How We Spent Less Than $200 on Diapers in the First Year!


Before we even started trying to start our family, Michael and I talked about what we would do to cut costs to make sure I would be able to stay home for the entire first year. For those of you who are not Canadian or have not looked at the numbers although Canadians are intitled to a year of parental leave it isn’t without its financial strain and with Alberta being in another recession having to go back to work early was a real possibility for me. We made plans to put extra in savings, and  hoped that breastfeeding would work, but we also made a decision about diapering. 

I really struggle with buying things for them to go directly into the garbage like paper towel, paper plates and the infamous Red Solo Cup; and not only because they are bad for the environment but because every time I use them I see my money go into the trash. So why would I spend money on diapers for them to just go right down the toilet (pun totally intended), when I can invest a little now and be done with diaper purchasing for not only Monkey but all our babies to come. Thankfully Michael was game, and even interested in us trying prefolds (more on that in a future post). 

Now to answer the big question… how did we do this for under $200 investment? 

  • Diaper shower
  • Used diapers
  • Prefolds

And that is honestly it, these three things  helped us build our stash while eleviating some of the burden of the initial cloth diaper investment. 

In my family the men throw a diaper party for the Dad-to-be. This is just a guys night for the husbands and boyfriends of the women coming to the shower and friends of the Dad-to-be. They are to bring a case of beer and usually a case of diapers. In our case the guys brought a cloth diaper. This started or stash off with 8 pocket diapers.

When it comes to used diapers I can understand why some people would be apprehensive about them. I mean no one wants used underwear no matter how in need you are! But when it comes to diapers it’s a little different, you can strip them, bleach them and sanitize them in the washing machine and if there aren’t any stains they come out like new. 

We bought 10 pocket diapers from a friend for $3 a piece. They didn’t include inserts but that’s ok because that’s where my 3rd step comes in!

Pre-fold diapers are amazing! Not only can you use them on their own with a cover but you can fold them and use them as an inserts and they only cost $2.95 each! I ordered 15 of them along with 2 covers.

If you are keeping track that is $74.25 and we have 23 diapers, and this is what we had in our drawer when Monkey came home from the hospital. After that I picked up a few All in Twos and pockets that I just loved the patterns of totalling our diaper stash of 31 diapers at $187.25! That’s $6.04 a piece! 

I found with washing every other day to every 3 days this has been enough diapers even with changing Monkey about 8 times a day. If we have baby number 2 before Monkey is potty trained then we will have to invest a few more diapers but if we are lucky enough to only have 1 baby in diapers at a time we potentially could diaper all out littles for under $200 total! And if that doesn’t make you want to switch to cloth how could you resist this little fuzzy butt!



Did you go with cloth or disposable diapers? What did you do to make Maternity leave a little easier on the wallet? Let me know in the comments below!

Baby Basics: Night Nursing, There’s An App For That

While at a Tupperware party a few weeks ago, yes Tupperware parties still exist, I over heard a new again mama talking about how she was working her way through Greys Anatomy for the 3rd or 4th time right now on Netflix. When I heard her say that I immediately thought “You must be still night nursing”.

When Monkey was first in the hospital and jaundice I wasn’t able to hold him so this made it really difficult to pump enough milk to sustain him. While venting my frustrations to his nurse one day she gave me a formula that I continue to use to this day that helps everything go so much smoother. She told me to lay a warm blanket over myself, have lots of water near by and watch or read something that will take your mind off of what you are doing. And low and behold I pumped this much 


Instead of less than the less than a ml I was getting before. 

So much about breastfeeding is in your head that just thinking about something negative can really affect your supply, and when you are in the NICU a lot of your thoughts are negative whether you want them to be or not. If you can get out of that head space and zone out it makes a world of difference.

I had been given the same advice from my friend Isabelle before Monkey was born. She told me to make sure I had a few shows with a lot of seasons ready to go on Netflix because that would get me through the night feeding. 

Because Monkey was in the NICU and most of my pumping was done in hospital  watching Netflix wasn’t an option for me, but scrolling through my Facebook feed was. I spent a lot of time reading all the click baite I scrolled upon. When we finally were all home, I was already in the habit of needing quiet while I nursed, so with a better internet connection at home than at the hospital I was able to branch out to Candy Crush, mostly because it can be played with one hand and you can only play a few rounds before you have to wait for a refill of lives making it a pretty good timer for when Monkey should have been about finished. After getting bored with Candy Crush I moved onto my current rotation reading mommy and lifestyle blogs and playing Two Dots. 


At this point Monkey is a pro at breastfeeding, even after a week off when I was sick he picked it back up like nobody’s business. But that doesn’t mean that I want to sit in the dark for a half hour before every nap, bedtime and 4am feeding with nothing to do so I continue the tradition. 

What I want to know is what is your night nursing guilty pleasure? Let me know in the comments below!

Baby Basics is a once a week post focused on all things baby! We will cover things as light as the toys we are really loving at the moment and outfits that melt your hear to as serious as some medical professionals I found helpful working with. Come back weekly and see what we are up to!

Baby Basics: Bedtime Bath Lotion

I have been using this magical lotion every night since Monkey came home from the hospital, and I have to say when he is having a bed night I can see a difference after a little massage with this yummy smelling lotion. It is a homemade lotion made of coconut oils and some essential oils I always keep on hand. 


I mix one cup of  softened coconut oil with 20 drops Gentle Baby Essential Oil and 10-15 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Then I pour it into a jar and use it nightly after Monkey’s bath. It is moisturizing, Monkey had never had a dry patch of skin, and we live in what feels like the driest part of the country this time of year! 

The best part is that because it is coconut oil based its cloth diaper safe so you can moisturize baby from head to toe with one lotion… which is amazing when you see how many bottles of lotions, bubble bath, shampoo, vitamins etc that can pile up in your bathroom once baby comes along.

Baby Basics is a once a week post focused on all things baby! We will cover things as light as the toys we are really loving at the moment and outfits that melt your hear to as serious as some medical professionals I found helpful working with. Come back weekly and see what we are up to!

Baby Basics: Stocking Stuffers

One thing I struggled with in the Christmas gift department this year is the the stocking. In our house Santa brings stockings filled with yummy treats, a small toy, something to read, a toothbrush and special bath products that are extra luxurious. So what do you get  little person who has only lad teeth for about 2 weeks so his toothbrush is pretty new and is too little eat any of the treats? 

After wondering Babies R Us for an hour or so I managed to come up with the following list of things that I think he will enjoy!

1. The Stocking


Ok so I am very aware that this will be his only first Christmas but this can be a socknwe had down from Marcus to the next little and so on. Plus it had a monkey so how could we not get it!

2. Rubber Ducky

Monkey’s favourite time of day is bath time, and his favourite time of swimming lesson is when the rubber duckies come out. This will be a win.

3. Book

At 8 months Monke is at that age were story time is more about him grabbing at the pages to put in his mouth and scratching at the pictures trying to pull the images off the page so a board book with textures is perfect for his age.

4. Toothbrush

Santa always brings a nice fresh toothebrush for Christmas in our house, even if you only have half of your 2 front bottoms ones.

5.Bath Lotion

This stuff is like MAGIC! I difuse Gentle baby in Monkey’s room at night and mix it with coconut oil to use a massage lotion every night. It has a soothing soft sent that when combined with massage relaxes baby and sets them up for a good night sleep.

6. Favourite Snacks

Now these are a favourite in our house and I am hoping by having it poking out the top of the stocking it will encourage him to want to look and see what’s inside.

7. A little something special 

What are some fun things you picked for your little’s stocking for their first Christmas? Leave your ideas in the comments and follow me on Instagram (@TheMcGills) to see Monkey’s sock under the tree on Christmas morning.

Baby Basics is a once a week post focused on all things baby! We will cover things as light as the toys we are really loving at the moment and outfits that melt your hear to as serious as some medical professionals I found helpful working with. Come back weekly and see what we are up to!