When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, the timing wasn’t ideal, and we balanced between utterly laughable surprise and overflowing joy. There was one thing, however, that repeatedly attempted to steal our joy. Finances. So to reclaim our joy, we agreed…this child could cost us nothing. Nothing. And however unrealistic that was, we were determined to be as close to “nothing” as possible. With the help of insurance, hand-me-downs, and friends who showered us with baby gifts, we almost achieved that for all of our one-time needs.
Then we had to factor in the on-going expenses of feeding and diapering this baby. Breastfeeding had to work. I gave myself no other option because there was no other option. It had to work, and thankfully it did.
On to diapering.
We were living in a community in Wisconsin that embraced all things local, earthy, and natural, so we had the convenience of a cloth diapering store. But what kind does one in our situation choose? The cheapest. We went prefolds all the way. You know, the kind your mom or grandmother used with safety pins. We outfitted ourselves with 24 prefolds, 4 covers, 2 Snappis, 3 wet/dry bags varying in size, and a stack of cloth wipes for less than $200* and, with a few additions/replacements, all of that lasted us through two kids. My prefolds were strong and durable even if they did take a few tries to master.
These are my cloth diapering truths:
- Cloth diapering is one of the most unglamorous things you can do.
- Luxury is when my mom or mom-in-law would buy us a package of disposable diapers.
- Rest is now having both of my children potty trained.
- Joy is being able to pass down our diapers to another family who may not be able to afford disposables.
How you choose to diaper your baby is up to you. Our goal is for you to make your parenting decisions based off of what works for you, you and your baby. And your sanity should always be a deciding factor. I would have gone insane with worry over finances every time I bought a package of diapers, so cloth diapering with prefolds was my sanity. Find your sanity; be at peace.
*Prices in links do not necessarily reflect the price that we paid at the time.