Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On pre-loved diapers...

Okay, so we all want to save a little coin. One of the wonderful things about cloth diapering - besides saving some SERIOUS money - is that the diapers retain their value quite well, so you can sell them once you're done with them. This has an obvious benefit for you once you're all through with the diapering stage of your parenting days, but if you're just getting started, well, then how can it affect you now?


** Second hand diapers are not the same thing as "seconds." Second hand means that you will be the second parent to own them and put them on a bum. "Seconds" refers to second-rate manufactured new. Sometimes diapers are qualified as seconds because the wrong kind of elastic was used, one leg casing snaps up smaller than the other leg, the snaps are not spaced evenly, etc. But often, it's for something as small and insignificant as uneven stitching. In any case, even though they usually don't come with extras like inserts for pockets, seconds - when you can find them - are a STEAL. If you come across some in a brand you love, buy as many as you can afford to help round out your stash. Many diaper websites have an email list you can sign up for that will notify you when they have a large enough stock of seconds to put on sale. You can also visit www.fuzzibunzseconds.net to find a good selection of exclusively FB seconds.

I know a lot of people are kind of ooky about putting "used" (ahem, I prefer "pre-loved") diapers on their child. To be honest with you, I kind of was at first too. But remember, you can always, always, always strip your diapers. You can also boil them, although some diaper manufacturers don't really recommend it. Or you can add 1/8 cup of regular bleach to a full load of diapers.

It helps if you can buy pre-loved diapers from someone you know, or diapers that you can look at before you commit to purchase them, like at consignment sales. I got some wonderful Kissaluvs fitteds for Miss R at a baby and kids consignment sale in town a month or so ago. Or if you're shopping on Diaper Swappers, you can probably ask around other members for how reputable a seller is. Unfortunately, Ebay outlawed selling used diapers a few years ago, but I often find listings on Craigslist.

When you're buying pre-loved diapers online, be sure to look for labels like "EUC" or "EEUC" that will let you know that the diapers are in tip-top shape. This means that they shouldn't have any stains or smells, and no excessive pilling or obvious wear and tear. VGUC would, to me, mean that they may have some obvious wear and tear or pilling, but no stains and still had a lot of life in them. Beware of anything just labeled "UC." The diapers may be so worn that the elastic, velcro, or snaps have outlived their usefulness, or the diapers may have been ill-cared-for so long that even stripping them wouldn't make a tremendous impact.

That's my .02 about pre-loved dipeys. I definitely love mine!