I’ve heard stories of generations past when mothers used cloth diapers and a diaper service picked up the dirty ones and brought clean ones to your door. The thought of using cloth diapers has always repulsed me to say the least. However, with the lifestyle changes we’re trying to make around our house, such as watching less television, using less water, being conscious about not wasting electricity, and of course, saving money in the process, I have begun to get more curious about cloth diapers and the popular come back they seem to be having. My sister-in-law’s sister has been using them since her son was born 22 months ago. She loved them so much, she began making her own and even taking orders for friends and making some for them as well.
I was doing the math, and if the average infant and toddler has a minimum of five diaper changes a day (about once every three hours, not including blow out poopy diapers or changes in the middle of the night), that’s about 155 diapers a month. The average box of diapers (size four or five) has about 80 diapers in them, so that is two boxes a month, costing about $20/box if you buy a major brand such as Huggies or Pampers. Now keep in mind, this does not account for using coupons or buying the generic brand, but I’ve always found that I end up using MORE diapers when I buy the cheap ones because the quality and absorbancy isn’t as good as the “big” brands. Let’s say the average toddler potty trains between the ages of 30 and 36 months. The average baby/toddler uses $1200-$1440 worth of diapers! That does not include the cost of wipes!!
Cloth diapers now come in an adjustable “one size” version that will typically last through the entire diaper phase of a child’s life. From what I understand, most moms recommend you have about two dozen cloth diapers on hand so you’re not having to wash the dirty ones every single day. You can get a good cloth diaper for about $16 and you often get discounts when you buy in bulk (six or more). You could easily get away with one dozen, but you’d have to wash a lot more often. Twelve good quality cloth diapers would cost about $192! Hmmm, $1200…..$192???
I know, I know, there is a lot that goes into cloth diapering. You have to wash them separately and you end up using a bit more water for laundry, but think of the money you are saving!! Not to mention, the diapers that would NOT be in a land fill from your child/children.
Ironically, Owen seems to be interested in potty training, so we may not be using diapers for very much longer, but I’ve gone ahead and made the switch anyways. This will allow me a trial period to see if I could handle it with another baby, or even our foster children, if they’re in diapers. So far, so good. I bought a starter pack of “gdiapers” from “Buy Buy Baby” (a new baby superstore in Augusta) yesterday. It includes two cloth diapers that have a snap-in waterproof liner and 40 flushable, disposable inserts for $26. You don’t have to use the flushable inserts, you can use the ‘old school’ trifold cloth diapers as inserts and simply wash and reuse them. However, the flushable inserts are great to have in the diaper bag or purse for when you go out or go to church. Most people (including child care workers) will not be as thrilled to mess with a cloth diaper when it’s full of poop! Owen has only ‘dirtied’ three inserts in the last 24 hours. He’s done really well on the potty, including pooping twice and peeing several times. He even woke up dry this morning and peed on the potty for me. I’m in shock. I thought for sure I’d be waiting until next summer to potty train and I fully expected him to be a bit of a challenge, like Jesse was. Boy was I wrong!
The two cloth diapers that came in yesterday’s pack were cream and orange. Here are two pictures of Owen in the orange one. You put them on the child like you would a diaper, but backwards. They velcro in the back to prevent the child from wanting to pull it off. Plus, it makes them look a little more like big kid underwear. SO CUTE! I look forward to buying more when the budget permits. I’m also interested in making my own. I’ll let you know how that goes!
Let me know how the diaper thing works out. I may be there with ya!