Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cloth Diapers are Easy and Inexpensive

This is my first blog.  I have never thought of myself as a writer, but I have found something I love to talk about.  The creator of Cotton Babies, Jennifer Labit, has issued a challenge to spread the word on cloth diapers with the incentive of winning a dozen cloth diapers.  I will not receive any compensation for this blog.  However, if I win I get to choose one of my friends who commented on this post to also receive a dozen cloth diapers…so make some great comments.  I have only been cloth diapering for a few months and have only a handful of this style of diapers.  Therefore, I would love to win these diapers.  I also have several friends expecting babies who could use a stash of diapers.

When I was expecting my first baby, I was interested in using cloth.  I only knew one person using cloth at the time and I didn’t know her very well.  I quickly became overwhelmed with the arrival my first precious baby and never attempted cloth.  Baby number two came along only 13 months later.  Now 15 months after my second baby was born, I am expecting baby number three any day.  Yes, that will be three in diapers.  My husband and I already sold our home and he took a live-in position at a major university so that we could afford for me to stay at home with the babies and still get out of debt.  Being on a tight budget already, I just couldn’t imagine spending more money every month on disposable diapers once baby number three arrives.  We were already spending over $100 a month on diapers, wipes, and rash creams.  This is why I decided to give cloth another look.

My main reason for cloth diapering was obviously financial, but there are other great reasons to cloth diaper as well including environmental, health of baby, and in my opinion easy (it is much easier to put in a load of laundry, than to make a trip to the store with three babies in tow).  My second baby is a heavy-wetter and I had to change her diaper during the night with disposables to prevent leaks.  With cloth diapers this is no longer a problem.  She can go all night without a diaper change.  She is also rash prone.  She still gets a little red sometimes but does not have the painful rashes she had with disposables.  Regardless for your reasons for researching cloth diapers, my challenge is “Just Try It.”  Buy enough diapers changes for one day and commit to using cloth exclusively for one month.  This won’t cost much if any more that you are already spending on disposable diapers in one month.  After one month, it should be obvious if cloth is something that will fit into your family’s lifestyle. 

I have done a ton of research and have found some really great online resources.  My favorite one-stop shop is Cotton Babies.  They have a great Cloth 101 FAQs page (which you will need for laundry instructions and to troubleshoot any issues that arise).  They always offer free shipping which makes them a great place to just try out a few diapers or add to your stash since they have no minimum purchase for free shipping.  I do highly recommend trying a few different styles of diapers before investing in a whole stash.  I also recommend trying both snap and Velcro (hook and loop) closures. For longevity I recommend snaps, but for easy Velcro may be preferred.  This will save money in the long run.  I also have different recommendations depending on the age of your baby.  I like one-size diapers, but these do not fit well on newborns especially if the baby is less than eight pounds.  

Here is what I recommend getting to start with for a baby ten pounds or more ($86.25 for 11 diaper changes):
Here is what I recommend for newborns under ten pounds ($87.35 for twelve diaper changes):
Recommended Accessories ($50.88 for all accessories):
  • 1 – Medium Bummis waterproof tote for storing dirty diapers until washed $11.00 each
  • 1 – bumGenius flannel wipes 12 pack $11.95 each
  • 1 – Package of cloth diaper detergent of choice (Cotton Babies has several options to choose from…I am currently using Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soap) $10.99 each
  • 1 – Package of flushable diaper liners $12.99 for 200 sheets (I recommended these for formula feed newborns and babies eating solids.  Breastfeed babies’ poo is water soluble and will completely wash out in laundry.  If the decision is made to continue with cloth diapers, I recommend a diaper sprayer for at home and flushable liners for use while away from home.  These can be omitted altogether, but I imagine that anyone who tries them will find they are worth the price.)
  • 1 – Snappi Cloth Diaper Fastener $3.95 (I recommend these for a younger babies who still have runny poo.  It will help to keep the poo off over the diaper cover when using prefolds so that the cover can be used again before washing.)

With these recommendations cloth diapers can be tried for under $140.  All recommended brands are of high quality with good resell values.  What do you have to lose??  Give cloth a try!!