As most of my readers know, it took my husband and me 8 years to conceive. That gave me a lot of time to do research on a lot of parenting options. One of the choices I made for my family was to cloth diaper. I made that choice because it is better for the environment, less expensive, and lowered the risks of diaper rash. I’d like to say that my baby’s bottom or the wastefulness of disposables were my main concerns but honestly the financial impact of disposables was the main deciding factor for me. My husband has been unemployed since November 2011. (He was laid off and then went back to school.) I needed to know I’d never have to worry about running out of diapers and money at the same time.
If we assume a child is potty trained around 2 years old, that is 104 weeks of diapers. If said child goes through a package of diapers every week, and those cost around $10, which is over a thousand dollars going into the trash. If your child is potty trained later, it’s even more expensive. I made an initial investment of $90 and since spent about $30 more for diapers. I bought a variety from a friend who cloth diapered and whose children are no longer in diapers. These were well taken care of diapers so they looked like new. Buying them new would have been about double what I spent. If I assume $250, that is still less than a quarter of the cost of disposables.
I just want to state that this was a choice my husband and I made for our family. It is not right for every family. The initial investment is more than with disposables. Also, if you don’t have access to non-coin laundry on a daily basis, cloth diapering is probably not for you. The cost can go up greatly if you’re making constant runs to the laundromat. The time investment is also greater if you have to go somewhere other than your home to do the laundry. We are currently doing baby laundry every day (diapers every other day and clothing, burp cloths, etc. on non-diaper days). The other downside is that they are bulkier than disposables. We’ve made onesie extenders to account for this. We found a pattern on Pinterest.
Now on to the types of diapers we’ve tried and what we think of them. We have used gDiapers, BumGenius, Real Nappies, and Thirsties.
Our favorites are the gDiapers. They have an outer made of fabric that feels like a comfy t-shirt. There is then a plasticky nylon gusset that snaps in. You fill this gusset with either a cloth or disposable insert. The cloth inserts cost come in a pack of 6. The disposable inserts come in packs of 40. You can order the disposable inserts in a case of 4 (so 160 inserts) for $48-$52. If you use the disposable inserts, you aren’t saving much, if anything from just using disposable diapers. We do have the cloth inserts but have bought the disposable inserts for when we’re out and about. It’s way easier than trying to spray out a cloth diaper in a public restroom. We will also be sending these with for daycare.
The BumGenius diapers are great. They have the most fun prints. My current favorite is called Edison. It’s black with white writing with mathematical and scientific formulas. These fit Amelia really well. She seems comfortable in them. We use the all-in-ones but they have versions with more layers. My husband loves these because they’re super easy to wash.
Until recently Amy was in the BumGenius all-in-ones constantly at home. About 2 weeks ago, she started filling her diapers between feeds overnight. I noticed that when she woke up for her 2am feeding she was drenched in urine. The all-in-ones just can’t hold the amount of urine she releases overnight. We started using the Thirsties. They have an outer that feels kind of like a fall jacket and then there is a cotton inner attached only on the sides. This creates kind of like a pocket. For during the day you can put in an additional insert or for overnight, there are inserts that snap together and sandwich around the inner part that is sewn in. No more urine soaked sleep sacks. Our only issue with these so far is that Amy is a tad too small for the size we have. We have 2 that have Velcro closures and 2 that snap close. My daughter loves to kick her feet and has gotten the Velcro ones to come open a few times. The snap closed ones stay on pretty well.
The Real Nappies are waterproof covers with little pockets in the front and back to tuck in those big white rectangular cloths. We have not used these much but seem to work well. The downside with these is that they need to be ordered. I believe the company is based in New Zealand.
We also have some prefolds. These are what most people think of for cloth diapers. It’s what your great grandmother diapered her kids in…the big white rectangular cloths that you use pins to close. We then have some waterproof covers to pull over. We also haven’t used these much but haven’t had any issues. They aren’t as easy but certainly aren’t difficult to use. We have the diaper pins and have ordered Snappies (an alternative to diaper pins). I have fallen in love with some homemade covers.
If you have any additional questions about cloth diapers I’d love to try to answer them for you. I’d also love to hear if you have other topics you’d like to read about. As always, thank you for your support and for sticking with me as my blog transitions. Be well friends!
Edison by BumGenius