Like all other parents, when I was pregnant, I spent many many nights trying to make choices about how we wanted to things for our little baby. I had read about cloth diapers as a way for parents to reduce their carbon footprint and knew I at least wanted to learn more. But no one in my family had used cloth diapers, or at least not in the last 30 years. When I posted on Facebook looking for support, education—anything at all about cloth diapers, I got two responses. Two. People. Out of hundreds. Obviously my next option was to turn to the internet.
I’m pretty sure my head exploded within minutes of research. There is sooooooo much information, and lingo about cloth diapers. Some of it was helpful, don’t get me wrong, but I still had so many questions about cloth diapering in general—not to mention the daunting task of actually having to choose and use the diapers. I wanted to write this series for other parents who were just aimlessly wandering the internet in hopes of understanding cloth diapering. There are people who are probably a billion times more qualified than me to talk about cloth diapers from the science behind cleaning them, the skills needed to ensure the diapers will still fit after many uses, or how to cloth diaper spending the absolute lowest amount of money possible. But, often when I’m first starting something new, I want someone to tell me what’s up from their perspective— so here it goes, I’m going to tell you the 4 reasons why we chose to cloth diaper!
Saving the environment/Ecofriendly
What drew me to cloth diapers initially was the environmental benefits. Using cloth diapers means that you’re reducing waste. You’re not throwing away 88 bahgillion disposable diapers over the course of your child’s diaper wearing days. There’s lots of data available for you to read about the environmental impacts of disposable diapers, and yes, there are more environmentally friendly disposable diaper choices than others… But, the most environmentally option is to do cloth diapers.
I know it’s not a big priority to everyone, but it’s a big reason I love cloth diapers and what brought me to even be interested in investigating them. I’ve had some people present that it’s not that environmentally friendly because of the extra water and electric used to clean them. But, I’ve only added 2 extra loads of laundry a week for her diapers where the washer is only filled up half way. I talk about cleaning cloth diapers here.
The green earth may have lured us in, but the green dollars we’re saving sold us!
I’m going to try and keep this as simple as I can while also still helping you see the savings. This is one of those areas that I was getting a smidge overwhelmed with when I was in the sea of internet posts. I’m just going to give you some of our numbers and then let you take that and do some of your own cost comparisons. Some of you are AH-MAZING couponers who can get some great deals on disposable diapers, but that’s one of those wayyyy over my head issues that I just can’t master. So the numbers I’d be using would be without any couponing support, because I wouldn’t be able to do any extreme couponing to save.
So some numbers to get us started…
We have 40 Lil Helper Diapers currently
(when new cute prints come out, you can bet we’ll have more)
We spent basically $400 to get those diapers.
(Some we bought brand new, through their seconds deal, and others on B/S/T page used)
There are graphics explaining how many times babies soil their diapers, based on ages. But, the important rule that we’ve followed is to change their diaper every 2 hours during the dayto avoid rashes or irritation from sitting in urine or poo.
So, you’re looking at between 8-12 diaper changes a day, and with 40 diapers,
that is 3-4 days worth of diapers. Which means you’d have to wash them 2 times a week.
Very cool graphics exist to explain what you can do with less diapers, more diapers, or any variation of what could work for you, but my suggestion (based on what’s worked for us) get 40 diapers and wash twice a week for one kiddo. If you had 2 or more in diapers, you would need to increase your stash accordingly or increase the number of times you’re washing.
$400 sounds like a whole lot of money, especially all at once.
But if you’re committed to cloth diapering early on, you can buy them over time or even register for them if you’re having a shower or sprinkle. We also ask for diapers at Christmas, birthday, or other gift giving opportunities to build our stash.
But, $400 for diapers?! I know.
But I want you to look up the cost of the disposables that you think you’d like to use. I’m going to give you an example using a box of 252 diapers for $42. We’ll also just assume that you’ll only have to change your baby’s diaper 8 times a day for the first year.
So even though $400 sounded like a lot at first, hopefully this is helping to show that in the long run disposable diapers will cost more. Especially, because cloth diapers can be used all through potty training and can be used for multiple siblings.
You will need to buy some cloth diaper “accessories”, and I talk about those here.. You’ll be using more water, electric, and detergent. This led some people in my circle to think we wouldn’t be saving money. But, we really only added $10 a month to our water bill, and $20ish to our electric. I can’t be certain that’s all diaper related either. It’s just been since we brought a baby home. As for the detergent, we are only adding 2 extra loads of laundry, so we’re not talking a ton of increase. Plus, if you can do the couponing, there’s ways to get that detergent cheaper too! Hopefully you’re going to be seeing so much green at the moment you’ll continue reading the posts in this series and figure out how to make cloth diapering work in your home with your family!
Let’s be honest, I wanted to be a little extra. That’s reason number 3. There’s a lot of cute prints.
That was a lot of information thrown at you. Let’s take a moment and relax again. Let’s look at all these cute prints. And there’s soooooooooo many more. We have fun coordinating outfits to match her diapers. We like being extra that way. Tee hee.
Reason number 4 deserves it’s own post.
So, the last reason that I love cloth diapering is that I love using my money to support good companies and/or really cool awesome people making a great product or providing an amazing service.
My last post of this series is going to be expanding on the very topic. I love Lil Helper diapers and company. I share all the reasons why here.
But, in addition to Lil Helper, there are lots of great WAHM (work at home mom) companies who make diapers to sell that you can buy from. Buying used might sounds gross, but there’s lots and lots of information on how to properly sanitize used diapers. You can join this Facebook group to buy used diapers, or even ones that have never been OTB (on the butt). These are diapers of any and all type or brand by other people. You can join the Lil Helper B/S/T group here. I totally love buying straight from Lil Helper for many reasons, but helping the environment and saving money were big reasons for me to use cloth diapers in the first place, so I usually start at the B/S/T page first.
Check out the next post in the series here. I share the different type of cloth diapers there are and what we liked or didn’t like about each type!!
Share with me what reasons you had for cloth diapering in the comments below!