One of the main objections I hear from people when I talk to them about cloth is that it costs too much.
I was fortunate when I began my cloth diaper journey that I was able to find some free cloth diapers on a local online giveaway site. Without those diapers, I'm not sure I would have stuck with cloth since my options at the time were to buy diapers mostly sight unseen online. Luckily, during one of my early diapering pickups, I met a woman who was willing to take the time to explain to me how many of the inexpensive diapers in her stash worked. Cheap diapers such as prefolds and flats made it possible for me to have several changes each day for my son while I saved money to buy and try other diapers such as pockets and all-in-ones.
I often tell people when they are just beginning to cloth diaper that one of the best investments they can make is to buy two waterproof covers and a Snappi. I have shown many new-to-cloth moms who are struggling financially with the cost of diapers in general, how to diaper their children for less than $25 using towels, receiving blankets, t shirts and other items they already have at home.
Many women have been able to use these at home and save their disposable diapers for daycare until they are able to have enough easier-to-use cloth diapers to send to daycare.
I often start my cloth diaper education with the phrase – disposable diapers for one child will cost you around $3000, while cloth diapers for as many children as you have can cost you as little as $100. Most folks will quickly start to ask questions about cloth diapers on a budget and it seems to ease much of the tension once they realize that cloth diapers really will save them money.
I'm not sure how much money I saved using cloth diapers. I cloth diapered both of my children for probably 90% of their diaper wearing years so I would guess I saved in the neighborhood of $5000 between the two of them. I know that I was able to use the money I was not spending on diapers each week to do many good things for my children and my family.
The upfront cost of cloth diapers should never be something that scares someone away from trying cloth. Education is the key to making people aware of all the price options for diapering their children.
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