When we decided to cloth diaper, I knew I wanted to invest in what I have come to call a “Cadillac stash.” When I say Cadillac stash, I mean a set of really nice, top of the line cloth diapers and a LOT of them. (You can see my full stash in this post here)
Now, it is true, I could have gone a way less expensive route cloth diapering.
I have a dear friend who literally started her cloth journey during some trying financial times by getting a bunch of cheap tee-shirts from the thrift store and folding them to create her absorbent diaper, and then put basic plastic pants over them. It worked!
You can still get basic cloth diapers like our parents used here from Gerber if you wanted to set up a stash for a hundred dollars, give or take.
I know plenty of people with much smaller stashes from super simple old school cloth diapers that love what they’re doing, are saving even more money than I am, and stick with it. I think that’s awesome!
But, more often than not, I also see people who give up on cloth diapering or do it way less than full time because in trying to save as much money as possible on the diapers, they didn’t invest enough to make it accessible enough for their families, and I really wanted cloth diapering to be actually doable for us.
We went with the fantastic choice of Grovia: Modern Cloth Diapers. I could do an entire post about why we chose and love GroVia, and how incredibly ingenious their Hybrid diapers are. What I love most about them is that these diapers are EASY.
I’m not folding up big squares of cloth. I’m not fitting prefolds around my kids and then using safety pins or Snappis to secure them. I’m not mixing and matching. I’m not stuffing pocket diapers with inserts. These are just like disposables in almost every way except washing them, which is such a simple process. (I did a whole post about our super simple laundry routine here.)
We have a huge stash of Grovia’s hybrid diapers for our babies that work great until they become super heavy wetters around 18 months. Then, we switch over to our stash of their toddler worthy O.N.E. diapers. We have way more of both of these sets these than are actually necessary (more on that below), with plenty of accessories like lots of absorbency boosters, cloth wipes, a swim diaper, a diaper sprayer, and wet bags. All said and done, we have spent about $900 total on our stash and all accessories.
So why on earth have I spent almost a thousand dollars on our cloth diapers? Because I wanted to make cloth diapering so simple and convenient that it would be easy for us to realistically cloth diaper full time, baby after baby, knowing I would still save thousands using them. And this, my friend, is exactly what has happened!
Disposable diapers are convenient, but expensive in the long run. There are lots of variables depending on what brand of diaper and wipe you choose, but even the most conservative estimates put disposable diapering at $500 a year, minimum. (And that’s talking about generic diapers without factoring a higher quality eco brand that contains less harsh chemicals.)
If your child potty trains at 2.5 years old, (which my 2.25 year old doesn’t seem likely to at this point) you’re looking at a minimum of $1,250.00 quite literally thrown in the trash. If God blesses you with another baby… another $1,250.00.
Our GroVia diapers are incredibly well constructed, with high-quality materials. They have been washed literally hundreds of times and they are showing almost no wear yet. I bet I will be able to diaper at least four if not five children in this stash before I will need to start replacing diapers. If 4 children get through their entire diapering careers in these, we will have spent a mere $225.00 per child on their diapers, giving us a savings of at least $4100.00 than if we had used generic disposables.
And why did we buy so many diapers and extras? Because I know me, and I wasn’t going to get to cloth diaper laundry every other day. Right now Zelie is a very frequent wetter, so I need to wash every 3 days, but once she spaces out her diapers more, I’ll be back to a Monday and Friday wash, and thats it. Twice a week. We have plenty of diapers to stick in the diaper bag, have a spare in each car, and never stress about running out.
So yes, we spent a LOT on our cloth diaper stash, but they have already paid for themselves in savings. We cloth diaper both our kids 99% of the time, and it only costs us what energy it takes for a couple loads of laundry a week and a cap full of detergent in each. Our easy to use diapers allow our baby sitters to use cloth. We usually travel with cloth. My husband confidently uses the cloth. And, since we have plenty of it, we aren’t stressing about running out, even with two children in diapers full time.
As a Catholic school teacher’s wife, economy is important for our family, and as a natural mama, avoiding all of the harsh chemicals in disposables meant a lot to me. Our Cadillac cloth diaper stash is doing just what I hoped it would, and I’d buy it all over again if given the chance.
(P.S. This post is not sponsored by GroVia. I’m just a mega-fan in love with their high quality diapers)