May 15, 2013

Cloth Diapers, Part 1

I became a cloth diapering Mama in March 2012.  A little over a year ago.  And...I LOVE THEM!!!

I considered using cloth diapers nearly five years ago, when my oldest child was a baby.  But I didn't know anyone who used them, and so I didn't give it too much thought.

Then in August 2011 my husband was laid off for the first time.  Less than a week later I spent nearly $40 on diapers-2 big boxes, one for each child.  "I'm supposed to be prepared," I thought.  I was obviously not diaper-prepared. 

Two months later I was blessed to move to a neighborhood where I quickly met three moms who cloth diapered their children.  They answered all my questions, and a cloth diapering Mama was born.

Here are my answers to the questions that I had.  These are MY experiences.

Why would I want to use cloth diapers?
  • Save money
  • Less waste
Does using cloth diapers really save money?

Absolutely!  I ordered prefolds (more on this later) from Green Mountain Diapers.  Newborn diapers (6-10 lbs) cost $24/dozen.  Size small (10-15 lbs) costs $28/dozen.  Size medium (15-29 lbs) costs $32/dozen.  If you plan to wash diapers daily, you would probably want one dozen of each of these sizes.  This would get you through the first year and beyond.  Then you also need covers.  I love Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper covers.  They cost $12.25 each.  I would recommend getting 5 of each size 1 (4-15 lbs) and size 2 (15-30 lbs).

Total price for cloth diapering your child until he weighs 30 lbs:  $206.50 (shipping is free)
Estimated cost for using disposable diapers for the first year:  $284.33 (this is a very low estimate)

Plus, cloth diapers can be used on more than one child, so you will save even more.

But what about washing diapers?  That costs money!

Yes it does.  But not too much.  At least in my area.  I didn't own a clothes washer until about a week before  I started using cloth diapers.  My electric and gas bills both went down after using a clothes washer.  (Since this was in March, the weather started warming up.  Sorry this doesn't give a very accurate picture of how much washing cloth diapers actually costs.)
And laundry soap.  I make my own (I'll post that recipe soon).   My recipe costs $1.50/batch.  Each batch can wash about 264 loads of diapers.  I wash 5-6 loads of diapers each week.  So the laundry soap would last 44 weeks if all I washed were diapers.

Total cost of soap for 1 year (for just diapers):  $1.77

My baby just woke.  Gotta go.