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Cloth diapering has been making a comeback during the last few years as more attention is being paid to both our economy and our planet. Because cloth diapering costs less than disposable diapers and is considered the more eco-friendly option, many parents, both new and experienced, are taking a second look at cloth. In fact, cloth diapering has even caught the attention of some pretty famous people, such as Tori Spelling, Matt and Luciana Damon, and Celine Dion, to name a few! But come on now, these celebrities hardly have to watch their spending like we do! But seriously, how much can we save by using cloth instead of disposable diapers? Let’s find out…
The Average Cost of Cloth Diapering
Diapering your baby in cloth from the newborn stage until potty training is complete can cost as little as $300 per baby. While this initial investment may sound like a lot, especially for us penny- pinching moms, compare that to the cost of disposables (up to $2,500 per child!). Of course, you can spend more or less, depending on how many diapers you buy and the type of cloth diapering system you choose, as some options are more economical than others.
If you are really trying to keep your costs down, the most economical choice is washable prefolds (absorbent rectangular cloths) used in conjunction with a diaper cover (worn over the prefold), which provides leak protection and holds the diaper in place. Using this basic combination (prefold and cover) saves money, because the covers can be reused after every diaper change, given that they do not become wet or soiled between changes. As a result, you will need to buy fewer covers than with other cloth diaper systems.
Another way to save money with cloth diapers is to choose a one-size diaper system that is adjustable as your baby grows. Econobum is one brand that offers an affordable and adjustable cloth diapering option. Each econobum set includes a prefold diaper and cover that adjusts from small to large so there is no need to buy new diapers every time your baby goes up a size!
Take Care of Your Diapers
Keeping your cloth diapers and covers in tip-top shape will also be essential to keeping your costs at a manageable level. Using an all-natural detergent that is recommended for cloth, line drying when possible and avoiding bleach and fabric softeners are all strategies that can stretch the life of your diapers.
Make Your Own
If you can sew and follow a pattern, it is possible to make your own prefold and covers. If you are feeling creative and up for a challenge, there are plenty of online resources that will give you step-by-step directions to guide you. If making your own diapers sounds overwhelming, another easier option is to make your own diaper wipes. It is possible to make your own wipes out of any rag or left-over fabric and a little bit of all-natural baby cleanser.
Have other suggestions on cloth diapers on the cheap?