June 30, 2014

FIAO 2.2 - Diapering The Twins - Making Decisions and Learning Lessons

I have finally started acquiring/purchasing cloth diapers! It's fun.. kind of. I am enjoying most of it but I'm finding it's still confusing and a little scary, considering it's an investment that might not pay off. Despite all the research I've done I still second guess every CD purchase I could make, sometimes missing out on great deals over my inability to commit.  I had finally decided that I definitely want to do prefolds with covers and AI2s. I hate the idea of stuffing pockets and the few I have are not changing my mind so I don't want many of those. I also think AIOs are very expensive you need a ton of them since you can't reuse any of it. With prefolds and covers or snap-in AI2s you can sometimes get up to a whole day out of a cover just switching out the soaker part when needed (although most people recommend changing the cover after 2 uses).  So far, I had picked up some NB OsoCozy and WAHM AIOs  and an Alva pocket at a consignment sale and then I was given 6 unused small Tidy Tots covers and snap-in inserts (AI2s) for FREE (a $120 value!) by a woman working the sale. Now it was time to seek out the rest of my stash without breaking the bank!

I joined several Buy, Sell and Trade groups on Facebook and Babycenter and I also check Craigslist every day, but usually there's nothing new or desirable. In fact, my first CL purchase resulted in my very first lesson learned the hard way: LOOK AND INSPECT BEFORE YOU BUY USED. Don't just assume that everyone will have the same idea of "very good condition" as you do. A few weeks ago I wasted $40 on used flip and bummis covers that have elastics stretched to the max, stains and velcro that has clearly been through a thousand dryer cycles. It is what it is, but I doubt I will use them. Even if I do they will be the back-up-back-up diapers. The whole thing wasn't a total wash though, for $10 more I got 15 decent cloth wipes, 2 snappis and a brand new blueberry cover. Also, the seller has identical twin girls, so I'm glad we connected regardless of the condition of the diapers. However, I was now seriously apprehensive about buying used! I needed to get some new ones, but after picking up two BumGenius 4.0s at Babies R Us, spending one entire $25 gift card, I was having sticker shock. I started to worry that we would be able to have a decent stash before it was time to use them. And I just think it isn't worth it if you're buying disposables while using cloth!

Luckily my amazing Aunts gifted me $100 and $50 gift cards towards my cloth diaper registry so I was able to get started with new diapers and no risk to me! I created this registry mostly for myself after reading that no one would really buy off your CD registry (and trust me, they won't) but I was doing research and created one anyway. I added a bunch of different types of diapers, prefolds, snappis, a wetbag, the sprayer and detergent. Then when we added it to my registry card I just added a bunch of gift cards in different amounts. I didn't know if I'd get them but I'm so glad I did. My mom got me the wetbag and with the gift cards I purchased 8 covers from four different brands (Thirsties, Rumparooz, Imagine and Buttons), 24 Diaper Rite Small and Medium indian cotton prefolds, 3 Bamboo Infant size prefolds, 2 Kawaii night time AIOs and a roll of 100 disposable liners. I paid a little less than $30 for all of this myself and when it arrived today I was so excited!! I'm practicing folding with the prefolds on my stuffed animals and researching my prep and wash routines now.

I also just received my first successful used lot that I even purchased sight unseen! Thanks to the amazing Tami in Texas via a Facebook B/S/T group I received 3 pockets and 2 AIOs that are in near perfect condition, plus extra inserts all for $16.50!

So far I think I have a fairly decent stash. I am inventorying it and keeping track of all that I spend as well. I myself have spent around $150.
  • 31 EUC or NEW diapers - a decent combo of small and onesized AIOs, AI2s, pockets and covers
  • 6 very used/backup diapers, 
  • 43 prefolds/inserts/snap-ins
  • 100 disposable inserts
  • 15 used but decent cloth wipes
  • 2 snappis
I think that's a pretty good start!
Lessons Learned So Far:

1) Seriously, it's so obvious but when buying used always LOOK at what you're buying! Don't pay more for stains, relaxed elastic, pilling and messed up velcro than you do for like new diapers like I did.  At least in my experience they cancelled each other out. I should have paid $50 for the great lot I got off facebook rather than $15!

2) Do as much research as you can but don't settle for one kind. I read this over and over and I think I did a good job at having a variety. As we get going we will adjust things but fingers crossed we don't end up hating prefolds/flats and covers since I really think that's the most budget friendly way to do CD.

3) You do not ever HAVE to buy at retail price!! There are TONS of website sales, B/S/T groups, craigslist and discount sites that you can rely on. Of course if you're obsessed with the newest and cutest diaper you will spend more money but that's not a priority for me. I even just spent $10 on about 20 pairs of baby pants because I don't like the diaper only look.

4) Start researching storage options WAY before you buy them. I've finally settled on those hanging sweater shelves in the closet but my stash has been sitting in a paper bag for weeks as I just don't have anywhere else for them.  Right now they're stuffed in bins waiting to be prepped/washed and the closet is still filled with baby gear!

What are your cloth diapering lessons learned? Did you learn the hard way to check before you pay!?


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