Cloth diapering can accommodate any budget; your first step is to identify exactly how much you can spend. Knowing your budget will dictate the type of diapers you buy as well as narrow down the places you buy from. The initial cost of purchasing a stash of cloth diapers can be a deterrent for families but once the diaper purchases are made the only ongoing costs will be for laundry. This cloth diaper calculator will help you compare the costs of your preferred diaper to disposables, helping you discover just how much you can potentially save by cloth diapering

Buy Used

If you’re comfortable with second-hand items, buying used cloth diapers saves money and allows you to test different diaper styles to see which you prefer for your baby. Google local cloth diaper meet-up or Facebook groups and you’ll find friendly communities of cloth diapering mama’s who share advice and trade or sell diapers.

Baby Registry

After the big-ticket baby items give cloth diapers a place on your registry. Family and friends can choose an affordable gift that will help you beyond the newborn stage, lasting throughout baby’s first two years and for any future children.

D.I.Y. Lay-Away

Build your diaper collection by purchasing a few diapers per month as your budget allows. Do this throughout your pregnancy and you’ll have a stash of cloth diapers to cover your newborn.

Search For Seconds

Cloth diaper manufacturers regularly place their “seconds” diapers up for sale. These are products that have slight errors such as the incorrect coloursnaps or other irregularities. Be careful as second or clearance diapers will likely be void of warranty and may be final sale.

Book A Consultation

Many brick-and-mortar and online cloth diaper shops offer the opportunity to book a consultation for an in-depth chat about which diapers will best suit your budget and lifestyle; saving you money by helping you invest in the most appropriate diapers. While there is often a charge for these consultations to account for expert’s time, many stores give you a diaper credit valued at the same price.  Make sure to be upfront about your diapering budget, as you’ll find that consultants will do their best to accommodate your needs.

Stick With This Style

Prefolds and covers are the most economical cloth diaper option.  Opt for one-size covers as they are designed to fit from birth through potty training. Prefolds are usually made out of unbleached cotton and are available in different sizes for only a few dollars each.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


Sara Vartanian is an urban, green mom of two little boys. She is the founder of Green Moms Collective, a Canadian community to educate and inspire moms to live green. Through her Toronto boutique, changeMatt, Sara offers eco-consulting and cloth diaper matchmaking services. If she’s not on twitter talking all things green mom, she can be found wandering the city’s green spaces and farmers markets with her family.