Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cloth Diaper Stash

I have had a lot of people ask what cloth diapers we have, what we spent on them, and how we managed to afford them.  The most consistent advice I have gotten when buying cloth diapers is to have several different kinds of diapers in your stash.  So, that's what we did.  I am so obsessed with these things and cannot wait to post more about them once we are using them on our Little Miss.

Here is how we store our diapers:

We sanded and painted an old find on Craigslist for about $50 total and store all of our diapers and pajamas in it (sorry, lighting is off in the nursery this morning!). 

In the top drawer, we are storing our current prefolds (which in this case is ready to go for newborn), our newborn fitteds, our snappis and covers, and our liners and doublers.

We purchased:
While some of these things are newborn items, several of them grow with baby until potty training and will be used with bigger prefolds or fitteds.

In the middle drawer, we are storing all of our pocket diapers, all-in-ones, fitteds, extra inserts, and snap-in inserts.

We purchased:
Most, if not all of these diapers will grow with our girl and last her from about 10 lbs to potty training.  Pretty great investment.

In the bottom drawer, we are storing all of our pajamas and sleepers, as well as extra prefolds.

We purchased:
We will be able to supplement our pockets with these prefolds until she is about 18ish lbs.

We also purchased a kitchen trash can for a pail and a Planet Wise Pail Liner in Pink, as well as 2 wet bags (they call theirs "Wet and Dry Totes") from Smitten Baby in their Pewter color (I loooove them!) via Zulily.  We received a Bum Genius diaper sprayer for the toilet at a baby shower =)

Total, we spent $500 on all of these diapers and accessories.  Up front, this cost seems substantial.  And, $500 at one time definitely is.  We follow Dave Ramsey's plan and love it- so any extra items that aren't in the budget have to come from somewhere else.  During the two years we were trying to conceive, we saved up any extra cash from "extras" that didn't come from our base income.  I was blessed to be able to tutor, tailor clothing, do some upholstery jobs, and work volleyball and basketball games at school.  Each time my paycheck had extra on it that we were not planning on, we took out that cash from the bank and put it into our diaper jar-

Ha.  Dumb, I know.  Granted, it took us a while and a half to conceive Little Miss, but over that time we paid for our diapers at least twice over (at one point we took out $500 and bought a new camera lens because we were so sick of it all!) and didn't spend any money out of pocket.  Once we got pregnant, and then found out we were having a girl, I went to work buying dipes and was able to get us some great deals.  Here are some things we did to save on the diaper budget:
  • Research.  It's not really a budgeting tip, but if you go in blind, you won't know what's a good deal.  Researching the different brands, types of diapers, and sellers was not only super important for us but I had a lot of fun doing it.  Once you've got a good handle on those things, start buying.  My husband would make fun of me because I seemed to always be looking at cloth diapers online!  But, if I'm going to spend $500, it's going to be worth it. My favorite thing to do was watch reviews on YouTube by mamas who really use the diapers.  ObbsandLala has an entire series of videos that cover just about everything you need to know about diapers, so that's a great place to start (plus, she is funny and I watch everything she puts out).
  • Decide if used is okay or not.  I am not grossed out by used cloth as long as they are clean- and we actually have a few that are used.  However, I have to be getting it for at least half off retail.  Cloth diapers have a huge resale value.  It's ridiculous!  For me, if someone is selling a used diaper for a few bucks less than new, I am going to just buy new (And people do that- like $2 less than new.  Uh, ya not happening).  If I want these to last multiple kids anyway, I'm going to have better luck if I start off with a new diaper.  My favorite buys were the 2 Newborn Kissaluv fitteds we bought used off of Craigslist.  New they run about $13.95 each.  I got them for $5, no stains.  Baby Woman will only use them for a bit anyway.  I know a lot of people who have had wonderful luck getting used diapers off of Craigslist and Ebay- but beware.  I am a member of a Facebook swap/sell for cloth diapers and people are constantly posting that they are receiving diapers that are in way worse condition than advertised and have paid close to full retail.  Also, you might be an honest person, but we all know there are a lot of dishonest people out there.  Someone might be selling you a third or fourth generation diaper without telling you and you are stuck with it-and out cash.  OR, you might be getting a killlllller deal.  It goes both ways!
  • Watch for sales!  We bought all of our Bum Genius pocket diapers from the Cotton Babies Second Sale.  That just means that they are NEW diapers that-apparently-have some defect and cannot be sold for full retail by Bum Genius.  They are almost half price and I have never been able to find what was wrong with a diaper we have gotten.  Several just had an un-clipped thread and another a tiny pen mark that came out in the wash! Great deal.  Several online retailers also offer sales and deals where you can get a free diaper if you spend so much cash.  I did this twice, only because I was spending that much anyway, and got a brand new diaper for free.  One was a really expensive one, but I hated the print, so I got rid of it and bought a new diaper.  We have liked Kelly's Closet and Lil Tulips.
  • Check places like Target, Walmart, Babies R Us, etc.  You wouldn't think they sell cloth diapers because, well, you only see the crappy Gerber prefolds in stores.  But, look online!  Several stores sell lots of different, well respected cloth diapers brands online.  I bought a few diapers from Target using my Target Debit card, while they were running a sale to get $5 off of 2 diapers.  Because I used my Target card, I also got free shipping and my extra 5% off.  It makes a difference!  Also, you can obviously register for any diapers since they are sold online.  You never know! (and, those Target gift cards can always be used for cloth diapers!)
  • Buying cloth is addicting.  Set a limit to how many diapers you want in your stash, stick to it, and STOP when you hit that number.  It's a sad day, but you can easily spend thousands on cute cloth.  I think I stopped when I was 6 months pregnant and haven't shopped for diapers since.
We want to cloth diapers for several reasons.  Besides the fact that they are ridiculously cute,  the cost and savings margin cannot be beat.  For $500 (and even less!!), we can cloth diaper at least one child from birth to potty training (and more kids if we are blessed to have more).  Most sources will cite that, on average, it costs $2000 to diaper a child for 2 years in disposables.  And that is just one kid!  I'd rather make my investment smaller and up front.  I produce an obscenely low amount of laundry since I am not working now (almost embarrassing- something is wrong when you don't have dirty clothes from 3 days because you have stayed in the same pjs, crafting at home and just recycled them after each shower), so our laundry amount will not change above a normal new-person-in-the-house change.  Diapers will add maybe 3 loads per week, which isn't even the same as when I was working.  There are researched benefits to health and the environment, but to be honest, the money we are saving is what sold me, so I don't really care about either of those things (I know I should, sorry!).  There are certain things that you have to consider, like cloth diaper safe detergents and diaper creams, but they aren't any more expensive than normal versions of these things.  There are several "boutique"-like detergents that cost a lot, but there are also cheap alternatives.  We are going to try powdered Tide and see how that works for us.  We bought enough to wash diapers for 2 years for $10 on with a few coupon codes and during a sale.  If it doesn't work for us, we can use it on clothes.

And, remember?  Cloth has a crazy high resale value.  So, if something doesn't work, we can sell and buy more of what does work and lose little money in the process.

I don't have any tips on actual usage or care of diapers, because we obviously haven't used them yet!  But, we are so excited to use them on our girl and figure out what works on her!  After all of this, please know-I don't care how you diaper your kid.  I don't care how you feed your kid.  Love your kid and do what is best for them and your family.  This is just what we want to do for our family.  I am cheap, love to save cash, and, hey- did I say they are cute?!? =)

If you are interested, here is a video by ObbsandLala about cloth diapering myths!


  1. Thank you for posting this! Not having babies yet, this is something I often find my self thinking about for the future. You make a very strong case for cloth diapering! Good work!!

    1. Katie, I will let you know how we like them after about a month. We are so excited! After I educated Daniel about it, he talks about it with other Dads. Haha. I don't know if the video was up yet, but watch it! She has TONS of videos about everything to do with cloth!

    2. Hey Katie! It's Anne Dinsdale from K-State! Just found your blog through facebook and it's like we're leading parallel lives!! We are due 10/15 with a baby girl and we are cloth diapering with Grn Mtn prefolds and Thirsties covers! I am overly excited about getting her in cloth diapers, learning how to wash everything, etc. You'll have to let me know how your "system" is going. I have a friend who did prefolds and liners with two kiddos and swears by it--so let me know if you want any pointers on washing--I can share that with you :) Congrats on your long-awaited little one!! --Anne

  2. Have been waiting for this post! you have a great stash! Can't wait to see pics of your little girl wearing these adorable diapers!

  3. Aww katie i've been avid follower of you blogs and post of new baby bump and of course your preggy ourfit, i really admire how you do your preggy clothes.. Now those cloth diaper i want i want how i wish.. I can have that here in the philippines.. 32 weeks preegy now as well :)


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