Mrs. Money: Save Money with Cloth Diapers

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If you’ve got children or are thinking about having children, unarguably one of the biggest expenses that comes along with them is diapers.  There’s really no way around it.  Cloth diapering has evolved over the past ten years or so and is now much easier than it used to be with the cotton diapers, safety pins and plastic pants covers.  There are many new cloth diapering options that can help you save money and reduce your household waste. 

Here are some of the cloth diapering systems available. If you’ve got children or are thinking about having children, unarguably one of the biggest expenses that comes along with them is diapers.  There’s really no way around it.  Cloth diapering has evolved over the past ten years or so and is now much easier than it used to be with the cotton diapers, safety pins and plastic pants covers.  There are many new cloth diapering options that can help you save money and reduce your household waste. 

Here are some of the cloth diapering systems available.

  • All in ones.  These are probably the simplest option when it comes to cloth diapers.  Just like the name says, it’s an all in one diaper where the soaker is built in to the diaper and is protected by a waterproof cover.  Just place it on the baby and when it’s soiled, set it aside to wash.  There is nothing to remove!
  • Pocket diapers.  Pocket diapers are different from all in ones because they have a little area in the back where you can stuff the “soakers.”  If you have a heavy wetter, you may want to check out the pocket diapers because you can add more soakers in to absorb the extra moisture.
  • Cotton pre-folds plus cover.  This is the cheapest option and actually uses those old fashioned cloth diapers.  What’s different though, is that you use a Snappi instead of the pins to hold the diaper together.  You then put on a waterproof cover to hold the moisture in.  What’s nice about this system is that you can reuse the covers generally for a day or so, making your initial purchase less expensive.

If you’ve got a child or are expecting one, definitely check out cloth diapers.  You can save yourself a lot of money and help the environment at the same time!

Mrs. Money writes at the Ultimate Money Blog, where she shares tips on frugal living, how to live green, and living a simpler life.

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  1. annika.barranti

    3 years ago

    I’ve used cloth diapers with both my kids, and even with coin-op laundry they are way less trouble than disposables – easy on the bank account and I never run out.

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  2. Susan.Yoo-Lee

    3 years ago

    I used cloth diapers in conjunction with my seventh generation disposables. At first, we did a lot of laundry, but in the end it was so worth it and saved us a lot of money.

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  3. RealDeal

    3 years ago

    Please, please, PLEASE check with your city’s health department to see if they ALLOW washing cloth diapers in public laundry units or laundromats, apartment shared laundry, etc. In many municipalities it is illegal to do so due to health concerns. And rightly so. Fecal material is a major source of bacteria and disease and can easily be spread through washing machines, especially commercial units that get a lot of use and may not have the correct temperature settings (water temperature on “hot” setting must be above a certain degree to kill bacteria). Think of the person using that washer after you. More importantly, think of what you may be putting on your cloth diapers by using public coin-op machines!

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  4. RealDeal

    3 years ago

    Here is how to handwash your clothe diapers, saving you and the rest of use using that laundromat/shared laundry, taken from http://www.zany-zebra.com/washing-cloth-diapers.shtml

    “No matter where or why you’re handwashing your cloth diapers, there are a number of steps you’ll want to follow to be sure your diapers get clean. Before you begin you may want to change into clothing you won’t mind getting soapy water on, or put a chef’s apron over your clothing.

    * Step 1: Plug the sink or tub drain and add about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of detergent.
    * Step 2: Add water as hot as you can stand, being sure to leave room for the cloth diapers to move freely.
    * Step 3: Add the diapers and swish until they’re all wet and soapy. At this point you could let them soak if you wish.
    * Step 4: Knead the diapers with your hands like you’re kneading bread for several minutes (rubber gloves makes this less icky).
    * Step 5: Unplug the sink or tub and let the water drain out.
    * Step 6: Rin

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  5. youcanstayhome

    3 years ago

    I have used prefold cloth diapers with wool covers with great success! In my opinion, this is definitely the cheapest, and I think, easiest way to cloth diaper your baby! Wool covers can be worn for days or longer before you need to wash them. They are breathable and antibacterial. Don’t let the hand washing and lanolizing scare you, you only need to do it once every week to two weeks (depending on how many covers you have in your rotation). I have just written a blogpost on frugal diapering. I would love others comments and opinions! http://youcanstayhome.wordpress.com/

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