Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Start Cloth Diapering Without Breaking the Bank

One of the biggest reasons people are not interested in cloth diapering is because of the startup costs. In fact, this was the reason it took me so long to get into cloth diapering. I knew that cloth diapering would save me money in the long run, but I was already spending $50 a month on disposable diapers and couldn't afford to spend the $500 or so it would cost to purchase 24 cloth diapers.  

I have come up with a plan that will give you a stash of 12 t-shirt diapers with covers, 12 pocket diapers, and 3 all-in-one diapers, and will cost you an average of $48.98 a month (including the cost of disposables until you get switched over!). Sound good?

Okay, here’s the plan:

Month 1:

Ask around and collect 12 soft t-shirts for t-shirt diapers. You can use a toddler t-shirt for a newborn and an extra large adult t-shirt for a toddler. Use whatever size seems best. Also this month, purchase diaper pins, covers, and diaper detergent.

When you run out of cloth diapers, put a disposable on your baby (I started out using disposables at night and cloth during the day). Remember that this month will be the most difficult. You will have to wash every day, keep dirty diapers in plastic bags, and dunk the nasty diapers in the toilet (unless your baby is exclusively breastfed, then you can just toss it in the wash!). But remember, it’ll get easier!

12 T-Shirts: Free
Disposable diapers: $50
Diaper Covers: $27.80 (4 for $6.95 each)
Diaper Pins: $1.95

Total for first month: About $91

Month 2:

This month will be where things get a bit easier in your wash routine. Purchase a diaper pail liner or a wet bag and a diaper sprayer.

Total for second month: About $47.94

Month 3:

This is the month you get to try pocket diapers! You’ll need to be patient a while longer, however, as the shipping may take around 30 days.

Total for third month: About $60

Month 4:

If you have stuck it out this far, you’ll probably need to invest in a larger container of detergent. Shop around, investigate, and pick out what suits your family the best.

Total for fourth month: About $34.95

Month 5:

These next two months are the fun months! This month pick out one fun diaper, any kind you’ve been wanting to try!

One Fun diaper: $20

Total for fifth month: About $20

Month 6:

Celebrate your cloth diapering journey by purchasing two fun diapers!

Two Fun Diapers: $40

Total for sixth month: About $40

Total Cost to transition to Cloth in 6 months: About $293.89 ($48.98 per month)
Total Cost to use disposable diapers for 6 months: About $300 ($50 per month)

(If you want to break it down even further, it costs about $1200 to use disposable diapers for 2 years, or $1800 to use disposables for 3 years. Your cloth diapers will last you much longer than that!)

What other concerns have prevented you or people you know from cloth diapering?  


  1. Even more savings if you buy used diapers from groups or someone you know and make your own detergent! :)

  2. Cute Site! I just found you and entered your Kawaii CD Giveaway. I am another Cloth Diaper Blogger! Love it when I make Cloth Diaper friends!


    Maybe we can get together for a giveaway or something in the future!!

  3. Great Post! I think it would help if you listed another brand under Month 3 in addition to the Sunbaby diapers because some families who read this might not know about the other options.
    For instance if a family doesn't want to do cloth because of snaps, they can get 12 Kawaii Aplix from the for just $83.88 and they come with 2 inserts each, plus they ship from Canada. Showing that brand to people has helped me convince quite a few of my friends to cloth diaper.
    . If you order 12 Kawaii diapers it's only $76.99, and they can get aplix ones for $83.88, and they all come with 2 inserts each. Some families might not do cloth

  4. You're right Becca_Murphy21. I didn't think of including other types of diapers... it was just a suggestion of ONE way to get started with cloth--Jen from Contemplating Cloth