1.19.2012

Cloth Diapers vs. Disposables

They are NOT as primitive as they sound, trust me!
I began cloth diapering with my second child. It didn't even cross my mind with the first! One day while out shopping with my mom we walked into a store called Cotton Babies (website here). I was drawn in by their window display of adorable clothes and trendy (and VERY pricey) baby gear. I was surprised to see they mostly sell cloth diapers. Not just the kind your mother may have used on you - although they still carry those too- but cloth diapers that look like....regular old diapers. Well cuter than plain old disposable diapers because they come in cute colors!

I immediately went home and began research!  How to cloth diaper? Why cloth diaper? What are the best cloth diapers? I was about 6 months pregnant at the time and nesting anyway so I was on board after about 15 minutes, my husband on the other hand took a few days of convincing.
At the time I chose to do this because of cost reasons as I have blogged about before we had just decided I would stay home with the kids and we would have to figure out how to live on one income. Read more about how we made some changes to do that here.  After reading and researching statistics on the cost factors I came up with a plan...
I would need 18+ cloth diapers planning to wash them every couple days. The problem...18 of those super cute colorful cloth diapers (all-in-ones the most modern kind!) would run me well into the $400 range. Ouch, looking to save money not spend so much at once! So I set a budget of $100. I bought about 6 of the super cute modern Bumgenius one size all-in-ones (these literally function like a disposable diaper you just throw them in the wash instead of the trash) these are REALLY convenient for on the go or dads and other care givers! Then I bought a combination of prefolds, flats and covers (about 18-24). These include two pieces and you must fold the interior absorbent part and lay it in the cover. This is still a step up from traditional diapers pins and plastic pants!
The most surprising part I bought this all used. I know sounds gross right...used cloth diapers, but trust me it's not! Many people try it and just don't like it!
So I can say with confidence I diapered baby #2 for $100! Studies show you will spend $1,800+ on disposable diapers for the first two years of a baby's life. Read more on that here. Plus if you cloth diaper you'll have a green baby! I not going to get into it a lot here but disposable diapers are said to contain a lot of chemicals. Once I had baby #3 I did get a little lazy with having two in diapers at the same time. I do cloth diapers at home and disposables when we go out and at night.

If this is something your thinking about...it can be done, and on the cheap! Do your research get involved in some online forums, try to visit a retail store to see the diapers in person, and ask around it's a lot more common than you may think!

If you really want to know how we do it...
Our "stash":
One wet bag - like this one
6 BumGenius OS 3.0
18 Prefolds
12 Flats - I fold these like a prefold and just lay it in the cover
6 covers (econobum, flip, and bummis - all by cotton babies)
This list above diapers 2 kids (everything is one size fits all -adjustable) and I only wash them 2 times a week!

Great resources:
Cotton Babies
Diaper Pin 

1 comment:

  1. Great overview! I cloth diapered all three of my kids, however, my first one was for just a brief time. That was in the age of bag covers, plastic pants and yucky prefolds...and that was only 13 years ago! Once I did some research I found a whole new world! I was able to use cloth for number 2 and 3 and did it on a budget. I found lots of places (blogs, message boards, ebay, craigslist) that sold diapers cheaply and then in the end, I was able to resell them again. I spent next to nothing on them and my kids ended up potty training super early (like at 8 months!). I wish more people would jump on the bandwagon. Who knows what chemicals lie in disposable diapers!

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