Should I Buy Cheap Cloth Diapers?

Let’s talk about this notion that cloth diapering is “cheap.” In our previous post we talked about how cloth diapering is affordable, if you think of it as an investment that pays you back over time.

While cloth diapers are reasonably priced for the average, middle class family – between $15 – $25 per diaper – beware of going into cloth diapering having a “cheap” mentality.

First, cloth diapers do require an invest upfront. You have to spend about $200 if you want to buy a stash of cloth diapers to last you a couple of days between washings as well as a few diapering accessories like a reusable diaper pail and diaper sprayer.  These costs are difficult, given that the first year of baby’s life can cost a family $7,000+ more! (According to “Baby Bargains” by Alan and Denise Fields).

Second, cloth diapers often require some costs over time. It requires cloth diaper manufacturer approved laundry detergent as well as electricity to wash diapers every few days. This can create wear and tear on your washer and these are “costs” to consider as well.

Now, however, we’d like to address the notion about “cheap” diapers. Sure, there are “cheap” brands out there . Many moms who bought “cheap” brands and knock-off cloth diapers were burned. Why?  Well, the quality of many “cheap” cloth diapers are unknown and the diapers may not have lasted for years and years like many of the leading brands do.  Anecdotally, many of these moms ended up having to replace low quality diapers eventually, costing them even more!

Also, many “cheap” brands don’t offer a warranty (always check the manufacturer’s warranty – treat your cloth diapers like an investment!). However, even with a warranty, buyer beware. If the company goes out of business, your warranty is rendered useless! That’s why we recommend you work with long-time, trusted brands.

In the end, we believe cloth diapering is affordable, if viewed as an “investment” that will pay off over years and years of diapering several children. That said, it is not cheap to get started and we warn against moms buying “cheap” cloth diapering options that may end up costing them more in the long run. Remember, you always get what you pay for.

Note:  We do recognize that some families may not be able to afford diapers to begin with and purchasing these “cheap” diapers are their only option.  For families on extreme budgets we’d like to share a post from our friends at Cotton Babies with tips on how to diaper your baby when you can’t afford the initial investment.  You may also find this post by The Eco Chic helpful as she shares tips on how to cloth diaper for $50.

To continue the conversation about “cheap” cloth diapers and how to cloth diaper your baby on a budget be sure to visit us on Facebook and Twitter.  To save money on the purchase of your cloth diapers we are always offering sales and discounts on your favorite brands at our DiaperShops.com family of stores, including Kelly’s Closet.  

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5 Responses to Should I Buy Cheap Cloth Diapers?

  1. Abby says:

    I really do think that cloth diapering is cheaper than disposable diapering. If you buy Econobums you can have enough cloth diapers to diaper for two days for under $100. Econobums may not be top of the line, but they work great as a hybrid system. In my opinion, many of the cloth diapering “accessories” are unnecessary. For example, instead of buying a $20 wetbag, why not just use a plastic grocery bag or garbage bag? Instead of a diaper pail, line an old cardboard box with a garbage bag. Or, just use an old sheet, that way you can toss it into the wash with your diapers and reuse! Also, cloth diapers are easy to line dry, or just hang over the shower curtain rod for inside air drying.
    I think it is easy to get caught up in the fun of cloth diapering, and spend way more than originally intended. But it CAN be done in a fairly “cheap” way … and certainly cheaper than ‘sposies!!!

    • Calley says:

      Thanks Abby for your suggestions. I agree that the Econobum option is often overlooked and a dependable option for parents on a budget. I know that many families are on a very tight budget and that some of the accessory items can be optional. It’s amazing the resources you can find around the home when you need to.

  2. LaDonna Elms says:

    I sincerely hope that one day cloth diapering is an option available to anyone who makes that choice. I am not rich and my family has been homeless in the last year, I just gave birth to my last baby less than 2 weeks ago & am now cloth diapering exclusively. But, I was blessed to have friends, both new and old, who passed on their diaper stashed at a reasonable rate to make my dream a reality. The cost & lack of education made cloth diapering my first 5 children a (seemingly) unattainable task. I will be donating ALL of my diapers when we’re done so that someone else doesn’t make the choice based on finances (or lack there of)!

    • Calley says:

      Thank you LaDonna for sharing your story with us. You certainly provide inspiration for other parents and we appreciate your comments. Good luck to your and your family and congratulations on your newest addition.

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