Originally Published August 2013, Updated Regularly
Is it really possible to get free cloth diapers? Who’s giving them away? And do any companies offer free samples? Find the answers below! I’ve taken advantage of nearly all the methods below to score free diapers, so I know they work.
#1 JUST ASK. This is so easy, and it works so please don’t skip this tip and go to the others just yet. Hit up your friends, your relatives and even the ladies at church. Tell them you are cloth diapering. Ask if they have any old stuff that isn’t being used any more. Post “Want Ads” on Craigslist and your local Freecycle. Post an ISO (In Search Of) status in a Facebook group or your public profile. Chat with other mamas in online forums. When we first started using cloth, I received free diapers on 3 separate occasions. (1) A friend at church told me “You cloth diaper, right? I have some prefolds that have been in my closet for years.” She gave me the whole bag (her children were grown). (2) A friend posted on Facebook about a box of used diapers, and I claimed them on the thread. (3) A lady in my Freecycle group responded to my “wanted” post and gave me some vintage Curity prefolds and said I could do whatever I wanted with them. They were too old and worn out to use, but I was able to sell them to a collector for $50 and buy new covers and prefolds.
#2 GIVEAWAYS & SWEEPSTAKES. My condolences in advance if you’ve already some of my giveaways and still haven’t won diddly squat. But keep on keeping on. Use DAILY entries like shares, tweets, comments and votes. Daily entries work because you’re throwing your name in the hat intermittently, which gets your entries “mixed in” at regular intervals. Lots of cloth diaper giveaways happen on Facebook and not on blogs, so you’ll need to check in to your favorite pages regularly.
#3 GET A TESTER. Keep your eyes peeled for tester opportunities from brands, retailers and WAHM shops (esp. Hyena Cart). They often post on Facebook that tester slots are open. GroVia did this a while back. Bambino Mio mailed free AIO diapers recently for the cost of shipping only. Last year, Gerber was giving away free prefolds. If you are a member of Diaper Swappers, there is a forum where WAHM’s offer diapers and accessories for testing. Each offer is unique so check the details. Diapers are often 100% free. Occasionally, they will ask you to pay a few bucks for shipping.
You can also apply to test products for free at YourClothDiaper.com.
#4 STALK THE FORUMS. Both Diaper Pin and Diaper Swappers have a special section for totally free stuff. You have to be faster than a speeding bullet, though, because the stuff goes very quickly. Most often, they want you to cover shipping. But every once in a while it’s a true freebie.
#5 STORE PROMOS: In this case, you do have to make a purchase to get the freebie. But hey, you do get something free! And chances are, it’s probably one of your favorite cloth diaper stores. So yes, this freebie does have “strings attached.” To sweeten the bargain, be sure to get free shipping as well.
#6 CHECK WITH CHARITIES. If you are truly going through a financial hardship that prevents the purchase of new or even used diapers, look up charities that provide free packages to deserving families. A few that come to mind off the top of my head are Jake’s Diapers and Cloth for Everybum. You can see my full list here. Also, if you need prayers and encouragement, please post your need on my Bee a Friend apostolate page.
#7 SEW AWAY. Google free cloth diaper patterns and you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of results. You can use towels, t-shirts, receiving blankets, old fleece and any other suitable materials you already have on hand to create a decent stash for nothing (except the cost of velcro for your covers).
#8 BE A PROMOTER: Every single diaper in the photo posted at the top was earned for free by promoting my affiliate links at cloth diaper stores or Amazon. It pays to sign up for your favorite stores, because every time you share your unique link and someone clicks it and makes a purchase, you’ll earn 5 to 10 percent of the sale. If you don’t have a blog, some of the best places to share your links are online forums (if it’s allowed), online chats, Facebook threads with friends and family and email conversations.
#9 BRAND GROUPS & LISTS: Many brands have Facebook groups for their fans, or exclusive email lists, and often hold using these venues. Off the top of my head, these come to mind: AppleCheeks, Lighthouse Kids, Diaper Rite, Mama Koala, Green Mountain, Softbums and Buttons. Scout around and see what you can find! Make sure you turn on notifications for the group.
#10 LOCAL EVENTS: If you attend local events like the Great Cloth Diaper Change or natural parenting seminars, expos, cloth diaper store openings or anniversaries, etc., there are often free diapers and samples given away. (Thanks to Whitney for this tip!)
#11 MAKE A TRADE: Diaper Pin and Diaper Swappers hav.e trade forums. Post what you have available for trade and say you’re ISO (in search of) diapers in exchange. You can offer almost anything for trade (shoes, books, CD’s and DVD’s, clothing, toys and even stuff like Mary Kay and coupons). If someone really wants what you have, they will be willing to send you free diapers in exchange. Another example of trading is using online cash rewards programs to buy diapers. More trading possibilities open up if you have an active blog: trade a review for a free diaper, trade ad space for a free diaper, trade a spotlight post for a free diaper.
#12 BE A FAN: Sites like Change Diapers have “top fan” promos that reward people who interact the most on their Facebook pages. This is different from a regular giveaway with an entry mechanism; you simply have to work hard at being active on their pages with likes, shares and comments. (thanks to Jill for this tip!)
#13 BABY OR GIFT REGISTRY: If you’re expecting or creating a gift wish list, add cloth diapers to it. Amazon has a lot of cloth diapers for sale and Prime members get free shipping. Wal-mart now has cloth diapers; you can register in-store or online, plus get free 2-day shipping on orders over $35. If someone asks what you’d like best for your birthday or Christmas or Mother’s Day, mention that you are trying to build a stash of diapers for your baby. (thanks to Tessa for this tip!)
#14 LEAVE REVIEWS: Many online cloth diaper retailers offer incentives to customers who take time to leave product reviews. The reward might be a product, gift card or store credit/rewards points. (Thanks to Melissa for this tip!)
#15 GIFT CARD SWAP: Next time someone gives you a gift card to Wal-Mart or Amazon, use it to buy cloth diapers. Same goes for generic gift cards (Visa, AmEx, Mastercard, etc.). Ask friends or post on Facebook if you have gift cards from Starbucks or restaurants that you would be willing to swap for something that can be used at a cloth retailer.
#16 YOUTUBE: YouTube has become a popular venue for cloth diaper reviews and giveaways. Just use the search bar and narrow down to the most recent posts. The entry mechanism is generally just to view the video and leave a comment. Two good channels to start with are Jess is Blessed and LainasLife.
CAN I GET FREE SAMPLES? You might be wondering, “why doesn’t anyone offer free samples of cloth diapers?” There’s a good reason that companies don’t hand out free cloth samples all the time. It costs too much! A throw-away Huggies diaper is worth a few pennies, but one of the most popular pocket diapers in America (bumGenius 5.0) is $19.99. Besides, it’s not really practical to send just one diaper to try out because many potential customers aren’t even using cloth yet. Washing just 1 diaper, and trying to get a taste for cloth with just 1 diaper, don’t make much sense. Add to this the low mark-up for cloth and see why free samples would be a huge money drain for companies. This is why you instead have discounted sample packages or trial programs (aff link) being offered. This enables you to get a full set of diapers to try out.
GOT ANY MORE FREE DIAPER SOURCES? I’d love to hear them!