1. Educate Yourself - Visit Cloth 101 at Kelly's Closet and familiarize yourself with Basic Types of Cloth Diapers and What You Need to Get Started. This will help you narrow down your choices and determine which diapers you'd like to try. Once you select the style(s) you like, compare brands with criteria like price, closures (aplix or snaps), natural or synthetic fibers, and available colors and patterns.
2. Narrow Down Your Choices - When I first started cloth diapering, I narrowed down my choices, then tried several brands of diapers. I discovered which styles and brands I loved, the ones I liked, the ones that worked, and the ones I wouldn't use. I also considered durability and re-sell value.
This then informed my budget. I knew that some of my favorite diapers would cost too much to make up my entire stash. I also had a 4 year old and didn't want to continue buying disposable diapers and saving for cloth diapers. So, I created a "Dream Stash" list and compared it to my budget, ultimately choosing a variety of diapers from the love, like, and works list.
I didn't get it perfect the first time, buying a stack of prefolds and snappis that never received much love, but I had the minimum number of diapers I needed to begin full time cloth diapering.
3. Create a Budget - Budgeting for cloth diapers will look different for each family, depending on your circumstances. A couple expecting a baby can potentially set aside funds each month to purchase cloth instead of buying disposables in advance. They can also add cloth diapers or gift cards to natural parenting stores to their baby registry.
Families with older babies starting out may opt to budget for a minimum stash at first or try a part time stash combined with disposables until they can build enough money to buy more. Others may choose to continue using disposables until they have saved for their dream stash.
However you choose to budget, don't forget to include things like wet bags, detergent, water costs, and wipes and to join theKelly's Closet Rewards Program to earn points for purchaes. Also, give yourself some room to buy that new must-have pattern or the 10 in 1 diaper that everyone is raving about!
4. Try Before You Buy an Entire Stash - I can't emphasize this point enough. Cloth diapering can mean an investment of hundreds of dollars, depending on the style and brand you choose. Begin with a minimum number of diapers and try them before putting your money all toward one brand or style.
While aplix might seem like the only option today, snaps might be more practical in the future. While one fit might be ideal for a younger baby, you might decide to add some new styles as baby grows. Plus, don't underestimate the fun side of cloth diapering! Manufacturers release new styles, seasonal patterns, and more to tempt you to add "just one more to your stash." Add a cushion into your budget for this.
Be sure to reference the brands covered under the Kelly's Closet Wee Guarantee Program. These brands include an extra 30 day warranty from Kelly's Closet and can be returned or exchanged for credit under certain terms.
5. Join the Cloth Diapering Community - Look to your local community and online for a vibrant cloth diapering community full of friends ready to talk about their favorite brands, troubleshoot washing or fit issues, and celebrate (or mourn) with you when your toddler potty trains! Kelly's Closet offers the Cloth Diaper Support Group through Facebook, a fun way to meet like-minded moms, ask questions, and see the latest news in the cloth diapering world.