The first question in most of our minds when we are considering whether to use cloth is... why? Why is cloth better than disposables? And it is a good question! And I have so many reasons why cloth is better that I have to divide it into 4 blog posts!
First, we will talk about the money, because who doesn't like money?
Do the Math.
Saving money is good, no matter what your financial situation. So doesn't saving up to $2000 on diapers sound like a great idea? Using disposable diapers will cost somewhere around $2500 from birth to potty training - and this doesn't include extras like wipes, diaper disposal units, refills for your diaper disposal, etc etc. Compare this to $400-$800 for cloth diapers, and they are looking pretty darn affordable!
The initial investment can definitely scare people away from using cloth. When you are comparing buying a $25 box of Pampers to $400 in cloth diapers, it seems like an easy decision to go with disposables. But imagine if you had to go to Walmart and buy all of the diapers your child will need all at one time. That brimming cart of diapers would put a big ding on your credit card balance.
What should you buy?
There are lots of ways to make the jump into cloth a lot easier on the wallet.
First off is to figure out exactly what you want, so when you do buy your diapers, you get exactly what you need and want, and feel confident in your purchase. We offer lots of help with this, like cloth diaper workshops so you can get a really great idea of which diapers you like. We also have diaper trial programs that let you check out the diapers in person to see what works for you and your little one's tushie.
My favourite strategy is to start buying diapers early. Buy a couple of diapers each paycheque, and before you know it (and possibly even before little bambino is born) you will have a full stash. This works especially well if you have a diaper retailer with great shipping options <<cough>> Bumbini <<cough>>. Take advantage of letter mail shipping, which costs only $2.00 to ship a single diaper or free pickup options.
Another fantastic way is to use our gift registry, and let your friends and family buy your diapers for you! I have heard of lots of dads being thrown "diaper and beer" baby showers, where their friends buy boxes of diapers for the baby to be. The same principle can be used with cloth diapers, and set you up with all the diapers your baby will need!
What about used cloth diapers?
There are a couple of other methods of saving money on diapers that I would use with caution. The first is to buy used diapers. This can work really well if the diapers have been well looked after (they hold up really well with proper washing!) but there are no guarantees. If you know the seller or know what to look for, it can be a great way to save some moolah, but there is some risk involved.
Avoid Deals Too Good to Be True
One route I would definitely avoid is buying really cheap diapers online, for example off of eBay. A lot of these deals seem too good to be true and often are. There are lots of brands of so-called "China Cheapies" which are knockoffs of more common brands. Many of them are made of cheap materials with less than fantastic workmanship and next to no warranty or customer service. Another, more serious consequence is that they are not subjected to the same safety regulations of brands commercially available in Canada, so they may contain chemicals and materials not so great for baby. Cheap diapers may seem like a great way to save some money, but when you run into leak issues, disintegrating diapers, and other nasties, you may be wishing you spent the extra for a reliable brand.
To recap this blog post, use cloth, save dough.
In our next blog post, we will look at the next bonus to using cloth - the environmental benefits!