“I can’t afford the start up costs of cloth diapering.”
I understand that concern. I do. While there are inexpensive diaper sets, most people would only give it a fair shot with a pocket diapering system or an all-in-one system. So, you’re looking at somewhere around $20 for a diaper. While I think 10-12 diapers is suitable, I know a lot of you don’t want to wash every day and shoot for a reasonable 16-18 diapers to constitute a complete stash.
I have a few issues with the “start up costs of cloth diapering” argument for not using cloth though, I have to tell you. It doesn’t make sense. Are we Americans so short sighted that we can’t see past a few months into the future?
We don’t conceive and deliver a child in a couple of weeks. We have three whole seasons to plan for our children’s arrivals. There’s no rule that says that you have to buy your cloth diapers all at the same time. Buy a diaper a week. Everything Birth does sell diapers individually. If you don’t want to pay separate shipping charges each week, you could set aside a piggy bank for your baby while you save and make your child’s first piggy bank purchase a set of new diapers.
Think you don’t even have an extra nearly twenty bucks a week for a time period of 18 weeks to do that? Well, I don’t have an inkling of an idea of how you plan to buy disposables for the next three years then.
All we need to do is prioritize what matters to us. If cloth diapering is really important to you, the initial start –up costs will not deter you and will be an investment worth their weight in gold. Here’s 18 ways the average American wastes the price of a single cloth diaper regularly without even realizing it:
- One lunch out for two at a place like Applebees.
- One car ride’s worth of gas into the city to go to the mall and look at new baby stuff.
- Late fees for not paying our bills on time one month.
- Two week of tanning
- A half of a manicure
- A hair cut at a mediocre salon
- One 20 ounce bottle of soda a week for one trimester
- Dinner for one with a drink at a place like Outback.
- A homemade dinner of steaks (instead of burgers) cooked on the grill.
- One week of buying name brand groceries instead of store brand.
- One week of not using coupons at the grocery store.
- A couple weeks of cable TV. (Heck, giving up cable TV for less than the duration of your pregnancy will leave you with enough money to buy the entire set of diapers and have plenty left over.)
- One coffee shop drink a week for less than one trimester.
- A pair of maternity jeans.
- A maternity sweater.
- 6 bags of prewashed, precut lettuce instead of six heads of lettuce you have to prepare yourself.
- One week of junk food.
- One visit per week to a fast food joint for one month.
Don’t like going without? That’s fine. (Though, I assure you, if you have to go without to buy a cloth diaper a week for half of your pregnancy, you’ll have to go without a lot more to afford disposables in the years ahead.) Let’s talk about ways you earn the cash for a set of cloth diapers. Here are some ideas:
- Get a part-time job in the evenings at a gas station or grocery store and stay there for only three weeks. (I guess that’s not the best Karma… but it’s being mentioned to put things into perspective.)
- Sell some of your old books on Amazon.
- Have a garage sale.
- Sell old baby items from a previous child on www.birthdepot.com.
- Get on a Freecycle group and when someone gives something away, turn around and sell it on www.birthdepot.com or Craigslist.
- Offer a spring cleanup service cleaning up dog waste. Post it on your facebook. Charge $50. Clean six yards. Then “wash your hands” of the whole thing.
- Post an evening babysitting service on your facebook page. Babysit one night a week for one trimester.
Don’t like doing extra work because you’re pregnant and already tired enough as it is? I understand. I still have more ideas on how to not have to worry about the start-up costs of cloth diapering. Register for your baby’s cloth diapers on the Everything Birth website and have your friends and loved ones front the bill. If your relatives feel bad about buying you “just a diaper,” simply explain that since it’s washable, they’re essentially buying you the equivalent of about a thousand disposable diapers. Explain to them that cash invested in a cloth diaper is a better financial investment than even investing it into a Savings Bond.
And for goodness’ sake, if you do get a Savings Bond as a gift, cash that puppy in for a couple of cloth diapers. Even before it matures, you will see a far greater return in just three years on your investment into a cloth diaper than the standard “doubling” that happens after like a decade with a Savings Bond.
And, while I’m on the subject of cloth diapering being a financial investment, let’s not forget that when the diapering years are over, if you’ve chosen your diapers carefully, you’ll most likely be able to sell your old used diapers for almost what you paid for them when they were new.