If you’re new to the cloth diaper world, you may be feeling overwhelmed. While there are many options to choose from - two of your best choices are buying new cloth diapers OR used cloth diapers. As a mom of 6 kiddos, I have almost ten years of experience with cloth diapers. I want to take that experience and help you sort through the pros and cons of BOTH options!
I’m OVERWHELMED. Where Do I Start?
When I had my first baby, I began looking into cloth diapers. He was only two months old at the time so I thought any of the available options would be fine. However, once I started to look through all the different options, I got really overwhelmed! It was getting to the point where I just wanted to be done with it. I placed an order for an expensive Pocket Diaper and waited for it to arrive. Once it came in I washed it, put it on my son, and woke up the next day only to be EXTREMELY disappointed. I had no idea that my son was a heavy wetter and that he needed more padding.
Fortunately, I had a friend at the time who was using the Best Bottom diaper system. She had so many great things to say about them and even offered to let me try some of hers out. This was a huge blessing in disguise. Once I got to try them out on my son, I saw how simple and convenient they really were! I bought the Best Bottom Starter Set immediately and began diving back into my research on other kinds of diapers. Once my family realized how interested in cloth diapers I was, they started passing down second-hand cloth diapers to me. While most of them did the job, none of them impressed me as much as Best Bottom did...
Once I Figured It Out
Once I figured out how cloth diapers were supposed to fit and perform, I realized just how low quality some of my other cloth diapers were. Some of the legs were gaping due to poor elastic, the seams were poorly done, and the measurements didn’t match up with the sizing chart. If I had tried these diapers before I had tried Best Bottom, I probably would have given up already. It made me realize just how thankful I was towards my friend for her recommendation. Without her I never would have known how amazing cloth diapers can be when you buy from a high quality brand.
If you are new to cloth diapering like I was, I recommend getting them from a friend who you trust. Especially since they may have some tips and tricks that’ll help you figure out the ropes! There is a learning curve to each diaper, but with a little determination you can figure out which ones will work best for you! If you’re struggling on where to get started, reach out! Check out a blog that can help you find the perfect fit for any baby.
Cloth Diapering Can Save You A Lot Of Money
Cloth diapering can save you A LOT of money in the long run! If you’ve been using disposable diapers, you know just how expensive they are! I know cloth diapers can be intimidating at first, but the money you’ll save when you switch is worth the time you’ll spend on it. There are so many expensive things you’ll have to purchase when raising your kids, don’t let disposable diapers be one of them.
There’s also the PREVENTION of the stress that comes when you run out of disposables. There was a season in my life where we lived in an apartment that had shared washers and dryers. I couldn’t keep up with all the clothes that needed washing and the cost of constantly needing to buy more disposable diapers. We had three kiddos under the age of three, one of them being a micro-preemie who had just gotten out of the NICU after being there for 100 days. The stress that was building up during that time was unmanageable. I used disposables because I thought it would be easier, but I can’t tell you how many times I ran out of disposable diapers and didn’t have the time or energy to run to the store. This is where my investment in cloth diapers SAVED. THE. DAY!
Cloth diapers have an upfront cost if you want to jump all in! Buying used can help with that upfront cost though. You’ll be able to find some great deals if you know where to look! Nicki’s Diapers sells gently used cloth diapers from their 15 Day Wash Program. That’s where I started when I first got into buying my own cloth-diapers. The amount of money I started saving just within a couple months was insane! Find out how to get some gently-used cloth diapers that are stain-free!
Check out for more ways on how to cloth diaper on a budget!
Some good places to check for used cloth diapers are:
- Second-hand stores (I have gotten some BRAND NEW diapers at our local thrift store, I couldn’t believe it at the time but it does happen!)
- Local Buy/Sell/Trade groups where you can check out the diapers in person.
- Trusted diaper swap groups.
- Trusted eBay or Etsy sellers.
- Ask other moms in your community! You’d be surprised just how many people are using the cloth diaper method. One time I was changing my kiddos’ diaper at a grocery store when another mom in the restroom recognized my Best Bottom diapers. We were able to connect and ask each other some questions! At that point, I didn’t think ANYONE in my community used cloth diapers! I thought I was the only one but I couldn’t be more happy that I wasn’t. Having a community of people you can go to with your questions and concerns is one of the best parts of connecting with other cloth diaper moms!
Other Ways To Save (Pros Of Buying Used)When I bought the Best Bottom starter kit, I waited all the way up until the Black Friday Sale and let me tell you, the money I saved was definitely worth the wait! I also asked my family to pitch in and most of them were happy to! They knew I was struggling and wanted to help out in any way they could. When I had my next son, I decided to register on Nicki's Diapers so my family could purchase directly from there! There are always ways you can save money and as a fellow mom I want to help you do that no matter what option you decide on.
You Can Try Out Several Different Styles
Most of the time, if a mom is done diapering her littles, she will sell her entire stash. These are often made up of several different kinds of cloth diapers. This is a huge steal if you aren’t sure what to do and you want to try out other options! While I think every mom has their favorite system, getting to try out tons of options will help you find yours!I had started with Best Bottoms but eventually discovered that I really like the prefolds combined with the Best Bottom covers! I also learned that using pocket diapers for bedtime works great for me because you can stuff them in order to prevent leaks! I personally like using the Best Bottom hemp insert with an Imagine or Nicki’s Diapers prefold. That has been my go-to nighttime diaper solution ever since I discovered it and now I use it for ALL my kiddos. It’s worked out so well for us, even for my heavy-wetters!
Reusing Diapers That Are Still In Good Shape
Most of us can agree that it’s great to reuse things anytime we can! I have gotten some REALLY nice, used cloth diapers. It felt great to save some money but I was also happy that I could reuse something instead of letting it go to waste!
Helping Out Another Mama
Remember that stash I mentioned before? Well it isn’t just limited to mamas you find on the internet. Your best friend could be selling her stash when you’re just getting started! Perfect! I don’t know about other mama’s, but when I knew it was time to get rid of my diapers, I wanted to find someone who would appreciate them just as much as I did! (Then I got pregnant again before I ended up getting rid of them! Hehehe.)
There Are Some Cons...
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell what kind of shape the diapers are in just from photos! How strong is the elastic? Is there gaping? Are there multiple photos showing close-ups? Or just a few images that make it hard to tell?
If you are just starting out and are planning to have more kiddos or are continuing to grow your family, buying used might not be the best idea if you want them to hold up for multiple kids. You may actually end up spending more money than you had planned on because of having to replace your used ones that didn’t hold up. That’s a real BUMMER!
Buildup and Improper Care
If you are purchasing online, it can be tough to tell by a photo if the diaper was properly taken care of or if it has buildup. What is buildup? Buildup is a coating that can end up on some of your diapers if they aren’t cleaned properly. It keeps them from absorbing like they are supposed to. When you put the diaper on your baby, you’ll discover this when the urine leaks out because it couldn’t be absorbed properly.
Buildup can happen for many reasons:
- Your diapers aren’t getting thoroughly washed
- You have hard water and have problems with mineral buildup (I had this at one time, requiring knowledge of stripping diapers).
- An unsuitable detergent is being used.
- An unsuitable diaper rash ointment was used without a barrier of some kind.
You can search the Nicki’s Diapers Chatter forum on Facebook or even right here on the blog to find out more about this. There is tons of info on how to wash your cloth diapers correctly, how to strip them, and what kinds of detergents and diaper ointments are safe to use with your diapers!
There’s definitely a learning curve to washing, but don’t let that deter you! Check out this YouTube video for some great steps on cleaning cloth diapers.
My kiddos are allergic to a lot of different fragrances, so I needed diapers that came from homes that didn't use scented detergent. There have been times where I bought something that I could tell had been washed in fragranced detergent and even after SEVERAL washes, my baby STILL broke out from the scent because I just couldn’t get it out. In addition, our kiddos struggled with eczema NEEDED fragrance free diapers. It was crucial to avoid synthetic fragrances for the sake of their skin!
Not Knowing What To Look For
Suppose you’re new to the game and have no experience; you might want to get the advice of other moms before you purchase! Again, Nicki’s Diapers has a chatter Facebook group that is a great place to ask questions and get tips. If you are buying used in person and you have a friend who cloth diapers, maybe take her along to help you inspect!
Check out this Cloth Diapering 101 on the Nicki’s Diapers website! It provides basic information on cloth diapers and some frequently asked questions. The Nicki’s Diapers YouTube also has great videos about their products and how to use the different types of cloth diapers!
In my opinion, the elastic is the hardest part to check if you’ve never looked at it before! Flexibility matters, this is because it has to prevent blowouts, unless you are using a fitted cloth diapers under a cover.
So, Where Does This Leave Us?
You have options! You just need to decide which one you want to start with.Remember, you can always try out multiple options if the first one doesn’t end up being the best fit for your family! I highly recommend looking at the long term and deciding what you feel will be the most sustainable for YOU! Don’t feel like you have to be stuck with something you don’t like! This is one of the reasons why I love Nicki’s Diapers 15-day wash program! It allows you to try out different kinds of diapers but you don’t have to feel pressured to commit to one thing.
Have you bought used diapers before? Was it a good experience? Are there any tips you have for new moms that are interested? We would love to hear your feedback!
Make sure to head over to Nicki’s Diapers so you can check out their great brands and even better products! When it comes to your kiddos, you want the best, period! Nicki’s offers high quality products that are not only secure and comfortable for your kids, but also affordable!