There are few cloth diapering parents who don’t rejoice over the money they save by switching to cloth. But how can you maximize your savings, especially when life feels a bit… well, tight? Here are a few ideas.
Focus on mediums. Babies grow fast, so if you are using sized diapers, like FuzziBunz or the Stretch Bamboozle, focus your spending on the medium size. This is where your child will spend the majority of his or her diapering years. So if you have a focus on creating a lean cloth diaper budget, consider stocking up on inexpensive prefolds and covers for the first few months, then do the bulk of your spending as your child enters medium sizes, usually around 12-14 pounds or 4 months old on a typical growth curve.
One note, however – it is TOTALLY worth it to have a few newborn size diapers on hand. They make life easy in those hectic first few weeks, especially when it comes to containing runny messes. Customer faves at N&G include Kissaluvs Size 0, the new TiniFit, and the AMP Duo small pocket diaper.
Mix it up. Include both organic prefolds (the most inexpensive diapers) and one-step diapers such as All-in-Ones (AIO’s) in your system. Assuming you wash every two days, we recommend two dozen prefolds and 6 AIO’s or pockets, such as the EasyFit or BumGenius. If prefolds just aren’t for you, consider using one-size diapers, which may be more expensive at the outset, but over time will offer greater savings over other fitted diapers.
Don’t skimp. You need enough diapers to go from one wash time to the next PLUS a few extras, say 4-6. Make sure you don’t skip having these extras on hand, as they offer a buffer in case your wash time changes, you get sick and can’t wash at the normal time, your baby has an extra number of messy diapers, etc etc etc. Also, if you have too few diapers on hand, they will have more wear and tear, which may result in buying more diapers prematurely and add up in the long run.
Minimize dryer time. More than 60 percent of your energy usage related to cloth diapering comes from drying your diapers on “hot” in the dryer. The amount you spend in additional utility costs can add up over time, so if you’re really serious about cutting your costs, consider line drying your laundry when possible, coupled with a shortened tumble in the dryer on the “cool” setting.
And last but not least, use diapers on more than one child. If you take good care of your diapers, many of them will be in good enough shape to use on a second child. Keep a large tote around to toss diapers in as they are outgrown and you’ll save even more when your next bundle of joy comes along. Definitely a bonus (considering you’ll still have to pay for college down the road).