Diaper Tips Tuesday: Getting What You Want on a Budget

Week 4: 
Where and how do you get what you want on a budget (i.e. buying used, making your own, swapping, etc.).

We have talked about knowing what brands and styles you want(ed) to purchase, how many diapers are in your real/fantasy stashes, and on setting a budget. How do you get what you want if you’re budget doesn’t support the number, style or brands of diapers you would love to have? There are many ways of accomplishing this, but I thought I would outline the main ones and some popular links and resources to get you started.

  • Sew Your Own
    If you are not crafty, this one may seem daunting, but maybe your mother, friend or aunt sews and would be willing to help out. If you have some basic sewing skills, you can save some dough and may have fun doing it as well! I would recommend sewing with a good pattern at first, even if you plan to customize it so that you can get the basic techniques down and experience the most success while wasting the least fabric.

    Check out my Sewing section for links of free tutorials, patterns and other links. Chari (from Take the Time to Smell the Roses blog) recently wrote a guest article over at Happily Domestic about sewing your own stash as well.

    You will need to make sure that you buy high quality, reliable fabrics and materials if you want to make top quality diapers. You’ll still save a ton of money by doing the labor yourself, but practice on scrap fabrics before you ruin your precious wool or PUL. One great idea for functional practice materials are T-shirts, as most people have stacks they could easily use sitting around. The material is also easier to work with than some of the specialty fabrics while you get the basics down and you can use the fitted diapers after they are completed as well.

  • Buy Used/Seconds
    Many cloth diaper shops and websites offer this, but they are usually snatched up fast, so you have to be on the look out. You may also try
    Diaper Swappers, the diaper group in Swap Mamas, and local classified-type listing sites. You cannot buy or sell used diapers on eBay, but you may find some new or open-package items for a good deal. I am de-stashing now and about to try some of these methods, since I have only sold/bought/swapped with friends up until now.

    Seconds are also a great option as they are discounted items with minor flaws, usually cosmetic. You will find them on many websites and be sure to check out the  Swaddlebees outlet, Thirsties outlet and even WAHM brands like Wee Huggers has a seconds hyena cart.

  • Sale, Coupons & Clearance
    Subscribe to newsletters and yahoo groups for all of your favorite cloth diaper shops so you will be the first to know about sales, new items on clearance and other specials. With a little patience and perseverance you’ll be able to find what you want (or close to it) for a little cheaper and don’t forget to factor in free shipping. Most sites offer free shipping with minimum purchases and others have free shipping everyday.

    And this is the PERFECT week for this topic (and I didn’t even plan it that way!). Cloth diaper shops have started and are hosting tons of Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials so this is the time to buy your stash, round it out, or stock up on shower gifts if you’re a cloth diaper gifter 😉 I have a list of specials written in this article here, but check all of your favorite stores as most will be offering discounts and specials.

  • Blog Giveaways 
    Of course I have to add this one to the list, since I have given away quite a stack of diapers from different brands and stores over the last 6 months. I know it can seem impossible to be up against hundred of comments, but I will tell you if you enter diligently, your day will come. Other sites such as
    Rainshine Designs diapers have monthly giveaway auctions you can enter as well. The more you enter and the more eligible comments you make, the higher your odds are that you will win.

  • Baby Registries
    I don’t know how many outfits and blankets I got as shower gifts that I returned for store credit to buy other things I needed for my daughter before she was born. There are only so many multipacks of 0-3 months onesies your can use.

    Think about it, even if you only have a dozen guests or gift-givers total and they only buy you one diaper each (as they aren’t cheap), you’ve got a day’s worth of diapers right there. Most cloth diaper retailers have baby registry programs and you can even choose sites that sell other baby gear on your wishlist, so you can have the best of both worlds. Cut your investment in half or eliminate it all together depending how generous and supportive your friends and family are with your cloth diapering ways. 

How else did you minimize the money spent, while still achieving the stash you wanted? Still building your stash? What plans do you have up your sleeves? With Christmas around the corner it would be a perfect time to add a few diapers to your wishlist, and wouldn’t they look priceless stacked under the tree? Link up your blog posts in the MckLinky below or comment on this post with your budget savings tips! 

Coming up…

December 2009

Week 1: Share your Thanksgiving travel stories and upcoming holiday travel plans. Cloth, hybrids (i.e. Grobaby or gdiapers) or ‘sposies?
Week 2: Do you use cloth wipes? If so, what are your favorite brands and fabrics and what do you still want to try?
Week 3: What is your favorite Cloth Wipes solution and/or recipe?
Week 4: Mama Cloth Stories: Share why do you, don’t, or can’t decide if you want to be a PT or FT Mama Cloth user
{If you enjoyed reading Diaper Tips Tuesday: Getting What You Want on a Budget I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. fancygrlnancy says:

    Great tips! I acutally got my mom to sew cloth diapers for me. She has made so many diapers for me. She is wonderful.

  2. Teresha@Marlie and Me says:

    Another recommendation for Tuesday tips: the best methods (safe for baby's skin and dipes) for killing germs:

    -what is the best routine for keeping cloth diapers sanitized? I have heard oxygen bleach products are not OK, that some soaps can contribute to UTIs…scary stuff!

    -what to do if your baby gets a diaper rash (how to rid the cloth diapers of the yeast)

    -what to do if you dipes get mold


  3. Okay I love this post. But I have a question.

    I am pg. with my 4th child. We just started Cloth Diapering with our 3rd child. Although we have a nice stash built up, mainly OS diapers, we have NOTHING for a newborn. We started cding when DD was 5mo so all of our diapers are for bigger babies. Knowing when we go to the hospital we will receive plenty of Sposie diapers, what is the appropriate way to tell our family we're registered for CD ahead of time? Considering this is our 4th baby we will not be having a baby shower. I want to let people know we do NOT want disposable diapers! But I don't want to be rude about it!

  4. Teresha, not ALL oxy cleaners are bad. I know that OxyClean leaves a residue (and I've heard can actually damage diapers, but I haven't validated that), but I use a generic one with my CD vendors' blessings. You just have to know what's in the cleaner first.

  5. The Redhead Riter says:

    those were great tips

    i love sewing, so that would be a breeze


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