What I’ve Learned About Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers from GreenBeansDiapers on Etsy.com

I am a believer in cloth diapers.  I know–big shock to the generation of mommies before me who were using cloth diapers before they were hip. But now cloth diapers are just another pretty baby thing to buy.  In the name of saving money and Earth, mothers are turning to cloth diapers like never before.  You can even hang the saving money bit if you’re just aching to have the latest and greatest in cloth diaper technology. Cloth diapers can cost upwards of $30 a piece. Considering how you’ll need at least 24, you’re talking serious cash to get your kid from birth to potty.

But still, I am a believer in cloth diapers.  I wasn’t at first. I though it would be 1) stinky to have a pail of dirty diapers waiting to be washed and 2) a major inconvenience 3) not that much cheaper. I found that the goal in overcoming both of these fears was proper education.

First of all, newborn diapers don’t stink if you wash them every two to three days and who are we kidding? If you don’t empty a garbage can of disposable diapers at LEAST that often, it’s going to stink too. So fear No.1 taken care of.

Are cloth diapers a major inconvenience? It all depends on what you think of as an inconvenience.  If you think that throwing the dirty diaper in a wet bag while you’re out and keeping it in your diaper bag until you get home is major, then you’re not going to like cloth diapers ever at all. If you think doing an extra load of laundry every day or two is major, you should stick to disposables. If you think learning to use cloth diapers will be hard, you’re just plain wrong.

You don’t have to use diaper pins and you don’t have to use white plastic covers. You get to use diapers with snaps or Velco (also called Hook and Loop or Aplix) or, if you’re using prefold diapers, you may use a Snappi to secure them. A snappi is a three pronged device that has little teeth that grab onto the diaper fabric. The fact is, cloth diapers are easy peasy.

The real kicker and the reason I started using cloth diapers is the money and the waste. I’m not really a eco-nut. I just hate to think of garbage taking up otherwise useful space on the planet. (When it all comes down to it, I’m more opposed to the system of zip-locking garbage into landfills where it can’t decompose properly.) But it really does save money to use cloth diapers, especially if you use the prefold and cover system. To learn more about different types of diapers, visit my Cloth Diapers for Unbelievers page.

Here’s how I broke down the cloth diapering cost: Half a dozen covers at  $14 each plus 24 prefolds at $2.75. I’ll have to go up a size with the prefolds before we’re done, which brings the total cost to $216. Compare that to approximately $1200 for disposables (8 diapers a day for two years at $0.20 a piece).  I’ll take the laundry and the wetbag, please.


3 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About Cloth Diapers

  1. Taryn says:

    Yay for cloth diapers! Yes, I cloth diaper too, partly for the savings and the enviro impact, but I’ll admit also because they are just so cute.
    One thing to add to your price savings: Charlotte is almost done with diapers, and most of hers are still good to go for the next kiddo; which means even more savings!

  2. methylethyl says:

    Even cheaper if you can get some of your supplies secondhand. I balked at the idea (and expense!) of pocket diapers… until I found a set on Craigslist for a fraction of the new price. Now I use the cloth ones about 90% of the time (still have disposables for long trips out, but at the rate we use them, baby will outgrow them before we run out) and love them. If they’re still in decent shape for the next kid, that’s pretty much free!

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