Wednesday, January 12, 2011

::cloth diapers::

Laugh.  Go ahead.  But I am not the 25 years old money to burn brat that declared I would never use hippie cloth diapers on my baby.  I am a 33 year poor lady trying to be environmentally friendly.  Besides, I am not committing.  I am just hashing out the idea.

There are many potential health benefits to cloth diapers.  I am not going to go into that.  They are good and all, but they are not my main focus.

There are obvious environmental benefits, which I also don’t need to draw out for you.  I am pretty sure you can figure that out.

Let’s discuss the financial stand point and the user friendless.

According to a few different websites that I am peaking at the average cost of disposable diapering a two year old is about $2,000.  One of the huge benefits of disposable is that they are so easy to use.   

Now for cloth.

There are a few different ways to do this.

1.  We can subscribe to a diaper service.  It is $80 a month.  They come to our house (maybe, I haven’t checked if our rural location will be an issue) and take the dirty and leave clean.  You still need to buy diaper covers for this.  I found some adjustable ones that are super cute for $75 for six.  The websites say you need 6-10 of these covers.  Obviously we would start small and build up.  The pro’s are that this would be easy and pretty pain free.  The con’s are that that $80 a month would hurt.  A lot.  And there is so overall savings.

Total cost over 2 years = $1,995

2.We can use all in one cloth diapers.  These are highly recommended by YHL (a blog I have stalked before I knew what blogs were).  It is one diaper (no inserts) and you wash the entire thing.  They come in super cute colors and they are adjustable.  The one size can go from 8lbs to 30lbs.  You need at least 12 diapers and 18-24 works best.  You also need a spray attachment for your toilet to spray out the big stuff when they get bigger and you need some double inserts to get through the night when they are bigger.  The con’s are convenience.  We would still have to use disposable at Grammy’s and when traveling.  Of course washing them would be a pain, but that isn’t a huge factor for me.  I know that my girls that help me watch the kids would be willing to play along with this crazy idea.

Start up cost = $325-460

3. Diaper covers and inserts.  Basically the same thing as the diaper service but without someone else doing the washing.  The covers would run around $75 and the inserts?  I feel like I see those at Wal-Mart and other places.  I used them as burp cloths with my big kids.  You can use disposable ones in a pack of 18 for $5.  Or industrial ones for $2 each.  How many of these would I even need?  30?  You can also go back and worth between disposable/biodegradable (which you can actually flush or compost if just wet) and the washable ones. 

Start up cost = $330 for three sizes of inserts

What are your thoughts?  Have I fallen off the deep end? 

Sites with more information:


  1. brookie if our grandmas did this as the norm, you can too.

  2. Yes - but they also smoked when pregnant.

  3. I'm not laughing, I'm impressed.

  4. I thought about cloth diapers, but was too chicken to go through with it. My friend makes cloth diapers and could answer your questions better than I could. Her work website is I think you are a brave soul to try something out of your comfort zone. Good luck!

  5. You're not crazy, you're awesome!

    I cloth diaper, and I love it. It's so much better for the planet, for my baby, and after the initial investment, for the wallet too!

    Cloth diapering will be very overwhelming with a newborn. They go so often that you may not feel that it's worth it, with every change and all the loads of laundry you'll be doing. I had every intention of cloth diapering from the beginning with my baby, but I had a C-section and in-laws in town that weren't totally supportive of the cloth diapering, so I didn't actually start till she was about a month and a half old. Another negative about cloth diapering with a newborn is that they're so small that until their legs chunk up a little bit, they won't *quite* fit in a lot of the "One Size" diapers.

    That said, cloth diapering has come a million miles since our parents tried it and our grandparents did it. Most of the "OS" diapers have snaps or adjustable elastic that allow you to use the same diaper on an 10lb baby as a 35lb baby! Money saver!! A lot of the diapers these days are kind of what I like to describe as a panty and pad design. When you're in your "time of the month" you only change your pad when it needs it, not your underwear (unless it gets dirty too). Diapers designed like that, with the pad in the panty (called a shell or cover) are usually called "AI2s" or All-In-Twos, and I think they're great for a cloth diaper beginner. I have 5 "Flips" covers that I bought on eBay, that came with 5 inserts (the pad part that both pulls moisture away from baby's skin and soaks it up) and an extra supplemental absorbent pad for each, and I snagged the whole set for $86 +shipping. I also have a set of 12 organic prefolds that I use at home (the way they absorb liquid leaves it touching baby's skin, so I have to change more often). Those prefolds help stretch time in between loads of laundry and let me save the super absorbent pads for when we go out, or for naptimes. Whenever the covers get dirty too, I just grab a clean one and throw the dirty one in the diaper pail with the used pads for laundry later.

    Another popular variety of cloth diapers are "pocket diapers." The way this diaper works is like a hot-pocket. The bottom breading is the shell part (waterproof to keep wetness IN), the top breading is a layer of wicking fabric to pull wetness away from baby's skin. The filling is the absorbant pad that holds the liquid. As long as the top breading is clean, you can change out the filling and continue using the diaper! Basically, these can sop up a lot of pee, but once they're dirty, in the laundry pail they go.

    Researching cloth diapers is ridiculously overwhelming, or at least that's what I found when I was pregnant. I highly suggest you try to find a retail store where you can look and examine the different kinds, if at all possible. Or ask someone who knows, haha.

    I hope his helps. I am a HUGE advocate for cloth diapering. Please contact me at if you'd like to ask anything about it! I'd love to make you a CD convert!

    P.S. I love your blog!

  6. I also just re-read your post. You actually have a good grasp on the idea. Sorry if I explained stuff you already know, but I guess that's what I get for reading blogs at 5am while I'm nursing, and commenting 8hours later on them!



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