Will switching to cloth diapers save me money?

I’ve read that over the course of a baby’s time in diapers the average parent with spend close to $3000. The initial start up cost for full time cloth diapering can be kept to under $500. As well it, with proper care and storage that set of cloth diapers can be used on the next children to come. Cloth diapers also have great resale value, so once you’re done you will most likely be able to sell them, and at least get back some of the cost.

 

What is the difference between an AIO. Pocket Diaper, All In Two (Hybrid), and prefolds?

So starting off cloth diapering can be very intimidating, to the point where some parents have chosen to just stay away. I personally think one of the issues is really understanding all of the types of diapers and their functionality. Again, you won’t know which ones will work for you and your child until you try and see for yourself, but let me try and help you here to get an idea J

AIO:

All In Ones, I guess you could say these are the closest to disposables, as they are one piece that includes the cover and insert all sewn together. You simply change baby, and toss the whole thing in the laundry. You don’t need to worry about separating the insert from the cover, and having diaper pieces go missing. They come with both synthetic or natural fibre inserts, and you can easily slip in a booster if you need more absorbency. You can also add a trifolded prefold as an insert.

All In Two (Hybrids):

An All In Two diaper is very unique in that you can essentially reuse the shell a few times before they need to be laundered. They have a waterproof cover, that will generally have snaps to be able to snap in an insert. Once it’s time for baby to be changed you simply unsnap the insert, and assuming the cover is unsoiled, you simply snap in a new clean insert. These are great for people looking to keep their stash small, you can buy a few covers and a lot of inserts. Again the inserts will come in synthetic and natural fibres, and you can use it as a cover for your prefolds as well.

Prefolds:

Prefolds will definitely give you that old school cloth diapering feel! They resemble a flat, but have extra layers of absorbency sewn into the middle. They are great to use with covers trifolded or secured with snappis.

Pocket Diapers:

These are cloth diapers, that will have a waterproof outer layer, with a stay-dry inner layer and a pocket for you to add your absorbency. Pocket diapers in most cases will need to be separated before washing. You will be able to find all kinds of fibers for your pocket inserts, organic, natural and synthetic, it is simply a matter of what will work best for you.

How much of everything do I need to get started?

On average a newborn will need to be changed every 1-3 hours a day, so about 12 diapers a day. Also depending on how often you are willing or able to do laundry, the more days between washing will mean the more diapers you will need.

Once baby is out of newborn stage, a good “stash” is about 24 diapers.

One hanging pail, or diaper pail with 1-2 pail liners, and about 3 to 4 wetbags to start.

 

How often do I need to wash my diapers?

The average recommendation is to not let dirty diapers sit for longer than 3-4 days. It also depends on the size of your stash, some may have to do laundry every other day, some with a larger stash can hold off for 4 days.

 

How do I wash my diapers?

Every brand has their own care instructions, please take a look at my “Getting to Know My Brands” page to find out how the brands you purchased recommend washing.

 

What detergents are safe for cloth diapers?

Again, every brand has their own recommendations for diaper safe detergents, it’s very important you check with them on what you should be using, Using the wrong detergent may cause build up which will result in having to strip your diapers. For example; some brands may suggest plant based liquid detergent, while another will say to use Tide powder. Please do your research to make sure you are getting the best experience out of your cloth diapers.

 

What diaper cream can I use on cloth diapers?

My suggestion is the same as with detergents, check with the brands. The general rule of thumb is petroleum free diaper cream. If you are unsure I always recommend getting a package of flushable biodegradable liners to use as a barrier between the cream and your diapers.