Friday, November 4, 2011

One Year of Cloth Diapering

We are closing in on a full year of cloth diapering our youngest child. We started when she was four months old and it has gone well for the most part.

Once I figured out that I need to wash her inserts with a little bit (like a Tbsp.) of bleach each and every time I wash, it was smooth sailing. For some reason Lauren's diapers always got stinky/funky right after she peed (even if they smelled clean when they came out of the wash) and the only remedy I found that eliminates the stink was a little bleach in the wash. She must have really stinky pee. What can I say?

Our wash routine is this:

Diaper covers and liners (and wet bags) into the washing machine on a long, hot wash with detergent. I use Arm and Hammer free and clear. After the first wash finishes, I remove the covers and wash the liners with a tablespoon of bleach. When the 2nd wash is done, I put the covers back in and run a full wash cycle with just water. If I come back and see soap bubbles in the mop sink (where our washing machine drains) I run another rinse cycle. (And I keep doing this until I don't see any more bubbles in the mop sink.) Most of the time I'm done after the first rinse. After the diapers are done with the washing machine, I put the inserts into the dryer (on low) and hang the covers to dry either outside on the line or inside over the banister.

Our stash consists of:

16 Bumgenius 4.0  (12 snap and 4 velcro)
4 FuzziBunz One-size
4 Charlie Banana One-size

We own some flips (hey Alayna!!) and a couple of hand made dipes, but we don't use them. I don't like things that leak... and the Flips and the hand made diapers both leak for we don't use them.

What I like about Cloth Diapering:

  • So.Much.Less. spent on something that we throw right into the garbage can. Ian and Aaron still wear some kind of disposable diaper (pull-up, slide-on) for sleeping, but other than that, we've virtually eliminated disposable diaper use from our house. (Two potty trained, wooohooo!) Our monthly diaper bill went from about $80 to $10. (I'm estimating $10 because it costs about $30 every 3 months to restock our  pull-ups.) 
  • So.Much.Less. garbage. A family of 5 can generate a lot of trash, but if you take the disposable diapers out of the picture, the garbage bags are a lot lighter! We used to put out two full-sized kitchen garbage bags of disposable diapers...each week. Yes, we are generally using fewer diapers these days anyway, but the difference is very noticeable. 
  • They look cute. Nobody can deny it. They just look CUTE. 
By the numbers:

320 = the number of dollars we spent on the stash of diapers we actually use on a daily basis
1,825 = the number of diapers changed just for Lauren this year. (averaging 5 dipes/day)
620.50 = the number of dollars it would have cost to buy disposable diapers for Lauren this year. (averaging      5 diapers per day, keeping in mind some days it's a lot more diapers than that!) 

So what? $300 bucks savings? Is it really worth it? 


For me, it's more than just the dollars spent. It's about no chemicals against my baby's bottom. It's about reducing our non-biodegradable garbage output. It's about fewer diaper rashes. It's about  making a decision to live healthier and wiser and sticking with it. And if you think about it, I spend a lot of extra money buying healthier things. So why, in this case, wouldn't I rather spend less on the healthier option?

Why haven't we taken the plunge for Ian & Aaron's nighttime needs? We haven't really decided what will work best and more importantly, we don't know that making a huge investment when we are so close to being done with them. Most importantly, both boys have tried and expressed a dislike of the way cloth diapers feel during the night...sleep is very important to us. Jeopardize it we will not. So part of the reason is stubbornness, part of it is comfort. 

Should you cloth diaper your kids? Yes. You should at least try it. You might find you like it! And you really can't ignore the straight up economics of it.

1 comment:

  1. I am TOTALLY cloth diapering our children...whether it be 1 or 4...all will have cloth. Mom did it was 4 with the "old school" diapers - why can't I with the "new improved" ones? Ron's oldest sister laughed almost out of her chair when I said that. I stood my ground and bascially said whatever - if I'm not working...that's a LOT of money we're not WASTING to throw away in a couple hours...if that long. I was thinking about making some washable/reusable wipes too. Thanks for the info of how you WASH them...didn't think of rinsing like that...but it makes PERFECT sense! I was going to use that detergent more of HAVING to use Dreft or whatever it is.

    Feel free to email me ANY tips you have! :) ( and where you purchased them. Mom and I were going to try to make some but I think it may be easier/cheaper to just buy them...once you find the specific fabric you may get costly. And if anyone buys me disposables for the shower they're going back to the store!!!!

    Thanks again - you rock!