Ok, to me cloth diapering is hands-down one of THE best decisions we've ever made for our family. I was planning on doing the Flats Handwashing Challenge that I did last year...until I found out that it was while #1 was out of town for a week and I had all four kids by myself plus 7 ballgames scheduled in that time. (Thankfully 3 were rained out) I'm not a complete idiot and quietly bowed out of the challenge.
So instead of blogging about how you CAN wash your own diapers if there was an emergency and cloth diapering CAN be done on any income level (you can technically diaper a baby from birth till potty trained on $50...click on the link above to see how) I'm going to do a quick diaper review.
So here in the picture above are 23 cloth and 23 disposable diapers. The 23 disposable diapers came in a pack of 36 which cost $10. Those diapers cost about 28 cents each. You can get cheaper disposables (these are Luvs) and you can get way more expensive ones. We use one overnight and occasionally send Sweet Pea to the nursery at church in one.
So there sit 23 disposable diapers with a cost of $6.39 The 23 cloth diapers on the left cost me $369.04. WHAT? You spent nearly $400 on DIAPERS???? Well, in a minute and I'll show you that you've spent nearly $2,000. Per kid.
The three polka dot ones cost $12.95 each and come with double inserts as they can be used overnight (and they work!). The yellow and red cost $10.95 each and while they are ok, they are cheap and haven't held up as long as others we've had. The velcro isn't attached well. They are comparable to the Bum Genius diapers you'll see in a minute...at first...the quality tapers off much quicker. I'd recommend the snap (instead of velcro) diapers. The red and yellow have been used on 3 kids. Keep that in mind.
These are also pocket diapers. I have a cute white one with rainbow snaps-I believe it is still hanging out to dry as they dry S L O W. They're made of organic bamboo. I couldn't find these being sold anymore, they now have microfleece instead and are retailing for $15.99..but I don't think that is the price I paid for them. Two of mine I have had on 3 kids, two of them on only 2 kids. Many many people have complaints about these diapers...but I don't. Except the slow drying time. These fit skinny babies. I have skinny babies. Got a chunk legger? Don't bother. Got a long and or skinny kid? Fantastic fit. Oh, they're called BabyKicks.Handwashing Challenge and are a single piece of fabric that you fold. Go to You Tube and search "flat folds" and you'll see lots of examples. Prefolds are what many people still use as burp clothes today. They are thick in the middle and thinner on the sides.
The purple cover is a Palm Tree that I got for free as a promotion. I don't know exactly what one by itself would cost as the site I buy from sells them in a set of covers, flats, and fastener. My best guess when dividing all that out is individually it would be about $13.21. It has been fine but I don't use flats a ton.
The pretty pink and white one is a Bummis Whisper Wrap. It retails at $12.97 and also has worked fine. I do use both of these over velcro pockets these days. Why over a pocket? Because at nap time or anytime she doesn't have pants on Sweet Pea removes her velcro diapers. #1 prefers velcro diapers so I don't have many snap closure ones. So if I don't have a snap closure diaper to put on her, I put one of these over it so she can't take it off. I call it security.
The diaper on the left is a Thirsties Duo diaper. Thirsties is the first brand I ever bought. I started with them because they had cheap covers with good reviews and all I could afford was a few covers and my mom gave me all the old flats and prefolds that were mine when I was a baby. I still have a couple of those original covers (even Snug used them) but have sold most of them off. I like the Thirsties Duo diaper but not as much as my Bum Genius ones. At $17.50 each, I'd rather pay the extra 47 cents and get diapers I love. It is a good diaper, and this print is cute.
Last and absolutely least is my (not so) Happy Heiny. I don't have lots of nice things to say about it. I've owned 2 and when this one joins its friend in the trash someday I won't shed a tear. I think it is intended for chunkier babies. It just fits poorly. Again, other people love them. I wasn't going to talk about NB diapers, but I do want to say something nice about this brand. They have a NB size diaper that I really really like. This particular diaper is a pocket and retails at $18.97.
Ok, so like I said, pictured was about $369.04. That's based on current pricing, but diapers really haven't changed in price much in the past 5 years. That seems like a TON of money.
But think about this. We'll base my numbers on a pack of 36 diapers for $10. Say you change your baby only 6 times in 24 hours (when they're little way more than that I would hope). That's 168 diapers a month-$46.67 a month. Most kids are in diapers at the very least 24 months-most much longer-overnight way longer. If you don't take into consideration that younger babies need to be changed much more often (but have 5-6 more diapers per pack) and that as they get older there are LESS diapers per pack, and that many people pay more than $10 per 36 diapers you still get $1,120 for one kid to be diapered, and many people would consider that to be a low estimate.
Suddenly my $369.04 doesn't seem like much. Now I admit we buy one pack a month, so we spend probably between $120-$150 a year on disposables. HOWEVER...of the diapers pictured, you'd only NEED about 16 and if you did all those in my favorite Bum Genius diapers at buy 5 get 1 free you could change your price to $251.58-much less. Those diapers fit (per the manufacture) babies 7-35 lbs.
Keep this in mind too. Cloth diaper babies potty train months earlier than their peers. They often are trained (even overnight) right around their second birthday. According to the University of Michigan The average age for kids in disposables is girls 29 months and boys 31 months-and not overnight. They say "it is common for children to wet at night until they are 5 years old". Guess what? Back when everyone used cloth, the average age to start to potty train was 18 months-and be diaper free overnight by 2. MANY cloth families today will tell you this is very possible.
One more thing. With my large stash $369.04 plus lets say 2 years worth of disposables $300 (on the high end) I'm spending $669.04 (that four cents is really important, evidently . Still not the (low) estimate of $1,120. BUT IT GETS BETTER. Of the pictured diapers, 13 belonged to LMM (read: three kids have used them), and all but maybe five or six (can't remember) BOTH of my girls wore. So the cost goes down again. Because it isn't $369 (dropping that four cents, its annoying) PER KID, its that PER FAMILY.
If we are blessed with another baby, there are several of my diapers that might have to retire. Always sad. I've only ever had to ditch maybe 5 or 6-and all but one of those I bought off of other people who had used them on 2+ kids. But even if I got an entire new stash, I'd still be saving money...and the environment (don't get me started).
I admit cloth diapering isn't for everyone. Neither is babywearing. Neither is co-sleeping. Neither is breastfeeding. Or amber teething necklaces. Many many things about parenting are not one size fits all. I just wanted to put this out there for parents who are considering cloth diapering.
Now I've blogged and am all de-stressed and ready for a three day Memorial Day weekend!
THANK YOU to all the families who have lost a loved one to help make our country free. We are so blessed to live in a country where we can decide babywearing or stroller. Co-sleeping or crib. Breast or bottle. Amber or Tylenol. Cloth or disposable. So very very blessed.