Monday, July 26, 2010

Cloth Diapers - Part 2

I am pretty concerned with all the chemicals that are in disposable diapers, but I do not want to make anyone feel bad for choosing that. I will just say, it might pay to spend an hour online researching what is put into disposable diapers. Then think about that being next to your child's skin for 24 hours a day, for 2-3 years. It's scary. I certainly put the effort into trying to feed my child as natural food as possible. I try to make what I can, and buy food with as few ingredients as possible. I make sure to but natural bug spray, sunscreen, lotion,  baby wash. Those are used far less. Just a thought. I'd be happy to share my findings as well, it's concerning to say the least what's in disposables and what it could be doing to your child's body.

As far as ecological sustainability and resourcefulness, it's definitely a winner. There are SO many areas I'd like to progress (like rainwater catching - especially living in Nevada!), so I am not here to say I'm where I want to be. But it's one thing I feel prudent choosing.

So, to wrap up the Cloth Diaper entries, I've got to make the argument for cuteness!!!!

Honestly, I love her diaper changes! I love looking at all my choices, and being able to match with her outfits, the cuteness is just so fun! Who would have throught diaper changes could be something to look forward to? I can put a cute little Winnie the Pooh dress on her, and choose to match the main yellow color, or draw out the accent dark or light greens, or blues. Ah choices! It's just fun. And I believe the Big Names in disposables must be taking notice at all the cloth options out there, because look what's just come out... Designer Diapers by Pampers!!! And how pricey... :) I want to laugh when looking at $15 for 26 size 3 diapers!

I do admit that when I had fewer diapers (less than 18), I was a bit dragged down by doing laundry so frequently (every day or ever other day). But now, I rarely think of it as "more" laundry. The most "inconvenient" is when visiting others' houses, just  because I don't like having to figure out how to commandeer someone else's washer enough to wash diapers through two cycles. But that's it.

I feel like there is a bit of a steep learning curve when you have never seen a cloth diapers, and you google "cloth diaper" and wander into or But I don't think I can do a better job of laying out all the types of cloth diapering out there. So just go here and you can see the table, and click further into examples of each one.

I will say, I think Pocket Diapers are the easiest. These Diapers come in "One Size" (with snaps to change the size to S, M, or L) or in XS,S,M,L. There it an outer "shell" made of a waterproof material (called PUL). Then a microfiber/fleece/hemp "insert" is tucked into the pocket on the inside of the diaper (you can double for extra dryness like bedtime). These diapers are either closed with Velcro or Snaps. 

I own 15 Velcro (sometimes called Aplix) and 5 Snap. I would honestly recommend each person keep a diaper stash of half of each. Then based on your child's age and your preference, you can use what's best. Here's my breakdown:

Pros to Velcro: It's faster on/off. This is so helpful for the newborn who is crying at every diaper change, or the wiggly infant at that new crawling stage! Also, you can customize the fit perfect to your child
Cons to Velcro: It wears out faster, will need replacing between 18-24 months of use (depending on how picky you are).
Pros to Snaps: Won't wear out (not even sure when the snaps eventually "die"). 
Cons to Snaps: Take a longer time getting on/off (2-3 times as long). Fit may be too snug or loose, since you use pre-set spacing.

For example, Elyana can take off looser velcro now, so if I put her to bed in a gown, I will make sure she's in a snap diaper!

Want proof of the cuteness???? Here's a picture I snapped of what diapers I had for her the other day... Not all in her stash (I've got some duplicate colors), but these are all the colors she has! Dark Green, Light Green, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Yellow, Buttercup, Dark Pink, Light Pink, Purple, Brown, Red Daisy, Purple Daisy! I get happy just seeing the pretty colors. And 90% of these are over 18 months old! Can you see the wear?!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Want to Save $1400 per child in diapers???

I have finally, finally done the math on what kind of money you save with cloth diapering your child. It's astounding. I knew it was over $1000 per child, I just didn't get the numbers exactly. So I think it never hit me how huge the savings could be. (Next post will detail types of cloth diapers - too cute/pretty!)

I'm going to show you the exact math for what it cost me. These numbers will change a bit and depending on what cloth diapers you get, and how many you get. But in general, these statistics will be very close to how much you will save (I don't say can save, I say will!).

I did not know how much a family spends on diapers a month, because that will hugely depend on what brand they choose, how many their child goes through, and what kind of deals they get (Costco/Sam's Club, Coupons, etc). I just took a $75 average that I got from looking on a website that had families listing their costs as $60 to $100 a month.

So, let's break it down. Here's what I actually have spent by having my daughter in diapers for almost 18 months now. I wash every other day (although I initially bought only 12 diapers and washed every single day for 9+ months).

$291.63 - 18 Diapers (All One-Size Pocket Diapers like BumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heineys)
$37.05 - 2 Planetwise Wetbags (One is plenty, I just like to have two)
$15.39 - One Year's Worth of increase in Water Bill from Washing
$15.00 - One Year's Worth of Free & Clear Detergent (estimate)

So my initial cost setting up cloth diapering was $359.07. Each year I pay $30.39 in water bills and detergent costs to wash my diapers. I can't say how much my power bill increased, but I only dry the diaper liners, about 30-45 minutes, so that's not a lot there.

This makes my TOTAL COSTS as follows:
$359.07 - Year One Of Cloth Diapering Child #1
$ 30.39 - Year Two of Cloth Diapering Child #1

Add another baby? Your diapers will still be usable! Places like BumGenius even give you free replacement kits to replace the velcro and elastic on your diapers (I just did that with 2 I'd bought used and it was easy and awesome)!

So, TOTAL COSTS added to another baby?

$ 30.39 - Year One of Cloth Diapering Child #2
$ 30.39 - Year Two of Cloth Diapering Child #2

This is opposed to disposable diapering your child. My numbers using $75/month on diapers.

$ 900 - Year One Of Disposable Diapering Child #1
$ 900 - Year Two of Disposable Diapering Child #1

Add another baby? Buy everything again:

$ 900 - Year One of Disposable Diapering Child #2
$ 900 - Year Two of Disposable Diapering Child #2

Final cost to cloth diapering one child for two years? $389.46

Final cost to cloth diapering two children for two years? $480.63

Final cost to disposable diapering one child for two years? $1800

Final cost to disposable diapering two children for two years? $3600

for cloth diapering one child for two years? $1410.54
Savings for cloth diapering two children for two years each? $3119.37