Cloth Diapering on a Budget
When we first had Zoie we decided we wanted to use cloth diapers. For a number of reasons, one of the main reasons her skin. Why put chemicals and chemical gel on her skin?
As I looked on Pinterest, looked at stores & went online, it kind of looked like it was going to break the bank at first. Cloth diapers are expensive up front, but in the long run it is cheaper. Between buying the diapers, extra inserts, the large wet bags, the to-go wet bags & then the soap. It seriously looked like it was going to break the bank.
But I was set on doing cloth diapers, I didn’t want to do disposable diapers. But at the same time I seriously didn’t want to go broke doing cloth diapers, preparing for a baby was already expensive.
First thing is first, make sure you have a list of things you need. In four months we needed the following
- 24 Shells
- We went with one size fits all, this way they grow with the baby & you don’t have to keep buying new ones once they get bigger
- 30-40 Inserts
- We have around 40, we do laundry every 2 days. We have bamboo inserts & they take about 2 days to dry
- 20 Cloth Wipes
- We used cloth wipes since we were using cloth diapers, they are nice and soft
- Cloth Diaper Soap
- You cannot wash cloth diapers in laundry soap, it ruins them. Here is my recipe
- Garbage Pail with Lid
- You need a place to store your diapers
- 2 Pail LIners
- You don’t just want to throw your diapers in the pail, you need large wet bags to put in there, then just wash when you wash the diapers
- 4 Small Wet Bags
- These are for when you go out, they fit 2 whole diapers or 4 inserts
- You need to wash them
- Hanging System
- We air dry our cloth diapers, it makes them last longer & doesn’t ruin the PULs
- Coconut Oil
- You cannot use diaper rash cream, rarely does the baby get a rash, but when they do just air them out and throw some coconut oil on them.
When your pregnant make sure you buy a diaper a week after about 25 weeks. This will save you money, so you don’t have to buy them all at once. Also, put them on your baby registry, that is what we did & we were lucky to get them!! Put the bundles and individual diapers. Someone might just buy you a bundle, someone might buy you other stuff and a diaper. Maybe no one will buy them, but at least you have them on there.
Another thing, we love Amazon for all or cloth diaper needs!! They seriously have everything you can think of for cloth diapering. They also have a lot of sales!! You can get on a email listing of when things in categories are on sale. Zoie & I browse their sales every Saturday.
The cloth diapers we went with were Alva Baby. They are nice, have a lot of designs & my favorite part the snaps are lifetime guaranteed. We also use their amazing bamboo inserts, that are super soft, absorbent and the best for night time. We also have used a brand named Chunk, a lady makes them in her home, they are really nice also. For the cloth wipes we have used Bumkins reusables, they are soft and very nice.
Storing your dirty cloth diapers & you don’t want the smell in your house. First buy a trash can with a lid, we went to Target and just picked up a trashcan that you poke the top with your foot and it opens, the brand was Sterilite. It is so nice and once it is full (two days worth) it is time to wash them. Two large wet bags, without zippers, like a trash bag, is what we use inside the trashcan. When one is full & is in the washer we put the clean one in, so you only really need two. I love our Planet Wise wet bags, we use that brand for our on the go and at home. For the large ones for at home click here. My recommendation, click thru all of the colors, because you will find some are cheaper than others. No one sees them, so just buy the plain ones, prints are normally more expensive. When you are on the go you will need wet bags also, we have four small ones in our diaper bag. We use the small Planet Wise with the zipper, again make sure you go thru the patterns, some are cheaper than other ones. They also do a lot of sales, so sometimes you can get print ones cheaper than solids.
Next you are going to have to wash them. Right now Zoie doesn’t have solid poo’s so we just throw the diaper in the the pail & wait until wash day. We wash our diapers once on hot with Cloth Diaper Soap and then a second run on just cold. Just to put it out there cloth diaper detergent is expensive, you can’t use soap so it can get pricey. We decided to make our own and it is so much cheaper and helps with the staines, click here. Also, we do not dry our diapers. We don’t want to ruin the snaps, so we air dry them. They take two days to dry, so when they are dry the next set goes in the washer. We went to Ikea and bought this hanging system that looks like a squid, it is called PRESSA. It holds 16 items, so we have two of them.
Lastly, if your baby does get diaper rash or gets a little red you cannot use Desitin or Butt Paste, it will ruin the cloth diaper. Also, they have a ton of chemicals in them, not cool for your little one. Coconut Oil, just go your local grocery store and pick up compressed coconut oil, make sure coconut oil is the only ingredient & it has nothing is added. Most stores it will be in the cooking oil isle, if you are at Whole Foods it is in the body section. Just a little dab on the butt and it works great, it clears it right up. It also works for cradle cap.
We’ve been pretty luck with our cloth diapers and we’ve saved a lot of money. Most people think it is a lot of work and so expensive, but it really isn’t. Is it a little less convenient than disposables, yes, but cloth diapers are much nicer for your babies skin, your wallet & the Earth.