be “sized” diapers. A fitted diaper is a diaper that is fitted to fit your baby’s body but still needs a cover. Fitted diapers are available in both sized and one sized. Also, one sized and all in one diapers are two completely different things. All in one diapers are diapers that are all one piece and come in both sized or one sized.

      As for buying, any seasoned cloth diaper user will tell you the best place to buy cloth diapers from are boutiques and small businesses. The people that work there are cloth diaper experts and are able to help you pick the best diapers for your baby and your lifestyle as well as troubleshoot when you have problems such a stink, repelling, or leaking. Big box stores will not be able to help you at all and many moms that buy from big box stores or deal sites end up getting frustrated and giving up when problems arise because they have no support. Then all that money they invested in diapers is wasted.

      Lastly, when it comes to diapers you really do get what you pay for. Buying cheap china diapers that are inferior in quality and testing will not last you through multiple children. Whereas buying brands with a reputable names will allow you to save even more. Many of my diapers have been worn by all three of my children and will go on a fourth. No china cheapie would be able to do that. Again $5 diaper that last less than one child are a waste of an investment. 

      Like I said above I am excited to see posts like this on a mainstream mom blog site, but as a fellow blogger the next time you write a post on a subject you know very little about it might be a good idea to consult an expert or ask an expert to write the post for you. I know lots of cloth diaper retailers and bloggers (myself included) that would LOVE to write a post for you with the correct information.

    • Greenmamaem

      I am so excited to see posts like this pop up on mainstream mom blogs, but I just had to let you know that a lot of the information you shared is not correct. First of all, “fitted” cloth diapers are diapers that need a cover, not diapers that come in sizes. The correct term for that would be “sized” diapers. A fitted diaper is a diaper that is fitted to fit your baby’s body but still needs a cover. Fitted diapers are available in both sized and one sized. Also, one sized and all in one diapers are two completely different things. All in one diapers are diapers that are all one piece and come in both sized or one sized.

      As for buying, any seasoned cloth diaper user will tell you the best place to buy cloth diapers from are boutiques and small businesses. The people that work there are cloth diaper experts and are able to help you pick the best diapers for your baby and your lifestyle as well as troubleshoot when you have problems such a stink, repelling, or leaking. Big box stores will not be able to help you at all and many moms that buy from big box stores or deal sites end up getting frustrated and giving up when problems arise because they have no support. Then all that money they invested in diapers is wasted.

      Lastly, when it comes to diapers you really do get what you pay for. Buying cheap china diapers that are inferior in quality and testing will not last you through multiple children. Whereas buying brands with a reputable names will allow you to save even more. Many of my diapers have been worn by all three of my children and will go on a fourth. No china cheapie would be able to do that. Again $5 diaper that last less than one child are a waste of an investment. 

      Like I said above I am excited to see posts like this on a mainstream mom blog site, but as a fellow blogger the next time you write a post on a subject you know very little about it might be a good idea to consult an expert or ask an expert to write the post for you. I know lots of cloth diaper retailers and bloggers (myself included) that would LOVE to write a post for you with the correct information.

    • KR84

      Anybody ever tried making your own? We’re trying for baby #2 right now and I would love to use CD this time (if I can talk my hubby into it). I have researched how to make your own, but haven’t heard from anyone who actually has had success long-term with their homemade diapers. Would love it if others would share their experiences! Oh, and thanks Jenny for doing these diaper posts! I think it’s a great way to get people talking and thinking about diapering options that are better for their wallet and their family!

      • Melanieoneil16

         We purchased the prefolds and folded them into thirds to put in our homemade fleece covers. I paper diapered one and cloth diapered two and the number of times our fleece covers couldn’t handle the output wasn’t any more than with paper diapers. I made a template that is shaped much like a capital I and used stretch thread at the top, bottom, and around the legs to hold together a double layer of fleece and then used double rows of snaps (for more size adjustability). I didn’t have a pattern, but I did experiment with fabric scraps and a neighbor’s baby doll to get the fit right. The fleece was fairly water resistant and we could buy it from the remnant bin at the fabric store so it was cheap (and we got to pick out some really cute prints!). They have held up and are about to be used on a third baby. HTH

      • Sasha

        I made my own one size pocket diapers from a pattern off of verybaby.com. My son will be one next week and they’ve worked great. He was small so he didn’t fit into them well until he was about 3 1/2 months old. We used disposable up to that point. I’m expecting our second baby so I bought some XS pocket diapers off e-bay to use for the first couple months. I love the pocket diapers because you can dry them separatley and add additional inserts as needed. We have had some leaks at the leg openings when he’s between sizes because he doesn’t have chubby baby legs. I started using disposables at night when he was about 6 months old. I also use them for the church nursery, but otherwise just cloth. I’ve had to fix some velcro because I straight stiched it on instead of zigzag so it frayed. That was due to my lack of sewing knowledge though. The diapers were not difficult to make and I have only basic sewing skills.

    • Vhv1123

      I love cloth diapering. I also recommend sunbaby diapers. They are so inexpensive and such great quality. It’s looks a little shady at first because they come direct from china but the service and quality are wonderful. If you prefer a a better known name brand then bum genius is a good one. Remember you have to deal with poop regardless if you use cloth or disposable. Just get a diaper sprayer and your good.

    • Ckladd2007

      Anyone use gdiapers or Grovia? I am planning on CDing our 2nd which is due in just a few weeks… I am hoping to not have to do as much laundry with one of these brands..any other diapers where the covers don’t have to be washed everytime?  

      • alison v.

        loveybums fleece covers, can hang them up to dry and get a few uses out of them.  go to “seconds” to see if she has any on discount.  they aren’t actually used, just wrong thread color or something.

      • Lilcoop33

        I have used both and dont really love either.  I prefer the grovia over the g diapers.  THe g diapers fasten in the back which I didnt like and they have plastic tabs on the interior where the plastic lining snaps in that rest on babies skin.  I do however use them as my swim diaper and they work great for that.  If an AI2 is what you are interested in (these are the tyes of diapers that you can reuse the shell I would try flip.  I LOVE the flip system.  It is very trim and will grow with baby.  The shells hold up very well and are easily reused.  Once baby poops you usually need to wash them but for pee diapers they can be reused frequently.  THe covers dont really add to the laundry because you still have the inserts that need to b e washed so you will pretty much be doing laundry just as frequently.  I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE my one size pockets I find them the easiest to use although they are a little pricier then the AI2’s.  Hope this helps!

      • Gooch Buffington

        I like Flip diaper covers, they come in snaps or velcro and are one size so when baby grows you just unsnap to lengthen the diaper. I do have grovia wipes which are double sided which is nice. I stick them in a diaper warmer with water, my baby loves the warm wipes.

      • Michelle

        We use the grovia hybrid (all in two) diapers and we love them! They are super easy to use and I like that we can just change the inserts for a couple diaper changes. The insets dry much faster than an all in on diaper also. We line dry the coves to prolong the life of the elastic but they practically come out of the wash dry.

    • Millie

      Thanks for this very helpful information!  I am pregnant with my first child and really want to use cd’s for both the economic and environmental reasons mentioned here and in the comments.  Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone close to me who used cd’s, so I am scouring everything I can find to learn more!

      • guest

         You’ll do fine! 20+ years ago I didn’t know anyone who cd-ed (possibly a lucky break for me because both my sister and sister-in-law tried it and didn’t like it so I got both of their mini-cloth diaper stashes and w/ those and the ones I bought we got by w/ 2 kids in cloth simultaneously, only 36 diapers, not sure how many covers. The newer covers are imo constructed better–snap systems are nice and the velcro is better protected in the dryer than the older style velcro covers

      • RachelThompsonNeuenschwander

         There are tons of groups on facebook that are base don cloth diapering and they can hook you up with local moms who also cd.  Check out http://www.facebook.com/groups/ClothDiaperSwapII or http://www.facebook.com/groups/FluffyBumsPlusCoOp
        The Fluffy bums is a group I just found through a friend and they can get major discounts on cd as they buy as a large group.

    • Kate

      There are numerous wonderful cloth diaper patterns available and there are lots of blogs and forums about cloth diapering and cloth diaper sewing. If you don’t get sucked in by all the fancy fabrics and fancy diapers it is possible to save money by cloth diapering. Although I can sew and have sewn fitted diapers I did recently spend approx $325 for 18 size medium Swaddlebees Simplex All In One diapers that should last my now 20 month old until she potty trains. These All In One diapers are made with a water resistant outer called PUL or polyurethane laminate and nothing else is needed in order to use them and are the closest thing to a disposable. It might sound like a big investment but when you do the math and add up all the disposables I would have had to purchase I still saved money AND I can resell them once we are done with them and recoup at least half of that initial investment back.

      • guest

         I haven’t decided if I hope your daughter does or does not do what my daughter did. At 21 mos she just completely potty trained herself in one day. We were using a combo of cloth and disposables. Wasting nearly a whole pack of the sposies (not really wasted because I gave the to someone else who had a child the same size) made me a little sad. I think I would have been even sadder about just having spent a good bit on cloth a couple months earlier.

    • Barbara

      My cousin is a stay-at-home mom who has started her own online cloth diaper company. She has some great deals and some really cute items. Hope this isn’t considered spam, but I couldn’t help but give her a shout out when I read this… you can check it out at just simply baby dot com or on facebook.

    • Kristine_scott

      I’ve cloth-diapered my last 2 babies. I highly recommend kissedbythemoon.com for the best deals on all the popular brands. If you like them on fb and sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be able to see all the deals and freebies they offer!

    • I wanted to add that while we couldn’t keep up with cloth diapers at first with twins, we did end up using them once they were around a year old. So if you can’t handle the added laundering and cost at first, don’t give up the idea completely! Wait a few months and try again :) We used them at home, and used disposables out and about because it was such a pain to carry used diapers around until we got home. 

    • Lacats

      They need to bring back old time cloth diapers with rubber pants!  You need diaper safety pins.  You had to fold the diapers, but a busy mom can use that as a time to sit and relax.   Many, many babies survived with them, so did moms!  Diaper liners were a big help when I could get them, they were disposable.

    • Ranna

      Goodness, I started out with “special” detergent and then made my own “special” detergent and then switched to a nice free-n-clear and had no more smelly issues. I have spent less than 300 dollars total on my cloth and have diapered 2 babies. I have a couple dipes that need new leg gussets, but for the most part #3 will go through the same diapers and #1 and #2. I love it!!!

    • Boxbot

      Put cloth diapers on your baby registry or let people know you plan to give it a try.  As a mom who cloth diapered when diaperwraps first came out over 20 years ago, it was fun for me to buy some for a coworker who was willing to give it a try.  

      • Guest

         YES I too cloth diapered (kids now 21 and 23) I agree, we “old hands” enjoy buying these for shower gifts (the new ones are SO cute!!!)

        As far as saving $, I didn’t use special detergent–borax and vinegar for us. We used a combo of cloth and sposies depending on activity. I started using cloth to save $ but wound up liking them so much better that even when we could afford disposable we used cloth whenever practical (not during long distance traveling or w/ ill babies)

    • Lindsey

      I have tried many many kinds of diapers…  (fuzzibunz, bum genius, prefolds & covers, kawaii, and a couple more)  but Iiked Sunbaby diapers beat.  you can get them for around $5 per diaper brand new (you have to wait forever to get them but imo it’s worth the wait)  they last way better than bum genius since the elastic wears out so bad on them.    

      • Caroline

         Hi Lindsey, Im wondering where you found the Sunbaby diapers for $5. I looked on Ebay and they are around $11 or $12.

        Thank you

    • Jessica

      THANK YOU for bringing attention to this, Jenny!  I cloth diaper my second and have lots to add if you don’t mind.  There aren’t any brick and mortar CD stores in my area either, so I’ve largely done the internet thing.  I really do like the justsimplybaby diapers.  Such cute patterns and very reasonably priced.  I bought two, then went back for two more.  Sign up for their emails, cause she sends out discount alerts every now and then.  I remember I got a good deal on my second batch with a Black Friday sale there.  You can get a lot of different brands from Amazon as well, so if you are a prime member free shipping will apply.  

      I was overwhelmed by the number of different types of dipes at first.  I used Jillian’s Drawers try it out program to see what I liked and it was awesome.  I highly recommend this!  They also sell the returned diapers for cheap, and they have only been used for a month.  Follow them on Facebook and they will tell you when they restock these nearly new products.  
       http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10

      Also, MAKE YOUR OWN DETERGENT!  My version cost FOUR CENTS per load and it’s just borax, soap, and washing soda.  If your object is to save money, reduce the chemical load on your babe, or save the planet, this is really a great way to go.  And even with coupons I think I could only get ALL detergent for about twenty cents a load (I think?)

      As for the other brands mentioned:
      gDipes: very trim, cute, absorbent.  I actually liked the velcro in the back, because my older child can’t take them off himself…yet.  But really I kind of stopped using them because if you follow the manufacturer’s info, you have to wash the plastic liner and inserts in hot water and the fabric outer in warm water. I just didn’t like having to do some of the diaper wash separately.

      I have one Flip, and I keep it in the diaper bag.  I like it fine, but I don’t think I’d make it the center of my stash.  I just think some of the other ones SEEM like they would hold more and also I like the feel of the outer material on some of the other ones better.  But the product is fine, I think this is just my personal preference. 

      I’ve never tried grovia’s, but I have a friend who swears by them.  

      I also like Thirsties Duos, because they are a two size diaper: small and large.  That way you don’t have so much bulk on the little bitty ones, but you don’t have to buy 4 sizes till they potty train.  Also, they have gussets on the sides and they hold the poop awesome.  

      My Bum Genius dipes are awesome, but pricier.  The resell better, though.  

      For resale value (and to save your sanity when your kids become toddlers), make sure you have at least some snap diapers.  Velcro comes off easier and re-sells for slightly less.  It also doesn’t hold up as well if you need to diaper future children.  

      Lastly, I still use disposables at night, because I found it difficult to stuff a diaper enough to keep it all in for that long, but if your babe sleeps through the night this may not be an issue for you.  My point is, you don’t have to go cloth all or nothing.  Take smalls steps.  Buy one or two cloth diapers and see how it goes.  You will still come out ahead moneywise and still reduce your impact on the environment.  

    • guest

      diaperswappers.com is another website for new, used, and advice. All Free and Clear works just fine for my diapers and we have had them almost four years.

    • Della330

      I have cloth diapered two kids and LOVE it.

      I highly reccommend sweetvioletsdiapers .com for fun supplies and accessories. Great customer service, which is important, and fast shipping. Support a fellow mama when you can!

    • Casey

      I used a prefold brand called ECONOBUM.  You get 12 prefold diapers and 3 snap on covers that expand as your baby grows for about $50 on diapers.com  The covers are plain white but when I bought them I was not sure if I was going to stick to cloth so I did not want to have a huge investment in it.

    • Gooch Buffington

      I started out with 24 trifolds, 4 Flip onesize covers, and a snappi that I purchased from http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com. I use Charlie’s Soap (can be bought by the 5 gal pail on their website) to clean and Borax to sanitize. In addition my husband installed a kitchen sprayer on our toilet to spray the mess out of the diaper. Overall the system works well and saves a ton of money.

    • meme007up

      I had seven children, oldest will be forty two yrs old this fall. The first cloth diapers I used were long, thin diapers. Later the trio-fold stitched diapers came along. I preferred the long diapers because I could fold them to fit the tiniest baby up to toddler stage. The stitched ones were less fold-able.

      My family (sisters kids) were all girls so I didn’t have experience diapering boys. My mother-in-law taught me to fold the diapers for boys with more cloth in front.

      I know many mothers made their own diapers back then but I always got several new packages with each baby as gifts. The price was nothing like it is now. I was shocked at the cost these days.

      We didn’t even use disposable diapers on long trips because my children were so allergic to them. I couldn’t even use downy in the wash. I also line dried them and let the sun sanitize them.

      I know moms have busy lives now, but I can’t imagine having to buy disposable diapers at the prices they are. Such a savings for the family and for the environment.

    • RachelThompsonNeuenschwander

      We have clothed diapered with our first child who is a year old now and have another one due in 9 weeks and plan to cd with him also.  Some things I have found is that as a newborn the prefolds work great and they are cheaper than the all in one diapers as they outgrow them fast and you only need maybe 4 to 6 covers as the covers can be reused multiple times before you have to wash them.  We got a large amount of our cloth diapers off craigslist.  There are also great facebook groups out there that give moms a forum for cloth diaper questions and info.  Two that I use are FluffyBumsPlusCoOp and ClothDiaperSwapII.  They offer classes and can also help connect you with local moms in your area who cd also.  We do use some disposables when we are outside the house but even then it is not as much as it would be if we did not cd.  We are finding with our 1 year old that she is getting ready to potty train early due to the cloth diapers as she knows that she is wet/dirty and has started giving us signs that she needs a new diaper.  That is an additional benefit.

    • d&jmom

      I cloth diapered my second child for about 8 months.  I bought 14 used Bum Genius (I searched CraigsList for months and found someone halfway across the country, and she shipped them to me!). I paid $110 for 14 Bum Genius 3.0, postage paid.  

      Long story short, cloth diapering wasn’t really for me (trouble with our water, trouble with washing machine, etc  – it really wasn’t the fault of the diapers).  The cool part of this story is that 2 years after paying $110 for 14 diapers, I sold 13 of them (one MIA) for $100 so I did well getting my investment money back.  You wouldn’t think people would buy used diapers or that they would hold their value so well…but if you take good care of them, and keep stains away – they really can!

    • Kelly

      I currently have 2 kids in cloth, and one thing I didn’t really think about/expect was that we would totally wear out our diapers!  I use prefolds during the day for my 2 year old and the prefolds have frayed on the sides (we only had 18 of the prefolds so I’d say they are heavily used) – So we have had to replace our set of toddler prefolds (around $50) and of course the diaper covers too since we only use 6 for the 2 girls. 

      Probably the other part of that issue is that my 34 mos old is big for her age and we are having trouble finding diaper covers for kids almost 40 lbs.  We are definitely not potty training early here (despite my best efforts).  One other issue to think about if you have a big baby like I did and use prefolds was the “bulk factor”.  Many of the clothes you find in stores do not allow for the bulkiness of prefolds so I ended up having to make a lot of my own pants for the girls, which isn’t a problem for me, but not everyone likes to sew.  Love the cloth diapers, they don’t leak like disposables, plus the environmental benefits, would do it again.

      • Jodi

        I had the same issue when we had two in cloth diapers – my oldest was always big as a baby/toddler, and I couldn’t fit him in any pants that were the size he actually wore b/c of the bulky prefolds.  I do find them to be so easy and convenient, though (although they do take up a lot of room when traveling).  Anyway, my tiny little daughter also had to wear bigger pants b/c of the bulky dipes.  Our prefolds finally started breaking down when our third child was about six months old, after two years of constant, daily use.  I was worried that it was b/c I hadn’t taken good care of them, so I’m glad to hear that we’re not the only ones!

      • Soberkitty

        My mom did prefold diapers and used a washing service. She used to sew up the edges when they frayed. Come to think of it she did that with the bath towels and the kitchen towels, and anything that frayed. I still have some of those bath towels and they’re at least 30-40 years old since I’m 38. I recently passed on a set to my stepson!

    • Bianca

      We use a few different brands. Our favorite is Sunbaby. It is an ebay exclusive brand. A gal in China makes them so they take a while to get shipped over here but they are affordable!  Only $5 per diaper. I had a problem with the lining in a batch I bought, I sent the gal a picture and she sent me 10 fresh new diapers. The customer service is honest and nice. I still use disposables at night though. No cloth diaper and bamboo insert is strong enough to hold in my little guys pee!

    • Oshealk2

      Check out wwwdotfiggyfuzdotcom too,they do great giveaways and she is a mother that cloth diapers and is full of great info for new cloth moms and is just a great resource for all!  Check them out!

    • Shaunamosher

      I use sunbaby diapers as well. They are cute, cheap and do the trick. One thing not mentioned in the original post is that each load of diapers has to be restuffed with the insert before use and this takes me about 15 minutes per load. 

      I also wanted to mention that for sunbaby diapers the patterns get collectible because once that fabric is used up they dont make any more of that same print. If there are moms out there who want it, they will pay more than retail for the diapers! There is a facebook page exclusively for buying & selling older patterns of sunbaby diapers sunbabydiapersbst. I hope I can turn a profit when I am done with mine. 

    • Hkerrisk

      I make my own cloth diapers. They sell the fabric and supplies at Joann, and hobby lobby. I use the 40% off coupons and the 50% off coupons to save money.  Each diaper costs me about $4 to make, and about 15 min each. So if you do 2 a night for a few nights it is very easy to get 20 diapers made if you want that many.  I also use fleece on the inside of the diapers so the babies feel dry and we have less rashes. I buy this in the bins at joann for the remnants. It is 50% off there. Plus we make our own laundry detergent and it works out to less than 2 cents a load. 

      $4.16 per year in detergent
      $80 to make 20 one size fits all diapers
      My washer says it only uses 13 gallons of water for a load. So I would guess about 10 gallons for the rinse cycle and then 13 gallons for the wash.
      $62.20 per year for water
      $40 aprox for electricity since I do dry my diapers in the dryer, I just hang dry my covers.
      Plus a pack of size one diapers for the first week or so. Until all the sticky poop is gone. $4

      My total is $190.36 for the first year of diapering and then 106.36. This baby is my 6th baby and most our cloth diapers go through at least 4 children before they need some repair, or replacing.  Since I make my covers and diapers separate it is cheaper to replace a cover or a diaper if anything happens instead of having to throw the whole thing out. 

      • Slw1977

        Do you have a pattern you used or did you make it up based on your baby

      • RLH

        I need your recipe… eerr, uhm, pattern and instructions!!! VERY sewing machine savvy, and trying to avoid being broke next winter!!

    • J Kessler

      I have cloth diapers for my daughter.  I bought Sunbaby and Alva for less than the website price through co-ops on facebook. 

    • Cloth mommy

      Yes! There are some wonderful co-ops on facebook for cloth diapers. I was amazed at how great some of the prices were. 

    • Mariehowl

      I love cloth diapers. The key to saving money is to take care of them, wash properly sun out any stains immediatly etc. I use One Size fitteds for my baby and she has been in them since she was 6 weeks old. I use Goodmama diapers which are an expensive investment initially at 35.00+ for brand new, but they hold their value longer than any diaper out there that I have found. I was in shock at first at the price but they fit better than any other diaper that I have tried, I never once have had a blowout resulting in poo up the back or on clothes. They are adorable and I know once dd potty trains I will be able to sell them used and recoup back the money that I have spent, resulting in a huge savings overall. Plus no diapers in landfills and my dd NEVER gets rashes due to the all natural cotton and bamboo velour materials. My dd is apparently allergic to all the PUL used in the Sunbaby diapers as she gets red welts all over her bottom so I had to spend the extra per diaper, but I still think that in the long run the savings will be great.

    • Danni & Tinley’s Mama

      If you’re going to use cloth diapers, you really should use reusable wipes. There’s your money-saver! I have a 2 yr old & a 12 month old. I’ve used cloth diapers & flannel wipes on both. I made my own solution out of water & baby soap. Really no extra work, because you throw them in the pail & wash them with your diapers.

      • Amy B.

        I have tried them a few different times now. Bamboo ones, flannel ones, cloth ones, premade solution, homemade solution and for some reason no matter what I do baby ends up with a terrible rash. Meanwhile the Pampers Sensitive wipes + cloth diaper leave it smooth & happy. Any suggestions?

        • Krystalm2

          Try Kissaluvs diaper lotion potion.

        • Danni & Tinley’s Mama

          I just used a squirt of our baby was to a bottle of warm water.

        • Danni & Tinley’s Mama

          I just used a squirt of our baby was to a bottle of warm water.

          • Danni & Tinley’s Mama

            Baby “wash”

          • Danni & Tinley’s Mama

            Baby “wash”

        • Laini M

           Have you tried them with plain water? That really is OK.

          • Danni & Tinley’s Mama

            My pediatrician’s office told me to use water while they had a diaper rash.

        • Laini M

           Have you tried them with plain water? That really is OK.

      • Tewecm

        Have you tried diapers with a “stay dry” interior? It’s usually microfleece or suede cloth. You also have to be sure to change them more often than with disposables.

    • I cloth diaper my son and have since his umbilical cord fell off.   I love it.  The diapers are adorable, I save money, and I don’t have to worry about any chemicals on his little bootie.

    • I cloth diaper my son and have since his umbilical cord fell off.   I love it.  The diapers are adorable, I save money, and I don’t have to worry about any chemicals on his little bootie.

    • Jessica

      Why was my comment never posted, moderator? I wanted to help out others with my comments.

    • Suz

      My daughter wore cloth diapers from 2 mo- potty training at 2.5.  We really liked them- I got all 18 as gifts on my registry, Target carried bumgenius at the time online (I think they still do)- that avoided having to have a special registry for cds.  We also saved a lot by using baby wash cloths as wipes.  I moistened a small stack each morning and put them in a small plastic tub so they would stay moist.

    • Suz

      Forgot to add that we also saved on our ‘dirty diaper pail’ by using a chemical bucket from our pool chemicals (cleaned out of course).  The web sites charge $40-50 for a similar air tight (smell tight!) pail.  If you know someone with a pool, ask for one, they probably have a ton!

    • Eabuffa

      We just got a buy buy baby in my area.  Received the coupon in the mail yesterday for the $5 off $15 that you mentioned in the article. But the fine print says you can’t use it on diapers.  Has anyone used these coupons successfully on cloth diapers. Do they mean you can’t use it on disposable diapers, but can on cloth?  Just wondering before I went to the store to try it out.  Thanks!

      • Merly

        cloth diapers at buy buy baby are actually considered a clothing item, so the coupons work!

    • Tewecm

      Diaperswappers.com is an AMAZING website for buying/selling/trading cloth diapers and supplies. I built my current stash this way and have saved so much money. Not everything is used and when you’re finished with your diapers sell them on the site. Best part, the site is FREE ;)

    • Evan

      We love cloth diapers! We have 18 (BumGenius and Fuzzi Buns). We washed every other day when he was very young, and every 3 days from about 3 months on. We have a front loading HE washer, and it can be challenging to remove all the detergent build up because it uses so little water. Every few months we have to go the the in-laws and strip the diapers with their old timey top loader.

    • We use sunbaby diapers $66 for 12 and bumgenius (gifted so don’t know the price offhand). I love cloth and love not spending tons of money on diapers. I do purchase a big box like every 3 months for nights. We just didn’t find a solution to night time diapering.

    • Rachel

      I have 50 plus diapers no i dont need that many but bbc.co i love them and i can be more lazy and use them when we travel to my parents byt you can get cloth diapers for really cheap on ebay i just bought 4 for 35 i think and they were 1 size fits all thats were ok have gotten mos of mine and i bought nb ones that i have kept for our next bundle of joy thats what i plan on doing with all of my diapers and i have all the works i have prefold i have all in ones i have pocket diapera i have them all

    • newmommy

      We use one size Charlie Banana pocket diapers. I have 21 diapers so we can wash every 2 days or so using Charlie’s soap. They have a crossover snap and adjustable leg bands that have allowed us to use them since birth (they are bulky when baby is that small though but they work). Baby is now 11 weeks and has never had a rash and poop has never leaked out of the diapers. Baby pees a lot so overnight we double up the inserts and most of the time this is fine, however, sometimes we do get compression leaks. Overall we love the diapers.

    • Jessalyn

      I use green mountain diapers workhorses (their brand fitteds) and flats and prefolds. If you want to get really cheap you can use flour sac towels from SAMs or Walmart. SAMs has a dozen for a little over $12 or that’s what they charge in my area. I use mainly flip covers but did buy wool sweaters 100% wool from goodwill and made soakers and now it’s getting cold I’m going to make some longies. You if you have sewing skills like me can see your own diapers and or covers. I don’t enjoy sewing diapers so I don’t.

    • Charity Pratt

      I just recently switched to cloth diapers. We went with Bum Genius 4.0. At Buy Buy Baby they are $17.99 each, so I asked on fb for $5 off $15 coupon donations and purchased them in groups of 5. $17.99*5=$89.95 and used (6) $5 off coupons since my total was just under $90. Makes (5) diapers cost only $60 or $12 each! I also found a deal on zulily to get fuzzibuz AIO’s for $8.99 each + shipping. So for 18 cloth diapers I’ve spent $212 (15 BG + 3 FB). I wash every other night. Plus I had store credit from returned disposables to use toward the purchase of my cloth, so not all that cost was OOP.

    • Katie

      My sister has used Best Bottom diapers with her two boys, and I am currently awaiting my first baby (due today, but nobody bothered to tell her!), and will be using them as well. I did stock up on a few newborn and lots of size 1 disposables, though, as cloth diapers really aren’t the best until babies weigh around 10-12 lbs. The best tip I have for getting cloth diapers cheaply is searching eBay, and, if you have an active group in your geographic area, varagesale.com. Since a lot of moms buy several different brands of cloth diapers when they are starting out, they end up sticking to one or two brands and selling off the rest, which are usually new or barely used! I was able to find all of my diaper inserts for over half off their original price, plus 3 diaper shells that were brand new for over half off. Then I just had to purchase a few more shells, which I ordered from http://www.nickisdiapers.com. So for the price of 3 or 4 boxes of disposables, I am set with cloth diapers. Though the Best Bottom diapers are one size, the inserts are not, so I will eventually have to buy the bigger size inserts, but plan on finding those pre-owned, too. Nicki’s offers free shipping on all diapers, and their prices are great to begin with, but they often have various diaper brands on sale, too.