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Ask the Readers: Do cloth diapers really save you money?

Today’s question is from Alexa:

Do cloth diapers really save you money? If so, which brands/styles do you recommend? -Alexa

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172 Comments

    • Awesome article here! If you are considering using cloth diapers and am curious how much it will save you, Ashleigh shows some great research, I would recommend reading it as it has completely changed my mind on the matter!! Thanks for linking to it Ashleigh, loved the article!

    • Amanda says:

      Nice analysis! Although, I would say we only spend a max of $35 a month on disposables. Over the course of 2 years, that is less than 800 bucks total. So, for me personally, the couple hundred extra dollars seems worth it. But, we all have to weigh money vs. time based on our place in life at the moment.

      • Absolutely! Time vs cost is important. For us, disposables weren’t an option if we wanted our budget to stay black. So it was absolutely worth it!

      • Birthrightrose says:

        Cost vs convenience, but what is the environmental toll? We used cloth for money savings as well as to be good stewards to the earth which our children will hopefully inherit from us!

        • Amanda says:

          I agree that stewardship is important, but we choose other venues. Just our personal choice 🙂 As a grad student and mommy, I didn’t feel prepared to take on the extra tasks for cloth diapering. Maybe next baby!

    • This is great, Ashleigh. I am really impressed.

  • Jennifer says:

    Cloth diapering can be as expensive or as frugal as you want to make it. We tried the fancy stuff but were happiest with prefolds and a snappi and Pro-Wrap covers. yes you can save a ton of money. I broke the savings costs down here -http://jennifer.hubpages.com/hub/Saving_Money_By_Using_Cloth_Diapers

  • They can. The really fancy ones (all in one, pocket, etc.), not as much. I use Gerber prefolds with a Thirties Duo wrap. I can use regular detergent and regular diaper cream that way. You can’t with the fancier diapers.

    Plus, cheaper to purchase as well. 48 diapers and 4 covers for about $100. By the time I buy a couple more of the next size, my stash will have costs me and family a total of $45. I wash diapers a couple times a week and hang them either outside (summer) or inside to save on energy.

  • Debbie w says:

    I think they can – if you keep it basic. I cloth diapered for a while to cut back on expenses. There’s just so many choices and brands and ‘extra’ things I never even imagined. So, my answer is yes, you can save money. But stick to basic prefolds and PUL covers. I simply washed them with a store brand free and clear detergent and skipped the fabric softener. If you aren’t careful, you can easily spend more cloth diapering than with disposables!

  • Katie Thacker says:

    Yes! I spent $100 on flip diapers for my daughter when she was 8 months old (diapers.com with coupon codes and package deals) and never bought another diaper! We had a total of 4 covers and about 20 inserts. I didn’t specifically calculate the water usage, but I can’t see how it could possibly add up to the $80 a month I was spending on disposables….

  • Courtney says:

    YES! I have used them for two of my four kids, and they DO save money! I use Bum Genius One Size Diapers. It is an inital investment, but everytime I go o Costco, and can walk pass the $40 boxes of diapers it is SO worth it! On a side note, I live in Idaho, where power and water are VERY cheap…so running my washer extra has never affected my bill.

    • I agree! We have a 3 1/2-year-old and a 2-year-old and a newborn due any day now. We used Bum Genius All-In-One Velcro diapers with our first, and added some Snap diapers with our second. We buy our diapers new on Ebay for the best prices, and they’re still in great condition after years of use. We like the Snaps better, so we’re thinking of selling our Velcro diapers at this point to buy more Snaps. When I see the prices for diapers at the store I’m so glad we don’t have to pay them! I’m sure we use the washer more (what parent of babies doesn’t?) but we hang-dry our clothes so we don’t use the dryer more.

      • Laurie says:

        You can always convert your velcro diapers to snaps — that’s what I did when my BG velcro wore out. I don’t sew, so I paid someone to do it for me, but it was still way cheaper than buying new diapers! 🙂

        • How did you find someone to do that for you? I’ve never hired a seamstress before.

          • Laurie says:

            I sent them to the lady at http://convertmydiapers.com/. If I recall, it took just a couple of weeks. She charges $3.75/diaper for BumGenius and she’ll do snaps to match or different colors for fun.

            • This sounds great! I didn’t see a price for shipping and handling anywhere. Is that included in the price? Thanks again!

              • Laurie says:

                If I recall, it wasn’t included…I think I had to pay for shipping it to her, and then include the same amount in my payment for her to ship them back. Overall I still thought it was worth it to get more use out of my diapers. 🙂 If that’s too much hassle for you, you could also sell your velcro ones (like on HyenaCart’s Spot’s Corner or diaperswappers.com) to a crafty mama, and use what you make to buy more snap ones. But overall, I think it’s cheaper to get them snap converted, especially if they have a lot of life left otherwise. I love BumGenius but I don’t love that their velcro doesn’t hold up, especially since my husband prefers velcro! 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    Depends alot on the cost of water in your area and how fancy of cloth diapers you want. We went with a simple choice that is easy to use and economical. And I bought all white so that I don’t have to worry about having a boy in pink diapers. We use bummis snap covers and prefolds (not pins needed, just fold and lay in the diaper).

  • Allyson Wendt says:

    That depends. We used prefolds and covers (econobum brand) for our first for 2 years, before I got rheumatoid arthritis and had to cut back on laundry and other chores.

    The costs with cloth are up front: you can spend up to $500 if you go with fancy diapers. Then there’s water, detergent (don’t use Tide or other big brands! They ruin the diapers), and TIME. Time to do an extra load of laundry every other day or so.

    Essentially, cloth saves money but spends time. Does that make sense?

    The best site by FAR for information that I’ve found is http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com

    • Katie says:

      I agree with what others are saying about the big time commitment with laundry/cleaning out the diapers! Not only that, but my husband and I work out every day, my husband is a Marine outside in the dirt EVERY day, and our baby is 6 months old so cloth diapering is not a practical option for us at this time. We live in a small apartment with a small 2 in 1 washer/dryer so I am already doing laundry for hours a day just to keep up with my husband’s clothes and uniforms and my workout clothes and our baby’s clothes and bibs. So to compensate for the price of diapers, I am subscribed to Amazon Prime/Mom and can get diapers {Pampers or Huggies} with coupons and subscribe and save for as low as 13 cents per diaper and 2 cents per wipe! Plus with programs like swagbucks, valuedopinions and other survey companies, I earn amazon gift cards regularly. I have not bought diapers since my son was two months old thanks to those amazon gift cards! With future babies {Lord willing} maybe I will be able to cloth diaper in the upcoming years!

      So I just wanted to add that there are options out there for moms who aren’t able to do cloth diapering. 🙂

    • In response to Allyson, we bought 24 Bum Genius All-In-One Velcro diapers for our first child, and only spent $400. We bought another 24 Bum Genius All-in-One (12 Velcro, 12 Snap) when our second child was born 17 months later. We bought them new on Ebay, and they’re still in good condition today. We use regular detergent (which has not ruined the diapers). My husband is a runner who likes his sweaty clothing washed daily anyway, and of course kids’ clothes require a lot of extra laundering anyway. So we did not notice a drastic increase in laundry. We hang-dry our clothes during most months of the year, so we don’t pay extra for the electricity. We have not noticed a significant increase in our water bill either.

      My oldest is 3 1/2 and has been potty-trained for a year now, and our 2nd child just turned 2 and only goes through a few diapers each day. Our 3rd is due any day now, and we’re talking about selling our used Velcro diapers on Ebay to replace them with all Snaps. Or we could just keep the 48 we have on hand for the 3rd child, because we have more than enough at this point. Either way, we certainly won’t need to spend another $400 on our 3rd child.

      I have always said that cloth-diapering is a team effort. My husband and I split the chores of diapering, washing, drying, folding, and putting away the laundry so that neither of us is overwhelmed by it. 🙂

  • denise says:

    After the initial investment yes they do! Especially if you go with a cover/prefold system. A friend of mine makes and sells such a system and she quotes that you will spend around $3000 on off brand diapers/wipes for just ONE child. but you can buy enough cloth diapers/wipes to use on MULTIPLE children for anywhere from $181 to $600 depending on how many diapers you buy!

    if you plan to use your cloth diapers on more than one child it could save you $5000 or more!

    http://www.trustyz.com – it is run by a friend of mine – they are high quality and she is a good Christian woman trying to help other women save money!

    • Ann C. says:

      I do disposables and I have not spent anywhere near $3000 for diapers. I use the subscribe and save feature from amazon and spend about $40 every two months on Pampers Baby Dry. I did diapers for 2 years for my first and one year so far for my second. You can get the big economy packs on Amazon. I also get my Huggies wipes at Costco (the big 1100 wipes pack) whenever they offer the $5 coupon, it’s about $20 and that lasts a long time. I’m sure cloth can still be cheaper, but there is definitely an affordable way to do disposables.

      • B says:

        In my area, I would have to agree with the price. I don’t think I paid more than $4 for a bag of diapers the entire time I was diapering my second child. I’ve gotten them for as low as $.99 a bag for pampers and even free with coupons. Now wipes…that’s another story. We spend way too much on wipes.

        • Lori says:

          Wow! thats cheap! I can find them on sale for $10 a package here, and I don’t mean the jumbo size or name brand either.

    • Janella says:

      I would also say that I’ve used disposables, and my budget is $25/month. With coupons, etc. I regularly stay at that budget. So, if you figure for 2 years (sometimes more, less, depending on child), that’s $600. Also, factoring in the time, “ick” factor of laundering that many diapers, water, extra detergent, etc., cloth diapering is SO not worth it for me. Besides, what if (like me), you had 2 kids in diapers at the same time and would have had to buy another set anyway? All this besides the fact that most of the cloth ones (no offense to my cloth-diapering friends:) bulge out and are unattractive under clothing. I like to be able to throw the whole mess away. Also one of my friends invested in a fancy cloth-diapering system, only to discover that her daughter had an allergic reaction due to some of the plastic materials used. She ended up using special disposables to avoid the rash. All that said, the efficiency of disposables is the main reason I chose them, and I’ve not regretted that decision. Time is valuable, even as a SAHM or WAHM, and I’d rather spend my time on other things.

  • Rebecca Reeg says:

    Yes! It might not seem like it at first, however, cloth diapers Do save most people money. The investment of 200 dollars at the child’s birth or so will provide about 24 diapers as well as six covers. Doesn’t seem like much but this is enough diapers to last many new borns two days and as they get older kids about three days. You can also make your own cloth diapers, saving you even more money as you buy the materials then make it yourself in various sizes, and styles as your child grows. Effectively you are trading your time for money though,as cloth diapers do require a level of maintenance that disposable’s don’t. Such as the washing, bleaching and stripping. Over all, My family has cloth diapered out first child and with the exception of travel haven’t really used disposable diapers. I coupon, and make my own laundry detergent so cost there has not really increased at all. I am still doing a load or two a day of laundry so the work is not much hard on me. Every month on average our family saves 60 dollars just in diapers alone, and with another one on the way it will go up even farther. I am not going to deny the ease of disposable diapers! As I said they are used when we travel. (when I say travel I mean visit family about 12 hours away) But cloth diapering really is something to look into!

  • denise says:

    After the initial investment yes they do! Especially if you go with a cover/prefold system. A friend of mine makes and sells such a system and she quotes that you will spend around $3000 on off brand diapers/wipes for just ONE child. but you can buy enough cloth diapers/wipes to use on MULTIPLE children for anywhere from $181 to $600 depending on how many diapers you buy! If you plan to use your cloth diapers on more than one child it could save you $5000 or more!

    http://www.trustyz.com – it is run by a friend of mine – they are high quality and she is a good Christian woman trying to help other women save money!

  • Alicia says:

    They would if I could quit trading them in and buying more! When it becomes an addiction it doesn’t really save much, but with self control it can!! Lol

  • saph@frugalwifeblog says:

    I totally believe so. I spent about $400 on my stash of diapers (a mix of used, brand new, and many that I won from blog giveaways) and it has been such a blessing not to have to buy diapers every week. Plus, it feels good not contributing to the non-biodegrable trash. There are many expensive brands. I advise to buy 1 or 2 of the brands you think you’d like and get them used. Many stores have trial programs also. You can always resell the ones you buy if you find you don’t like them. Cottonbabies.com sells really inexpensive covers and prefolds and offer free shipping. I personally like Thirsties brand covers and Applecheeks pocket covers and those are the 2 I use/buy. The other brands I have are because I won them as prizes.

    • Meghan V. says:

      I didn’t know if this was going to be a good post for me to read or not since I’m a cloth diaper addict but I just had to comment here b/c I LOVE AppleCheeks too! 🙂

  • Karen says:

    If you pick something you like and just stick with it you will save money, especially if you use them for multiple children. I recommend Motherease One-size, because they will fit from infancy through potty training, depending on how you snap them, and they wear really, really well. If you are one that likes to try every new variety that comes out, it will cost you, because there are an overwhelming number of options.

    I started cloth diapering almost as soon as my oldest was born. Two years later I bought a few more of the same style second hand so I would have enough for the oldest and his baby brother. And a year and a half after that I bought a dozen new ones to add to the stash for the baby sister. (I tried the Motherease large Sandy’s that time).

    I’ve had at least one, and for several years two, babies in diapers for the last 6+ years. Just this week I had to start weeding out the oldest diapers that were getting threadbare. Good thing potty training #3 is already in progress!

  • Julie says:

    We use the Flip cloth diapers and LOVE them. My oldest is 20 months and I also have a 3 month old. They have saved us a TON of money. We only buy detergent for them which is about $15 every 3-4 months. We make our own wipes. The first few weeks home from the hospital we used disposables and I couldn’t believe the expense! The Flips/wipes cost us less than $200 per child and they are adjustable so we will use them until they are potty trained. Hope that helps!

    • Dawn says:

      These have been our favorite diapers, too. Child #3 is now in Flips in our house 🙂 The Flip inserts have held up to THREE CHILDREN, and they are still in near-perfect condition!

      (The elastic on the covers is pretty stretched, but that’s my own fault for sticking them in the dryer. We compensated for that by adjusting the rise-snaps to a smaller setting.)

      We do have some Swaddlebees Capri covers, too, simply because they’re so CUTE and I wanted a few extra covers because Child #2 was still in diapers.

  • Kellie says:

    They DO save, but as others posted, it depends on how much you spend up front and what kinds/etc. I personally LOVE my pocket diapers. I found an online brand (JustSimplyBaby if you’re interested) that is inexpensive but great quality and good fit for my babies’ butts. 😉 I still ended up spending about $300 (of budgeted/saved money) up front for my stash (which I realized later is WAY bigger than necessary). Even with that much up front spending plus special detergent (which actually is quite cheap) plus extra rinse cycles in my (never will buy again) front-loading washer, it still saves us a ton of $ over the course of a year. When I started I was diapering two at a time, and now I’m expecting #3, and can still use the same diapers. I don’t even cloth diaper exclusively (we use disposable for sleep times and travel, and sometimes when I just get lazy), but it STILL saves us obvious amounts of money! And I love it!

  • Alisha says:

    I am a Mommy of 14 month old twins. I always thought that it would be too messy and a burden (especially with two butts)…but 5 months into their little lives, I realized just how much money we were spending on diapers. Ugh. By using cloth diapers from 5 mo. to 2 years (rough estimate) – we would save $9000.00! That is a lot of money. Then take into consideration the special kinds of detergents you should use, wet bags and the occasional purchase of sposies (disposable diapers): mainly when kiddos are sick with the flu/diarrhea, etc. Still, having considered all of these things – we still came out on top. I use Best Bottoms, becuase this was the most cost effective purchase for us. I use the hemp inserts, with fleece liners and disposable liners for when kiddos go #2.

    Then comes the laundry! It is VITAL that you stay on schedule with laundry. If you do not – you will use sposies and then the costs just add up from there! There has to be a lot of self-motivation occurring here.

    I like them!
    -Twin Mommy!

  • Susan says:

    It becomes annoyingly addictive when you see how many cute ones there are out there, which in turn costs more. I did prefer (despite having an expansive variety) green mountain diaper pre folds with covers. Super easy to wash, dry easily, highly absorbent.
    In a nutshell if you stick with one type you will save money. There is also a huge resale market for used cloth diapers.

  • Amy B says:

    I spent about $325 for a mix of 24 covers/prefolds and used one size diapers (and a bunch of cheap baby washcloths for wipes). I spent $15 on a cloth diaper safe detergent and have used about 1/3 of the box in 6 months. Oh, and we got a $45 diaper sprayer as a gift (best thing ever for cloth diapering!)
    We would probably spend at least $60/month on disposables and wipes.
    It does take more time, but I only have to wash 2 or so times a week. I am a SAHM anyway, so I can run downstairs to the washer to change the load easily!
    So for us, totally worth it, but you don’t save money buying $35 diapers! 🙂 (though some are really cute)

    • Amy B says:

      I forgot to mention that we use disposables at night because my daughter is a super soaker and I couldn’t find a cloth combo that worked and kept her dry!

  • Kim N says:

    I switched to cloth when my son was 18 months. I figured he would potty train around 3 years old, and just in that 18 month time frame I calculated that I’d save $500!! That savings is compared to disposables at the rate of $.18 each (equivalent to a size 4 jumbo pack of Huggies at an avg cost of $5.50/pkg). If I had started him at birth or much younger, I would have easily saved over $1000 especially since they go through diaper much faster in the first year & slow down after 1 year. I spent about $300 for 21 diapers, all the brand name detergent I will need (Rockin’ Green) for 18 months, cloth wipes, 18 month’s worth of disposable wipes (I prefer those for poo), bag liners, travel bags, drying rack, the whole 9 yards! You could do it for much less if you don’t buy brand name detergent and buy your diapers used. Of course, the savings multiply if you are able to use them for more than one child. The cost of water and electricity has not even been noticeable on our bills (in the warm months I air dry them). If anyone wants to see my full Excel break-down, message me. My spreadsheet also gives an estimated savings for various cloth diaper brands (Kawaii, Bum Genius, FuzziBunz, Sunbaby).

    • Kim N says:

      My spreadsheet will also allow you to change the cost of your disposables, number of diapers you use per day, and number of months you estimate using diapers. That way, you can customize it to your estimated usage based on your baby’s age and your buying habits. This will give you a clearer picture of how much you can expect to save. 🙂

    • Elizabeth says:

      I loved the idea of cloth diapers when I was pregnant with my third (and almost certainly last child as she was a surprise for my fortieth birthday). Reality hit pretty quickly when I realized how much it was going to cost to get started and how much more laundry I would be doing. As the already overwhelmed homeschooling mom of a fifth and eighth grader, I just couldn’t justify adding the extra work to my already busy schedule of homeschooling, scout leading, helping disabled in-laws and other family members with shopping, errands, and chores. I also watch my coupons and sales and never, ever pay full price for diapers, so my actual money spent on diapers up to this month (nine months) has been less than $200. For example this week the big box of 112 Huggies at Wags was $22.99; I used a $3 instore coupon and $3 mfg coupon to get them for 16.99 which is around 15 cents per diaper. This box will last me over two weeks which puts my cost for the month around $30. This is not the best deal I’ve found, just the one I did this week. If my daughter wears diapers for 2 1/2 years (which she hopefully won’t) that still just amounts to around $900. I know that sounds like a lot to many people, but it’s worth it to me to save the time, extra work load, water, and extra electricity. Kudos to those of you who can make cloth diapering work, I just don’t think its for me.

      • Kim N says:

        Elizabeth, I think it is completely true that you have to factor in your life stage and other time commitments! If money is truly an issue, most people can manage to find the time to do the extra work of CDs. If you have a room in the budget to pay for disposables, then it is sometimes the better choice.

        I homeschool my 6 year old, and my soon-to-be 2 year old is very active (i.e. into trouble ALL THE TIME!) There is more time involved (I’d say 5-15 minutes per day), but I’ve made it work for us. It takes a little longer at diaper changing time for dealing with poopy diapers than it did with disposables. (I’ve heard you don’t have to rinse off infant’s diapers until they start solids, so it isn’t a factor in the early months.) I wash a load about every other day. When I dry them on a rack in the garage during warm weather, my 6 year old often has the morning chore of taking them off the rack and bringing them inside. I stuff the diapers (I use pocket diapers) in the evening while watching tv or talking to my husband. The time commitment really hasn’t been an issue for me as I have worked it into our normal routine.

        You have you do what works for you and your family! 🙂

    • Stacey says:

      If you don’t mind I would like to see your spreadsheet.. my email is mcdonaldmultiples10 (at)gmail (dot) com I didn’t do it with my twins but I did potty train them at 21 months but I would like to try cloth for the one on the way.

  • I started using cloth diapers a couple years ago when my kids were 4, 3, 2, 1. I had 3 in diapers then but I spent about an hour figuring out the math that if I had used cloth diapers from the start with with our first one, including about $800 in investments in cloth diapers, covers, and wipes (we started using cloth wipes about 6 months before we started using the diapers also) we could have still saved around $11-12K over our kids’ diaper years! I would say that is a big ol’ YES it is worth it.

    I personally went with the pre-folds. I didn’t bother with pins or snappis. I take a prefold diaper, fold it into thirds, lay it inside the waterproof cover and just snap the cover onto the child. for extra absorbency I use a newborn size prefold as a liner. The prefolds are super economic especially if you don’t mind buying them used (got most of mine for about 50 cents each at a fluff swap) it is a crazy deal. The covers are what get pricey. The method I use only takes me about 10 seconds more to change a diaper with cloth than with disposables.

    My husband was reluctant to switch because he didn’t want the hassle but I made it really easy for him. When the diapers come out of the wash I fold them and place them inside the covers for the day so that all he has to do is open it up and lay it down just like with pampers. I keept a tub of pre soaked wipes right there so when we wipe a poopy butt we just put the dirtywipes on the the dirty diaper (just like with disposables) and instead of throwing them in the trash we throw them in a big bucket of soapy water next to the washer. It is no extra work for him at all.

    For me it only means about 5 min of extra chores before I go to bed. I rinse all the diapers from the “stinky” bucket and then throw them in the wash. In the morning I run them through another rinse cycle then throw them in the dryer. The folding only takes me about 5 min in the morning while the kids are having a snack.

    Sorry for the long post but I just KNOW that cloth diapers can save a family so much money. And the savings only multiply the more children you use them on. Remember though, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. I did not have hundreds of dollars to invest initially so I started with just wipes. I used all those old recieving blankets to make cloth wipes. Then I started out with just a few cloth diapers. At first my kids were only wearing 1 or 2 cloth a day and I just increased gradually as I bought more supplies. Even just a couple diapers a day can mean big savings over a year. (Side note: We still use disposable diapers for night time and when we will be out of the house all day or on vacations. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.) HTH

  • Donna says:

    It is definitely cheaper to use cloth diapers. I raised 4 children on cloth, and only bought diapers twice in that time, just needed larger size what you would call today “covers”. The cost of water to wash and detergent was far less than buying disposables.

    However, more important to me was my children’s health. Studies then showed that disposables are much hotter for the child, and that the heat could be a factor in boys being able to have children later, from their private parts being kept too hot. What is the long term effect of the chemicle composition of the diapers on the skin? What are the babies absorbing from the diapers that will change their future health?

    Then there is the garbage factor – how many years (if ever) will it take for disposables to decompose?

    For me, good stewardship was all those areas, not just financial.

    • Lindsay says:

      Surprised to see it took half a page of comments before someone mentioned the stewardship factor. I would rather use a little more water and electricity than have oodles of plastic going in the landfill. Not to mention the chemicals next to my little boys most delicate parts.

  • Ashlee says:

    They really do if you are smart about buying cloth. I bought all used or second sale diapers (something is slightly off- like a stitch gone astray or small pen mark). I also used them for two kids and then resold them when I was done. I’m a savvy shopper and know how to get deals on diapers, but using cloth was at least 1/2 the cost. I saved tons using flannel wipes. Disposable wipes are so expensive. Usually 3 cents each. Plus you use several for many diaper changes (or your kids get ahold of the wipes box and decide to “play” with them).

    • Leslie says:

      We started cloth diapering about a month ago. We have 3 kids, 7,3 and 18 months. You would think I would have cloth diapered the other 2, but I honestly never thought about it much and liked the convenience of disposable. Well, we started researching and learned how many chemicals are in disposables (they can even lead to infertility later in life), e decided to make the switch. I do a lot of laundry as is, so that wasn’t even a concern. I like o wash them every day, but it’s really not a big deal, pre wash on cold the one cycle in hot with detergent. Hang the covers and dry the insert! We are using “Flip” covers and Organic Flip Prefolds. We also use a Thirsties hemp insert at night, and I just got an Imagine brand all in one, which I tried yesterday, and love! Highly recommend cloth diapering 🙂 I am saving at least $50 a month right now!

    • Jenica says:

      I cloth diapered three kids. I did not use the same diapers, I bought 12 new Bum Genius one sized diapers each time. I spent $250 each time and then sold them for $125 on Craigslist after my kids were potty trained. I probably spent another $75 on accessories like wet bags, wipes, wipe solution, diaper liners, etc. I was able to sell the wet bags & wipes for another $30. So for each kid, I spent $325, recouped $155 which is a net cost of $170. Per kid. I washed every two days, 10X’s a month. Even if my water bill went up $5 a month (which it didn’t, I could tell no difference) that brings my entire investment in each child to $280 (my children were potty trained between 17-22 months, I used the 22 months in my calculation). That’s less than $300 per child (including wipes) and I bought more expensive diapers, didn’t use them for multiple children, etc. Yes, I think it saved me a lot of money. 12 diapers was plenty and I never got caught up in the hype of buying more or cuter diapers. Just like any other business, cloth diaper manufacturers are out there to make money buy encouraging you to buy more diapers!

  • Stephanie says:

    I cloth diapered two kids- Bum genius are good but get the ones with snaps not Velcro- the Velcro wore out before anything else did. I had 24 diapers and found that was plenty and was able to pass them on to a friend. I would still be cloth diapering the two year old but I can’t do stairs easily anymore and the W/D are in the basement so we switched to disposables. Every time we spend $15 on size 6 I practically want to cry because it is such a waste of money. At least she is starting to toilet train so it won’t be for too much longer.

  • Jen says:

    I bought the flip system for about $130 almost 3 years ago. Spent another maybe $50 or less when I had two in diapers and needed some extras. Some diapers are MUCH more expensive but these I have found to hold up very well and are very easy to use, so I recommend them all the time! So for two kids, factoring in detergent, water, etc, I figure we’ve spent less than $250 altogether. That’s maybe 10 boxes of diapers if you find a great price? Also, they tend to potty train earlier with cloth since they can feel the wet more, and my oldest was trained right at two, although he was ready earlier (mama wasn’t!).
    We are not religious about using them, we use disposable for trips, etc….but I always think about the pennies adding up every time I change a diaper and wonder whether cleaning off the poo is worth it! I won’t lie, that aspect is not fun, but I figure I’m doing my part in this small way. 🙂

    • Heather says:

      You are supposed to be doing that even with disposables…which no one does. So really, that should be a moot point! I was shocked when I learned that disposables are to be emptied before throwing away, but it is actually on the package!

    • B says:

      The idea of potty training easier and earlier is probably the best point I have heard on this anywhere…..makes me wish I would have clothed diapered my baby.

      • Jen says:

        It’s not universal, but generally true, and makes sense….disposables are designed to keep them from feeling wet….which is great, but has drawbacks, so they’re just not as aware of their natural functions.

  • Corey Lesko says:

    Yes! Even with fancy ones. We got all pockets and some
    We got for free with certain deals. Additional stuff we got was diaper cream (have not even made a dent in one tub! Because you hardly need it (cloth diaper safe one). Two Pail liners and two wet bags that’s it. Cost of half of what we would have
    Spent on disposables for our first. About to have second
    And that’s no additional cost! And for us we already used tide original detergent and cloth diapering takes so little detergent that that didn’t really make a difference
    Especially because we buy that in bulk/ use coupons.

  • Elise says:

    Yes, absolutely! I use (and love!) Smarti Pants which are similar to Fuzzibunz. The initial investment was almost $250, but after 19 months of use, they’re still just as good as new. I’m looking forward to usin them with baby #2. 🙂

  • Kristi says:

    We bought all of ours (bumgenius) on ebay and craigs list. So we probably spent around $8 per diaper. My two year old is almost out of them and we have a 6 month old. I just discovered Sun Baby and LOVE them. There are some co-ops out there where you can purchase them at cost (under $5). I don’t know “for sure” how much we’ve saved but most times when we travel, we buy disposables (because not everyone wants us washing baby waste in their laundry) and each weekend trip ends up costing us around $45 on diapers. Not awesome. So I would say yes. It’s saved us a bunch over the last two + years. The only “extra” stuff we bought has been diaper liners (I made my own instead of buying the paper ones) and I got all of that material on clearance. I made all of our wipes out of receiving blankets I got as gifts or at garage sales (The solution to keep them wet is super easy to make). Also a spray thing that hooks to our toilet to help get the poop out. I actually have only had to use that a couple times a week because once they started eating solids their poop gets harder and it “rolls” out of the diaper into the stool. So even that isn’t a “necessity”. We also bought that used on ebay so it was only a few dollars. I would however invest in a wet bag for when you are out of the house. It gets to be a hassle using plastic bags or whatever to carry diapers in. I didn’t read the other comments so I’m sorry if this is a repeat. Good luck.

  • Heather says:

    And you can set up baby registries for them at cloth diaper sites and ask for them as gifts. I’ve also found some at garage sales which turned out to not be my favorites but for $3 each they’re worth a try!

  • Julie says:

    It is really saving our family money, and I only cloth diaper at home, during the day. (We use disposables for overnight and when we are out for more than a few hours).

    I bought a combination of gently used and new Green Mountain Diapers prefolds along with bummis covers and are using them with two kids. GMDs resell for about 80% of the orginal price – so when we are done with diapers, we’ll resell and make back a significant part of our money. If I have some time, I line dry the diapers outside in the summer, or line dry inside in the winter. This further saves on energy costs (but if we need clean diapers ASAP, or if it’s humid, I throw into the dryer without guilt!)

  • aMY says:

    I posted over on FB, too, but wanted to submit a longer post on cloth diapering.

    There are a variety of “systems” a person can diaper with. I’ll try to breifly outline each of them.

    The most basic of systems is prefolds and covers. If going with this system, spend the money on sized prefolds (small, med, large). Green Mountain Diapers and Imagine both sell sized prefolds. Most any cover will do, but popular reliable covers include brands like Thirsties Duo Wraps, Bummis, Flip or Econobum. Believe it or not, this is a system a lot of cloth diapering moms love. Or they’ll try everything and return to prefolds and covers.

    A variation of the prefold is the flat. They wash up like a dream, but are a little more work on the front end because they have to be folded. Many companies also sell flats. Green Mountain Diapers, Imagine and Swaddlebees/Blueberry all have flats. You can also use flannel recieving blankets as flats or plain old flour sack dish towels from walmart or target. Flats are a very customizable system because you can use one flat, two flats, fold them specially for the wet zone, etc. You can also use flats to stuff pocket diapers.

    Pocket diapers are a very popular diapering option. Bum Genius 4.0 and Fuzzibunz are probably the mots popular pocket diaper brands, but there are hundreds of other brands, too. Pocket diapers are stuffed with some kind of insert, whether it’s the microfiber insert that often comes with the diapers or a prefold or flat.

    Then there’s the All In One (AIO). Swaddlebees Simplex and Bum Genius Elementals are the most absorbant in this category. And also very pricey, but a lot of cloth diapering families rave about them, myself included. Grovia are also nice.

    A newer type of system is called the hybrid system. GDiapers, Grovia, and Flip are 3 popular hybrid systems. They are basically a cover with a variety of insert options, usually a stay-dry, a cotton and a disposable insert.

    The last system that comes to mind are fitted diapers. Fitteds are non-waterproof diapers, usually adorable, and require a cover. The most basic fitted diaper that comes to mind is the Green Mountain Diapers workhorse fitteds. Again, there are hundreds of different brands. Kiwi Pie and Poppy Fields and Sbish are a couple of the higher end brands.

    Some mamas also use wool as a cover. You lanolize it and it’s both waterproof and absorbant at the same time. Wool is very, very expensive or very, very cheap if you buy a wool sweater and make your own covers with it. Lots of mamas use it for nights, but I’ve also heard wool is only as good as the diaper that’s under it.

    So, having said all that, my advice –

    Most CDing moms have a daytime system and something especially for nights. Flip Organic prefold inserts or sBish fitted diapers are 2 very popular night systems.

    Cloth diapers DO need changing more often.

    The wash routine is a whole ‘nother post, but for the most part just use a mainstream detergent (*cough* Tide) and a little bleach once in awhile. Prerinse, long wash with extra rinse will get your diapers clean.

  • Jo says:

    We both work full time and we used the all in ones (a mix of Bum Genius, Thirsties, FuzziBunz) with our son. He was in full time daycare. We took a wet bag to daycare each day and brought home the dirties and washed them (and ALL free and clear detergent worked great and never ruined them). We ran the washer and the dryer. The diapers were mostly gifts from my mom, but we added to the stash when a sale would come up. We had enough for two full days. Even with everything, we saved money. We switched to disposable when he went to a big preschool center, and now he’s toilet trained, and for night times, I bought two large snap fuzzibunz (we had given all of our other diapers to a dear friend 1000 miles away for her baby). I loved my all in ones and would totally do it again. Easy enough for Dad to use and wash, etc.!

  • MB says:

    Definitely—even with fancy ones…we have about 35 bum genius for two kiddos in diapers. I use the cheapest natural detergent I can find & use about 1/4 of the amount recommended. I do about two loads/week (this would have had to been more when I had a newborn). You can repair the elastics/velcros/snaps to make them last even longer. Also, buy them used or ask around. The nicer diapers definitely have more than 1 or 2 kids worth of use if you repair the basic issues. I think I’ve spent around $400 for the first kiddo, birth to potty trained with cloth (including, water & electricity–I line dry, detergent, the diapers & cloth wipes, & repairs). Subsequent kids are even cheaper….

  • Shannon says:

    Yes, absolutely.

    A couple of thoughts:

    Diapers only add two to three loads of laundry a week, which in the big picture is not as much as cloth diaper naysayers think. There are expensive detergents available, but depending on your water, sometimes bleach and small amounts of regular detergent are just as effective. I’ve tried them all.

    If you’re interested in the AIOs, which are the most expensive style, the more frugal approach is CraigsList. That way you can buy a few “fancy” diapers and see if they’re worth the investment. I’ve even bought wraps and pergolas on Craigslist.

    My favorite online site is Nicki’s Diapers. The pergolas are a good quality and significantly cheaper than Green Mountain. I’ve tried Thirsties, Bummis, Flip, and Imagine diaper covers. By far, my favorite is the snap one size Imagine wrap sold by Nickis Diapers, and it also is the cheapest. Much better quality than Thirsties!

    Like anything with babies, you don’t need the bells and whistles, just the necessities. Diapers/covers/snappis, 2 wet bags (one sm for travel and one lg for home), and a good laundry routine. Helpful extras are soaker pads for a heavy wetter.

    Just remember that with every diaper change and with every wash and with every kid, that’s +/- $.15 you’re not spending on disposables! I have two in diapers and by the time I have baby 3, there will be NO cost for his diapering!

    • Shannon says:

      Prefolds NOT pergolas! Grrr auto correct….

    • Mother Lydia says:

      “Diapers only add two to three loads of laundry a week, which in the big picture is not as much as cloth diaper naysayers think. There are expensive detergents available, but depending on your water, sometimes bleach and small amounts of regular detergent are just as effective. I’ve tried them all. ”

      I’m not a cloth diaper naysayer. I USED cloth for 9 months. It may only be three loads of laundry a week (if you are lucky and you washer only needs to be run once for a load of diapers. And you don’t have leaking problems and therefore need to strip the diapers) but when you usually only do laundry ONE day a week because you work during the day, those 3 loads of laundry a week can become very stressful trying to make sure they get done before you run out of cloth diapers.

      Its even more discouraging when you open up the washer and still see suds so need to rinse again. and all you want to do is for them to FINISH so you can go to bed! (And then, in the morning, you are frantically trying to stuff pockets while also getting ready to go out the door so your caregiver will have enough diapers to use for the day)

  • Leslie says:

    We started cloth diapering about a month ago. We have 3 kids, 7,3 and 18 months. You would think I would have cloth diapered the other 2, but I honestly never thought about it much and liked the convenience of disposable. Well, we started researching and learned how many chemicals are in disposables (they can even lead to infertility later in life), e decided to make the switch. I do a lot of laundry as is, so that wasn’t even a concern. I like o wash them every day, but it’s really not a big deal, pre wash on cold the one cycle in hot with detergent. Hang the covers and dry the insert! We are using “Flip” covers and Organic Flip Prefolds. We also use a Thirsties hemp insert at night, and I just got an Imagine brand all in one, which I tried yesterday, and love! Highly recommend cloth diapering I am saving at least $50 a month right now!

  • Sasha says:

    Cloth does save. I made pocket diapers for my first from a pattern and fabric off of verybaby.com. I only have basic sewing skills; they weren’t that hard to make. They fit 10 lbs to potty training. My son didn’t fit into them until he was 4 1/2 months old because he was so small so for our next baby due in a few weeks I bought some newborn pocket diapers off etsy and ebay. I used disposable the first 6 weeks, at night after about 6 months, and for church. I make my own detergent (washing soda, borax, zote) and hang them out to dry most of the time so the cleaning cost isn’t that high. I buy disposables when they are on sale with coupons for $5 or less a pack for the few times we do use them, but I can’t imagine having to pay $10+ a pack in order to have enough to use all day.

    • Sasha says:

      For storage, I made wet bags out of the PUL fabrics remnants for away from home and put the ones at home in a plastic bin. I used to wash everyday, but went to everyother to save water. Once I have two in cloth I’ll probably wash everyday again.

  • Heather says:

    yes, yes and yes. Starting around age 1 we put our kids in disposable every night, but do cloth all the time otherwise. And although we’ve probably put $400-500 into everything for cloth diapering we know we’ve saved an awful lot of money. We could have spent less, but I bought a lot of newborn cloth diapers that we’ll be able to resell when we are done having babies.

    I just know that after 4 1/2 years of having at least 1, almost always 2 kids in diapers I know we’ve gotten a whole lot from our stash. They are so, so worn out, but they’ve worked really hard. We spend almost $10/month just for our overnight diapers (2 in them currently) and I cringe to think what we would have spent to have every child in disposables all the time.

    We love our Happy Heiny and bumGenius 2.0. They were bought used (about 5 of them were new) and they’ve held up awfully well considering they’ve been each worn 3+ times/week for over 4 years.

    Good luck and go cloth!

  • Haley says:

    They do save as everyone is saying. I registered for the ones I wanted so they did not cost me anything up front 🙂

  • A Mom says:

    I find this discussion interesting. A follow-up I would be interested in knowing is…how much more time does it take in washing/drying those diapers, and is this time reasonable for the savings?

    And, in calculating the cost of cloth diapering, how much do you figure in for the water and electricity used to wash them? And, how does that affect your cost savings?

    • Heather says:

      And wear and tear on your machines.

    • Ashley says:

      It’s just an extra load every 2 days for us. Our dryer doesn’t work very well, so we have to dry everything at least twice, but it’s still never been a problem. We also use the cheapest option: prefolds and covers. We save a TON of money, and it doesn’t take very much extra time. I think it would be a lot harder to like hand wash or hang dry, which I know a lot of people do. But the washer and dryer works fine for us. And we haven’t noticed a significant change in utilities. Plus, if other people buy any for you (like at baby showers and such), that’s even more money you save!

  • Kim says:

    Most definitely!

  • Donna says:

    Anyone else think cloth also has less problems with rashes?

    I agree with everyone else. They are cheaper. I bought several sets of just regular cloth diapers with my oldest. Those sets went through all 6 of my children. Well, seems like I did have to add one or two more sets to the mix when some started to wear.

    I did use disposable when we had to be out for long periods of time and carrying dirty diapers around wouldn’t have been convenient and I also kept them for uses in church nurseries. (The older ladies didn’t mind pinning cloth diapers, but the younger ones often didn’t know how 🙂

    Also, for those with older children with night time issues:
    I bought small adult snap-on diapers from our local medical supply company.
    They were a little pricey up front but-
    SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much cheaper than pull-ups!

    • Kristi says:

      There are also a handful of peeps on facebook who make (sell for pretty cheap) cloth pull ups out of toddler underwear. Like with extra padding for absorbancy and velcro on the sides.

    • A Mom says:

      We are having night time wetting so this is great to know.

    • Mother Lydia says:

      Our son had MORE problems with rashes with his cloth. It was one of the factors in why we gave up using cloth diapers.

  • Mel says:

    Not much. Depends on how you launder them vs how much your disposables cost. When I washed and dried my diapers (with less laundering than recommended… I only washed them once instead of twice) and dried on high heat, I saved maybe $15/mo vs disposables, and it proved to be a fairly time-consuming chore. And I could barely tolerate the odor, though I guess it doesn’t bother many people. Hardly worth the effort when compared to Amazon subscribe and save.

    • Jennifer says:

      I agree! I investigated using them with my daughter. She is now 9 months old. However, once I factored in an extra 3-4 loads a week (husband would not go for any less with dirty diapers around). The savings did not convince me to switch. I would rather eat out once or twice less a month!

      • Lindsey says:

        I guess I would add here that for me, always having to hunt down the next sale on diapers and wipes got old and tiring….and time consuming. And it does cost in gas money to drive to where the next best sale on diapers is every week or month. You have to look at the cons of disposables in the same light too.

  • Sara says:

    We are about to use our cloth diapers for the 3rd time on our 4th baby. We got fuzzi bunz pocket diapers for our 2nd child 6 years ago, before they were one size. They paid for themselves the first time, and now it’s like diapering for free (minus wash costs). Not to mention that both our kids who have worn cloth so far potty trained between 13 and 15 months!

  • Katie says:

    I agree with what others are saying about the big time commitment with laundry/cleaning out the diapers! Not only that, but my husband and I work out every day, my husband is a Marine outside in the dirt EVERY day, and our baby is 6 months old so cloth diapering is not a practical option for us at this time. We live in a small apartment with a small 2 in 1 washer/dryer so I am already doing laundry for hours a day just to keep up with my husband’s clothes and uniforms and my workout clothes and our baby’s clothes and bibs. So to compensate for the price of diapers, I am subscribed to Amazon Prime/Mom and can get diapers {Pampers or Huggies} with coupons and subscribe and save for as low as 13 cents per diaper and 2 cents per wipe! Plus with programs like swagbucks, valuedopinions and other survey companies, I earn amazon gift cards regularly. I have not bought diapers since my son was two months old thanks to those amazon gift cards! With future babies {Lord willing} maybe I will be able to cloth diaper in the upcoming years!

    So I just wanted to add that there are options out there for moms who aren’t able to do cloth diapering.

    • Jennifer says:

      I cloth diapered for a while with a stash another mom passed along to me (after giving up on CD) with my first and second children. I’ll probably do it again for a little while when number three arrives because it’s so much easier when they are little and not on solid food. I much preferred the simple diaper and cover system to the fancy ones, much easier to clean. However, I don’t think they save me all that much in my particular situation. Everything in my house is electric, and electric dryers are expensive to run. Our homeowner’s association does not allow any outdoor drying. We have no basement. So we can either have a permanent display of drying cloth diapers somewhere in the house or pay to dry them. Not a great deal. I can see many situations where they could save you a bunch, but be sure to think through all the variables in your situation before investing. I mainly get diapers through amazon mom unless I can find a better and easy deal in a store.

      • Lindsey says:

        There are five of us in a 2 bedroom apartment. We only have a portable washing machine that hooks up to the sink and that is where I do all of our laundry for all 5 of us….including cloth diapers for one child. It is definitely doable if you are dedicated to saving money (or whatever other advantages you personally believe come with cloth diapering). And because we live in an apartment and do not want to pay to dry our diapers, I do hang them up from the ceiling fan in my children’s room. I guess it’s just odd for me to hear such opposition for things I consider trivial when there are people around the world who would LOVE to even be able to have a clean diaper for their baby and a washer to wash them and anywhere to lay their head at night, let alone dry their diapers.

        • Jennifer says:

          You are quite right that many would love to be able to ponder these things rather than worry about the basics. It is doable in just about any situation, but in our current situation it’s not the best choice. We have lived through very lean times (for the first world, relative comfort indeed) and these days are blessed to be more comfortable financially after years of very hard work – a similar story to Crystal’s in many ways. My husband doesn’t want diapers drying everywhere all the time. If my choice is electric dryer or disposable, disposable is cheaper. And that leaves more money to give to those folks in truly desperate situations. So everyone must consider what is best in their own situation. It’s not opposition, it’s analysis. For some cloth is best ,for others it’s not. The best thing is to consider it well and not feel unnecessary guilt either way.

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    Chiming in to say that I think if you start cloth diapering with your first and have more kids that you use the diapers for, they definitely save you money. We like the Fuzzi Bunz (snaps, separate sizes), but if I were buying now I’d definitely look into the BumGenius one-size with snaps. Snaps are just so much more durable than velcro.

    • Marcy says:

      We didn’t do cloth diapers but have found a huge cost savings in making our own wipes. It’s basically a half roll of Bounty paper towel (purchased with coupons, on sale), baby oil, baby wash, and water stored in a trusty Rubbermaid container. We’ve been making them since the birth of our first born 5 years ago and I’m sure we’ve saved a lot.

    • Emma Green says:

      I’m expecting my first (due in 2 months) right now, so while I haven’t had any hands on experience yet, I definitely feel that cloth is a huge money saver. I have had friends who use cloth and they absolutely love it! What’s more is that you can MAKE your own cloth diapers, and if you are careful about sales and what fabrics you purchase, you can even save a ton of money on the initial start up. You can also try looking for gently used diapers to save! I do have a stash of disposables ready (that I have gotten couponing), but I plan to use cloth most of the time!

  • Daina says:

    I cloth diapered my first child birth through three years old for a cost of about $300 plus water and electricity (which I did not calculate). Detergent is included, though. That is way, way below the average cost of disposables, but I’m not sure what a hardcore couponer would pay for disposable diapers.

    My second child will need less than $100 worth of additional diapers, because some of our covers are wearing out.

    We used pre-owned Green Mountain Diapers (bought through diaperswappers.com) and Thirsties duo-wraps. This worked well for us. When I replace my covers, not sure what brand of PUL cover I’ll use — Thirstis, Flips and Bummis Superbrites all seem to have their advantages.

    • Daina says:

      I’ll also note that I didn’t dry my diapers in the machine very often, which equals big savings when it comes to electrical costs. We had a home energy check-up while cloth diapering, and the person who came was amazed at how low our bill already was.

  • Dawn says:

    We’ve used cloth for 3 children (are still using cloth, actually…) with our kids. (We had 3 kids in 3 years; the oldest is now potty trained, child #2 is almost trained, and child #3 is still in diapers) I think cloth diapering has saved us a ton of money! We do use disposables for night time, and we also use disposables for vacations, sickness, etc.

    Even if you get your disposables for $5/pack, you’ll go through at last a pack a week. That means a minimum of $20/month for diapers and around $5/month for wipes.

    $25/month x 30 months (if potty training at 2.5 yrs) = $750

    You can EASILY cloth diaper for far less than that, and you can reuse these for additional children in the future! Even with laundry costs, it should still come out a lot less than disposables.

    Aplix (velcro) is more user-friendly when you’re just getting started, but the aplix will wear out over time. You might be able to get a second child’s use out of it, but the velcro isn’t going to have as tight of a hold on a wriggly toddler if it’s been previously used by other children. If you can sew, you can generally replace the velcro pretty easily.

    Everybody likes different things when it comes to cloth diapering – you can always start with a variety pack. Lots of cloth diaper websites offer a trial pack with a variety of diapers. I like the deal at JilliansDrawers.com, where you pay $145 and try the diapers for 3 weeks. At the end of the 3 weeks, you can return the diapers and you’ll get a refund of $135! So it only costs you $10 to for the trial, and then you can get an idea of what kind of diapers you like best!

    We’ve tried lots of varieties over the past 5 years, and our favorites for small babies are Bum Genius newborn diapers (with aplix). You can buy these gently used on websites like diaperswappers.com, and you can resell them easily as well in order to recoup some of your costs.

    Once they outgrow those, I switch to covers with snaps (Flips & Swaddlebees Capris) and inserts (Flip Stay Dry, Flip organic, and Green Mountain prefolds) because it’s *much cheaper* and because the diapers clean more easily and dry more quickly than one-size diapers. I do like to keep two or three one-size diapers on-hand for daddies & church nursery.

    I like Planet liquid detergent – you can buy a huge bottle online for $10 with free shipping, using only a small amount each load, and the bottle lasts us for about 6 months with diaper laundry 2 – 3 times/week.

    For potty training, we purchased 6 cloth training pants (Blueberry trainers) and just toss them in the wash with regular laundry (just don’t use fabric softener or they won’t absorb well). We only use disposable pull-ups for overnight. Another HUGE money saver!

    Wow, that turned into a small book instead of a short reply…sorry! 😀

  • Sam says:

    We estimated that by using fuzzi bunz, we saved about $1200 with our first child (factoring in the purchase cost, the sprayer, the bags, laundry detergent, etc.) and around $2400 with our second child. That’s huge for us and we loved them. We also use cloth wipes and have been more than happy with those.

  • Erin S. says:

    I absolutely LOVE how many cloth diaper enthusiasts there are on here! I’m a missionary momma who lives in Bolivia and disposable diapers do not come cheap here. Besides the cost factor, there are also no coupons available or sales like in the states. I was given a whole load of free cloth diapers from a friend and at first I was very apprehensive. Honestly, I started to think I might be a little crazy adding one more thing to my to do list however I absolutely love cloth diapering! I never have to run to the store to buy diapers and we are basically diapering our son (3 months) for FREE! I also recommend using cloth wipes if you use cloth diapers. I don’t have anything fancy for wipes I just cut up an old bed sheet and it works great. When the wipes are used, I just stick them in the diaper and wash them along with the diapers. It’s actually easier than having to make a separate trip to the garbage can to throw the disposable wipes away 😉 I also line dry the diapers, which the sun bleaches and gets any poo stains out! It’s pretty amazing if you ask me!

  • Anitra says:

    YES. I have diapered 2 kids over the past 4+ years (they were in diapers together for about 5 months), and have spent about $1000 on diapers, TOTAL – including disposables for nighttime! $250 will not buy you a year’s worth of disposable diapers.

    I bought fancy pocket diapers, but usually only a few at a time, and only when I could get them on sale or as seconds/discontinued/etc, keeping my cost under $15 per “fancy” diaper – and then I used the heck out of them. My 2 year old boy still wears a pink diaper that just hasn’t died yet. When my oldest was sizing out of the fancy diapers and not quite ready for potty-training, I bought a dozen XL prefolds and 2 covers, which was only about $50 – definitely the cheapest route.

    In contrast, if I had put both kids in disposable diapers (keeping in mind that you can’t always get enough coupons or always find them on sale) over the last 4+ years, I would have spent at least $2500. Not to mention, no late-night “we’re out of diapers” trips to the store.

    • Anitra says:

      I will also mention – I did not buy a different detergent to wash the diapers. I already used Tide Free HE (or whatever it’s called now), because my husband has a sensitivity to dyes & fragrances. That detergent has worked fine. (I did try some other name-brand free & clear detergents, and they didn’t work so well on the diapers.)

  • Christina says:

    My first was in daycare because I had an 8-5 office job. With the second, I was home and started cloth at six months. I spent about $350 for approx 25 one-size FuzziBunz. I was spending $30-40/month even with Amazon S&S. So my ROI was 10 months plus laundry and time.

    Now she is 22 months and in underwear, so the cloth diapers have been passed down to her five-month-old twin brothers. At $30-40/month/child, it was worth it for me.

  • Chelsey says:

    Just a suggestion– I started cloth with my second baby and found the Bum Genius and FuzziBunz gently used on Craigslist. I bought a few kinds until I found out which was my favorite. Even after using them for a long time, I reposted on Craigslist when we were finished and sold them for the EXACT SAME AMOUNT! Wow! Talk about saving money AND the environment! 🙂

  • Elisha says:

    yes! especially if you plan to have more than one child. i have used the same cloth diapers with all 3 of mine, only buying 7 new ones for this last kid. alvababy.com has great prices, the cheapest i’ve found and my favorite. after 5 months of using them for our first kid, we had made up the difference in cost from not buying disposables. so after 5 months, we started saving every month what we didn’t have to spend on disposables.

  • Jennifer says:

    Everyone has great comments about cloth and disposables. I have four children and have done all disposable until this last one which I use the BumGenius all in ones. To keep in the spirit of the website which is all about decreasing the budget, I think it is all about cash flow. Yes you can get disposables cheap and I usually keep some on hand, you don’t have to worry about trying to get coupons and such for diapers. You can mark diapers off the monthly budget which means alot even if things are tight. So I do think they save money but for our family it is all about cash flow and cutting out any monthly cost we can because like coupons….it all adds up.. 🙂

  • Joan says:

    I feel that cloth diapering is saving my family money, although it can be expensive up front. I started out purchasing the Econobum set (3 covers, 12 prefolds), the Flip Stay-Dry set (2 covers, 6 inserts), and 6 Bum Genius Freetime diapers. This wasn’t quite enough, so I picked up another 3 Flip inserts, a pack of 6 Bum Genius doublers (for nighttime use), and 2 covers. I found that most cloth diaper sites have sales regularly, offer freebies, or both, so I didn’t pay anywhere close to full price. You can also make your own wipes pretty inexpensively – water, baby oil, and baby wash make a nice solution for either paper towels or baby washcloths.

  • Eden says:

    Definitely can be cheaper! We switched to cloth diapering when DD#1 was 10 months old for health reasons. {Preferred cloth diapers to what’s in disposable diapers.} We use Rumparooz {pocket diapers}. I highly recommend buying ANY cloth diapers from diaperswappers.com They sell use diapers {in good condition!} for SO much cheaper. I was able to get ALL my diapers for $11 each {new they are $25}. I found a good amount to start off on was a dozen. So I spent $132.00 up front. The thing to keep in mind is that while it may cost more UP FRONT, in the long run its cheaper. At the time DD#1 was using about a package a week & the storebrand ones were buying were $6/package. That was about $24/month. So basically going cloth cost me 5 1/2 months of disposable diapers- completely reasonable when a baby will wear diapers for up to 3 years or so! Plus, not to mention using them on the next babies! {DD#2 was born last week & she’s using them now!} One other thing to keep in mind is that some diapers are one size fits all, while others aren’t. I found its worth buying the one size fits all. Its convenient & in the end cheaper than buying several different sized diapers.

    Don’t forget to check out diaper swappers! Seriously they are the best & a HUGE key to making cloth diapering cheaper!

  • Rachael says:

    Yes! cloth diapers save money! It does make a huge difference in how you acquire the diapers, whether you buy new, used, or make your own. The first post is my most recent counting of what cloth has saved us….

    http://mamarachael.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/still-using-cloth-diapers/

    And thoughts on fitting diapers…
    http://mamarachael.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/different-ages-different-diapers/

  • Marcelaine says:

    Yes, cloth diapers can save you money, depending on which ones you buy. If you buy the more expensive all-in-one diapers or fitted diapers, it will cost more and might not save you much money. Also if you have to buy several different sets as your baby grows out of them then it adds up. Go for diapers or covers that can be adjusted with snaps to be made smaller so that they will fit the baby for a longer amount of time. If you buy other accessories it adds to the cost as well. We went with prefolds and Thirsties duo wraps (covers). We were able to find our prefolds on a website that sells their factory seconds at a discounted price, so they were maybe $1.50 per diaper. If you buy Thirsties covers, get the ones with snaps. The velcro ones wear out very quickly. We calculated that we would save $600 by the time our son turned two. He is now three and a half and unfortunately still not completely potty trained, and we also have a little girl now, so we have already saved a lot of money and the prefolds are still holding up well.

    I also made washable wipes by cutting brown flannel into 8 x 8 squares and sewing two squares together using a zigzag stitch around the edge. That has also saved us a lot of money and I prefer my cloth wipes to disposable wipes now because they work better.

    Get rubber gloves for dunking soiled diapers!

  • Ellen says:

    For us, definitely YES. They save. I used snap covers with prefolds for inserts, which are by far the most inexpensive. I would not buy covers that use velcro… those wore out quickly. Neither my husband nor I found it laborious or time-consuming to use the prefolds and I liked being able to reuse covers that were not soiled, as opposed to all-in-ones, which annoyed me in general. With the prefolds and covers, I was able to wash only every 6 days or so, enough to build up a full large load.

    In our cost analysis, we saved hundreds, even including washing costs and with buying covers to replace the velcro ones … and that is before we are about to start up using them again with our third child.

    • Sara G says:

      I am a hybrid cloth/paper diaper user and couldn’t be happier. I use disposables when we go on long outings and for overnight and spend between $5-7 per month on those and generally use peruse websites for the top diaper deals of the week at Amazon so I don’t have to schlep the kiddo and worry about coupons and stock issues.

      The cloth diapers aren’t as daunting as they seem. And you can get them on the cheap. I bought all of mine–25 diapers and 50 inserts brand new from Facebook co-ops for $150. I could have got half of that but wasn’t sure how well they would work–they are awesome. There are numerous ones, just search for diaper co-ops and do your homework and ask questions. I wash 2x a week, and let the diapers sit in a bucket with borax and regular tide powder…and I rinse off any solids in the toilet with a spray bottle. It isn’t bad at all..takes maybe an extra minute each time. My kiddos skin likes the cloth diapers way better!!

      So when all is said and done we will have spent $270ish on the first kid and it will decrease after this with each kid. I hope this helps and bottom line–I do what I am comfortable with and not because I feel pressured by anyone to help save the environment or save money or any number of reasons that can cause Mommy guilt.

  • Meegan says:

    The best place to find cloth diapers is through Diaperpin.com’s sales page. They list all sorts of promo codes for different companies on a running basis. I was able to get all of my cloth diapers (all in ones and pocket) for $13 or under brand new. I mixed and matched brands and tried to buy in all gender neutral colors so that any later babies could use them too.
    http://www.diaperpin.com/sales_cloth_diapers.asp
    My fave website on Diaperpin is Squishy Tushy.

  • jennifer b says:

    Instead of buying wipes, I cut up old tshirts and socks- I always rub them on my cheek to judge whether they’re soft enough and use them. As Im going to throw them out anyway, I figure I can get wipes for free – I just wet them at the sink for diaper changes.

  • RW says:

    Look up kawaii diapers!! They are like the fancy ones but only about $10+\- for one! You can find them on eBay or amazon. They are our favorite.

    I think cloth really saves more with future kids using the same diapers.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have spent $290 on cloth diapers to fully diaper two children, including all of the detergent we’ll need for the rest of the time my third is in diapers and probably at least one more future child. I think the biggest savings come with using cloth during the potty training stage. Pull-ups or even just larger sized diapers are much more expensive than the diapers for smaller kids. My two oldest were potty trained during the day around 2 years but needed a diaper at night for the next year to year and a half. I’m sure I saved at least $100 just by using cloth diapers at night during that time. I use mostly Flips covers and a combination of inserts. cloth diapering can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. My favorite inserts are old receiving blankets that I had laying around my house. I’m not swayed by the “cute” prints but have seen others spend hundreds on buying more diapers/covers as fashion accessories.

  • jerilyn says:

    depends!

    can you buy a certain amount and avoid adding to your stash? 🙂

    don’t get velcro- they don’t last as long.

    i can diaper my 10-month-old baby for less than $25 a month. aldi’s diapers are cheap and we’ve only had 1 leak! when i cloth diapered my first two we still had to use disposables at night. plus, i have enough laundry to do so i sold my stash. haven’t noticed any budget difference.

    if you do cloth diaper and are having a shower ask for cloth diapers!

  • Kaitlin says:

    Oh my goodness yes!!!! I started cloth diapering my son when he was 10 months old. I spent $400 up front to buy everything I needed. Some were new. Some secondhand. And I bought really more than I needed. I ended up with 36 diapers in total, but I think 24-30 would have been more than plenty. Before using cloth diapers I was spending about $75-$80 a month on target brand disposable diapers and wipes. I was able to begin seeing savings in about 5 months. The best part is not having to worry about how we are going to buy diapers this week or trying to squeeze through until the next paycheck.

    I also use Ecos brand detergent which is about $9 a bottle at Walmart. It is cloth diaper safe. 1 bottle lasted me 9 months. I also use calgon water softener because we have really hard water which is about $5 a bottle at Walmart. 1 bottle lasts me about 4 months. So I spend about $2 a month on average to cloth diaper.

    As far as my water bill and electric bill, I haven’t even noticed a difference which means at most a extra $2-$3 a month maybe.

    Definitely a significant savings. But most importantly it’s worth the peace of mind.

    • Kaitlin says:

      I forgot to mention I bought bumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers. I highly recommend these. They are so much like a disposable. I also suggest snaps because the Velcro does not stand the test of time. I also recommend a diaper sprayer for those who are a little scared of the poop situation. They make it so much simpler. If you are nervous. Try out a pack of 6 or 12 when they go on buy 5 get 1 free or use a coupon code for one of the man cloth diaper stores online. Then if you really don’t think it’s for you, sell them on diaper swappers.com. You will only be out a couple bucks for each diaper (possibly nothing if you can get a good deal in the first place.)

      • Laura says:

        I think it’s a matter of preference and diaper choice. our Velcro on our main diapers(rumparooz) is fine and no real wear after 14 months. but our secondary cheaper ones(happy heiny) the Velcro is curled but still in decent shape. but you are right. I had a friend using bumgenius that I had to replace her Velcro…and it wasn’t terribly hard to do.

  • Carrie says:

    Yes, they can and do, provided you a) use an inexpensive system like prefolds and snap covers (I like Thirsties which are available in just 2 sizes and are adjustable and b) use them for more than one child.

    I’ve had 6 kids in cloth and have used many different styles, from the expensive $20 a pop styles to to second hand prefolds, and I keep coming back to the simple humble prefold. Cheap, they last through several kids, and are great for cleaning after their diapering days are over.

    The microfiber diapers are nice… but can be finicky depending on your washer/detergent/water situation, and after so much frustration I have sold all my fancy diapers. Simple is best.

    And cloth kids potty train younger. Bonus!

  • jane says:

    I am considering cloth diapering our baby-to-be, and I was wondering….
    When you wash cloth diapers/wipes in the washing machine, do you put anything else (clothes, socks, towels, etc.) in the load? Or is that gross? But if it’s gross, then do the diapers really come out clean?

    • Laura says:

      We wash the diapers by themselves. but we just use a lot. my daughter didn’t like to be even the tiniest bit wet lol. if you are grossed out you can do a first cycle(no soap just clean rinse) without other things then add your others in your second cycle(soap). Wealso rinse the poopy ones into the toilet first. basically I’d think of it like what would you do with the sheets if your child wet the bed. or what do you do with the blowout clothes.

    • I always wash diapers separately. I start with a cold wash, then follow with a hot wash. I don’t want to put clothing through that much washing or the hot water. But then, I also only wash towels with towels, sheets with sheets, etc. I’m a tad laundry obsessive. 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Yes! even though we bought one of the more expensive brands and lots of accessories westill have saved a ton! We bought onesize pocket diapers because daycare wouldonlytake those. We spent about 500 upfront. outside of buying disposable diapers for travelling we haven’t spent more than soap and water and electricity since. You definitely don’t have to spend as much as we did. there are cheaper diapers andyou don’t HAVE to have as many as we have(30 diapers 6 portable wetbags) we also spent some money on diapers we didn’t like at all. Oh and we bought a diaper sprayer which isn’t necessary but nice.

  • Tara says:

    I would also love to know everyone’s opinion on this. Great question!

  • Ashley says:

    It DEFINTELY saves you a ton of money! We use one of the cheapest options; prefolds. Check this out: http://www.babycottonbottoms.com/cloth_vs_disposable.htm

    I wrote a blog post about how we do it a couple months ago for some of my friends and family who were interested if you want to check it out: http://www.newbergpenguins.com/2012/11/cloth-diapering.html

    It can seem overwhelming at first, but once you figure it out, it’s really simple.

  • Amy says:

    YES! I am now cloth diapering my third child. I bought some barely-used chinese prefolds for my first baby, and they are just now starting to wear out enough to be called dust rags. The other commenters covered the details, but I agree, keep it simple and you will save a ton of money. I thought this was a great post about cost analysis: http://www.diaperdecisions.com/pages/cost_of_cloth_diapers.php

    For anyone considering getting started, I would recommend borrowing a few cloth diapers – enough to try it all day long and wash them at night. If you give it a try during the day for a week, you’ll probably know whether you want to jump in to cloth diapering or not. That’s what we did, and it calmed a lot of my fears – and my husband’s fears – and we decided to go for it. I think it is totally worth it! But again, I’m not doing anything fancy – just basic.

  • Amy says:

    PS – I didn’t find that my kids potty trained any younger. HOWEVER, when the time came, they did potty train *faster.* Also, since I was not worried about how much money I was spending on disposable diapers, I felt less stress when they were not ready to potty train as young as I had hoped. So cloth diapering saved us money and saved me stress.

  • I’m cloth diapering, and I don’t know that I’m saving any money. I did a lot of research ahead of time, and I went expensive. Organic cotton, all-in-ones, blah blah blah. I don’t regret my choice AT ALL, as the cotton ones are nicer and don’t get funky like microfiber does, and being all-in-one means that babysitters and grandma can all do up the diapers with no problem. But, I have to buy special detergent for the diapers, and they go through 2 washes, cold, then hot. On top of that, my kid is such a heavy wetter that he can’t go all night in cloth, even with his diapers stuffed with extra liners. So, we have to buy nighttime disposables.

    If I were planning to have more kids, then this undoubtedly would be a money saver, as we wouldn’t have to buy more diapers for kid #2. But we’re done. Still, I don’t regret doing this at all. I love doing laundry, and I really prefer cloth diapers to disposables. It’s pretty gross to be throwing tons of poop and urine away, if you think about it. Scraping poop off a cloth diaper into the toilet is rarely gross or difficult.

    As others have said, you can do cloth on the cheap with less fancy diapers. It comes down to whether or not you’re willing to put in the extra time it takes to wash and prep cloth. If you already hate doing laundry, then I don’t recommend cloth.

    • If you’re sure you are done and your diapers are still in good shape after this kiddo, look into reselling them. Lots of people will buy good second hand diapers, especially if they are a “fancy” version. You may be able to get back a lot of your initial investment.

  • Martina says:

    we are expecting our 3rd in 5 month and are going to cloth diaper him, i did sew my own Diaper covers and bought the prefolds with Swag bucks, so far we did not spend any money on diapers, and if it works out we wont be spending much more than 1oo dollars for the whole time he will be in them

  • Christie says:

    Ok, my questions for you CDing mommies… Doesn’t washing all these gross diapers make your washer nasty? And how do you deal with the ick factor? I totally get how it would save money, but some days I wanna vomit changing a disposable that I can just toss. I can’t imagine having to clean it off and then wash it too.
    And also my friend’s kid who wears cloth always smells. Is that common?

    • august says:

      That’s why my husband doesn’t want to. But like others have said, your kids have blowouts, wet the bed, puke . . . all that goes in the washer any way. Why not just spray it out in the toilet and be done. (You can buy a sprayer like for the sink to hook up to your toilet so it just rinses it out). Smell wise? I’ve never known anyone that CD so I have no idea.

    • You don’t put feces into the washer. It’s not any different from putting in clothing that was the casualty of a diaper blowout, which btw, never happens with cloth. At least, not for us. Scrape the poop into the toilet, then diapers are ready to go in the wash. The diapers go through 2 washes, and I guarantee, the washer comes out clean.

      If your friend’s kid always smells bad, my guess is that she’s using microfiber inserts in her diapers. Those get FUNKY. We use all cotton, but I did buy some hemp and microfiber inserts for additional help to try to go overnight in cloth. (Didn’t work out–he wears disposables at night.) After one use and a run through my usual wash routine, the microfiber insert still smelled. I recommend all cotton. People buy microfiber because it’s cheaper, but cotton is worth the extra cost.

  • august says:

    Can anyone show me any links where I can see the basics? I want to DC, but I haven’t got a clue where to start. All these terms you all are using are like a foreign language to me.

    • Kara says:

      We used Fuzzi Bunz and loved them. I bought them in bulk for savings, used them for both kids and then sold them for about 60% of what I paid for them. We line dried the diapers for extra saving and to keep them in good condition for resale. Our wallet and our little ones bottoms were happy with the decision.

  • katharine says:

    I use 2 dozen prefolds (you can purchase online for about $2 each) and 4 covers (about $12 each. I recommend the Thirsties Duo (2 sizes that adjust so they grow with your child). All of that is about $100. I wash about every 3 days. You do need 2 different sets of sizes to get from newborn to potty training, but my babies are in the second size by about 9 months. That second size lasts on my babies through potty training (though it was really pushing it on my boy that didn’t potty-train until age 3 (there are larger sizes, but I was sure he would potty train any day). I do prefer to use disposables at night much of the time, but you can also double up the diapers or buy extra-absorbent soakers. Basically, I’d say you can cloth diaper a baby on the cheap for around $200 (plus the time and resources for washing the diapers) if you are committed to cloth. The good thing is that most of the diapering products last from one kid to the next can be re-sold (I have only replaced a few things for the next baby). Some people end up spending a lot more because they love to try all the varieties and patterns out there, which can get pretty expensive.

  • Lauren M says:

    yes it saves a ton! and i even have the “fancy” pocket diapers and pay pricy northern virginia water and electric bills. i love the bum genius 4.0 one size pocket diapers with snaps and have gotten most as gifts or when they go on sale (buy 5 get 1 free). we use powder tide with them and have great success. such a blessing not having to budget for wipes and diapers each month!!

  • Em says:

    I saved a ton of money using cloth diapers because when I was done with the diapers I sold them – sometimes for what I paid (when I bought secondhand, which I did a lot). I loved that.

    I do see people asking about the “ick” factor – first of all, you can sanitize your washer if you’re concerned though LOTS of icky things probably go in that washer, cloth diapering or not. But, more importantly, you’re not supposed to throw human waste into the trash – most diaper packages say this (though not all, unfortunately). So technically no matter what kind of diaper, you’re supposed to dump and flush if at all possible before taking care of the diaper itself. Human waste in a landfill is pretty gross (as are disposable diapers, unfortunately, but for the record I used them too in certain circumstances – it’s not all or nothing!). Just something else to think about…

    • Kim says:

      I have a 12 month old and use 3 diapers a day at aroun.17 a diaper. Which = $180 a yr. not too bad! We do use some clothes diaper about 3 days a wk and I do a rinse and then wash then warm with underwear and towels and it doesn’t add too much laundry. Anyone else not do completly seperate loads?! I do like them as I can use them for my next kids and I feel good about it! So I do it when I’m home most of the day 🙂

      • Mother Lydia says:

        When I was cloth diapering, I was told NOT to wash other clothes with your diapers (at least the ones that were liners) because it could cause them to lose their water repelling features.

  • Brooklyn says:

    Yes, you can save a ton of money on cloth diapers. We use BumGenius and have been very pleased; my daugher is almost 3 years old and her diapers are still holding up. We also make our own wipes. We have flannel wipes for when we’re at home (we spray them with our wipe solution), or we make disposable wipes from 1/2 roll Viva paper towels with the tube removed, 2 c hot water, 2 T baby oil, 2 T baby wash, and 2 drops tea tree oil (I can’t find the site where I first found this recipe- sorry to the original creator). I love that we’re leaving a smaller footprint. Also, our doctor and nurse have told us that our wipe solution is easier on baby’s skin than commercial wipes.

  • For us cloth saves us tons of money. Here in China the disposable diapers are even more expensive than in America, because they are new and not that may people use them yet. But even in America they saved us a bunch.

    I know this tip isn’t for everyone, but I’ll just throw it out there in case it ends up helping someone who never thought of it. If you want to really save money on cloth diapers, it is very possible to sew them yourself. If you make the inserts out of out T-shirts and flannel sheets etc. they’ll cost very little. Flat or prefold diapers take very little time to make, but fancy fitted diapers aren’t all that hard either and you’ll definitely save a bunch there. For covers I bought PUL fabric, fold over elastic, and velcro online and found free patterns. This is a very inexpensive route, but some people even sew them out of thrifted and then felted wool sweater.

    Just something to consider instead of spending a bunch on cloth diapers, it is possible to make them yourself with some basic sewing skills and a little time. But as always everyone’s circumstances vary and time has a cost too.

  • angel says:

    And you cant beat the price. With our first CD’s baby , in the 2 years we had his diapers (Fuzzi Bunz), cloth diaper got popular so prices got higher and when we sold off the diapers we made ALL the money we spent on them (including shipping) back! So we diapered him for free!
    With my next I tried a bunch of different brands, so I did spend quite a bit up front (I think it was $200-$300) but when I worked out how I’ve sold what we were finished with, I think in 14 months we’ve spent maybe $30 on diapers (after we sell the ones we are still using). Some people use simpler, cheaper diapers (like prefolds) , but even though Fuzzi Bunz are more expensive, the resale value is high as well.
    For us Bum Genius wore out, so we couldn’t sell them after, and I was disappointed with those.
    For wipes we use flannel wipes. I also keep a small spray bottle of water in the diaper drawer to wet the wipes with.

  • meghan says:

    I have been cloth diapering my 18 month old for about a year now. We received the diapers from a friend, so that elminated the cost of buying them. The brand that we find works well for my daughter is called Sunbaby – they are pocket diapers, and they cost about $6 – $10 each. I find that I wash them about every three days, and then hang them on the line to dry to save some money. I have a diaper sprayer which we hooked up to the toilet that you can spray off the poo with. I also have diaper liners that you can lay right on the diapers (that kind of looks like a dryer sheet). The liner is flushable, so you can just dump it in the toilet with the solids, which also makes for way less spraying/residue on the diaper. I was hesitant to start cloth diapering in the beginning, even though I really wanted to for environmental/health reasons. I felt so overwhelmed and thought there was so much information. It is such a breeze now, and I am so glad that I made the switch. (I do, however, still use disposables overnight to keep them from leaking).

  • Becky says:

    Our cloth diapers paid for themselves after a year. with our second child we picked up a few more but continued to use the others. If y can buy used off eBay, you can cut down on the start up cost. We have blueberry, knickerknappies and fuzzybunz. The more expensive diapers seem to hold up a bit better.

  • kit gearhartschinske says:

    Yes. I tried many different brands and types, but preferred bumkins velcro type diapers. Velcro was easier for me than snaps. Cloth is better for the environment and can be used for multiple children.

  • Kate SDDS says:

    YES! We use cloth (we switched to disposables the month of Christmas bc I got some FREE diapers w coupons and a gift card and the month was so busy – but we are now back to cloth) – we do all our laundry at home – and i got hand me down and bought off brand cloth diapers – i use coconut oil as a diaper rash cream (SO CHEAP & no chemicals) – Also – you can use cloth diapers as swim diapers too! Those things are SO expensive as disposables! Also – once you are done w the cloth diapers you can sell them or donate them for a bit of your $$ back! There are some good coupon match ups for disposables but that takes time too – honestly I wish I had done it w the big kids when they were in diapers – oh how we could have saved!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I used them with my oldest 3 but they were given to me so I never had the expense of having to buy them but bey the time my third was burn we had three in diapers. The extra work of doing diapers made it so I could not keep up with other things making it so we spent more money on other things. Plus the extra work was not worth my sanity somethings are more important then saving a few dollars

  • Kerith says:

    Cloth has saved our family quite a bit of money. I spent about $200 on cloth diapers (to diaper 2 babies) and over the last 3 years, I’ve definitely made our money back. It isn’t an all or nothing for me. I get the deals on disposables when they come up and use disposables for days that we’re on the go, on vacation or at church. We spend most of our days pretty close to home, so it’s not as much as an inconvenience for me as it would be for some moms. A diaper sprayer is installed in one bathroom and I do the diaper load (2 hours long!) at night while we’re sleeping. Convenience and cost both have to be balanced to make it work for your family. It works for us.

  • Mariah says:

    I agree that cloth diapers do save money. Our son turns 1 on Feb. 1 and I started using the potty with him and using cloth pull ups at home. Only using diapers when we go out and to bed we have save $37 this month on just diapers alone.

  • Cloth diapering has saved me money but it has also saved me time. I no longer have to waste my time trying to find a deal on diapers or driving to the store to buy them. We always have diapers on hand and when I am done I can sell them to make a little money back. Yes, laundry and folding does take a little time but I do so much laundry that a couple more loads a week is nothing.

    I currently use pad folded flat diapers in flip covers (even at night- I just add a flour sack towel as a doubler and a fleece liner that I made from an old blanket to keep my baby’s skin dry). For Saturdays when I am at work, I have 9 Bum Genius Elementals- that are all in one so it makes it easier on my husband.

    And honestly, now that I do cloth diaper even if it cost me more to do it I still would. The thought of all of the chemicals in disposables against my baby’s bum 24/7 is not something I am comfortable with. Plus, cloth diapers are so cute!

  • Mykal says:

    I use sunbaby pocket diapers. They are a onesize and are only $4.50 per diaper with insert. From sunbabydiaper.com. I also use kawaii onesize pocket diapers from http://www.theluvyourbaby.com site and they are around $8 a diaper with inserts.

  • Theresa says:

    I did my own (very informal) comparison and found that once you factor in the cost of detergent and energy of washing them, I didn’t think cloth really saved. I buy generic diapers. Target brand work just as well as any national brand. I don’t have deal with the mess. Time is money, too.

  • Allie says:

    We have a nine month old boy (our first) and he’s been in cloth diapers since he was big enough to fit into them (about two months old, but he was almost two months early, so about 8 pounds). We use OsoCozy prefolds closed with a Snappi and thirties Wrap snap covers during the day. At night or leaving the house for long periods of time, we do use disposables (Walmart brand work great for us). We had 3 dozen of the newborn size prefolds and 2 dozen of the infant size. It adds maybe two loads of laundry a week, but since there’s no real folding involved it really doesn’t feel like much extra work. Plus we have no rashes and no leaks, which is a big plus. Since the cost of a dozen cloth prefolds was between $18-$30 on Amazon, we have definitely spent way less than we would have on disposables. Also, we had 7 covers for the newborn, which was a good number, but we could probably get by with only 4 now that he is older and eating solids.

    • Allie says:

      Also – about once every couple of months I dump all of my prefolds into a five gallon bucket and “strip” them (soak them) in hot water and white vinegar. Diapers tend to not rinse completely clean of detergent and the build-up is actually what makes them smell (I know, sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true). After soaking for four hours, I run them through the wash again and they come out smelling completely brand-new and are good for another few months. Cheap and easy! The trick is to not overuse detergent when washing since it causes build-up and will actually make them less absorbent.

  • Juli says:

    With my first son, I figured out that I basically broke even over the cost of using sposies. Then when we re-used them on my second son, it was all pure savings. For us, we use a combination of cloth and sposies — cloth during the day, sposies at night or on long trips. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. My boys are in full time daycare, so using the cheaper prefolds were not an option for us. I found Bottombumpers all in ones, and they have worked great for us. They don’t have to be stuffed like a pocket, but they have a snap-in soaker so they dry faster than a typical all in one.

  • Joanna says:

    Absolutely! We’ve been cloth diapering a little over a year, and I love it!

    We don’t have a dryer, so I bought a dozen Osocozy flat folds so they could dry quickly inside our apartment. I also bought six high-quality prefolds from various sources, and I already had a dozen Gerber prefolds (my last resort diapers). I use a Snappi to fasten the flatfold or prefold. I bought six diaper covers, my favorites being my Thirsties duo covers, purchased used on Ebay, and Flip covers, which I bought as “seconds,” meaning they were cheaper because of a defect which I never detected. If I change a diaper and it’s only wet, I wipe down the cover, let it air out and use it again later in the day. That way I don’t have to buy a huge stash of covers.

    The first several months I kept my daughter in cloths day and night, and I washed a load every evening. Now we use a disposable at night and wash every other evening. I use Charlies Soap, and only about a teaspoon per load, so after over a year I’m still only 2/3 through a $13, 2.64 lb. container of detergent.

    Most everything I bought was through Amazon, and Swagbucks contributed greatly to that. I also bought a “Mini-shower” on Amazon to put on the side of the toilet as a diaper sprayer. It doubles as a hand-held bidet, which came in handy those first few postpartum weeks. That was our biggest cloth diapering purchase at $45, but I’m glad we splurged on it!

    It’s possible to spend a fortune on cloth diapers, but I’ve done it on the cheap and it’s worked great. Check Ebay and you’ll find plenty of parents who bought a huge stash while they were expecting, tried it for a few weeks and didn’t like it, and are willing to sell barely-used diapers for a low price.

  • Jessica Wells says:

    We just recently switched our second child to cloth diapers. A friend of mine reccommended them, and I personally love them. The same friend invited me to join a Facebook Co-Op that buys all sorts of “crunchy” items in bulk in order to get wholesale pricing. I now have 25 All In Ones and 40 microfiber inserts and only spent about $75. I have plans to make some more inserts/soakers, but I know I’ve saved money for my 18 month old and I can use them all over again when we have our third (hopefully soon!). They are much more time consuming than disposables, but the savings and environmental impact are worth it for our family. Also, they seem to be helping my son get ready to potty train soon.

  • Amanda says:

    Yes, they saved us tons. We saved a lot by making them ourselves. You can find free patterns and they really aren’t hard if you have basic sewing skills. If you don’t think you can do it, ask friends and family for help. We used the pocket style diapers. I bought most of the fabric on sale or clearance. This brought the cost of each diaper down to less than $1.50. So for the price that you would spend for ONE MONTH of disposable diapers, we were able to get 6-9 months, depending on the size of the baby. I made two sets, one small and one large and that got us through the diaper years. Homemade wipes are a saver too, since you’ll be washing diapers anyway. I bought the covers from Ebay or Etsy and you only really need a couple. Most people end up buying way more covers than they will use at one time.

    I would definitely recommend a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet valve. It makes the cloth diaper experience much more easy to handle, especially for dads 🙂

  • Anna says:

    I ran a cost calculation on a website selling cloth diapers, and buying their kit, versus the Walmart brand diapers, it was cheaper for me to keep using the disposables! But, diapers have gone up in price, and obviously the more kids you use the cloth on, the better the savings.

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