Cloth Diapering For Under $100

Posted on Mar 10 2014 - 7:00am by Markell


It’s been a little while since I talked about cloth diapers. I did a series on it awhile ago. I know that cloth diapering is really popular right now for many reasons. Some switch to cloth because it’s cute, some because it’s economical, and other because it’s cheap. I personally started because it’s cheaper than using disposable diapers. I was looking for a way to save money. However, like many other people who cloth diaper, I got sucked into all the cute prints and different types of cloth diapers that are available. I wanted to try them all. I wanted all the cute prints! I wanted “nice” diapers. I quickly realized that if I diapered like that, the savings would not be nearly as substantial as it would be if I was a little more careful. 

So I started searching for a way to cloth diaper for less than $100. When I did the calculations about if I save money cloth diapering or not, I figured that I would spend between $1000 – $1500 in disposable diapers from birth to potty training. So, if I could keep my cloth diaper spending to under $100, I would be saving quite a bit of money! 

So, I figured out a couple different ways I could do this. 

The main thing is that prefolds and/or flats and covers are the cheapest option. Period. And, since I moved to a house that does not have a utility sink, I have realized that prefolds are SO much easier to care for than pocket diapers. I have actually sold all of my pocket diapers and am just using prefolds and covers. Here’s a few ways I figured that you could use prefolds and/or flats and covers for less than $100:

Econobum . This is a Cotton Babies brand. They make high quality diapers. These diapers are a little less high quality than some of their other lines (I personally prefer the brand Flip over the Econobum covers, but the Econobum are cheaper and function just as well.)  Two of these Econobum packs would be enough to cloth diaper your baby from the time he or she is about 12 pounds until potty training. The box comes with a wet bag as well, so two of these boxes would give you all you need. If you want to cloth diaper from birth, I suggest getting the Bummis Newborn Pack. It would add another $43 to your total cloth diapering bill, but if you have a small baby, they should be in these newborn diapers for 2 months or so and the prefolds can be used to double up other prefolds later on. 

– Flour Sack Towels . Another way you can cloth diaper for less than $100 is by using flour sack towels. Flour sack towels are about $2 a piece at Walmart or Amazon. You’d need about 24, so you’re looking at about $50. Then, you need covers. I never pay more than $10 for a diaper cover. You would probably want at least 5, so that would be right around $100 for everything you need besides a wet bag.  

– Chinese Cheapies. (Pocket diapers) While I don’t suggest this as the best option, it is an option. There are a couple different companies that make what is commonly called “chinese cheapies” because they are made in China and they are cheap. Alva Baby is one of them. Sunbaby Diapers is another. Either of these companies would let you cloth diaper for less than $100 if you’re willing to wash every day. I would strongly suggest 24 pocket diapers, you could survive on way less if you wash every day. Most days you would probably be fine with 15 or so. 

Here are a few other tips to help keep your cloth diapering bill down:

– don’t get caught up with patterns. These things are poop catchers, remember?

– buy used. I know it sounds gross, but if you’re a little picky about what you buy, you can buy higher quality diapers for a cheaper price. And it is totally possible to get those diapers super clean after you buy them. 

– sell diapers when you’re done with them. Many diapers will sell for 50% of what you paid for them even after two years of use if you take good care of them. Craigslist and cloth diaper groups on facebook are a good resource for buying and selling. 

Do you have any suggestions for keeping the cloth diaper bill down? I’d love to hear them!


2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. lydiaf1963 March 12, 2014 at 9:07 am - Reply

    I cloth diapered my youngest child about 20 years ago when it was coming back into "style" and diaper covers were available. It was a lot of laundry of course, but manageable. Back in the stone ages when I was a baby there were diaper services which my mother made use of since most homes didn't have a dryer. Can you imagine washing diapers in one of those old wringer type machines (which my grandmother used) and then hanging them out to dry? It must have been miserable in the winter with diapers everywhere. I applaud your decision to cloth diaper. When my brother was born in 1968 my mother made the switch to disposable diapers. That's over 45 years of dirty diapers going to the land fill. The mind boggles.

    • amouseinmykitchen March 12, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Thank you for the encouragement! So many people just jump to the "it's so gross" or "why would you ever do that" lines that it is refreshing to hear someone who is supportive. I think that cloth is better for baby, for our wallet, and for the planet, so it's a no brainer for us. Thanks for stopping by!

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