Monday, February 27, 2012

If I had to start over.....

This is what my stash would look like, on a BUDGET!!!!!

For 1-2 children lets say 6months + (Please look at size charts for YOUR baby, this is what I would use for MY baby who is about 20lbs and 30 inches tall and 14 months).
24-36 cottonbabies indian prefolds in either infant or regular size, trifolding into a cover. Infant $1.50 or regular $1.75. Up to $63.
from Greenmountaindiapers  /GMD (which seems to be the most recommended brand out there)
Red edge prefolds $32/dozen, so up to $96(for 3 dozen)
Brown edge prefolds $35/dozen, so up to $105

Right now #3 uses mostly infant sized prefolds trifolded into covers. I cannot snappi an infant sized around him anymore. He will be growing out of this size very soon even to trifold. If I were JUST starting, my choice would be go with a regular size and not infant. I would get
2 dozen regular indian prefolds from cottonbabies $42
1 dozen GMD medium red edge unbleached prefolds $32
Total for all prefolds- $74

Covers: Most people want a OS (one size) cover, but if you are starting late in the game, a sized cover isn't always a bad idea! These would be my budget friendly cover choices, I would want 6-10 total.
4-6 Econobum OS covers $8.95, or for a better deal for $1 more you get a prefold too! $39.80 for 4 covers and prefolds
4-6 Flip OS covers (in assorted solid colors only) $13.95 each. $55.80 for 4 covers
4-6 Thirsties Duo Wrap/Covers in size 2(18-40pounds) $12.75 for solid colors or $13.75 for prints, up to $55 for 4 covers

 My choices would be:
2 econobum covers with prefolds in  ribbit and moonbeam trim $19.90
5 Flip covers $69.75 in ribbit, grasshopper, moonbeam, twilight, and either butternut or clementine
3 Thirsties Duo Wraps all prints $41.25 in blackbird, coolstripes, and hoot
Total for my choice of 10 covers- $130.90

Great for dads/ babysitters or the diaper bag or when you just want a quick easy change. While velcro(or otherwise known as aplix or hook and loop have their advantages, I would always choose snaps over velcro. Velcro eventually wears out, and older babies, like mine, will rip the diaper right off!)
Sunbaby Diapers 6 diapers + 12 inserts for $45 (also have 12+ diaper packages)
Kawaii Baby Diapers $6.99per diaper or 6 diapers + 12 inserts $41.94 (also have 12+ diaper packages)
I like the 1 sunbaby diaper I have, and have not personally tried Kawaii, but its recommended as a good affordable option. I can tell you right now, I do not believe my (old style) sunbaby will go past 30 pounds.

My choices:
6 sunbabys $45
Total- $45

Snappis diaper fastener triple pack- (from GMD since I would be ordering  from them anyways) $7.55
CJ's BUTTer skin protectant 4oz tub $10 or 1/2 oz. sample jars $1.50 each(so many scents to choose from!) I like ordering from SewCraftBaby because of the sample jars plus she has free shipping!!!!
WetBags- from 529 baby 2 large wetbags $19each, small and medium wetbag set $18.75, $5 shipping total
DIY Fleece liners for on the go or diaper rash ointment or to stay dry (just cut up some fleece!) $6
Stay Dry Doublers bumGenius 6-pack  (great for stay dry factor AND adds absorbancy!) $11.90
Total: $97.20

My budget stash + accessories total- $347.10 and total number of diaper changes= 44
You definitely can keep this under $300. You can subract 1 dozen cottonbabies prefolds and get 10 econobum covers/prefolds and keep everything else and your total would be $294.70. Total number of diaper changes= 40

Either way, 40 or 44 diaper changes is ALOT of changes! That would allow washing every 3 days and you could even do 2 kids with this stash!!!! You would not however be able to fit 3 days worth of diapers in a large wetbag, you could get a large pail liner from 529 baby for $13.50.

For Super budget cloth diapering use Econobum Full Kit- 3 covers, 12 prefolds, and 1 medium sized wetbag. Get 2 of these kits and its all you need! For less than $100!
Editor's note: While they say Econobums will work from birth to potty, in my personal experience, this is NOT a system you would want to use on a small baby. The prefolds are incredibly bulky and folded the short way, poor baby's legs are so far apart I just do not recommend at all. Now for an older baby or toddler, I would highly recommend this set!

If you need help or have any questions, feel free to ask!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Capri Diaper Cover and Capri Inserts

Fluffy mail today! Or rather meet to get fluffy mail today! I have been drooling over the new Capri Diaper Cover and inserts from Swaddlebees, so I ordered from a local online store, Diaperco, and the mama behind it so graciously met me today so I could get it! I was instantly impressed with the quality of both the cover and inserts. I just washed diapers last night, so the inserts will have to wait to be washed, but I am going to throw the cover in with a load of laundry so #3 can wear it tomorrow!  I will have a full review to come once the inserts are all prepped and ready to go. Just was so excited to get it! So tomorrow I will just be using my prefolds trifolded into my super cute new dino cover :)

All the fabulous colors and patterns the new Capri covers come in.... We got Dinos!

On another note, visit Bouncing Babies Blog and their FB page for a chance to win a great prize from Fuzzibunz! Just mention that you found it on my blog!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Keeping cloth affordable.... websites and little tips for a 1st time cloth diaperer

So along with my last post, there are other ways to keep things cheap. Here I will add more links and tips on keeping cloth diapering affordable.

Cloth Wipes- Using cloth wipes can save you up to $500 by one easy switch. Almost all cloth diapering companies also make cloth wipes, while they are really nice, they usually are sort of spendy. So one hint is to use those 5 zillion baby washcloths as wipes! Nice and big and are cheap! Even if you have to buy them, many people have said they get a 5 pack for $1-2 at Walmart. Also Target and Walmart frequently have the big pack of 12 washcloths for $5 or less. You can also make your own if you have access to a sewing machine. Just get some flannel from the fabric store, cut into squares and cut or serge the edges! Just wet washcloths with water before diaper change or you can wet a whole days worth of wipes and put them in a disposable wipes container. I only suggest doing this for a day or maybe two at a time, otherwise the wet wipes can start to smell musty.

Cloth Diapering while out and about?! - Yep its pretty easy! You can do this a few ways, just use all your regular diapers as usual and get a small wetbag for your diaper bag to put soiled diapers into. There are flushable liners that go in the diapers and this catches any solid poop so you just put the whole thing in the toilet and flush it down. There are also hybrid diapering systems that have a whole insert that you can flush or throw away. My favorite is the Flip Diapers. They have a disposable insert that is great for travel or long days out and about. Just wipe the cover and reuse it, or rotate 2 covers.

Wet Bags- Most mainstream seem so expensive! Is there an alternative to the spendy ones?! Yep there are. My favorite WAHM who makes wetbags is 529 Baby on Heyna Cart or Ebay. Her ebay username is 75emsti. I personally have 2 large hanging wetbags that I use daily and 2 small wetbags and 1 small wet/dry bag for my diaper bags. I can fit 4 soiled infant sized prefolds, 2 cloth wipes and a cover or two in her small sized wetbags. She can do custom orders or pick from a wide selection of premade ones. She has awesome turnaround time too. I have been using my wetbags from her for over a year and they are still going strong!
         Also Bummis makes a drawstring diaper tote wetbag that are pretty affordable, I have a medium sized one I gave to my sister when she started cloth diapering and it cost me $10 and can fit a days worth of diapers in it.

Diaper Sprayers- I don't want to spend $45 on a sprayer! Alternatives!!!! Yep, a DIY model works just fine. You can buy all the parts from any hardware store or places like Home Depot or Lowes. Here is a YouTube Video explaining how! Otherwise if you aren't handy or feeling lazy check out Ebay for ones that are a little cheaper than the $45 ones. My personal sprayer is the Fuzzibunz one though, and I do like it just fine. My Dad installed it for me and took about 10 minutes or so.

Detergent- Make you own!
3 boxes Arm and Hammer Washing Soda 55oz each(Have your local Ace Hardware order it for you if you can't find it)
2 boxes 20 Mule Team Borax 76oz each
1 large tub Oxiclean 96oz
Mix together in a large bucket or 2 and this will last you an incredibly long time! It's also great for washing your clothes in! I use a similar recipe for my clothes and as soon as my current diaper detergent is used up I am going to try this!(My recipe for clothes is 1 bar fels-naptha laundry bar soap or 1 bar ivory shaved, 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, You probably do not want to use the bar soap for diapers though)

But I live in an Apartment- and it costs me $2. 50 per load to wash and dry!!!!! I have a few options for you! First off, pick up a drying rack, I got one with 10 rungs at Menards for $15. Stick on your porch or in front of a window to dry and sunbleach stains out. That solves your drying problem.
Apartment sized washers or portable washers are also a great investment. And with a baby, you will be doing extra laundry anyways!
Haier has several models at Walmart but this one seems to be a favorite. Plus at $200, if you do JUST diapers in it, you will have it paid for in probably less than 2 years. If you use it for more than just diapers, which you could do small loads of clothing, paid off even sooner!
Wonder Wash is a very small table top model for very small spaces
The Laundry Pod can fit under your sink and is a hand crank (eaaassy!) style. We like to camp, so I would almost like to get one of these for camping this summer!) more info on Amazon
Or for suuuper cheap you can hand wash using a hand plunger :)

Calculating The Costs- Cloth Vs. Disposables- Many naysayers always have something to say about cloth, even if they have no idea about modern cloth diapers. Most just think pins, prefolds and plastic pants. But we all know that way is a thing of the past(mostly!). A great way to calculate your savings is by using the Diaper Pin Calculator. For my very own personal stash(which is very large and full of custom made wahm diapers), I will still break even in less than 2 years. Most peoples stashes have paid for themselves in less than a year of diapering. Got twins or multiple kids in cloth? Your stash will most likely pay for itself in about 6 months. The rest of the time you diaper, you are diapering for essentially free.
Also you can sell used diapers when you are done with them, often times being able to recoup maybe 50% or more of what you paid for them depending on condition. You can't obviously do that with disposables!!!

You can also buy used. There are many places to buy used. Craigslist is the first place to look because its local and no shipping involved. Plus you can check things out before you buy. Always make sure to check PUL for cracks and breakage. If this is present, don't buy because you will most likely end up with leaky diapers. Also ask the wash routine, if diapers with PUL have been dried in the dryer or hung to dry and what diapers were washed in. Smell them too. is another great place for info and to buy used
Facebook also has buy/sell/trade groups as well!

General Websites I recommend and reference for cloth diapering:
Youtube video explaining types of diapers
Eco-Friendly Family Printable Guide
101 Diaper Care

I hope these little tips can help YOU keep cloth diapering as cheap as possible!
Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Affordable Ways to Get Started in Cloth

I have had my first request!

I know many people, when starting to look into cloth, are scared off or deterred by the start up costs of cloth diapering. They see the price tag of $10- $20 for 1 diaper and think, well I can get a whole bag/ box for that price!!! But what people don't stop to think about is that box of diapers will be gone in a couple weeks. That one $10 cloth diaper you will use for months or years!

$100 in disposables is about 5 boxes, lets just say we are using size 3 diapers and I think there are about 100 diapers in the box. A typical baby under 1 year will need about 6-8 changes in sposies a day. So for this we will say 7 changes a day. A box of diapers would last a couple of weeks. So those 5 boxes would last lets say 3 months. After those 3 months and $100 that is literally thrown in the garbage. Would you like to know what $100 can buy you in cloth diapers? Well, I'll tell you!
Here I will give you the most popular types of cloth diapers and affordable options to try. I am going to try my hardest to keep total start up costs at about $100.  I will start with the "easiest" systems, most similar to disposables and work my way down. Remember, there are TONS of options for each type of diaper, I am just going to try to keep things around $100. I am also going to try and get as close to 12- 24 diapers as possible. Because with cloth, you typically want to change every 2-3 hours, and  12 will get you through 1 day, but 24 will usually get you 2 days of diapering.

All In Ones or AIO- This is most like a disposable, it can either have velcro (aplix) or snaps to close the diaper. This has the waterproof layer on the outside and the inside is the absorbant part and it is all sewn together. AIOs are typically a more expensive diaper, but I am determined to find something affordable, so I will have to do more research on this. For now, I will give you the Thirsties Duo AIO. These are $15.75 a piece for solid colors and $16.75 for prints. So for less than $100 you can get 6 of these diapers. This would leave you washing every single day. One other thing is that this is a 2 size diaper system, meaning size 1 will be from about 6-18 pounds and size 2 will be from 18-40 pounds. Being a more expensive option also leaves no money for other things you may want or need for cloth diapering. AIOs usually take a longer time to dry as well.

Pocket Diaper- A favorite by many, and a good starter diaper, a pocket diaper is similar to an AIO, but with 1 small change. It has a pocket, or hole in the back of the diaper and your absorbant layer comes out. The shell of the diaper is waterproof. This allows for faster dry time since the diaper is 2 pieces. A good cheap but reliable pocket diaper is Sunbaby. It is made in China, and takes a few weeks to a month to get here. You can get 24 diapers with 24 inserts for $108. Most babies will need 2 inserts in these diapers as they get older or for overnight, so I recommend getting 24 diapers with 48 inserts. The cost on that is $144. There are also options to buy 6 or 12 at a time. For $60 you can get 12 diapers and 12 inserts. You will have to wash every day, but you can also get a wet bag or 2 (a waterproof bag to store dirty diapers in), some cloth diaper safe rash ointment, and maybe even a DIY diaper sprayer (its like a kitchen sink sprayer hooked up to your toilet to spray off the poop).
Photo from Sunbaby website

Another affordable pocket option that many people love are Kawaii diapers. At about $7 a piece, you can't go wrong. Plus they have good package deals making diapers around $6 each. They have a few different types of diapers so for the average price of $75, you can get 12 diapers or for about $120 you can get 20 diapers.
Fold back laundry tabs, 2 large Ultra soft inserts include in each diaperPhoto from Kawaii website

All In Two (AI2)- a two piece system consisting of a cover and either a snap in insert or lay in insert. My personal favorite and cheapest of the well known brands is Flip by the makers of BumGenius Diapers. With a Day pack, you will get 2 covers and 6 stay dry inserts for $49.95. Double this for 12 changes for just under $100. There is also an organic insert option, but it will cost you a bit more.
 Some other noteworthy options are Softbums, Best Bottoms .
 Flip picture my own.

Fitted Diaper- not a waterproof diaper so this will also need a cover.  Mother-Ease which is a one size and they run about $12. If you figure you will need 2 covers at ($18 -Econobums are a good cheap cover), you can still get about 6 or 7 fitteds and be right around $100.
 Photo from

Prefolds and covers- What your grandma used minus the plastic pants! Prefolds are going to be one of your cheapest, most versatile options. No you do not want to use the Gerber prefolds from Target or walmart. They aren't very absorbant. Now there are 2 ways I will talk about using prefolds, either snappiing the prefold around your baby, or Trifolding(folding the prefold in 3rds and laying it into the cover).
The most recommended brand of prefolds I have ever seen are GMD(greenmountaindiapers) prefolds. I will use the price for the red edge infant size since its from about 14 pounds on and recommended for babies between 5-18 months. A dozen GMD prefolds runs $32. You will want 2 dozen for $64. Covers, I will recommend Econobum again, since they are a OS(one size) cover and run about $9. I will suggest 4 covers with prefolds. This gets you at $100. If you choose to snappi, those are about $3 each. Another option is using the Econobum system. I will tell you right now though, the Econobum prefolds are not my favorite, because they are supposed to be a one size fits all and they are not at all. I think they fit better on an older baby, over 1 year old, if you are just trifolding them into the covers. On a smaller baby, they are extremely bulky. The Econobum Full Kit is a huge bang for your buck however, and you can make the prefolds work on a smaller baby. The Fill Kit includes 3 diaper covers, 12 prefolds AND a wetbag is included! This Kit is $48.95 for 12 diaper changes.
Econobum: Single Pack<br>1 Diaper Cover<br>1 PrefoldPhoto from cottonbabies website.

My personal favorite diapering system is actually prefolds and covers. It is so very simple, versatile and cheap! My preferred covers are flip covers at $13.95 a piece or Thirsties Duo covers at about $12 a piece. and the cottonbabies indian prefolds in infant size. I trifold into the cover and the infant size works perfectly on my 20lber. This has been a bulletproof system for us and I never have to worry about leaks. For night time, I just add a fleece liner or a stay dry booster.

Even cheaper than prefolds are Flats. Flats are basically your flour sack dish towels! And as a matter of fact, many people use the flour sack dish towels as their diapers!

"Flat diapers are large squares of single-layer material; typically made from Birdseye weave cotton. These diapers can be folded a number of ways in order to fit your baby and require fastening with either diaper pins or a Snappi.
  • The absolute most economical cloth diaper available
  • Can easily be hand-washed and dries very quickly (excellent for camping)
  • Multi-purpose uses; due to the softness and texture these make wonderful cloths for facials"
If you want something a little more absorbant than a dishtowel, you can get Birdseye cotton flat diapers for about $2 each. Pair again with a cover and you are good to go!

Other Things Needed for Cloth Diapering
Many people like a wetbag or pail to store their dirty diapers in. A hanging wetbag is nice because it can hang almost anywhere and doesn't take up a lot of space. A lot of companies make wetbags but a very trusted company is Planetwise. They make wetbags big enough to store 2 days worth of diapers and as small as to hold you cloth wipes, or 1-2 diapers.

Detergent- A lot of people and websites say you HAVE to use the fancy cloth diaper safe detergents. If you only feel comfortable using these that is fine. I have used them too. And what works for one person won't neccessarily work for another. What is important while shopping for a detergent to use on your diapers, is one that does not have fabric softeners enzymes, brighteners or dyes. What I CAN tell you, is that I have tried a few cloth safe detergents that didn't work for me, but Tide Original Powder DOES work for me. Again, detergent usage depends on your water type(hard/soft) and how many/which minerals are in your water. This is a try, try again deal. It may take a few tries before you find the right detergent that works for you.

Many new cloth diaperers have questions about wash routines. Through my own experimenting, I have found a winning combo for me and my machine. Here is my routine and what is almost always recommended by every site out there.
COLD rinse to get all the yuck out on a medium or large wash setting
HOT/COLD heavy/long wash cycle with detergent, (the cold is a rinse cycle) on large wash setting
At the end add 1 more rinse cycle. Some recommend on cold, some on warm, some hot. This will rinse out any leftover detergent so you don't get buildup in your diapers.
(Since my machine only has a cold rinse option and I have extremely hard mineral full water, instead of just a rinse at the end, I do a short cycle wash/rinse on warm/cold.)
The goal is to get as much water moving through your diapers as possible, that's why it is recommended to use large wash settings.

I think this will be it for now. It's late and my kids will be up early. I hope this helps!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Beginning- A little intro.

July 2011. Me and #3. The boy who wears the fluff.

To tell the story, I have to start at the beginning. I am a mom in my mid twenties to 3 beautiful children, #1 is 6, #2 is 4 and #3 is 14 months. They are a handful but I wouldn't want it any other way. They rock my world!

 So over two years ago already, I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. In my never ending quest to become more green and do the best for my children, and thanks to a little website called babycenter, I started researching cloth diapers. Much to my surprise, there is a huge "underworld" of cloth diapering, that is really starting to go mainstream. So, pregnant and also working on potty training, I decided to take the plunge. I knew that I wanted to practice with #2 before #3 came. I started with 9 plain white medium Fuzzibunz for my daughter. What I didn't know at the time, is how addicted to cloth diapering I would become. How cute cloth diapers (CDs) can be, and how much $$$ people would spend on 1 WAHM (working at home mom) diaper.

Here, I just plan to put my thoughts down, what I think personally about certain diapers-reviews, trouble shooting, and just a place to brag and show off and show people how easy and fun cloth diapering can be.

If you have any Fluff related questions, feel free to contact me and I can try and help you out!