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If you are on a tight budget, you might be wondering if you can even afford to get started with cloth diapers. While we know that cloth diapers will help you save in the long run, it’s no secret that it can be a large investment up front. My next few posts will show how you can get set up with cloth diapers within different budget amounts. Here we will explore the best full cloth diaper stash for under $160–accessories and all!
Each cloth diaper stash in this series will include 30 diapers plus necessary accessories.
Please Note: I am bound by certain rules against direct price quotes with some manufacturers, so I will be rounding prices to avoid any issues. Also, please understand any prices I reference are current at the time of writing this post, and they may change at any time.
With an investment amount as low as $160, your options may be limited, but they’re not non-existent! You can still build a stash of high-quality diapers, but you may be limited in variety.
Two-piece diapers are going to be your best friend.
You can get reasonably priced, ethically manufactured cloth diaper covers. KaWaii is one such brand, and as you can see, here is a 6-pack of covers for less than $35.
Kawaii (and Alva & Mama Koala, among others) also makes reasonably priced pocket shells. They are wonderful, but for this budget post, I am going with covers, and here is why: covers can be reused at changes as long as the baby didn’t poop in the diaper, but pocket shells must always be changed out at every change, meaning you need more of them overall.
Grab two packs of KaWaii Diaper Covers. Total cost: $70, and now you have 12 covers which is more than enough!
More modern = more problems! Well, sometimes.
Flats will be more absorbent than cheap microfiber inserts. They will be easier to wash than multi-layered inserts or fitteds, and they will be cheaper.
If you don’t like the idea of doing origami to put on a diaper, all you have to do is pad-fold the flat and place it in the diaper cover like shown here. That’s what I do with all of mine purely because I’m too lazy to do anything else!
They work great. There is no reason to scoff!
Flats range in price. If you are on a budget looking to build a decent-sized stash of 30 diaper changes, I highly recommend the Osocozy Unbleached Flats. At $10 for a 6-pack, it’s hard to beat that price. Pick up 5 packs and that gives you 30 changes for $50.
I also really love Green Mountain Diapers (GMD). Their Cloth-Eez birdseye flats are a bit more expensive than Osocozy, but the quality is excellent and they’re still one of the more budget-friendly flat options out there! A 6-pack is less than $13, giving you 30 changes for $65. You could also do some mixing & matching of the Osocozy and GMD and meet somewhere in the middle.
Cloth Diaper Accessories
Most of these are optional items, and you may not be able to get all of them to stay under $160.
Diaper Fasteners- Snappis or Diaper Pins
Snappis are quicker & easier than pins, but a little more pricey (3-pack for $10). You can get by with 3 for sure as long as you don’t lose them!
Cloth Baby Wipes
They’re healthier (no harmful chemicals), cheaper in the long run, work SO much better than disposable wipes, and wash easily. Not to mention they significantly lower your garbage waste. They’re also great for bulking up your diaper laundry to help it agitate well.
I made several of them myself for the cost of a yard of flannel. I am a terrible seamstress, but they’re really not hard. I also ended up buying 30 more wipes for $0.50/each off of a local diaper group.
But Osocozy also sells some reasonably priced wipes– a 15-pack for $10. I would get two packs.
Cloth Wipes = $20 for 30 wipes
Wet them with water before wiping– water works just as well as any homemade solution you could do, and is low maintenance and cheap. But if you want to make a solution, check out my favorite recipe here.
Dirty Diaper Storage
Using a hanging wet bag or a pail with a liner is the most common way to store dirty diapers. If you do not have something you can use as a pail, a hanging wet bag will be the cheapest way to store dirty diapers upfront because it’s just the cost of the wet bag, not a pail. A Wegreeco hanging wet bag costs $10.
That said, there is no reason you have to use a pail specifically meant for diapers. You can use anything you have around the house that might work–an old garbage bin or a laundry basket are common choices.
If you can find a container around the house, you can get a pail liner to use inside it. The pail liner just keeps the pail from getting too dirty, wet, or gross. You can get a 2-pack of pail liners from Wegreeco for $16, which is a better per unit price than the hanging wet bag. Believe me–it is super helpful to have more than 1 pail liner or wet bag so you have a new one ready to use on laundry day.
On-the-Go Wetbags & Diaper Pods
It can be handy to have some wet bags to keep in your purse or diaper bag for when you’re on the go. You need a place to put those dirty diapers!
If your budget is only $160, this would be an item I would skip. You can use a plastic grocery bag (or any reusable grocery bags you have, especially if it’s water resistant). Because it is so easy to find something around the house for this purpose, don’t waste any of your diaper budget on it. But if you really want them, you can get a 2-pack of Alva wet bags for $10.
Diaper pods are carrying bags for clean diapers. Even if you have a large budget, I really don’t see the point in a diaper pod. That is what your diaper bag is for!
Laundry Detergent & Additives
Keep it simple. Use a strong detergent that you can afford. Tide is the most popular, but it is not by any means the only detergent you can use.
Don’t go too crazy with additives. My personal opinion is they cause more problems than they solve, that includes hard water. You will have SO MANY PEOPLE online tell you that you *have* to use Calgon or Borax even if your water is just a little hard, but it can cause a lot of issues. Check out this post for more info about hard water.
If you’re having issues with your particular detergent, it is probably easier and cheaper just to switch detergents (you can always use up the ineffective detergent on loads of clothes so it doesn’t go to waste).
All detergent is very reasonably priced, and there are so many people out there who prefer it to Tide. I’m not going to include the price of detergent in the diaper budget since laundry detergent is something you will need to buy anyway for other uses.
At the end of the day, everyone’s washing situation is unique and you just have to find a routine and laundry products that work for you. If you find something that works and you don’t mind the cost or the efforts, keep going with it. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Here is the final total for my cloth diaper stash:
- Diaper Covers: 12 covers for $70
- Inserts (Flats): 30 flats for $50 (Osocozy)
- Diaper Fasteners: 1 pack of Snappis for $10
- Cloth Wipes: $20
- Dirty Diaper Hanging Wet Bag: $10
Total Price of the Diaper Stash: $160!
$160 for a brand new stash that doesn’t involve any second-hand purchases (not that there’s anything wrong with second hand) or relying on gifts. You can even get this total below $150 if you choose diaper pins and make your own cloth wipes!
There are many people out there that don’t know how they may even come up with $160. Thankfully, there are many cloth diaper banks out there (like The Cloth Option) that can help with this. However, you can also save up this amount when you are pregnant by setting aside money every week that would go toward disposable diapers when your baby is here. Within a few months, you will have enough to make these purchases.
Have any of you purchased a full cloth diaper stash for a super low price? Tell me about it in the comments! What brands, styles, and accessories did you purchase? I’d love to know!