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Cloth Diapering: Get the Bottom Line on Saving Money

Joanie.Demer


If it has been said once, it’s been said a hundred times: cloth diapering will save money and is better for the environment.  But… (back of hand to forehead) the hassle! The laundry! The mess! The smell!

Well, no, actually. I started cloth diapering first to cut expenses. The price of disposable diapers is exorbitant! For $70, a friend sold me 18 cloth pocket diapers with double inserts (don’t worry if you don’t yet know what that means). I loved it! For Christmas, a friend got us six more diapers, and I bought six more myself using coupons, of course.

With 30 cloth diapers, I  do, on average, two loads of diapers per week (we do use a disposable for overnight). You’re not afraid of an extra two loads of laundry, are you? Because that’s really all there is to it.

Cloth diapering isn’t what your grandmother is used to.  No more safety pins and sweaty plastic pants. Today’s cloth diapers are fitted and shaped. They come in various sizes or an “all in one” size that adjusts to fit newborns, infants and toddlers. Many come in adorable patterns and colors.

Try cloth diapers without a commitment at Jillian’s Drawers. Jillian’s offers a $10 cloth diapering trial. They’ll send about a dozen cloth diapers to try for three weeks. Return them all, and the program costs you only $10. Keep some and they’ll just add that amount to what you owe. I tried this program for three weeks with the thought that if I could manage the trial then I could handle it full time. Cloth diapers are cute, easy, eco-friendly, and not the hassle or mess that many think they are.

I didn’t know anything about cloth diapering and spent some time researching. Jillian’s Drawers is an excellent resource to learn about different types of diapers, how to use them, how to wash them, and how to get the most for the money. Here’s a primer:

Basic Types:

  • Pre-folds: These are the most economical kind of cloth diapers and would look familiar to grandma. No more safety pins anymore, though; now we use a Snappi.
  • Pocket diapers: What I use. An insert is placed inside the pocket of a diaper. Mine have double inserts, so I can double up for overnight, naptime, or long trips.
  • All-in-ones: Definitely my favorite from the Jillian’s trial pack. There are no separate pieces. You take the diaper off the baby and throw it in your diaper pail. Wash. Dry. Reuse.

Storing Dirty Diapers:

  • I didn’t buy a diaper pail. I washed out an old kitty litter bucket. We keep it in the garage and throw dirty diapers in there.
  • Many sources say if your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t have to pre-clean any poopy diapers. The poop is liquid, so just toss in the diaper pail for later washing.
  • Once baby starts solids, get rid of the solid poop before they go in the washing machine. We installed this diaper sprayer to our toilet for that purpose. An awesome product!

Washing and Drying Diapers:

  • Cold rinse followed by a warm water wash using regular detergent (commercial or homemade). Most diapers require a hot water wash, but mine specifically said to not use hot water. Always follow the directions so your diapers last a long time!
  • Diapers can be line or machine dried. When they get stained, dry them in the sun because UV rays get the stains out!
  • Once a month I use a brand name detergent (RLR) to “strip” the diapers to keep them clean and prevent odors.

Tips:

  • Talk to friends. You’ll be surprised who uses cloth diapers!
  • Read, read, read! There are tons of online resources.
  • Search Craigslist and local Facebook online yard sales for used cloth diapers for sale.
  • Enjoying cloth diapering? Get really brave and use cloth wipes!
Cost Breakdown:
Type Brand Jillian’s Drawers Green Mountain** Kelly’s Closet
Prefolds* varies $1.75-8.00 $1.25-3.75 $2.00-8.00
  Pocket BumGeniusOne size $17.95 $17.97
Kawaii One Size $9.95 $9.97
Fuzzibunz Elite $17.95 $17.95
   All in One BumGenius Elemental One Size $24.95 $22.08-24.95 $24.97
Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 $17.95 $18.95 $18.97
Tots Bots Easy Fit $23.95 $23.95
Kissaluvs Marvels $22.95 $14.95 (newborn size only)

*Prefolds require a Snappi, about $4, and a diaper cover, about $9.50 – $20.00.
**Green Mountain Diapers carry several unique brands.

For very basic, no-frills diapers, check out Cloth Diaper Wholesale and Just Simply Baby, which sell diapers for $12 and $11.50 each, respectively. Here are some other links to investigate: Kelly’s Closet, Green Mountain DiapersDiaper Swappers.

  This has been a guest post by Tiffany from PA.
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