You know what really grinds my gears?
People who say cloth diapering on a budget is impossible.
They don’t know what the fluff they’re talking about.
Cloth diapers can save you $5000 as opposed to disposable diapers.
There are so many great reasons to begin a cloth diapering routine.
So when money is tight, it’s always a good idea to set up a cloth diapers budget that you can stick to.
In today’s blog, I’ll be sharing some of my best tips for finding - and stretching - your cloth diapers budget and saving money with cloth diapers.
By the end of this blog - you'll see that cloth diapering is possible on any budget.
Choosing Your Cloth Diapers Budget
First things first - you’re going to need a budget to set up your cloth diapers stash.
If you are very determined to stick to a strict budget, I’m happy to tell you that you can build an entire Newborn to Potty Training stash for as little as around $100.
Yes - only $100.
On the other hand, you can undoubtedly end up spending much more if you decide you want the cutest prints, all in ones, or a HUGE stash, but realistically, with $100, you can be prepared and secure.
So before you get started in the world of cloth diapers, it’s best to begin by deciding what your cloth diapers budget will be.
Options For Every Budget
Once you’ve figured out your cloth diapers budget and perhaps realized it’s pretty tight, don’t worry, there are many inexpensive and equally great routes to take.
For example, at $2 - $4 a piece, prefold and flat cloth diapers are the most economical cloth diapers available for purchase.
They are inexpensive, and they are easy to wash and come in many significant and sustainable fibers such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp.
Most Affordable Cloth Diapers: Flats and Prefolds
Flat Cloth Diapers
Sure, they're the diapers our grandmothers may have used, but that doesn’t mean that they are outdated!
Flat Cloth Diapers are still a very popular choice among cloth diapering families, especially those on a budget. Flat cloth diapers are a large piece of single-ply fabric, usually 30” by 30” folded to fit a baby and secured with diaper pins or a Snappi.
In addition, a flat cloth diaper can be made out of a variety of fabrics providing you even more control over your budget. I’ll get more into this a little bit later.
Another great thing about flats is that because they are so versatile, they are a one-time expense.
That’s right - a one-time expense!
This is because there is no need to size up or down for the age or weight of the baby.
Flats can be folded down small enough for a newborn and folded to fit that older toddler! And being known as one of the easiest cloth diapers to hand wash, what’s not to like?
Prefold Cloth Diapers
Even though some consider Prefold Cloth Diapers to be old-fashioned, they are still one of the most commonly used cloth diapers in the U.S. today.
They are an excellent choice for any parent who wants to use cloth diapers on a budget.
Prefolds are made with multiple layers of lightweight, woven fabric with extra layers in the center for higher absorbency. This may make prefolds slightly bulkier than flats. Prefolds only require a minimal amount of folding around the baby.
In addition, prefolds are soft and comfortable, customizable, tough, and durable (can go through multiple children), are made with natural fibers, and are easy to wash.
Prefolds might look confusing at first, but they are a breeze to use once you get the hang of them.
If you find yourself on a cloth diapers budget (or even if you’re not), prefold cloth diapers are one solution that works for nearly every baby.
Most Affordable Cloth Diapers: Diaper Covers
If you’ve decided to go with flats and prefolds to meet the requirements of your cloth diapers budget, you’re going to need a cloth diaper cover to keep your baby (and you!) dry.
Cloth Diaper Covers are aptly named because they are a waterproof part (made of mostly polyester with a layer of PUL/TPU to contain any leaks) that covers your absorbent diapering material.
Flats, prefolds, fitteds, and inserts are not waterproof on their own.
Cloth diaper covers are there to protect you from leaks.
Affordable and versatile (they work with any type of cloth diaper system), cloth diaper covers fit into any budget and are available in newborns.
One-size options, and feature rise snaps allow the diaper to grow with your child - saving you money in the long run.
And you know what else is excellent about cloth diaper covers? They come in a variety of unique styles and cute prints. But don’t forget to watch that budget - it’s easy to get carried away with all the fun and ever-changing options!
You can learn more about what cloth diaper covers are and why you need them in this previous blog post, all about Cloth Diaper Covers.
Most Affordable Cloth Diapers: All In One Cloth Diapers
If you can stretch your cloth diapers budget a bit further, consider the All In One Cloth Diaper.
It’s referred to as an All In One Cloth Diaper because the absorbent cloth diaper and waterproof diaper cover are sewn together to create one piece.
They run a bit more expensive than the other options previously mentioned, but sometimes the convenience is worth the cost.
They are easy to use and quick to put on the baby, making the All In One the closest cloth diaper system that you can get to a disposable.
If you can stretch your cloth diapers budget and convenience is what you’re most looking for, definitely consider taking the All In One route.
You can also check out similar all in two cloth diapers.
Cloth Diapers DIY
But what if your budget to set up cloth diapers is even lower than the options I’ve already provided?
Don’t worry - I told you at the beginning of this post that I’d help you see that cloth diapering is possible on any budget - and this includes even a low to no budget!
Sure, it’s going to take a little ingenuity, but low to no budget cloth diapering can be done and done well.
How is this possible?
Well, you may not yet realize that some of the most inexpensive cloth diapers and cloth diaper inserts aren’t even diapers! It’s true!
It’s possible to utilize cloth diapers on a budget with a bit of DIY action with items already laying around the home. There’s no need to be concerned if you have little to no sewing skills. You can still turn your used or unwanted items into cloth diapers.
Recycle Old Clothing
Probably everyone has at least one old t-shirt stashed away somewhere around the house, right? Perhaps they are stained or have a hole or two in them? Well, surprise! You can diaper your baby for little to no money, just by recycling old clothing - like a t-shirt!
T-shirts can be cut into flats or folded to stuff into pockets. Simply fold them like a prefold, and use the sleeves or corners like closure tabs.
You’ll then need to fasten it with a Snappi or some pins.
It’s even possible to make two entire diapers from one shirt, as seen in this excellent DIY video tutorial.
And by the way, for all you non-crafty types, it doesn't require you to sew even a stitch! Sticking to your cloth diapers budget couldn’t get any easier than this.
Dishcloths or Washcloths
Dishcloths or washcloths can be fashioned inside a pocket diaper or shell with some basic sewing skills and will provide excellent absorbency.
By the way, just a budget-friendly pointer, it works in reverse, too; cloth diapers can also double as dishcloths or washcloths since they are super-absorbent, lint-free, and have a thicker center panel that can even be used as an oven mitt if you fold them over a few times.
The most popular fabric choice for cloth diaper liners is fleece, and for a good reason.
There’s no need to sew anything with fleece, and it doesn’t fray when you cut and wash it (it also washes up great) and has excellent wicking properties that provide a great defense against diaper rash.
But keep in mind that not all fleece is created equal. The type of fleece that you’ll want to use is microfleece.
Flour Sack Towels
Flour sack towels have been utilized in various ways for centuries all around the world.
If you’re not exactly sure what they are, here’s a beautiful History of Old-Fashioned Flour Sack Towels that I recommend you check out.
It provides a great history of how flour sack towels were repurposed for use around the home, especially when times were hard and resources were difficult to come by.
Frugal homemakers had to become inventive, and configuring flour sack towels into cloth diapers was one way they used the resource.
Luckily if you don’t currently have any flour sack towels lying around your home at the moment, you can still easily find them today at many of your local or online stores.
Receiving blankets are 100% cotton and perfectly safe, and suitable to be used as cloth diapers. They are also one of the cheapest and most inexpensive absorbent materials you could use for cloth diapers on a budget.
This is especially true if you were to buy them used online or at second-hand shops. Receiving blankets have a reliable absorbency and are easy to use and to wash.
They can be folded in many different ways and make excellent flats. They also come in a ton of pretty colors and patterns and have a plethora of multi-purpose uses as well, such as cleaning up a big mess, acting as an impromptu nursing cover, or perhaps as a sunshade for the stroller.
I’m sure you could think of even more uses! Consider using receiving blankets as a way to adhere to your cloth diapers budget.
Selling What You No Longer Need
This is also good news for you at the end of your time using diapers – if they’re in good condition or include popular prints and styles, you can sell yours and get some of your money back!
To do this, there are some cloth diaper buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook you could join, or you could also try looking locally, think childrens’ consignment stores or garage and yard sales.
Don’t want to resell your cloth diapers?
Consider saving them for your future children - it will save a lot of up-front costs, you might even be able to cloth diaper them in the future at no cost at all. Suppose you’re not planning on having any more children.
In that case, there are many unique uses for cloth diapers that don’t include your baby’s bottom and will also satisfy your cloth diapers budget lifestyle.
Sign Up for Nicki’s Mailing List for Deals and Sales
Signing up for Nicki’s Diapers Mailing List instantly adds you to our list to receive all of our sales and deals directly to your email before anyone else!
It’s definitely an opportunity for you to take advantage of our special offers while continuing to stick to your cloth diapers budget.
You'll also receive Nicki's Newsletter every Friday, detailing upcoming releases, including redesigns and new prints, and special offers.
I’d take advantage of the opportunity by signing up. You never know what kind of deal you may get!
Chat More About It
I hope that now you see - cloth diapers can save you money and even make you money!
When are you going to start your cloth diapers budget? Do you have a cloth diapers budget already?
Don’t hesitate to join the Official Nicki’s Diapers Facebook Group to chat more about it.
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If you’re interested in starting or continuing your cloth diaper journey, click here to check out our large selection of cloth diapers and accessories here!