WhatIWore: When I told my mom that I planned on using cloth diapers with Felix, she gave me a look that kind of read why the heck would you want to do that? Probably because she thought of the old fashioned type of cloth diapers that have been used on babies for hundreds of years. Maybe she thought of when she cloth diapered me when I was a baby. Cloth diapers have come a long way in 30 years since she last tired them, so here’s why our family use (and love!) them.
Saving Money Ok ok, I haven’t done all of the math down to the cost per size per diaper (they get a little more expensive as they get larger) but disposables run from about 20 cents to 45 cents per diaper. So far Felix goes through between 8-12 diapers a day (let’s average 10) and go with an average price of 32 cents a diaper for two and a half years (some kids potty train earlier or later). That’s 10 diapers x 32 cents x 912 days = $2918.40. Let that sink in for a second! Almost $3000 into the trash!
It should be noted that cloth diapers are a significant up front investment. I put them onto my baby shower registry and that gave me enough to get started (around 20) and I’m adding on additional diapers here and there (currently at 26 total). I use bumGenius 4.0 All in One Elementals, which go for $25 per diaper but go down in cost if you buy multiples. I like this style because it’s just a one piece diaper with 6 layers of organic, absorbant cotton inside and adjustable in size as Felix grows. That boils down to $25 x 24 (the recommended number) = $600 which is still a lot less than $2900, especially if you plan to have more than one child!
We cloth diaper all day long, but come bedtime, we switch to an overnight diaper which can last all night or just need one change depending on when we go down and get up. We also have a box of disposables for long car trips or for times when changing/transporting cloth won’t work. The average cost for those diapers is about 25 cents a piece, so that’s roughly $7.50-$15 a month for overnights.
Less Trash Don’t quote me on this, but I remember once hearing that a traditional diaper won’t decompose at all after 100 years in a landfill. Also, we pay for our trash in Bloomington and 70 dipes a week add up! Ideally we’d transition to 100% cloth diapers and wipes but it’s more realistic for our family to have the option of disposables when we need them. Parenting is already hard enough to hold yourself to extremes!
They’re Cute! I love matching Felix’s diapers to his clothes each day and by clothes I mean jammies because that’s what we wear when we’re at home! We have two of most colors, but since he was born I’ve added more blues. greens and grays to my mix. I’ve also become a wee bit obsessed with the special edition prints (we have the Albert and Martin genius prints). I can’t wait for summer when I’ll put Felix in little tee shirts and just a colorful or printed diaper. BumGenius just came out with the new 2015 colors and Stellar (a vivid cobalt blue pictured above) is my absolute favorite.
Good for Baby I like the natural approach to having cloth close to my babe’s bare bum for the majority of the day! I’ve also heard that cloth diapered kiddos are potty trained sooner, so that’s good for mama too!
The all in one diapers go on and come off just like disposables, but instead of tossing them into the trash, I throw them into a zippered wet bag to contain any odors. I toss that bag and all of the dipes into the wash every day and a half or as needed. I do a soak in cold, then a wash on hot with a drop or two of tree tea oil then a looooooong tumble dry. We have three wet bags of various sizes - a large for daily use, a medium when the large is in the wash and a small bag for travel.
The cloth diapers we use are adjustable as baby grows using snaps, so they’ll last until he’s potty trained and they size down again Felix ever has a baby brother or sister.
Once we introduce solid food into Felix’s diet, we’ll have to manage more of a poo situation, which we’ll do with a water sprayer we have in our bathroom. I already make a trip in there two wash my hands after every change, so I doubt this will be a big deal. Poop doesn’t phase me!
I’ve bought most of my diapers through a small local business, The Green Nursery, owned by my friend Abby and her husband. They’ve got a great online shop and offer discounts for buying multiples. If you’re nuts for the prints (which sell out quickly to other crazy cloth diapering mommies like me), check ebay (but note that the warrenty isn’t valid unlless you buy from an approved vendor).
We started with cloth when Felix was thirteen weeks old and probably would have started sooner if we didn’t have health drama to contend with. So that adds up to nearly 7 weeks of cloth and I’m really happy with them!
UPDATE November 23, 2015: Many of you have asked if we’re still using and loving our cloth stash and the answer is a big ol’ YES! All of the brands we use (Bum Genius, Gro Via and Tots Bots) have held up through many many washings and dryings nicely. One thing the Vogue.com article I was recently quoted on didn’t mention - we’re not die hards. We love cloth but we also still regularly use disposables for overnights or for out of town trips or even when (moment of truth) I’m just behind on laundry. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing game (as with most parenting!) Would we still recommend them for long term cost savings, eco friendliness and mega cuteness factor? Absolutely!
Any other cloth diapering mamas out there? Or anyone with questions? Ask away on my facebook page!