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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cloth Diapers, Part 1

Part 1: Why you might want try them, and why you may be hesitant


They save you money. A lot of money. We primarily made the move because of how cheap it is. When I did some research online, I found that *most* people estimate it costs over $2,000 per kid to use disposables until potty training, possibly more! My rough estimate is that we've spent about $250 on our cloth diapers...and they will last through all our kids. We have everything we need with the exception of purchasing more liners and possibly replacing a few covers. At the most I would guess we'll spend about $300 total in the end. So cloth diapers will definitely save you money. (Though, there *are* methods of cloths diapering that are more expensive than others. Even if you go with the high-tech diapers, most people agree that it's still cheaper than disposables.)

They're environmentally friendly. I'm not a crazy tree-hugger, but I do think Christians should be mindful of their environmental impact. We should try to be good stewards of the planet. Reusable diapers are great way to reduce our trash. This was a very small factor in our initial decision to cloth diaper, but as my convictions in this area have grown, I'm so thankful we are leaving less diapers in landfills.

It's simple and easy. You buy everything up front, and you have it when you need it! As long as I stay on top of laundry, I never run out of diapers. I don't have to run out to the store. It doesn't take that long to change them. I even go out with them until I start giving solid foods (breast-fed poops don't need to be flushed down the toilet, but LJ's big girl ones do, so I find it's worth it to put her in a disposable when we go out.). And once you get the hang of it, it really only takes a few minutes longer to do a diaper change than it does with disposables.

I think they leak less. Seriously! As long as the cover fits the kid, is in good condition, and is on properly, I rarely have leaking problems. We've had some doosies blow out of the diaper, but the cover saves the day and keeps the clothes clean! Whenever we use disposables (church, travel, busy season) I'm always disappointed in their performance.

They're cool for random little reasons. I personally don't think they smell as bad as disposables; I think it's because the cloth diaper and plastic cover are better able to contain the smell. And my kid has no butt :o) so the bulk of the cloth diaper keeps her 12 month size pants from falling down!


You have to do extra laundry. But it's really not that bad; I'm up to a load a day with two in diapers.

You have more up front costs. But not much more! We got everything we needed to get LJ through the first six months for $100. A big box of Huggies that lasts about a week costs about $20.

You have to face your fears...or your kids poop! ;o) You don't get to just fold it up into a disposable and chuck it in the diaper genie...there's a little more work involved. (More on the actual process to come.)

You may get some funny looks and comments. Cloth diapering is becoming more popular, but it's still considered unconventional and old-fashioned. Who knows, you *may* even get called a hippie! ;o)


  1. Another advantage: NO DIAPER GENIE!! Man those things can stink up an entire half house. YUCK! That was one of the major reasons I fell in love with cloth diapering.

    I will say, though, a disadvantage is something I'm dealing with now. I need to replace some more "tired" diapers. I bought all of ours used (reduce, reuse, recycle...as you know I, too, am a hippy mommy) to cut down on encouraging consumerism. I am now finding some of mine I got for G when she was brand new are too exhausted to use with L. That might be properly handled by a more sewing-inclined mommy, but I lack the skills to repair some of these tears. I'll be replacing my tired diapers with prefolds though. That way I can buy new, extend the period of time I can keep them useful, and still not pay a lot up front. I believe I'll be working towards baby 3 come March, so I don't feel guilty replenishing my stash now. I love this series, by the way!!! Great idea!!

  2. Another advantage (for me at least) is using cloth diapers reduces redness and irritation on Ti's skin. He usually has redness after disposables that clears right up with a cloth diaper.

  3. Hil: Agreed on the smell. We were only using disposables for a week and a half after Sam was born and when our washer was fixed I was SO EXCITED to get back to cloth! And as far as fixing diapers goes, I haven't had to deal with that, yet. But I also use prefolds exclusively. I have had to mend the laundry tabs on some of my thirsties covers, though. (And BABY THREE!!! WOW and YAY!!!)

    Leah: LJ doesn't seem to have sensitive skin (very few diaper rashes in her lifetime) but I've heard people say that a lot. (Also, I love the changes you've made to your blog!)