I’ve been a Mama for just over 3 years now and I have learned so much in that short amount of time. Each of my children has had new lessons to teach me and as they’ve grown and changed those lessons have changed, too. You can read here if you want to know more about the lessons they’ve taught me. We’ve been cloth diapering for all of those 3 years and I’ve learned through trial and error which are the best cloth diapers overall as well as which are the best cloth diapers to use for boys vs. girls.
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I have noticed many of my friends switching to cloth diapers for the same reason that we chose to primarily use cloth diapers- to save money. With that in mind, the initial investment into cloth diapering can appear daunting. This is especially true for new parents who are researching baby gear for the first time in their lives. Where do you go to find cheap cloth diapers that won’t disappoint when it comes to quality?
I researched different types of cloth diapers during my pregnancy with The Girl, but I felt like I just didn’t know where to look for the answers I needed. We finally decided on what to use and then two short years later came The Boy. I thought I had already went through my cloth diapering education. WRONG! As it turns out, some cloth diapers are more effective than others for little boys. Who knew?! Not me! I felt like I was back at square one researching the best cloth diapers all over again! Only this time I knew where to look to find what I needed. And today I’m going to share that hard earned knowledge with you, my lovely reader. 🙂
Cheap Cloth Diapers: The Best Cloth Diapers Under $11
You want cheap cloth diapers, but you also want them to be the best cloth diapers, right? I feel you. I’ve been there. That’s why I know what I’m about to say is going to sound crazy. Like it just can’t work as well as I’m going to tell you that it does. Hang in there and read to the end.
Flour Sack Towels
When The Boy came along I was disappointed night after night when we would both wake up to his wet pajamas. No solution I tried made our tried and true, beloved pocket diapers work for The Boy. I looked high and low for an answer from stripping the diapers to stuffing the front for more absorbency in that area. I finally had to accept that this type of diaper was never going to work for him. He was a heavy wetter.
I asked what I should do next on several cloth diapering groups I’m in and the general consensus was that I just had to try something called flour sack towels. The image in my mind was of the dresses my grandmothers had made for my parents out of flour sacks 50 years ago. Why the heck would I put that in my son’s diaper?? I was skeptical. Nothing up until this point had worked.
It turns out, flour sack towels are actually 100% cotton, super soft and very thin hand towels. Something like a tea towel. Their thinness is deceptive. These are the most absorbent cloth diapering item I have come across so far. They are so absorbent in fact that we can still use a flour sack towel for our three-year-old’s bedtime diapers successfully with no leaks. Not only are they super absorbent, but they are cheap cloth diapers, too!
Depending on where you decide to make your purchase, large packs of flour sacks towels are usually around $15 for one dozen. This makes them $1.25 each.
The one and only downside I have to say about flour sack towels is that, like a lot of other cloth diapers, they have to be used with a waterproof diaper cover. That’s only a downside as far as the initial investment into cloth diapering because the diaper covers are the cutest things you’ll ever see! Rumparooz makes the best cloth diaper cover in my opinion! Here’s a link to my favorite one.
I chose to purchase one-size diaper covers with snaps instead of aplix. This means that the waterproof diaper cover will fit your child from birth until around 40 pounds. The downsize to using only snaps is during those phases when your child may be between snap sizes. It may be difficult to get a good fit during these times depending on the shape of your child’s body. You don’t want the cloth diaper to gape at the leg, but you also do not want it uncomfortably tight.
The benefits to using one-size diaper covers are:
- they double as swim diapers
- you can reuse the same diaper cover all day long until baby goes number two
- because of their adjustable size you can use them from day one until potty training
- they are a-freaking-dorable
The waterproof diaper covers I have purchased ranged in price from around $12-$25. Most were $15 each. If you are planning out a budget before you buy that is the number I would recommend you plan for.
How many diaper covers do I need?
This will change as your child gets older and uses the diapers less often. If you want to start with cloth diapers from day one, I would suggest purchasing around 20 diaper covers. Newborn babies poop all day long and this will mean a fresh diaper cover each change. As baby gets older, she may get into a bathroom routine going number two only 3x each day. If that’s the case for your little one, I would suggest between 10-15 diaper covers. Once baby gets to potty training age, you may be using diapers only during naps and at bedtime. If that’s the case, I’d suggest around 5 diaper covers. Remember, your diaper covers can be wiped off and reused if your child has only urinated (no poop!). Personally, I like to rotate between two diaper covers throughout the day letting one air out while the other is worn until the next diaper change. If your child only poops once a day, you will need far less diaper covers than someone whose child poops 10x a day.
How often you plan to wash your little one’s cloth diapers will also affect how many diaper covers you will need. These are rough number estimates based upon washing every other day.
For what it’s worth, I believe we own 4 cloth diaper covers for daytime along with a few other cloth diapers for bedtime like these. This number works well for us at this stage.
How much does it cost to cloth diaper?
If you’re following the method I have been describing it will break down like this for you:
3 dozen flour sack towels @ $15 each = $45
20 waterproof diaper covers @ $15 each = $300
10 hemp doublers @ $10/2 pk = $50
GRAND TOTAL = $395 for 36 diapers you can wash and reuse FOREVER!
This comes out to only $10.97 per diaper!!
Of course, this will vary based upon your family’s needs. We use 2 doz flour sack towels, 4 covers, 2 hemp doublers and a few cheap bamboo inserts and we get by just fine. That comes out to $4.16 each per diaper for us! That just goes to show you that cloth diapering is really what you make it. It does not have to cost a ton of money. You can save even more by buying used covers online (Many of them are brand new or hardly used because mamas overbuy!).
Learn more about the benefits of cloth diapers at Mom Loves Best
Image used with permission from Jenny Silverstone of www.MomLovesBest.com.
More posts from MamaBear:
The Best Cloth Diapers For Girls
There is a very real reason why the manufacturers of pull-up training pants make a version for girls and a version for boys. The different anatomy creates different wet zones when baby urinates. In my personal experience, you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding the best cloth diapers for girls. You can use just about any type of cloth diaper on a little girl and not have to worry with leaks. If you use cloth diapers, have you found the same to be true in your experience? As long as you have a basic understanding of how much absorbency she needs, how often she needs changed, and a proper fit on her cloth diaper she will rarely have any problems.
The Best Cloth Diapers For Boys
When it comes to the best cloth diapers for boys, it’s an absolute must to use a cloth diaper with the absorbency in the front. At first this may sound like an easy fix- just add more padding to that area. Wellll. Not quite. You will want to choose something like the flour sack towels that I mentioned earlier because they are super absorbent without being bulky and uncomfortable on your baby’s sensitive places. In my experience it has been helpful to combine the flour sack towel with something called a “doubler.” A doubler increases absorbency without adding extra bulk. In fact, the flour sack towel + doubler combo is my favorite for days when we’re cloth diapering on the go. Nothing sucks more than a leak when you’re only on aisle 5 of the grocery store!
Do you cloth diaper? Which are the best cloth diapers in your opinion? Share with me in the comments.