And we’re back!
To the cloth diapering discussion, that is.
One thing people always wonder about is where to buy cloth diapers. They aren’t generally sold at the local Target (although they do have some online) and unless you’re very lucky, there probably isn’t a cloth diaper store near you. (The nearest brick-and-mortar store to me, that I’m aware of, is in Damariscotta – The Maine Cloth Diaper Co.) I have not found any comprehensive list of retail locations that regularly stock cloth diapers, but if you know of a place near you (or anywhere!) please leave a comment and let us know where it is! I’m sure there are people who are dying to know.
So where did I buy all my diapers? I bought them all online. Mostly used, and mostly off eBay. I bought a wide variety since I hadn’t seen any of them in person and I didn’t know which ones I would prefer! Now I have a few favorites, for sure, but it would have been really nice to be able to see and touch them before purchasing a whole stash. One delightful way to do that is a diaper party. Sort of like a Tupperware party, only for cloth diapers! Here, a local friend is throwing them, through Everything Birth, and it’s a great opportunity to see, touch, snuggle and caress those lovely soft baby bum covers and talk with other moms, experienced and not, about cloth diapering. It’s a nice way to learn about cloth diapering and connect with other like-minded parents and I’d highly recommend it! Keep an eye out for one in your community, or throw one yourself!
But anyway…back to the online sales! The reason why I bought many of my diapers used was because, frankly, they can be quite expensive up front. Over time, the cost dwindles in comparison with disposables – it’s just that with disposables you don’t need to buy a giant stash up front! So used diapers are one way to go. No, it’s not gross. Most people take very good care of their cloth diapers and they are meant to last through several children. There are also those who bought one type of diaper, used them a couple times (or maybe not at all!) and decided they just didn’t like it. All the second-hand cloth diapers I purchased were in very good, if not excellent, condition and were much, much cheaper than buying them new. That said, I did buy some brand new diapers. I usually perused message boards (this was pre-baby – I had a lot of time on my hands) and kept an eye out for people posting about sales at various online retailers. One excellent resource I purchased several different types of diapers through was Baby Half Off. They post a different deal every day that is deeply discounted. (It’s not always diapers, so don’t be alarmed if you click over and it’s something completely different.) Another similar site is Eco Baby Buys, whom I’ve also purchased from.
If you’re looking for a particular brand, it’s always good to just go to the website and see which retailers carry their products, even if they don’t sell them themselves directly to the consumer. Cottonbabies is a good one – they are the makers of the popular bumGenius diapers. Thirsties has an outlet store that is good to check in on periodically and there are many more, depending on what you’re looking for. In terms of prefolds, I can’t recommend Green Mountain Diapers enough. (You’ll sometimes see them abbreviated as “GMD prefolds.”) They are sized to fit babies at each stage of growth and they’re very durable. We started out in the orange-edge newborn size and pretty quickly moved up to the yellow-edge, which little E is still wearing now, at a slender 9 months old. If you’re lucky, you may be able to score some used, as we did, or factory seconds directly from GMD, which we also did. (I know they announce when they’ve got seconds available on their Twitter feed, on Facebook and possibly other places as well.)
In addition to scouring eBay for good deals, there is also a cloth diaper swapping website called, appropriately, Diaper Swappers, where you can, after joining, get some really great deals from other members. As always, be careful when making online transactions with people you don’t know! I have never had a problem, but there are those who have, so use your best judgment and be safe and secure.
If you’re into Amazon wishlists (I know I was!) then you may or may not be aware that they do have a variety of cloth diapers available. They’ve got a cloth diaper section that includes some accessories, like Snappis, and another section for diaper covers. (And please, for the love of all that is holy, skip the Gerber prefolds. I know they appear at the top of the list. I know. Skip ’em. Unless you want to use them as burp cloths.)
Lastly, Diaper Pin is a wonderful resource for reviews and sale announcements. Whenever I ran across a brand of diaper on eBay that I was unfamiliar with, I would pop over to Diaper Pin to see if there were any reviews of them. Often, there was and I used them to help me make an informed decision. They are not a retailer, but they have a section where retailers can post current sales and deals they’re offering, as well as a directory of cloth diaper manufacturers/retailers/etc. (They also have a Twitter feed and are on Facebook as well.)
I hope that helps somebody out there! There are many, many online retailers for cloth diapers. I haven’t found one that is much better than the rest – every one I’ve purchased from has been perfectly wonderful. They may vary slightly in their selection and a bit in price (though prices tend to be pretty stable) so look for a good sale and take it from there! Good luck and happy diapering!