I always wanted to be able to cloth diaper my children but wasn’t sure if it would be an actual possibility. A few months into my pregnancy, Rob and I started talking about it more and researching the pros and cons. Based on the fact that I will be a SAHM(ish) and looking at the benefits of helping the environment, keeping unnecessary chemicals away from our baby and the cost we decided to go CD (cloth diapering).
Let’s talk numbers:
At the end of the day, this is what sold Rob on the idea (well, that plus the fact that I would be doing most of the laundry while staying at home). Let’s say a baby goes through 10 diapers a day (the average seems to be 8-12) which amounts to about 3,650 diapers in their first year. The cost of diapers ranges so much depending on brand I couldn’t really come up with an average. To get the whole picture, let’s say you buy Huggies Supreme – Little Snugglers at Costco. You can purchase a box of 84 for $26.99. That equals about .32/each and at the end of the year would total about $1,168. The great part about this is that we can purchase enough diapers for $400, use with all our children and then sell them for 1/4-1/2 their original cost depending on condition. While I chose not to purchase used, there are many women I know of who have and are.
Helping the environment:
As I mentioned above, our Peanut will go through about 3, 650 diapers in their first year. I sat back for a moment and imagined what that would look like. The thought made me a little sick. Of coarse we have the option of biodegradable ones and although they are still free of many chemicals, it doesn’t help with cost. While I am guilty of running the shower before I get in and often taking 15+ minutes more than I need, I have always cared about recycling and eliminating as much as I can from going to landfills. Yes, I was the one who collected bottles and brought them home to NJ when I was in graduate school.
Keeping unnecessary chemicals away:
This is something that is very important to Rob and I. While we know we can’t protect our baby from everything, I think it’s important to protect them from what you can. One chemical that was common in my readings was dioxins, a byproduct of the bleach used in most diapers, that can have side affects from interaction with babies skin. Other chemicals used to help with absorbency such as Sodium Polyacrylate, to mask odor and dyes to make the cute little patterns could all have negative reactions to a babies bottom and more.
A lot of the information and blogs from CD families talk about having an earlier and easier time transitioning off of diapers. Children are more aware when in cloth diapers and are ready to potty train earlier. While every child is different and this may not be a benefit, it’s still a bullet point on my list!
When all was said and done, Rob and I decided to purchase two BumGenius Diapers bundles from The Green Baby to give us 24 diapers total. We chose Velcro as it is more flexible with baby size and gender neutral colors so we can use them with additional children down the road. While 24 diapers means laundry will need to be done every other day, it will be easier with me home and will ensure I stay on top of washing them before stains set it. We chose BumGenius Diapers because of their great reviews and how “real” they look. They have two inserts; infant/booster and then the larger liner. The infant/booster is used first, when they get older you switch to the larger liner and when they get even older, you use both.
Some people decide to buy used and a few here or there. We decided to get all the same diapers. I asked a husband of a good friend what his thoughts were on cloth diapers. He said he loves them but gets frustrated because they have several different kinds. He can never remember which liners are for which diapers. This reason alone was the deciding factor to buy all the same.
About 30 minutes after I placed my order, I got a call to verify everything turns out I ordered all Velcro except for 1 diaper and they wanted to make sure it was not a mistake. Green, competitive prices, a fairly small company and from what I can tell, amazing customer service. They have by business for life!
A special thank you to Jen over at HomeFor3 who was my go-to-girl with about 100 questions!
We also decided to get these accessories to help a little.
Wet bags & diaper pail liner:
I will be making wet bags for travel and a liner for our diaper pail from special fabric from JoAnn’s for the diapers. I am excited to make them because I can choose from fun patterns and make them the sizes I need/want!
Depending on how big Peanut is when he/she is born, we may need to use disposable diapers for awhile. Thanks to my good friend Jamie, she introduced me to a biodegradable, as natural as possible option at Diapers.com. I am very excited to have this option and will always have a pack or two on hand for emergencies when we can’t use the cloth diapers.