Many parents worry about the financial and environmental impact of disposable diapers and toy with the idea of using cloth diapers instead. But the hassle and mess put many people off, and the upfront costs can be prohibitive. A supply of two dozen BumGenius pocket diapers, for example, costs more than $400. Here are 10 easy ways to whittle down the initial investment to less than $100 and claim even more savings over the long haul.
10 Ways to Cloth Diaper Your Baby on a Budget
There are many different types and styles of cloth diapers available. The kind our grandmothers used -- flat pieces of cloth folded and fastened with pins -- have fallen out of favor for the disposable-like experience popularized by BumGenius, with velcro tabs or snaps and a pocket for an insert. With a few modern conveniences, though, the more old-fashioned styles can be easy to use -- and far cheaper. Two dozen flat diapers, enough for at least a couple of days, costs between $36 and $66 at Green Mountain Diapers. Add a few waterproof covers (starting at about $13 each) to complete a cloth diapering setup for less than $100 (no diaper pins required).
Parents looking to save on shipping might think it would be easy to buy cloth diapers at a local big-box store, but some have had bad experiences with the brands on the shelves. (Some reviewers say inexpensive Gerber diapers don't hold up to washing a few times a week, for instance.) Look for other items in the store that could serve as replacements. Thin flour-sack towels (four for $4 from Target) can be folded and tucked into a diaper cover, or pinned into place and paired with a cover, and work as well as a more expensive product.