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Cloth Diaper Basics: Cloth Diapering on a Budget
July 19, 2015 6:56 pm | by
Prepping Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are an easy way to save money when you’re caring for a baby. Unlike disposables, cloth diapers are a one-time expense (unless you have to get the newest Genius Series print at each release). For some people, the upfront cost of cloth diapers can be a deterrent, although there are ways to build your stash without breaking the bank.

To cloth diaper your baby full-time and wash every other day, we recommend having at least 24 diapers on hand.  Twenty-four bumGenius Freetime diapers are $399.  A 24-pack of bumGenius 4.0s is $384 while two dozen Elementals are $520.08. Regardless of the system you choose, you’re still going to save more than you would using disposables, which can cost over $1,000 per child.

bumGenius is a great system to try if you want something that’s durable, convenient, and as easy to use as disposables. But if you’re looking for other cost-friendly options, there’s plenty of different cloth diaper systems to check out!

Econobum is our most economical diapering system available, and many families use it to get a feel for cloth. Econobum features a one-size diaper cover that’s compatible with high-quality prefolds made with 100% unbleached cotton. Econobum allows many parents to fully cloth diaper their baby from birth to potty training for as little as $100. It’s truly cloth diapering on a budget. 


Pins and prefolds are another way to save a few extra bucks. They’re inexpensive and absorbent. Just be sure to use a diaper cover like the Thirsties Duo Wrap, Dappi Nylon Cover or a Wool Soaker. If you baby is a heavy wetter, this may be a better option because prefolds are made with natural fibers like hemp or cotton and are extremely absorbent. Substitute traditional diaper pins for a Snappi and learn the different ways to fold a prefold here.

Flats are a cheap and easy cloth diaper solution made from birdseye cotton. These typically come in large squares of one-layer fabric so you can fold it to make a diaper. These are one-size and should be used with any waterproof cover. When you’re done with cloth diapers, these also double as dish towels, cleaning cloths, burp cloths , lap pads, changing pads, bibs, wash cloths and baby wipes.

Seconds are an inexpensive way to try different cloth diapering systems or add to your stash. Second quality products are functional but may have minor imperfections, causing them not to meet our standards for first quality product. Issues may vary but are likely related to binding being imperfectly sewn, uneven edges or minor imperfections in the fabric.

Occasionally, we have used diapers available through our Growing Up In Cloth program. Used diapers range in a variety of conditions, but can still save you money when using cloth. Learn more about used diapers here. If you’re buying used diapers from a private seller, be sure to read this post.

When it comes to using cloth diapers, you’re going to save more than you would with disposables. Period. The amount of money cloth can save varies depending on the use and type of diaper, but making the switch is worth it.

Find even more cloth diapering options here if you can’t afford cloth or disposables.

For assistance with cloth diapering on a budget, give us a call at 1-314-892-1855.


About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook and Instagram pages, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and likes playing with her dogs.



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    Hi Brittney
    We are really happy with your article “Cloth Diaper Basics: Cloth Diapering on a Budget.” Me and my elder sister have been using the cloth diapers for our baby for many days and our believe was that the cloth diaper never be cause of diaper rash of baby. But we have surprisingly noticed that my little on of 9 month recently suffered from diaper rash and even now we are not wearing the diaper to my baby.

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