Before I got pregnant with Allison, I barely knew what cloth diapers were. I had a vague understanding of the ones that used the pins to hold them together, but I never gave it a second thought. Then when I became pregnant, I saw some of my mom friends using these colorful cloth diapers with their babies, and my first thought was “Oh my gosh, those are so CUTE!” And then I heard how much money I could save by using cloth diapers, and I was like, “Yep, I gotta try this.”
So apparently cloth diapers have changed a LOT over the years! There are now multiple kinds of cloth diapers: ones with snaps, ones with velcro, or even fitted diapers. They also come in such pretty colors, and are pretty easy to wash! I’ve been using cloth diapers for over a year, and I’m hooked!
I’m not too familiar with every type of cloth diaper, so I’ll just share my experience with the one I do use, why I use cloth diapers, and how much money I save!
Why cloth diapers?
- They’re cheaper than disposable! Disposables will run about $500 a year, depending on what brand/size you get. I paid $330 for 33 diapers that will theoretically last me until Allison’s potty trained and even with any future children! Plus you can resell them to get most of your money back!
- They’re better for the environment! According to this article from LiveStrong, disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose.
- They’re better for baby’s bottom! The same article explains that some of the chemicals in disposable diapers can cause allergic reactions.
- I’ve heard that little ones who are cloth diapered also potty train faster because they can feel the wetness more easily. Allison’s only 16 months so I can’t confirm, but I’m sure your mileage may vary!
- They’re just so darn CUTE! So many colors and designs.
What I use
The type of cloth diaper I use is the pocket diaper. It’s basically a diaper with a pocket where you slide in the liners, which are what absorb the moisture. These seem to be the easiest for me; I can just shake the liner out and into the diaper pail quickly and easily! I’ve found that pockets are a little more expensive, but well worth it!
I did some research and decided that the BumGenius brand was of great quality and the best choice for me. They’re rather pricey, so I bought them all used on Ebay for $10 each. Yes, I bought used diapers; they’re clean and still useable! I just put them through a few washes before I used them on Allison, which is what you should probably do anyway even if you buy new. I bought a mix of the Velcro and snaps, although we did send a lot of the Velcro ones to be switched to snaps because they just weren’t sticking well anymore. I’ll go through the costs of that down below.
At the moment, I do still use disposables at night because Allison wakes up very red if she’s in cloth for 12+ hours. I haven’t found a great solution yet, but I’m open to suggestions! It’s definitely okay to do a mixture of both cloth and disposable.
Isn’t it gross? I’ll admit, when I first read up on cloth diapers, I kept thinking, “I have to deal with POOP?” Duh, she’s a baby! I’d have to deal with poop with disposables anyway; dumping poop into a toilet is no big deal. And yes, used cloth diapers do tend to smell, but a diaper pail helps with that! I just bought a trash can with a foot pedal at Wal Mart, and bought large wetbags from Amazon, and you can’t even tell that it holds stinky diapers!
How much money I save
Okay, so here’s the breakdown of how I figured the costs:
- 33 cloth diapers, average of $10 each on Ebay: $330.00
- Cost of repair (Your mileage may vary; our elastics were worn and some of the Velcro wasn’t sticking anymore): $115.00
- Generous estimate of water usage for 2 1/2 years: $100.00
- Cost of using disposables at night for 1 1/2 years: $65
- Laundry detergent: I make my own (Coming in a future post!) and it costs around $20 a year, so total: $55
- Total: $665.00, AND I’ll get some of that back when I resell!
Versus the cost of disposables (Assuming your toddler is potty trained by 2 1/2):
- Cost of diapers the first year (Assuming you bought Pampers size 1 and 2, 10 a day) $738.00
- Cost of diapers the second year and a half (Assuming you bought store brand size 3 and 4, 6-7 a day): $453.00
- Total cost: $1,191.00
As you can see, this means I save about $600 by using cloth diapers! Can it be difficult? Sometimes, especially when I need to change her every 2 hours on the dot. But it’s SO worth it knowing that we’re saving so much money and as a stay-at-home mom, every dollar counts!
Do you, or anyone you know, use cloth diapers? Is there anything else you want to know? Comment below!
(Linked up on: Huckleberry Love )