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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

WHY I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERS

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

My love of fluffy butts....

I had no idea that I was going to love cloth diapering as much as I do. I initially started cloth diapering simply to save money. In order for me to be a SAHM, we had to save a few bucks here and there. This was a huge help! My sister turned me on to the idea, and while I was skeptical at first, now I wouldn't do it any other way.





1. It saves me money


Let's do some calculations to prove this!

Assumptions:
Baby is in diapers for 2 years (730 days)
Baby uses 8 diapers per day
Baby uses 1 wipe per diaper change

  • Disposable diapers

    • Diaper cost:
      Using the bulk Up&Up brand (on the inexpensive end)
      192 diapers costs $37.99
      8 diapers x 730 days= 5840 diapers needed
      5840 diapers/192 diapers per pack = 31 packs of diapers
      31 packs x $37.99 = $1177 over the course of 2 years
         
    • Wipes cost:
      Using the bulk Up&Up brand (on the inexpensive end)
      800 wipes costs $13.04
      1 wipe x 8 diaper changes x 730 days= 5840 wipes needed
      5840 wipes/ 800 wipes per pack = 8 packs of wipes
      8 packs x $13.04 = $104 over the course of 2 years
         
    • Diaper pail cost:
      1 diaper genie costs $20 (cheapest version)     
         
    • Diaper pail inserts cost:
      250 inserts cost $6.79
      Each insert then costs $0.03
      Let's assume 1 insert is used for 4 days
      730 days/4 days=  183 inserts that will be used over the course of 2 years
      This means you'd be buying 1 pack of 250 inserts (just not using all of them)
      250 inserts cost $6.79

Total disposable diaper cost over 2 years: approximately $1308

     

  • Cloth diapers

    • Diaper cost:
      New pocket diapers (the most expensive out of all the options) are $20 each
      Used pocket diapers are $10 each
      I would recommend having 35 diapers (so you don't have too much laundry)
      Cost of new cloth diapers would be 35 x $20 = $700
      Cost of used cloth diapers would be 35 x $10= $350
         
         
    • Wipes cost:
      I would recommend having 35 cloth wipes
      Wipes are $1
      Cost of wipes would be 35 x $1 = $35 
         
    • Trash can cost:
      A simple, tall kitchen trash can will work
      Cost of trash can is $10 
          
    • Pail liners cost:
      I would recommend 2 pail liners (1 to use while washing the other)
      1 liner is $15
      2 liners x $15 = $30
       
         
    • Wet bags for on the go:
      I would recommend 2 wet bags
      1 wet bag is $8
      2 wet bags x $8 = $16
       
            
       
    • Diaper inserts
      These come with the diapers, however you could choose to upgrade to more absorbent inserts. Let's assume we upgrade to charcoal bamboo inserts.
      1 insert = $1
      35 inserts x $1 = $35
        
    • Diaper liners
      These are not needed, but you could choose to use them for easy disposal of poop.
      200 liners cost $10
      Using them every diaper change:
      8 changes x 730 days= 5840 liners
      5840 liners/ 200 liners per roll = 30 rolls needed
      30 rolls x $10 = $300 
       
       
      More likely: you'll know what time of day your little one poops and be able to use 2 liners per day as a worst case scenario:
      2 liners x 730= 1460 liners
      1460 liners/200 liners per roll= 8 rolls needed
      8 rolls x $10 = $80 
       
         
    • Extra cost for laundering (water and electricity):
      For a 3 month period, our water cost increased $10 from the previous year
      For another 3 month period, our water cost had 0 change from the previous year
      Let's average that to say every 3 months water cost will increase $5
      There are 8, 3 month periods in 2  years
      Water cost is 8 x $5= $40
      Keep in mind that water usage also increases simply from bathing baby, washing more dishes, baby clothes etc. (I've essentially put this entire burden on cloth diapering to show the worst case cost difference) 
       
       
      Electricity cost is hard to judge because of so many other factors.
      I looked at our bill during non "peak" months. In March, our kWh went slightly up, and April went slightly down from the previous year. They offset one another, and there does not seem to be a change in our electric bill that is of any significant amount.

          

Total cloth diaper cost with most expensive options (new diapers, liners used every time, inserts upgraded, etc.) = $1166


Total cloth diaper cost with least expensive options (used diapers, liners not used, inserts not upgraded, etc.)= $481 

     
While this is a rough estimate, disposable diapers are roughly $150 more if compared to the most expensive cloth diapering option. This is a conservative estimate because most likely, more wipes and pail inserts are used, and if your baby is using diapers past the age of 2 (likely), this gap will grow even larger. I purchased used cloth diapers, so this difference is even greater at roughly 2.5x the cost (or $827 more).
 

This isn't even taking into consideration using the cloth diapers again for baby #2, #3, etc. Nor is it considering the resale value of used diapers. I will be able to make back $10 per diaper when I am done with them!

Even with the most expensive cloth diapering option, if you have a second baby, you'd only be spending $300 on diaper liners (if you even choose to use these) for your second round of cloth diaper usage, versus spending another $1308 with disposables for baby #2.

If you sell your used cloth diapers, you can make $10 back on each, or $350 total. You can also sell your upgraded inserts, pail liners, etc. So, you can make a decent amount of money back when you are done.

2. It prevents the dreaded poop blowout


I had heard this from other mamas, but it isn't until you see how much poop these diapers can actually hold, that you have an appreciation for it! We started with disposable diapers, and one day I ended up with a lap full of poop. Not my favorite moment. Since then, we've had near blowouts in our cloth, but they never managed to actually overfill. I have no idea how, because sometimes I would open that diaper to find more poop than I could ever imagine, but somehow it had stayed in.

  

3. We are not adding to the landfills 

  
This benefit is obvious. Helping the environment is always a plus. Instead of throwing close to 6000 diapers into a landfill over the course of 2 years, I am not disposing of anything! That's pretty awesome!


4. I find other reasons to go to Target


With cloth diapers, I don't end up having to make a trip to the store to get diapers. There is no last minute rush, no lugging boxes to the car, etc. We still find our ways to make it to Target and purchase other things, of course, but diapers aren't one of them.

5. Baby's butt is chemical free


This isn't why I cloth diapered to begin with, and disposable diapers and wipes don't have crazy harmful chemicals, but I have to say I am very happy to just be using water on my baby's butt. No nasty wipe solution, no diapers with chemicals, etc. This is an added bonus. 

I recently tried disposable diapers for a few days and I noticed small little gel crystals on occasion that ended up on my daughter's skin. This happened with two different kinds of diapers. This is not a concern when using cloth.

6. They grow with your baby


The pocket diapers I purchased are one sized diapers- meaning they grow with your baby. They have 3 different rise snaps, and as your baby grows, the diaper does too. Therefore, you are not having to buy more diapers as your baby gets bigger.
   

7. It's easier than it sounds 

 
Despite what you may or may not have heard, cloth diapering is pretty simple. If you breastfeed, the poop is water soluble and goes straight into the washer. You don't have to touch poop or scrape it off! When you start baby on solids, there is about a 1 month period where your baby's poop is a peanut butter consistency. This poop does have to be scraped off and thrown out, or you can use liners and just dump the entire liner in the trash or toilet. It is a short lived period, however. Once the poop becomes more solid, you just plop it into the toilet or trash- no scraping or liners required. You can also do like we do and place your baby on the toilet to poop starting around 5 months to avoid dealing with it all together.

With 35 diapers, I do laundry every 3-4 days. It is not that time consuming and you get into a good routine where you hardly notice it.

Oh and by the way, cloth diapers have snaps now! You can go old school and use diaper pins with prefolds and covers, or you can use pocket diapers that snap on so easily- no pins required. They are just as easy to put on your baby, if not easier than disposable diapers.

8. They don't smell

I just recently tried disposable diapers for a few days. I am going on a trip soon, and don't want to have to worry about doing laundry while I am away, so I will be using disposables for convenience. I wanted to try them for a few days to make sure my daughter would be alright with using them, and to make sure we had a good nighttime option. I find myself changing her ALL the time because she smells like pee! Instead of going a couple of hours like I do with cloth, I am changing her almost every hour just to avoid the smell. We've tried two brands, and I even checked with some friends to see if this is "normal". Apparently it is. This in and of itself is reason enough for me to use cloth.

Click here for more money saving tips and ideas! Also, learn all about the different types of cloth diapers!



Hey guys! I'm Katrina (aka Mama)! I love country music, snuggling on the couch with our dog, and playing with our daughter. I am a fibro warrior, a former chemistry teacher, I love watching college football (go aggies!), and I love being a SAHM. Connect with me on Facebook for more adventures!

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