affordable, doable prefolds

with a new baby on the way, we've been stocking up on more diapers, mostly pockets. most of these diapers we've received as gifts, or have purchased with baby gift money, so i've been choosing nicer diapers i wouldn't normally spend my money on, like adorable grovia all-in-ones and rumparooz pockets. i'm realizing how expensive these diapers are, and how unrealistic it is for people to completely fill their stash with these types of diapers. it's reminding me of how affordable prefolds are, and what a great option they are if you want to cloth diaper but can't afford to spend $20 or more per diaper.

if your only option is to use prefolds you are not getting the short end of the stick. they work wonderfully and are not difficult to use. we used prefolds for river exclusively for over a year and i have plenty of friends who actually prefer prefolds over any other type of cloth diaper. cloth diapering in itself is a little more work than using disposables, and i haven't really found prefolds to be that much harder than using pocket diapers.

how affordable are prefolds? in this hypothetical cloth diapering scenario, i'm going to give you an example of a diaper stash using what i've found to be my favorite products after two years of diapering -- not caring about cost, but not spending more than i would realistically if i were starting a prefold-only stash from scratch: chinese cotton prefolds (infant), clotheez prefolds (medium), thirsties duo wraps, happy heinies hemp inserts (for night-time diapering), snappi fasteners, a home-made diaper sprayer, and a planet wise wet bag. wash day is every three days.

14 thirsties duo wraps (6 size-1, 8 size-2) - $179
total - $364

- for this stash, i chose an excellent cover. thirsties are my fav! some people would say you really don't need 8 covers, but i prefer to have a good selection, just in case.
- my prefold choice is based on quality and how long the prefolds will be used. i have found clotheez prefolds made by green mountain diapers to be excellent prefolds. i wouldn't choose them for the infant stage though, because the chinese infant prefolds fit longer (up to 15 pounds) and aren't as pricey.
- i added hemp inserts to the stash for night-time diapering, because they are super absorbent and work great when you put them under the prefold in the cover.
- i've learned that snappis are not essential, but if you want to use them, four or five is a realistic number. not initially, but you may have to replace some (and you will lose some). however, often times i just trifold the prefold and lay it in the cover, no fastener required. i do like to use snappies every once in a while. it really just depends on my mood.
- you can buy a pre-made diaper sprayer, but it's not worth it to me when you can just put one together easily at home for half the price, by picking up a few items at your local hardware store. if your hubby (or you!) is the least bit handy, he can put one together in a snap!
- i really like my planet wise hanging bag, but i just put the regular wet bag on this list. the hanging bag is an extra ten bucks, and we don't hang ours anyway because the weight of the diapers gets too heavy for the doorknob.

add to this the cost of washing your diapers 12 times a month, and that's roughly about $60 a year spent on rockin' green diaper detergent. not bad. go ahead and add costs for shipping (or purchase from a cloth diaper website that offers free shipping, or better yet, buy locally if possible) and you're still saving tons of money. how about check craigslist or diaper swappers for gently used diapers? saving even more. and keep in mind, prefolds and covers can be used through multiple children!

 here is a medium clotheez prefold tri-folded and laid in a thirsties cover. this is a perfectly good way to use prefolds, no snappi required! and when baby starts to grow out of his prefolds, you can continue to use them in this way rather than trying get a snug fold.

here is the same prefold fastened on river with a snappi. these prefolds have fit river since he was 4 months and 16 pounds and fit perfectly right now, at 25 months and 25 pounds.

is it not crazy to you that you can diaper your child for three years for this amount of money? even though i've written about the savings of cloth diapers before and have been cloth diapering for two years, it still amazes me. 


  1. yes! i've spent less than 150 and have a HUGE stash for rowan. love cloth.

  2. Yup. T get overwhelmed by all the cloth diapering choices. I have simple prefolds and diaper covers with velcro tabs. I'd like to invest in some of the other options, but I feel like I have to learn a different language to be able to sort it all out! Blerg!

  3. I don't really understand this, maybe I just need it explained more clearly.. when you say "a wash day of every three days" isn't that a little unsanitary and creating a lot of bacteria? I was also curious about using cloth diapers when your out and about at the mall or something and you need to do a diaper change, what do you do the soiled diaper? I'm just very curious this all is very interesting to me so I had to ask.

  4. ashley, typically you don't want to wait more than two days, but sometimes, life happens, and that's okay. you rinse out the diapers before they go into the wet bag, so you don't have any solid waste just hanging out in your bathroom. it's as unsanitary as your kitchen garbage or toilet is, so you keep it away from everything and everyone. the best way to go about this is to keep soiled diapers in a draw-string wet bag in a trash can with a lid. everything is very contained. our grandmothers, and even some of our own mothers, used cloth diapers, and we all survived. ;) yes, it's gross, but poop is apart of a baby's life! haha.

    when i am out and about, i knock any solids into a toilet and stow the dirty diaper in a sealed wet bag, and put the wet bag in the diaper bag. i am always forgetting wet bags though, so often i use a plastic grocery bag. it's easy. when i get home, i rinse the diaper and put it in the big wet bag.



Related Posts with Thumbnails