One sure conversation starter is to mention that you use cloth diapers. I've found that people react one of two ways. It's either something like, "Wow, you're brave." and "Really? Gross!" Or, the more rare (but my favorite), "Cool! Me too!! What's your favorite?" When I'm in a discussion with a parent who hasn't used cloth and the topic comes to cost, they often look shocked when I tell them the price of one diaper. I always have to explain that, yes, $15-25 for one diaper can be expensive, BUT you have to keep in mind that (if taken well care of) you can use that one diaper over and over. It's well worth the money!
I've often found that one reason people choose not to cloth diaper is because of the potentially high start up cost. It can be difficult to come up with two to four hundred dollars all at once to put up for diapers. Or, as in my case, convincing my husband that we should spend that much money on diapers all at once. By they way, it took a lot of convincing and deal making, but we did eventually come to an agreement and I now have a pretty decent stash.
My advice for starting up a stash as financially painless as possible:
- Prefolds and covers! While this is not my favorite option, it's the one I started with and it works! Prefolds are cheap. In my case, I was lucky and found a big bag of about 40 of them at a thrift store in Missouri for $5! They were really thick and worked great under my Thirsties and Bummis covers. You will need quite a few prefolds, but just a few covers, as they can be wiped out and reused until baby poops.
- Enter giveaways. There are a ton of mommy bloggers who review and giveaway diapers, myself included. I won my Katydid this way and I love that diaper! There are also many online cloth diaper stores which host giveaways weekly. Kellys Closet is one of them. These sites also run deals all the time. I got 6 brand new, pink, Bum Genius all in ones for $106 on a closeout deal. I was really proud of that one!
- Along the same lines as entering giveaways, look for deals. This takes some time and effort, but it's definitely worth it! I'm constantly looking for sale and clearance diapers. Most every cloth diaper site has a sale or clearance section. I've also found pretty good deals on gently used diapers. If you buy one or two diapers at a time and build your stash slowly, you can save a ton of money.
- Take good care of your diapers! The longer your diapers last, the less of them you'll need to buy. You'll especially want to take good care of your diapers if you want to use them for more than one child. And, yes, that is very possible. I use Rockin Green detergent for all my diapers, hang my covers and throw the inserts in the dryer. When the sun's out, I put everything outside and it comes in so fresh and white! Just imagine the savings over disposables if you were able to use a stash for two babies!
- If all else fails, make friends with a cloth diapering mama and let her know you'd be happy to take her stash off her hands when she's done with it :)