Cloth diapers: Overall cheaper than disposable? And are they worth the work??

Jessica - posted on 04/01/2009 ( 40 moms have responded )

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Considering whether or not to switch to cloth diapers instead of buying the Costco brand...

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Katie - posted on 04/09/2009

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Oh, and as for washing, I just put 1/4 cup of dye free, brightener free, softener free detergent in a cold cycle, then 1/4 cup in a hot cycle and they are done. I dry them on low.

Meaghan - posted on 04/01/2009

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The cost of cloth diapers depend on the system or systems that you choose to use. pre-fold diapers and covers are the most economical diapers every, and also remember that even the more expensive fitteds, pockets and all-in-ones can be used for multiple children so if you plan on having more kids then it gets even cheaper. As long as you don't live in an area where drought is an issue and you have to pay a leg and an arm for water, then you will for sure be saving money, even from using the cheapest disposables you can find.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cloth diapers and since switching from disposables I find it hard to imagine why anyone ever thought they were a good idea to begin with!!

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Anna - posted on 04/14/2009

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I used cloth for a coulple of weeks. I bought some really nice ones. Kushies, are a great diaper, but wash them before use. It got to hard for me after awhile so we switched to the walmart brand, which are half the price of pampers. We still use the cloth sometimes. If you plan on sticking to it, I recconmend the kushies, but they are about $12 a diaper.

Katie - posted on 04/09/2009

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I love my BumGenius. Right now I have 15 diapers in cycle and over the past month I've decided I need more, since I am using them up in a few days. It took about 4 months of disposable diaper money to pay for them, but overall they end up cheaper. BumGenius are definitely more expensive, but worth it because they fit them for so long and they are easy to use. Plus, the 3.0s come with two inserts, a regular and a 'newborn' or doubler.

Cloth diapers mean that they are not exposed to the nasty chemicals in disposables, you are keeping the environment cleaner, less diaper rash, potty train faster, they look cuter, and they really aren't a big deal to wash, even after they start solid food, and they are cheaper. I am soooo glad I switched and I would never go back.

Meaghan - posted on 04/09/2009

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Quoting Valerie:



Whether or not they are cheaper depends on whether or not you pay for water, utilities, laundromat and whether your child tolerates cloth diapers without extra rinsing.  Usually the cloth diapers are more expensive and more work...it usually is an environmental choice rather than a money choice.





Even with paying utilities I have saved a huge amount of money, specially since I can use my cloth diapers for more then one child, wether of not you child "tolerates" cloth without extra rinsing is because of your detergent not the diapers themselves.  I find my cloth diapers to be less work since they never have to go out to the garbage, and I never have to go out to the store to get any. 



 



Also make sure you research what types of detergents are safe for cloth diapers before washing, using 2 cups of bleach like one lady said will break down your diapers very quickly and they will not last for very long. 

Chelsea - posted on 04/09/2009

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Quoting Valerie:



Whether or not they are cheaper depends on whether or not you pay for water, utilities, laundromat and whether your child tolerates cloth diapers without extra rinsing.  Usually the cloth diapers are more expensive and more work...it usually is an environmental choice rather than a money choice.





Even if you pay for water or even pay to bring them to a laundromat  you are spending less.  The average cost of diapers for a month is $66 (overall in two years a family buying disposable diapers spends $1,600) using disposable and then you have to factor in that when there is a child in diapers in the house the diapers account for 50% of the household trash.  Most of us pay for garbage removal or at least pay to leave them at the dump.  Even if you use a diaper service:



Diaper Services.  Subscribing to a diaper services costs between $13 and $17 each week depending on how many diapers a family decides to order.  Let's assume the family spends roughly $15 a week for 60 diapers a week.  This equals $780 annually and averages to $65 a month.  Over the course of two years, the family will spend about $1500 per baby, roughly the same cost as disposables, depending on what type of covers are purchased and what type of wipes are used.  If one adds in the cost of disposable wipes for either diapering system, the costs increase.



Cloth Diapers.  For cloth diapering, each family will probably need about 6 dozen diapers10.  The cost of cloth diapering can vary considerably, from as low as $300 for a basic set-up of prefolds and covers11, to $1000 or more for organic cotton fitted diapers and wool covers.  Despite this large price range, it should be possible to buy a generous mix of prefolds and diaper covers for about $300, most of which will probably last for two children.  This means the cost of cloth diapering is about one tenth the cost of disposables12, and you can spend even less by using found objects (old towels & T-shirts)



 



Here is a link that has the stats on disposables vs. cloth



http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/dia...

Chelsea - posted on 04/09/2009

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Quoting Kate:



Quoting Chelsea:




 I put them in a diaper pail like normal and then wash them in hot water with detergent and 2 cups of bleach.  I second rinse and dry them in the dryer.  THATS IT!!  










Hey Chelsea, did you know you could save 7kgs of green house gases PER LOAD if you wash them in cold water and use the clothes horse or clothes line instead of the clothes dryer? Over the course of the year, that saves over a TONNE of greenhouse gases adding to global warming (based on3 loads per week).





I wash in hot water because it sanitizes the diapers.  I can't hang them outside because I live in an apartment but I do hang them inside sometimes for the end of the drying cycle (it takes to long to dry them inside for the entire drying process and I end up needing to put them on my daughter).   

Valerie - posted on 04/08/2009

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Whether or not they are cheaper depends on whether or not you pay for water, utilities, laundromat and whether your child tolerates cloth diapers without extra rinsing.  Usually the cloth diapers are more expensive and more work...it usually is an environmental choice rather than a money choice.

Johnny - posted on 04/08/2009

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Quoting Kate:



use the clothes horse or clothes line instead of the clothes dryer





LOL.  Not to mention the extra energy costs to the household.  But of course, you need to live somewhere it doesn't snow & rain more than half the year :)

Itsamystery - posted on 04/08/2009

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Quoting Chelsea:



 I put them in a diaper pail like normal and then wash them in hot water with detergent and 2 cups of bleach.  I second rinse and dry them in the dryer.  THATS IT!!  






Hey Chelsea, did you know you could save 7kgs of green house gases PER LOAD if you wash them in cold water and use the clothes horse or clothes line instead of the clothes dryer? Over the course of the year, that saves over a TONNE of greenhouse gases adding to global warming (based on3 loads per week).

Anna - posted on 04/08/2009

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I recently switched from using Pampers Sensitives to BumGenius Organic Snaps diapers and cloth wipes. I LOVE cloth diapers. They are more economical, easy to use, better for your baby's tush, and cute to top it all off. I did a detailed review of the cost of disposables vs. bumgenius diapers for us on my blog if you'd like to see the details. http://thecirlotfamily.blogspot.com/2009... It's under the title of "Bumgenius- Genius or Not." It might would be helpful.

I chose to go with an all-in-one diaper, because I didn't want to have to stuff diapers constantly. I'm busy enough with a 4 month old already. I also wanted a diaper that my husband could use easily. No complaints so far! Good luck!

Chelsea - posted on 04/08/2009

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I only spent $200 for all diapers and wipes until my daughter is potty trained.  I use a super easy kind...as easy as it gets.  They are prefolds secured with a snappi (little stretchy plastic gripper).  I put them in a diaper pail like normal and then wash them in hot water with detergent and 2 cups of bleach.  I second rinse and dry them in the dryer.  THATS IT!!  



I got my diapers at katieskisses.com (it's the deluxe package)  

Lauren - posted on 04/08/2009

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Totally worth it!!!  I have used them on my 4 month old since he was born but just started a few weeks ago w/ my 2 year old and he tells me how much he loves the way they feel "so soft on my hiney" PLus, there are no chemicals in them...tons in disposables and you will do your grandchildren a huge favor keeping them out of landfills!

Meaghan - posted on 04/08/2009

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Pre-folds, actually do not use snaps, but instead of pins they now use "snappis" which are plastic things with little teeth that grip the diaper closed, fitted diapers come with snaps or velcro, both fitteds and pre-folds require covers. All in one diapers and pocket diapers do not require folding and come with the cover built in and can have snaps or velcro..I hope that helps lol
I have a pretty big stash of diapers but will be using them for 2 babies at the same time since my son will not be potty trained by the time this little one arrives, we use per-folds, fitteds and all in ones.

Aphie - posted on 04/04/2009

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We've used clothe xcluseivly since coming home from the hospital 11 months ago. We use a combination of pockets, fitted, flats and All in Ones, and I think they're fabulous!
They CAN be more expensive than sposies IMO, but I don't go nuts - I look for good, bulk deals, buy secondhand and have slowly figured out what does and does not work for us.
I think we've probably spent around $400-$500 all up, an amount we would have spent three times over on disposables by this point - and our cloth is still going strong! :)

Johnny - posted on 04/03/2009

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Oh, and they are one-size diapers which fit from 8-35 lbs.  Way cheaper than disposables.

Johnny - posted on 04/03/2009

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I love my cloth diapers.  We use Mother-ease "organic cotton" and "stay-dry". I've never had a poop blow-out (unlike the week we were out of town & using disposables, ugh), and they definitely don't leak.  We also use the Mother-ease covers, which fit alright.  I used the Bummis Super-Brite covers when she was smaller & they're a great tight fit in the leg.  As far as ease, same as disposables except for washing.  I've got 26 diapers which cost $350 and getting them clean is just two extra loads of laundry a week.  I'm so glad I chose cloth!

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Super easy to use. It depends on which you use as to how expensive they are, but there's always diaperswappers for good deals and selling yours when you are done!

Jen - posted on 04/03/2009

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IMO- cloth diapers are the BEST!!  I'm so glad that i decided to use them and i rave about them to anyone who will listen.  I bought the bum genius one size diapers that will grow with my baby until he no longer needs them.  I bought 30 and i do laundry every 3rd day.  This adds 2 loads of wash a week which to me is nothing compared to the cost of continually buying diapers that will just be thrown away (plus trips to the store,etc) 



 



also- my son never leaks through these diapers... the only times he has ever had blowouts were when we had him in a disposable because we were traveling.  Now I use cloth when we travel too ( i just bought a waterproof bag to store them in until I get home).  Disposables also give my baby major diaper rash and the cloth does not.  :)  good luck and happy shopping! :)

Tricia - posted on 04/03/2009

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I love my cloth diapers, too!  I use prefolds and Thirsties covers.  For prefolds I recommend diaper service quality which you may have to buy online (nickisdiapers.com is where I got mine) as they work better and last longer than cheaper prefolds.  I run a load of diapers about 5-6 times a week, but I also throw in sheets and towels or baby clothes to make a full load.  All together, I spent about $300 on all of my diapers to fit from newborn to 30 pounds.  I figure that will save me a couple thousand dollars, so that seems worth it to me.  :-)



On a side note... Cloth diapers are cuter than disposable.

Itsamystery - posted on 04/03/2009

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To minimise environmental impact use low phosphorous laundry power, wash in cold water rather than warm or hot (reducing your greenhouse gas emissions by up to 4kg per wash), wait 'til you have enough for a full load, and dry on the line rather than in the clothes dryer (saving another 3kg of greenhouse gases). :)

Rhonda - posted on 04/02/2009

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I have used cloth diapers since my baby girl was 10 days old - LOVE IT!! I use prefolds (no snaps) and bummis super whisper wrap covers - love them both!



Check out the cloth diapered munchkins community - lots of good info too!

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The new ones are super easy to use with no pins. My brother uses them and absolutly loves them. I wanted too, but I am on the go so much that I eneded up usind disposables. My youth minister and his wife used them for their youngest as well.

Allison - posted on 04/02/2009

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I also like the BumGenius one-size diapers. I find they hold well, have a big enough pocket to add extra inserts as baby gets bigger or if you have a heavy wetter, and they fit pretty well. I also use FuzziBunz pockets as well and like them, too.

I don't like prefolds once baby gets to be about 18 months, as I found they just didn't hold in toddler pee as well at that age. I used Snappi's to hold the prefold together, then put a cover over top: often a Fuzzibunz without an insert, but I also used wool. The wool was a bit of work, but not that hard - just soaking in lanolin every few weeks to keep the waterproofing up. But you don't wash them too often, either, so it works out.

I did get a toilet sprayer recently and do like it. Instead of scraping the solids off, I can spray it much easier and quicker. I don't do a thorough rinse or anything, just the big pieces that might get stuck in the washer.

I actually enjoy folding/stuffing the diapers. I find it soothing. I can't keep up with the rest of the laundry, but I enjoy doing the diapers. It's very satisfying to go from a pile of dirty diapers to an organized stack of clean ones - and it's pretty quick to do. I'm now getting my toddler to help with the sorting.

I'm about to add a new baby in May, so I'll have 2 in diapers. I'm excited that many of the diapers I bought over a year ago will be able to be used on the new one as well. Some of older ones are getting less effective (mainly the elastic is starting to get loose), but the newer ones are still usable and in good shape.

I've gotten good deals off Craigslist, too, and the newborn ones I've gotten will probably re-sell at a good price as well, so I can use that money to buy a few new pockets once it's time.

I did like the Costco brand diaper better than any other disposable, but now that we're fully cloth, I won't go back.

Katy - posted on 04/02/2009

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I forgot to mention - bumgenious makes a diaper sprayer that is very easy to connect to the plumbing in your toilet  - then you can spray out the poop and don't have to get your hands dirty!

Molly - posted on 04/02/2009

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If you want something you KNOW will work, get the BumGenius.  They have a starter pack. It'll grow with your baby if you get the one size fits all.  I got that and purchased the pockets from a local girl that makes great pocket diapers!  very cute.  They honestly aren't a lot of work.  Depending on how much work you decide to put in them, you can just keep them in a dry pail and toss them into the washer to do all the work for you. If you're a clean freak like I am, you'll get the poopies out.  My friend uses the dry pail method and she loves it.  Depends on your preference.  Do your research on what kind you buy.  is convenience more important?  that it will fit your baby at any size/age? economical?  pick the most important factor to you, and try to stick to that.  However, cloth diapers have a great resale value, believe it or not... make sure you read reviews.  Visit this cloth diapering 101 article for more help on the different kinds of cloth diapers! It really helped me.... hope this helps you!



http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-diapers-...

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I am on my 4th baby and just started to use MCD (modern cloth diapers). I'm still working it out, I have 14 diapers at the moment but need more. I have a couple of types/brands, I think I have decided which one I like the best, but I've only had it a day, so won't rush into it!
Its costly initally, but I was spending $30 a week or more on disposables, plus the amount of garbage it was making, clogging and stinking up my bin (as well as the landfill, I know but I didn't make the choice on environmental factors!).
Its a bit more work, but like anything else, you incorporate it into your day.
And they are soo cute, work like a disposable, the only difference is the washing.

Katy - posted on 04/02/2009

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I also use the motherease cloth diapers - very easy to use and hardly anything leaks out ever.  I use all kinds of diaper covers, but have come to appreciate the ones with velcro and the gussets around the leg (a little extra plastic that prevents leaks).  Prowrap is a good brand, lite wrap is my favorite.  Good luck - once you get used to them, they're truly easier!

Emily - posted on 04/02/2009

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Cloth diapers: Overall cheaper than disposable? And are they worth the work??



 



I would say "yes" and "yes". I mainly let my babies be diaper free- but there were plenty of times they used diapers. Even with buying the occasional $30.00 'fancy' diaper I beleive I saved money in the longrun. I was able to use the same diapers for 2 kids and they still have a lot of wear left for atleast one more baby. Prefolds are the cheapest way to go. You can probably be fine with 15 prefolds and 6 or 7 covers (Bummis Super Whisper Wraps are a good buy). And 2 or 3 BumGenius or FuzziBunz for nightime. The 2-4 extra loads of laundry a week are barely noticable in all honesty.



 


 



 

Adjoa - posted on 04/02/2009

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Funny, in the part of the world where i come from it is the well to do that use disposables, all others use cloth diapers.





Quoting Jessica:

Cloth diapers: Overall cheaper than disposable? And are they worth the work??

Considering whether or not to switch to cloth diapers instead of buying the Costco brand...


 

Kathleen - posted on 04/02/2009

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I just started cloth diapering after I had my third baby, so I've missed out on much of the cost savings.

I use Fuzzi Bunz - they are a pocket diaper with fleece on the butt side, and a waterproof fabric on the outside. They come with micro terry inserts for the absorption. Then they just get placed like a disposable, and they snap in front. I do also have a locally-made version, which uses velcro instead. Which is really great when I am in a hurry, but it doesn't hold up as well in the wash.

I will have to buy multiple sizes, which makes them not as economical as other varieties, but the size ranges aren't as narrow as disposables, so it's not that bad.

I have 16 diapers that I use for my 2-year old and my 6-month old, and I wash a load every night. They both wear the medium right now, but I'll be needing the next size up soon. When I buy those, I'll probably be able to wash every two days.

With two in diapers, I was spending about $70/month on diapers and wipes. I will probably spend $500-600 on cloth diapers and supplies, so they will pay for themselves in about 6 months. And I have far more than 6 months of diapering left, especially if I have another baby.

I do still occasionally use disposables, especially for weekend trips away, so I will never completely eliminate that expense. Even so, cloth diapering is much cheaper, and the extra laundry is very manageable for me.

Andrea - posted on 04/01/2009

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I just started cloth diapers today! I'm using the Bum Genuis diapers. You stuff them & they fasten like a normal diaper. Plus, the have snaps on the front & adjust to fit your baby so you don't have to buy different sizes. They are more expensive than the prefolds, but still less than buying diapers until she's potty trained. I have lots of friends that use the Bum Genuis & they all love them. Check out cottenbabies.com.

Jessica - posted on 04/01/2009

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Quoting Cathi:

Where do you get the pre folder cloth diapers from? I have a 10 mth old and I would be willing to change to cloth but I alway thought that they had to be pined. Do you use a plastic set of underwear so that the urine does not wet through to the clothes? How is that done? I am very interested in this. If it will make potty training easier for her and the cost is not too much , I would perfer to use them.... Thank you for any answers.. Cathi



When I used cloth diapers, I did prefolds with no pins.  I used prowraps.  You can just fold the prefolds in thirds and put them in the prowraps, then just put them on like you would any other diaper.  It's really easy.  To make them a little more "leak proof", you can get diaper fastners called snappi's.  They're a lot safer than pins, and a lot quicker and easier. 



As far as which prefolds to used, I just used gerber premium prefolds that you can pick up at babies r us.  They work pretty well, but soak them in hot water first, then wash them several times before using them, just to make them more absorbent.  Also NEVER wash cloth diapers in softener (either liquid or sheets) as this will make them less absorbent.

Heather - posted on 04/01/2009

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Quoting Jessica:



Quoting Heather:




They're super easy, and there are so many varieties to choose from to meet your preferences. I use pre-fold ones, which you just snap on like disposables.  I have 30, and do laundry every third day.  Plus I've been told they lead to toilet training earlier than disposables, which is just good news all around.  We spent around $600 getting all the diapers and wash cloths (we use cloth ones for diaper changes) and covers, and diaper pail, and other than that, it's just the cost of laundry. 









 






Do the prefold all have snaps or do you have to look for the ones with snaps?? I'm on a website where they list all sorts of different ones...





The pre-folds I use have snaps (they're Motherease brand) and from what I remember, most of the prefolds do come with snaps.  The covers also have snaps, although you can buy ones that you just pull on I believe.  They also have liners you can snap in for overnight, which almost completly prevents leaks.  Finally, the Motherease that I have are a one-size diaper, so they go from newborn to toilet-training, all in how you fold the front - it's really easy to figure out.  you just have to buy covers as your baby grows (every 10 lbs. or so).

Heather - posted on 04/01/2009

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Quoting Jessica:



Quoting Heather:




They're super easy, and there are so many varieties to choose from to meet your preferences. I use pre-fold ones, which you just snap on like disposables.  I have 30, and do laundry every third day.  Plus I've been told they lead to toilet training earlier than disposables, which is just good news all around.  We spent around $600 getting all the diapers and wash cloths (we use cloth ones for diaper changes) and covers, and diaper pail, and other than that, it's just the cost of laundry. 









 






Do the prefold all have snaps or do you have to look for the ones with snaps?? I'm on a website where they list all sorts of different ones...





The pre-folds I use have snaps (they're Motherease brand) and from what I remember, most of the prefolds do come with snaps.  The covers also have snaps, although you can buy ones that you just pull on I believe.  They also have liners you can snap in for overnight, which almost completly prevents leaks.  Finally, the Motherease that I have are a one-size diaper, so they go from newborn to toilet-training, all in how you fold the front - it's really easy to figure out.  you just have to buy covers as your baby grows (every 10 lbs. or so).

Cathi - posted on 04/01/2009

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Where do you get the pre folder cloth diapers from? I have a 10 mth old and I would be willing to change to cloth but I alway thought that they had to be pined. Do you use a plastic set of underwear so that the urine does not wet through to the clothes? How is that done? I am very interested in this. If it will make potty training easier for her and the cost is not too much , I would perfer to use them.... Thank you for any answers.. Cathi

Jessica - posted on 04/01/2009

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Quoting Jessica:



Quoting Heather:




They're super easy, and there are so many varieties to choose from to meet your preferences. I use pre-fold ones, which you just snap on like disposables.  I have 30, and do laundry every third day.  Plus I've been told they lead to toilet training earlier than disposables, which is just good news all around.  We spent around $600 getting all the diapers and wash cloths (we use cloth ones for diaper changes) and covers, and diaper pail, and other than that, it's just the cost of laundry. 









 






Do the prefold all have snaps or do you have to look for the ones with snaps?? I'm on a website where they list all sorts of different ones...





Most prefolds don't have snaps, most of them are just flat rectangular pieces of cloth that are thicker in the middle.



And if you're looking for cheaper, diaperswappers.com is a good place to look.

Jessica - posted on 04/01/2009

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Quoting Heather:



They're super easy, and there are so many varieties to choose from to meet your preferences. I use pre-fold ones, which you just snap on like disposables.  I have 30, and do laundry every third day.  Plus I've been told they lead to toilet training earlier than disposables, which is just good news all around.  We spent around $600 getting all the diapers and wash cloths (we use cloth ones for diaper changes) and covers, and diaper pail, and other than that, it's just the cost of laundry. 





 



Do the prefold all have snaps or do you have to look for the ones with snaps?? I'm on a website where they list all sorts of different ones...

Heather - posted on 04/01/2009

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They're super easy, and there are so many varieties to choose from to meet your preferences. I use pre-fold ones, which you just snap on like disposables.  I have 30, and do laundry every third day.  Plus I've been told they lead to toilet training earlier than disposables, which is just good news all around.  We spent around $600 getting all the diapers and wash cloths (we use cloth ones for diaper changes) and covers, and diaper pail, and other than that, it's just the cost of laundry. 

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