Cloth Diapering part 3- The real cost

The Real Cost of Cloth Diapering

When I first started to research cloth diapers (CD), I was shell shocked! Twenty bucks for a diaper? Please, how the heck is this cheaper? It’s true that dropping the initial money on a CD stash can be quite a big investment, but it doesn’t have to be! I would say that the average CD family pays $300 to $500 on CDs. Here is where they SAVE money. My stash is on the low side, and cost about $200.

A. They can be used for multiple children. Even if you buy all pink diapers and then have a girl next, you can sell the pink ones and buy boy/neutral diapers.

B. If you buy one size (OS) diapers they can last you through potty training.

C. You can resell them! Chances are you won’t get all of your money back, but you may be able to make half of it!

**WARNING** Buying and selling CD’s can become ADDICTING, just ask Mr. Daddy about my obsession. I make Lady Petunia a new cover every week…

How many do I need?

This really depends on what kind of diapers you want to try and when you are planning to start.

Newborn- So here is the thing, most OS diapers do not start to fit until 8 to 10 lbs. I don’t think Lady Petunia fit in hers until she was 9 lbs, even then they were a tad big but still worked. So, many people buy a separate stash for the newborn phase. For prefolds and fitteds it is recommend to have 24 to 30 prefolds (if you are going to wash every other day, add more if you want to wash every third day). I would say you would want eight or so covers. The other popular choice for the newborn phase is all in ones (AIO). If you chose these 24 is probably a good amount to start with.

What I did- I did not use CD’s on Lady Petunia until we got out of the tar poop faz, and her belly button healed. When I did start I used mostly G diapers (tiny and small), they worked great until she could fit in her OS flips. She started in full time in CD’s (Flips and Bum Genius) when she was around four weeks old. Honestly if you are a new mom using disposables for the first couple of weeks is not a bad idea. You are probably going to be sore and exhausted that adding a couple loads of laundry may be a really big project. That being said, next time around I do plan to buy a newborn stash and use it. (Yeah, that was NOT a pregnancy confession.)

Infant and up- This again depends on how often you want to wash, how often the child wets, and remember each kid is different. Different diapers work for different kids!

Prefolds/fitteds- 20 to 24, if you have a heavy wetter you probably will want more since you will have to change more often. Prefolds do not leave the baby feeling dry, ultimately they need to be changed more often.

Snappis- five or seven

Pockets/AIO- 24-30

All in Two’s (AI2s)- At least six covers and 24 inserts

Wet bags- Two or three of each size, that way if you are washing and need to dispose of a diaper you can. Remember, you will want one for your diaper bag and will need extra for daycare.

Doubler/liners- This is preference and need only.

Diaper pails- Probably just one, but if you have a large house and find yourself changing diapers in more then one place then maybe get more.

Cloth wipes-50 to 100

What I have- This is after a year of cloth diapering.

All of my diapers are one size, with the exception of my fleece covers and longies.

36 flip stay dry inserts

6 Flip covers- Flips are my go to diapers.

2 Econobum covers

1 WAHM pocket- I shouldn’t even count this diaper, no matter what I stuff it with, it leaks. It has been retired to the baby doll clothes, I often find it on various lovies. Our dog may have even worn it before…

1 Bumgenius pocket- with 3 microfiber inserts. This was my first ever cloth diaper!

1 Blueberry pocket diaper- Hands down, Mr. Daddy always picks this diaper.

2 Happy heinys pockets- I LOVE these diapers

2 Sunbaby pockets

2 fuzzibuns pockets

5 Fleece covers from Jubilee Baby Co.- They are so soft and are all we use at night.

3 Fleece Longies from Jubilee Baby Co.- Every time I put Lady Petunia in these she laughs and shakes her bum, I think they are her favorite!

10 Bummis fleece liners- I have hardly ever used these.

5 or so Bumgenius doublers

2 Hemp Babies doublers

Diaper pails- 0

Wet bags- 2 hanging large ones (Best bottom, planet wise) 1 medium (planet wise), 1 small (planet wise).

The medium and small wet bags go in my diaper bag, which is actually the size of a suitcase. I put all of my extra diapers and wipes in the medium, and if I change while out the soiled ones go in the small bag. This works great for my stroller because the Phil and Teds basket is rather small so it fits nicely.

Cloth wipes- 50ish, I am always making us new wipes. it is hard to get a count on them!

Would you like to see us carry more cloth diapers? What is in your diaper stash?

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

Cloth diapering part 2- Dictionary

When I first began to research cloth diapering I became over whelmed by all of the options. I wasn’t familiar with many of the terms, and it took me a while to figure out how everything worked. Today I want to easily break it down for you and make a convenient guide, a dictionary of sorts. I hope that I have gathered everything, if I have forgotten anything please let me know.

Cloth Diaper Dictionary

Pre fold diaper

Prefolds- a prefold is pretty much what you think of when it comes to a cloth diaper. It’s a rectangle, with a thicker center you can do many folds with it to wrap around the baby’s bum. In the old days pins were used to keep the diaper closed, and a plastic pant was put over the diaper. Today, most people use Snappis and a diaper cover. Prefolds usually need to be prepped, meaning you need to wash and dry them 6 to 8 times before you can use them. Pretty much the more you wash and dry them the more absorbent they become. They can come bleached or unbleached, Chinese style, or Indian style.

All In One (AIO)- AIO diapers are pretty much a no work diaper. The diaper is just like a sposie, one easy step. (Very day care friendly diapers!) They can be line dried or put in the dryer, they tend to take a long time to dry. Like a diaper cover they can be OS, or come in various sizes. They also come in aplex or snaps.

Snappi- Snappi’s are used to keep prefolds together.

Diaper Covers- Diaper covers are made with a leak proof material (PUL). They can come sized (small, medium, etc) or one size fits all. If they are os then the diaper usually snaps down to a smaller size, then as the child grows you can snap to a medium size, after leave totally unsnapped for a large size. Diaper covers can last from 8 lbs to potty training. They either come with hook and loops or snaps. Some people hang dry covers (they dry pretty quickly), but they can be thrown in the dryer for a quick dry. The covers do need to be resealed in the dryer to prevent leaks, I reseal mine about once a month.

Fitted diaper- A fitted diaper is an absorbent material that looks like a diaper but is not water proof. They wrap around the body and are very soft and comfy. However they are NOT water proof and require a diaper cover. They can be snapped or aplexed. They can take a while to dry but not as long as an AIO. A fitted diaper can be made from hemp, bamboo or other absorbent fabrics.

Contour diaper- Contour diapers are very similar to fitteds. Except that they usually do not have elastic bands around the waist and legs.

Hybrid/All in two (AI2) diaper

An AI2 diaper is a diaper cover with an insert that sits (or snaps) inside.) The insert can be cloth or flushable (making it a hybred). So when the diaper is soiled you can replace the insert and wipe the cover clean (the wet does not sit on the PUL fabric) and the cover can be used again. Most people replace the cover during changes and let the other one air dry, then they use the cover for the next change. Also the cover is usually put in the pail/wet bag when its pooped on. (These are the diapers I use most, and in my opinion are the best for your buck.)

Pocket Diaper

Pocket diapers are probably the most popular form of CD’s right now. The outside is a waterproof fabric, it is then lined with a soft material that wicks moisture down to an insert that is stuffed inside of the diaper. Meaning baby is not really sitting in wet! These diapers can be prestuffed which makes them great for daycares, baby sitters, and lets not forget about dads! They can be hung dry or put in the dryer. They come sized or one size, with snaps or aplex. Also, some people prefer to stuff pockets with prefolds.


Inserts are used to either stuff a pocket diaper or lay in an AI2. They can be made from micro fiber, bamboo, or another absorbent fabric. Microfiber should NOT touch baby’s skin (it will severely dry the skin out). So if the insert is made for an AI2 then it will have a materiel that is suitable for baby’s skin that will wick the moisture down (similar to the top layer of a pocket diaper.) Inserts may also be disposable, most true CD users only use these flushable liners for travel or a diaper rash. Some inserts can either snap or fold down to fit a OS diaper.

Doubler’s/soakers- These can be stuffed with an insert for more absorbency, or layered under an insert/fitted/prefold. They look similar to an insert.

Liners- Liners can be laid under baby’s skin, they are very soft and wick the moisture down. Liners are made from various material including fleece and raw silk. They can be cloth or disposable, many people use them at night and when diaper rash cream is needed. *Note- when using Shiny Heiny Bum Butter, a liner is not needed!

Wet bags/ pale liners- Wet bags and pale liners are made of waterproof PUL. Some are zippered/draw stringed/ or just left open. Dirty diapers are placed in the bag, then the whole bag is dumped in the wash, including the bag. They come in numerous sizes, including small to fit into a diaper bag.

Diaper pales- Some people store dirty diapers in diaper pales. They are usually lined with a pale liner that is made out of PUL. (Old fashioned wet pales use to contain water, this is a HUGE safety hazard and for the most part is no longer practiced.) You can buy a pale from a CD retailer, or use a plastic trash can.

Wipe Solution- This solution can be bought or home made, many just have a tad of baby wash to make cleaning easier. I have a peri bottle from the hospital that I put water in to wet my wipes, I also have a spray bottle for the diaper bag. Honestly though most of the time I just wet my wipe in the sink before use. Also some people wet a few wipes and keep them in a container, if this is done they need to be used/replaced frequently to keep them from becoming moldy.

Cloth wipes

Many people who CD use cloth wipes (including me)! They can be made or bought. I made mine from thin Gerber burp clothes, I cut them into six pieces and had instant wipes. Cloth wipes tend to clean more then a sposie wipe. I use one cloth for every three sposie. They are just thrown into the wet bag, and washed with the diapers.

Diaper Sprayer- Many people buy diaper sprayers to clean CD’s. You hook them up to the toilet and use it to spray of waste. This does not need to be used until baby starts on solids. Some people dunk the diaper in the toilet rather then spraying. You can also “plop”/scrape the waste in. Many people also just put a liner down and plop the solid in the toilet

Fleece/Wool Diaper Covers

Fleece and wool are both unique fabrics, in that this wick away moisture, being water proof. Some of covers may have snap or hook and loop others like ours pull on. Fleece and wool can also be longies, they are pants that second as a diaper cover.

My favorite diaper products would have to be my fleece diaper covers and longies. Not just because they are our products, but because of how soft and breathable they are. I also think that they are Lady Petunia’s favorite since she gets so excited when I put them on her.

What is your favorite cloth diaper product?

Make sure you check out part 1 and Part 3 of this series.

Cloth Diapering part one- Why?

*Warning* Like all my blog posts these are my personal opinions! This is not meant to judge/hurt/ or make you feel guilty for the choices you have made/ are making for your family. It is just the reasoning behind my choice to cloth diaper. If you disagree with anything I welcome your comments. (In a nice respectful manner of course!)

So lets talk cloth diapers, like other CDing moms, is has become a hobby or mine, maybe even a passion.

And why? I mean really all they do is catch poo…

I completely admit that I first wanted to CD because of the cute factor. They come in every color/pattern you can think of, what mom wouldn’t want that?

Aside from being so adorable CDng simply saves money. The average baby will use around $1500 (that is my math, which is probably wrong) worth of diapers. Now multiply that by every child you have. That is a whole lot of money that can be used for other things.

My cloth diaper stash cost around $300, my diapers are onesize so they will last through potty training. If we are blessed with more children then we will be able to use them again. In the end I will sell the diapers and be able to make some of our money back. Many stash’s may cost more than mine, others may cost less. All in all it sure is a lot cheaper than $1500!

If this doesn’t catch your attention think on this.

The *average* diaper package has lets say 30 diapers in it. Modestly that is 3900 in a landfill PER child( (once again, my math…) If you have two kids, that is 7800 diapers! It is estimated that it takes 250 to 500 YEARS for the diapers to decompose. If you believe that God created this earth like I do, that’s not really a good way to be taking care of it like we should be. (I could write a whole post on this alone, think on this God created the earth he then created man in his image. If we are supposed to be like him shouldn’t we take care of HIS creation?)

Dioxa WHAT?

Did you know that disposable diapers contain CHEMICALS? That is what you smell when you walk down the diaper isle.The real diaper association says this,

“Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1

Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) – a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2

Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.3

In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogeneisis.”

Is this really something that you want your child wearing EVERY day for at least two years?

I’ll also add this Ballerina wore disposable diapers up until four months away from potty training(something I very much regret.) The kid had rashes ALL the time, I mean all the time. Lady Petunia wore sposies (a cute nick name) until her cord fell off, she was very red for much of that time. Since I put her full time in Cloth diapers (going on 17 months now) she has hardly ever had any rashes. (When she does we treat it with Shiny Heiny Bum Butter, that takes care of it right away.) That alone convinces me that I made the right choice.

In the end we chose to cloth diaper full time because it works for our family.

Why do you use cloth diapers? If you don’t why do you use sposies?

Back to my original statement, look how cute that fluffy butt is! This is a collection of Lady Petunia through out her 16 months of life. Some of our diapers are flips, econobums, bum genius, sunbabies, happy heinys, blue berry, and of course our fleece cover.

Check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.