Real Diaper Week - Day #3 - Buy Smart, Be Savvy

Real Simple Real Diapers Savings – Cost savings, diapering on a budget, cloth diaper banks or support organizations


One of the major reasons many of us choose to cloth diaper is to save money.

Save buy not buying diapers. We bought pampers before going 100% full-time cloth. At $0.46 per diaper, changing them at least 6-8 times a day, so we'll figure 7 times each day, we save $3.22 each day. $3.22 x 366 (leap year!) = $1175.30 each year. And this is not figured the newborn time (when there are more diapers each day), I'm figuring for right now, a 13 month-old. So, you can tack on a few hundred more dollars. Let's round to $1300. I can tell you really honestly, my whole stash, accessories, including a diaper sprayer ($45) is way less than that total. And, I can use these cloth diapers for baby #2. I can also re-sell them.

Cloth diapers are really well-known for holding their value. So, if you take care of them, you can expect to be able to sell them in functioning condition and re-coop some of that money invested in your stash.

Here are some things you can do to ensure you will get the most out of your diapers, for resale or reuse:

1) The Power of the Sun - drying diapers in the dryer means more wear and tear on the PUL, elastic, and fabric itself. If you have the climate and availability of hanging space for it, dry your diapers outside as often as you can, year-around if possible.

2) Keep it Natural or Keep it Away! - No diaper creams unless they are cloth-approved! Zinc oxide, found in most creams like Desitin, stains cloth diapers terribly. Creams and balms that are not safe for cloth use will generally negatively affect absorbency too.

3) Sink the Stink. - Rinse inserts after each use. When you throw your shell into the diaper pail or bag, take the extra few seconds to rinse the insert until it runs clear. This will help your stink issues both short and long-term.

4) Detergent Determination - do your homework about detergents. Read the labels and recommendations that come with the diapers. There are so many different views on detergents and what is safe and what is not. What will affect absorbency? What will deteriorate PUL? Make an informed decision! Yes, cloth-safe detergents are sometimes more expensive, but this fabric is going to be on your baby's bum 24/7 for months or years! It's worth the investment! You cannot cut corners on this one. You wash every other day. This is a big factor in cloth up-keep.

5) Consistent Strippers Wanted - Stripping your diapers regularly can not only help with stink but it can give you more longevity. Build up of detergent residue creates a happy home for bacteria. If your kiddo has had a diaper rash, it's not a bad idea to strip right away (in case it was caused by an ammonia-burn or yeast.) Remember to also treat the diaper for yeast, which stripping alone will not do. To strip there are again, many products that claim to work. Many recommendations from other users. My advice, as always: Find What Works For YOU, and Stick With It!
Personally, I love RLR for stripping inserts, prefolds, and fitteds (anything without PUL). Don't forget to occasionally strip your wet bags and pail liners, too! I am going to be trying the 'grape stomp' method for my AIOs, AI2s and pockets soon....I'll let you know how THAT goes!

Here is a list of things to think about if you decide to buy used diapers:

*Scrutinize* This is going to be on your kiddos bum. A lot. Don't feel bad about shopping around, asking LOTS of questions of the prior owner, and passing if it doesn't sound like they were taken care of diligently.

*Detergents & Additives* Make sure to ask what has been used on them. What detergent? Stripping agents? Fabric softeners? Bleach? Lemon? Vinegar?

*Drying method* Dryer has much more wear and tear than hanging out to dry.

*One owner?* Ask if they bought the diaper used. Chances are it will tell you a lot about the diaper. If it's been through 2 kiddos of different families, there could be a lot of mystery in that diaper's history.

*Condition* Don't be afraid to ask about tears, PUL, elastic, stains, smells, etc.

*Why?* This is always a good question to ask. If they suck, you don't want 'em! If it's because they are moving to a new system or brand...that's much more positive!

Here are some sources for buying, selling, and trading used diapers:

ClothDiaperTrader - No muss, no fuss. I love this site. I've had more luck here than anywhere!
DiaperSwappers - I find this site cumbersome & cluttered. You have to do X amount of tasks before even being able to sell or trade, which I don't have time for. But, some love it. It's a little more of a 'community' too--you can find other information, which is sometimes fun. But, for the purpose of buying/selling/and trading fluff, I like to get right down to it!
Ebay - The old stand-by for all buying and selling needs. Fees can get you here, so selling in LOTS is generally better than single diapers. I still think ClothDiaperTraders is easier.
Craigslist - You can find some really great stash additions (and a lot of ENTIRE stashes) here. Diaper sprayers, wetbags, longies, the works. Great for 'keeping it local' too. But, sometimes it is feast or famine. You may go months without seeing fluff in your area, so if time is of the essence, it may not be for you.
Facebook - There are MANY groups on Facebook devoted to cloth selling, trading, swapping. Check around, I bet there is something in your area, or at least in your state. It's also a great way to "meet" new mamas with similar interests.

Some mamas find that it is hard to part with their fluff. Others decide they despise using prefolds or fitteds or whatever it may be, and send them down the road. Selling fluff is fun because if you love a diaper, it's nice to see if find a new home to be loved more! People probably think I'm crazy. I went from totally ignorant of cloth, to using it part-time, to full-time, to advocating and actually thinking of it as a hobby! I have sentimental attachment to some of the material that catches my son's poo. I know I'm not alone! You might find you love it too! What started as 8ish diapers is now 30+. Maybe more. I need to sit down and count!

1 comment:

  1. Some great resources here! Thanks for sharing!