How to Cut Down Those Crazy Parenting Costs

Freebies, samples and loads of other free stuff for mothers and babies alike!

Baby companies want you as a customer and are willing to give you free samples of their products in the hopes that you will like their products and purchase from them in the future. Many baby clubs offer freebies as well as online forums and advice. You have to join to be eligible for the freebies though. If you don't want to get spammed, set up a separate email address that you can use for all the registrations.

Here is our selection of baby freebies to help you cut down those crazy parenting costs:

  • Enter to win free diapers for a year (a $750 value!) here >>
  • Get free samples from your favorite brands here >>
  • Get free Bath and Body Works samples here >>
  • Enter for a chance to win a year-long Beauty Box subscription here >>
and the last, but not least:
  • Enter for a chance to win $5,000 (!!!) here >>

Good luck! 

Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

What Are The Benefits of Cloth Diapers?

Benefits of Cloth Diapers

There are many benefits of cloth diapers for you and your baby. My reasons for choosing cloth were both environmental and economical. I wanted to save money (who doesn't?) and I hated the idea of my sweet, little baby causing so much waste!

As I learned more about the benefits of cloth diapers, I wasn't at all surprised to discover that cloth dipes are also healthier for baby.

What I didn't know, was just how easy, convenient, and adorable these little booty covers could be!

Cloth can also make potty training easier, reduce diaper rash, and will save you tons of money (well, unless you get really hooked and can't stop buying them!).

Environmental Considerations

Benefits of Cloth DiapersHave you ever seen how quickly a trash bag fills up with dirty diapers? Before we were using cloth full time, we could easily fill 2-3 bags per week.

My son didn't potty train until he was 3 1/2, so that means we could have filled at least 350 trash bags while he was in diapers, probably more.

Now, imagine all the dirty diapers from every baby in the world in one big pile. Imagine just one years worth. (If you need some help imagining, that's roughly 1.3 billion trash bags of dirty diapers.) Scary, huh?

Those things take a long time to decompose. And, you can't recycle a paper diaper. But, you can wash and reuse a cloth one.

With my son, we used just 14 cloth diapers. Yes, 14! And, he didn't potty train until he was 3 1/2.

There is no way you could say that about disposable diapers, but it is one of the awesome benefits of cloth diapers.

More Cost Effective

Save Money with Cloth Diapers Yes, there are some pricey cloth diaper options out there. But, when you sit down and do the math, cloth diapers are SO MUCH cheaper than using disposable. (Even if you go for the spendy ones!)

Especially if you use them for more than one baby. This is one of the BIGGEST benefits of cloth diapers, being able to reuse them for all your children.

Those 14 dipes we used for my son? My daughter has been using those same diapers for the past year.

She is a bit bigger than my son was, so we won't be able to keep her in those until she potty trains. But, we will still save a ton of money in the long run.

Want to see how much you can save by using cloth diapers?

Can Be Just As Convenient As Disposables

Cloth diapers today are not like the dipes used in previous generations.

When I was just getting started, I had no idea just how wonderful and easy diapering could be!

Seriously, I bought a bunch of pins and old fashioned nappies thinking that was my only option. But, there are cloth diapers that go on and off just as quick and easy as a disposable. Really!

Washing is easy and simple also. Yep, not as gross and scary as you might imagine. And, in many cities, there are services that will pick up, wash and bring you back fresh, clean diapers. This is a little more expensive than washing your own, but for some families the extra expense is worth it.

Helps with Potty Training

Ok, I have to be honest and say that this in not the case with all kiddos.

Potty TrainingMy son, for example, could care less if his britches are wet, even now. Potty training with him took awhile. But, for many kids, one of the benefits of cloth diapers is being able to feel when they are wet. This helps them to understand and learn about controlling their bladder.

This is, after all, the premise behind those feel-and-learn disposable training pants. Advertisers want you to believe using them is the only way to get your child to potty train, but it just isn't so!

Most kids don't like to be wet and having them in cloth diapers teaches them earlier how to control things.

Don't want to use disposables, but like the idea of a "pull-up"? You can find great cloth options for potty training when your little one is ready.

Reduces and Prevents Diaper Rash

Many, MANY cloth diapering families rave about the benefits of cloth diapers in the prevention of diaper rash.

In fact, this is one of the reasons so many families make the switch from disposables.

We only had a few minor bouts of diaper rash with my son, usually because we left him in a wet dipe for too long (I know, bad mom!).

I did notice, however, that the few times I used disposable diapers on my daughter, she would sometimes get a diaper rash. As soon as I switched her back to cloth, it all cleared up.

I didn't dare to fully test it out, but I am certain that if she were to have been in disposable diapers full time, diaper rash would have been a serious issue for her. Lucky for her, this mama used cloth!

benefits of cloth diapers

Better for Baby

Ever stop to really think about what those disposable diapers are made of and why they can hold so much pee?

More and more people are concerned about getting back to the basics, keeping things free of dangerous chemicals and harmful materials. Especially when it comes to our babies.

Yes, there are some diaper making fabrics that are made with synthetic materials, but they are not usually used right up against your baby's skin. For me, using cloth just feels so much better than all the stuff you find in a disposable.

And, there are alot of options out there for those of you who prefer to keep things natural. Wool, hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, etc.

Having a nice soft fabric rubbing up against my baby's booty just seems like a better choice than a hard papery material. Don't you agree?

One of My Favorite Benefits of Cloth Diapers? The Cuteness Factor!

Have you ever heard anyone say "oh how cute" about a Pampers? I haven't. But I do hear it all the time about cloth diapers!

There are some really cute things out there in cloth diaper land. Knitted covers made from hand painted, merino wool, super cuddly soft fabrics and adorable prints - just to give you an idea.

I have a sweet little purple cover that someone embroidered a dragonfly on. Cute, cute, cute!

cute cloth diaper

I'm sure there are many other great benefits of cloth diapers that I haven't thought of, but I think you get the idea. :)

How To Use Cloth Diapers What You Need To Get Started

You've decided to give cloth diapering a go, now you need to figure out how to use cloth diapers. This page is designed to help you get started right.

Cloth Diapering Glossary

First things first. AIO? Pocket? What do all these words mean? I think there is a secret language used when talking about cloth diapers. But, never fear! We have put together a list defining all the most commonly used cloth diaper terms. We also have a glossary of all the different types of diaper fabrics.

Baby in Cloth Diaper

Our cloth diaper glossary will help you decipher the "secret code" (and sound like you know what you are talking about!).

How to Use Cloth Diapers - Diapering Systems

Now that you know what all those abbreviations stand for, time to decide on a cloth diapering system.

Everyone out there has their own method and they really love their method. Just because someone else raves about one brand or one type of diaper does not mean that system is the be all-end all.

There are many different types of cloth diapers out there, and everyone has there own preferences of what they like and why. You need to decide how to use cloth diapers the best way for you.

You do not have to run out and buy everything on the market! Try what sounds like will be a good fit for your family. If you find something that works, stick with it.

Some people go gang busters and get REALLY into cloth diapering. You don't have to do that! (but you can if you want to!)

Click here to read about the most popular Types of Cloth Diapers.

Typed of Cloth Diapers

Again, don't make this harder than it needs to be! Figuring out how to use cloth diapers is just a matter of making a few smart decisions.

For our family, I know that my husband is kind of lazy and likes things simple. He doesn't like messing with too many particles and accessories, and he could care less about things being "pretty".

So, we started out with prefolds and wrap covers. Once I knew for sure I was going to stick with cloth diapers, I invested in some pocket diapers.

Go with the system your family can most afford or that will be the most convenient. You can always try new things later.

My advice to people just starting out is to go slow. Remember, you don't need to go out and buy your entire diaper stash in one day!

Newborn Advice

Newborn Cloth DiapersFor the first few months, just use prefolds and wraps. You don't need to invest in expensive AIOs or Fitteds in the newborn sizes. Most babies will zoom through the newborn size super quick, anyway.

As your baby gets a bit bigger, try some of the other methods if you like.

Also, all babies are different. Some are big and chunky, some are skinny minnies. Some will have skin sensitivities to various materials, etc.

If you buy everything before seeing what works best for your baby, you could end up wasting a bunch of money!

How Many Diapers Do You Need?

That really depends on you! How much money do you want to spend? How often do you plan on washing them?

For us, I initially bought 5 wraps and 24 prefolds. This worked pretty well for the first few months.

I then started buying some medium Fuzzi Bunz, a few at a time. I really liked them, but we were on a tight budget, so I ended up getting only 14 in total.

My little guy is really skinny, so we were able to use those along with the prefolds and wraps for a long time, never needing to get the next size up. I did my wash every other day or so.

Here is a chart that is a good guide for how many cloth diapers you need to get started, depending on which system you prefer.

Cleaning Your Diapers

When figuring out how to use cloth diapers, the most important thing you need to know is how to keep them clean.

Washing Cloth DiapersWashing cloth diapers is really easy and quickly falls into your regular washing routine. I think this is one of the biggest stops to people giving cloth diapering a go, but it is not as hard as you think!

I figure, I have to change my baby's diaper anyway. There is no way to avoid the poop and the pee and the mess. Might as well take it one step further and do something that is better for my little one and better for the environment.

Yes, there are times when the stink is gross and you just don't want to do it! But isn't that the case with the dishes, your other laundry, sweeping, and all your other chores?

Cloth Wipes

Cloth Baby WipesDon't forget your cloth wipes! Yup, that's right! You don't have to, but why not use cloth wipes also? Just wash them right along with your diapers.

I keep a small plastic bottle of wipe solution in my diaper bag and in our changing area. I just squirt some onto a cloth wipe when I need something wet to clean baby with.

Super easy! And so much better for baby than whatever is in those baby wipe packages! And, it is really easy to make your own wipes, even if you are a beginning sewer.

How to Use Cloth Diapers on the Road - Transporting Your Dipes

Not sure how to transport your cloth diapers while you are out and about?

I carry a diaper bag with a small wetbag inside. When picking out a diaper bag, I do recommend getting one on the larger side, since cloth diapers take up a bit more room than paper diapers.

After a diaper change, I just put the soiled diaper in the wetbag. When I get home, both the dirty diapers and the wetbag go straight into the wash.

It's good to have a few of these around, they are so handy! The are great for dirty diapers, used wipes, wet clothes, etc.

Which Baby Diaper Cover Should You Use?

Which baby diaper cover you decide to use will depend on how much money you want to spend, your fabric preferences (synthetic vs. natural), and how much time you have for washing and caring for your covers.

Most everyone I know uses a few of these different types of covers, so don't feel like you have to pick just one. You may like one cover to use around the house, something else for nighttime, and a different cover that goes on baby while out and about.

Click on each cover type to read about the pros and cons, the most popular brands and the average cost for that specific type of diaper cover. you decide to use will depend on how convenient you would like diaper changes to be, how much money you have to spend, and how laundering works in your home.

Wrap Covers: These come in a wide variety of materials and go on easy, much like a disposable diaper.

pul diaper cover

PUL Covers: The most poplular cover choice because it is easy to clean and waterproof.

fleece diaper cover

Fleece Covers: These covers are easy to clean, durable, and breathable.

wool diaper cover

Wool Covers: Your best bet if you prefer all natural materials.


Nappy Cloth Diapers: Why use them?

Thinking of using nappy cloth diapers for your newborn baby?
Need someone to convince you? Here are a few reasons why you should use cloth nappy:

1. No Chemicals: Cloth diapers (nappies) are made from natural materials, sustainable and renewable, clean, without chemicals (dioxin, tributyl tin, sodium polyacrylate, polyethylene, etc…)

2. For the Environment: Nappies can prevent nearly one tonne of waste per child:
It will take 300 to 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose! Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate (superabsorbent gel) which continues to absorb water in landfills, delaying the decomposition of wastes that need the moisture and thereby increasing the volume of waste in landfills. A baby will use about 5,000 diapers after two years, which is equivalent to 25 kg of plastic (ie 67 kg of crude oil), 4 to 5 trees, and the use of chlorine to bleach pulp which leads to the production of dioxin (a known carcinogen). Thank you for saving our planet!

3. Save money:
Let us assume an average of 5 disposable diapers per day, that would come to 365 X 5 = 1825 diapers/year Assuming toddler years of 2 and half (average potty training age), that amounts to 1825 X 2.5 years = 4562.5 diapers One disposable diaper costs on average 0.30 cents (US), therefore 4562.5 X 0.30 = $1382 per child Compared to cloth diapers (nappy) for 2.5 years; Cost would be between 300 and 500 dollars depending on the type of layers and amount of layers you choose Note: cost of water consumed, electricity and detergent for washable cloth nappies, which is for the same period (2.5 years) – estimated $200 US Thus half the price!

4. Health: Nappy Cloths avoid overheating your little boy’s testicles, preventing them from developing properly. Your baby boy’s or girl’s little behind can breathe as cloth is a natural fiber not like the disposable diapers ( which are made with plastic)

5. Eco- Friendly: The production process of cloth diapers is non-polluting unlike disposable diapers

6. Comfort: Cloth diapers are more comfortable (with nice soft materials).

Why Cloth Diapers?

Cloth diapering may bring to mind safety pins and rubber pants, but these days cloth diapers have come a long way! Cloth diapers today are stylish and a lot easier to use than the kind our parents may have used. Depending on which brand and style you choose they can also be very economical compared to pricey disposable diapers. Check out our cloth vs. disposable page for all the comparisons.

What has made cloth diapering more popular in recent years? Partly due to a rough economy people are turning to more economical ways to diaper their babies. Environmental concerns also have caused people to turn to diapers that are reusable instead of filling landfills. Regardless of your reasons for cloth diapering this site has all the information you need to get started!
It may seem overwhelming at first but we are here to help. Learn how to use cloth diapers, how to wash cloth diapers, and even how to make your own for an even more economical way to diaper your baby. Cloth diapering is economical and environmentally friendly. Learn how to make cloth diapers work for you and get started today!

Cloth diaper cleaning – things to remember

Here are a few things you should remember when dealing with cloth diaper cleaning. For clear step-by-step instructions on washing cloth diapers go to washing your cloth diapers / nappies

• Do not use any sort of bleach. They will damage the fibers of the fabric and destroy the diaper covers. Not to mention the adverse effects on your baby's skin and the environment.

• Do not use fabric softener. It will leave a waxy residue on your diapers and diaper covers, and lead to leaks. Even the use of those fabric softener sheets can leave a residue in the dryer and affect your diapers.

• Do not use cream with zinc oxide, it will cause leaks.
• It is best to use a detergent that leaves no soap residue on diapers.

• If you wash your diapers, it is very important to wait until they are completely dry before storing in the bucket. This will assure no mold.

• A good tip is to have a rinse cycle with cold water before washing. This will prevent the stains to permanent set.

• Make an extra spin cycle after washing. This can reduce the drying time up to 25%!
• Add a dry towel in the dryer with your diapers as this will reduce the drying time!

• If it’s hot enough outside, lay your wet diapers in the sun, this is a good way to whiten and disinfect your diapers naturally.

• Drying cloth diapers can usually be done in the dryer. Please note, the intensive use of the dryer can prematurely wear the fabric.

• Smell your diapers and diaper covers after you have washed them. If they are smelly or if you feel they have still detergent, wash one more time with less detergent and water.

• Needless to day during hot weather, you can wash your diapers more regularly to avoid unpleasant odors.