Low Cost Diapering
The MamaBear BabyWear SAVE MONEY & THE PLANET DIAPERING PLAN:
Want to try cloth but having a hard time with the expense involved in buying a stash of tons of different diapers, covers, sizes, and options? Try this:
Buy 1 MamaBear One Size Fits All Wool wrap or waterproof Diaper Cover. Use it on your BabyBear instead of a disposable in the morning. You don't even need a diaper, just lay a folded soft towel, t-shirt, or other absorbent cotton material in the middle and snap/velcro it on.
Change as usual with a disposable next, throw soiled toweling in wash and rinse cover by hand (you can skip this part for a wool wrap that is only damp). Hang cover to dry. By evening you can use your cover again!
By replacing just 2 disposable diapers a day you are saving approximately $3.50 - $5.00/week depending on what disposables you use. That's enough to buy another cover in a couple of weeks!
With 2 covers you can replace 4 disposables a day saving $7-10 a week, enough to buy another cover in a week or two!
With 3 covers you can almost completely replace the disposables by washing and rotating drying and just filling in with disposables when a cover isn't dry yet!
A good number to shoot for is 10-12 covers (6-8 wool). This allows you to accumulate enough soaker materials and covers (remember wool shouldn't be machine washed and doesn't need to be washed every time anyway) to do a load of diapering materials every other day, completely eliminating the need for disposables!
The Cheapest Way to Diaper Your Children
The absolute cheapest way to cloth diaper a child (and perhaps 2 or 3), is with old-fashioned cotton prefolds and one-size diaper covers. This allows you to buy everything you need from the get go with little outlay.
For just cotton prefolds with PUL covers I would suggest 5-8 covers for daily wash (wash each by hand and hang to dry after changing, not difficult in the sink if you keep a small bottle of premixed soap at hand). 8-12 covers for every other day loads of laundry, and 12-15 covers for skipping laundry days. Another option is to get the 5-8 covers for daytime use and 2 wool covers for nights, this would allow you to reuse the nighttime covers without washing (read more about wool on one of my wool listings), and having one to use if one should be down with wash time, this sort of stretches your cover use without increasing your wash.
If you plan on using plain prefolds and covers the best way to get started is buy 1 dozen DSQ (diaper service quality) prefolds on the Internet. These can be found for about $25/doz and will be the best diapering investment you can make. To convince hubby and others to not be intimidated by them buy 3 or 4 SNAPPI or Boingo Diaper fasteners (Godsends for those of us terrified of diaper pins), then buy 5-8 PUL covers (I sell them in sets of 5 for $50). One-size fits all are your best value since you can use them for your little one's whole "diaper career".
That's it! Voila! You've spend about $85 and will NEVER have to buy diapers AGAIN! YEAH!!! If that's not enough reason to cloth diaper I don't know what is! Of course, it is addictive and you may find yourself buying different styles/types on down the road to test them out, or you may buy more prefolds and/or covers to reduce the amount of laundry you have to do. That's up to you. You CAN GET BY with just the 1 doz and 5-8 covers.