Because I have recently written about problems with cloth diapers, like ammonia build up and treating diapers for yeast, I wanted to reassure any of you cloth diapering mommas, and reach out to those who are on the fence about cloth. Why cloth? I’ve read plenty of stats about how much diapers cost over the diapering life of your average child but I wanted to do the calculations for myself.
Newborns use an average of 12 diapers a day and diaper usage slowly decreases to about 8 a day once they get to be toddlers. I calculated these figures using 12 – 8 diapers per day according to age. I got disposable prices from large cases of diapers from Costco.com’s website. I calculated diapers used from birth to 3 years old.
From birth to 4 months diapering your average baby will cost $393. From birth to 3 years the average disposable diapering cost goes up to $2,393! That’s the cost for 9,960 diapers, thrown away, creating toxic stew and taking 550 years to decompose. Whew. That sucks.
What’s my point? Even though cloth diapers take time to wash (unless you are using a diaper service) and may sometimes cause a bit more work (like when you need to strip them of buildup). One night of boiling diapers seems to me to be well worth saving the planet and $1,589 of your hard earned money.
Oh? You heard that? Yes, cloth diapers could save you $1,589 or more. Even if you get a mighty nice stash of GroVia cloth diapers like the following ones listed, they would cost $804.
A newborn AIO set of 12 diapers $161.46
A set of 12 AIO for $247.99
AND a set of 12 AI2 shells with 24 inserts (soakers) and 4 boosters $394
This is the price when they aren’t on sale. I bought our stash slowly over time and mostly during sales. Now that I know I should wash nightly (twins produce a full load of diapers for an HE machine daily), I could probably get away with a few less diapers. Our stash for twins includes:
15 AI2 GroVia shells
14 AIO GroVia diapers
36 gCloth inserts (soakers)
3 little gPants
So, if I can get away with this many diapers, the above samples should be plenty for the life of diapering your baby as long as they are washed per manufacturers directions.
Cloth diapering parents are an entire community. They are supportive and helpful. Any cloth diaper company I have ever contacted has been more than helpful as well. If the mess scares you (which you kinda just have to get over if you have a baby) there are always diaper services that will launder the diapers for you. Babies are messy. They poo without regard for where it goes, they vomit whenever and wherever they want, they get older and find spitting funny. Aye! As parents we learn to deal with these biological functions. Dumping poo into a toilet just isn’t that big a deal. It’s much nicer than giving it to someone in a can to burry in the ground! Sorry…. couldn’t help myself….
Have I mentioned that I don’t think any less of moms who have decided to use disposables (sposies)? I’m sure there are some of you who have looked into cloth and have still chosen to use disposables. I have a friend who can’t get past the thought of putting soiled diapers in her washing machine. I fully understand the germaphobe frame of mind. I’m a nurse and I know all to well how many bugs are out there. I know it can be hard to imagine that diapers can actually get throughly clean in a washing machine, but it does happen. Yes, my diapers had ammonia build up. This isn’t “dirty” though. Remember, ammonia is also used as a cleaning agent! It was however, unfortunate for my little one’s bums…. You will, inevitably, wind up washing some poo, pee and spit up out of any baby’s clothes. With cloth diapering, you can wash all of those items in your regular diaper load!
Are you worried about the cost of extra laundry? Check out this cloth diapering calculator HERE. Remember, many companies recommend that you line dry your cloth diapers which will also save you the cost of drying them! To maintain cloth diaper softness, it helps to put them in the dryer for 5 minutes before and after line drying.
I have learned plenty along this road called parenthood. I think that because cloth diapers aren’t in Target for you to check out and get your hands on, they seem strange, old, and foreign. Really, cloth are no longer about pins. Cloth are cute, I mean, so cute that buying them MAY turn into an addiction! Do you have a boy and are upset that there aren’t enough cute clothes to dress him in? You can double his wardrobe by buying cute airplane, owl, or camo prints.
Are you interested in cloth? Would you like a cloth diaper workshop in your area? Please leave a comment on this post if so. If you cloth diaper, what is your favorite part? Do you find cloth diapering hard? I’m gonna say that I have had maybe one week total, in the last 28 months, that I have had a hard day with cloth. Once I figured out the problem, it was easy to find the information to fix the problem thanks to the AMAZING cloth diaper community. I would love to help give a cloth diaper workshop in Ventura County. If you are interested, let me know so I can get the resources together!
Please see the Real Diaper Association’s link HERE for much more info on cloth diapering!
I just heard about a new diaper service opening in my area. Yes, this excited me! When I started cloth diapering there wasn’t a diaper service in our area. I’m not complaining. I found some great diapers and diaper inserts that I wouldn’t have found if I had been using a diaper service – so I’ll count myself lucky. But for those of you who are hesitant to go cloth, a diaper service may be just what you need!
Most diaper services use a standard prefold diaper insert and then they offer a few basic diaper covers for you to purchase separately. Sometimes they offer different sized prefolds for different absorption needs or according to the age/weight of your child. Most services ask only that you shake any extra waste into the toilet before putting the diaper into their pail. (This is no different than what disposable diapers ask of you though. Directions on the box of disposable diapers ask that you not throw away solid wast, it creates toxic stew in our landfills!) Diaper services pick up your dirty diapers approximately once a week and deliver a fresh stack of sparkling clean ones while they are there.
This is a pretty awesome deal if you ask me. You don’t have a ton of extra laundry (wash the diaper covers once and a while) or extra work! Instead of worrying about where it’s ok to throw away a stinky diaper when you are out visiting friends and family, just put your dirty diapers in a wet bag, take them home and dump them in the diaper pail for your service to come pick up. Many services will also include cloth wipes in your service.
To find a diaper service in my area I went to http://www.diapernet.org/. I then found ADORE Diaper Service. Some services require that you buy a stash of diapers and then they charge a fee for their pick up, washing and delivery service. ADORE charges $24 a week for up to 90 newborn diapers. As baby grows the number and type of diapers change but the fee doesn’t. You do have to purchase your own diaper covers but that’s part of the fun of cloth diapering. What style, color or pattern do you want on your baby’s bum?
How does this cost compare to disposables? Prices differ, but I found some Pampers Dry Max 108 count newborn swaddler disposable diapers at Babies R Us for $29. This breaks down to about .27 cents per diaper. Guess how much the diaper service cost breaks down for newborn diapers? They are just under .27 cents per diaper! Aaaaaand….. ADORE gives a discount for households with twins, or multiple children in diapers. Sweet!
So think about it…. With a service like this, there is not a ton of up front cost to get going right away. If you just didn’t trust yourself to wash diapers or thought it was gross, let the professionals do it!