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.
Diaperswappers.com 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!