Our son, Baby with Cents, is now 16 months old and we have used disposable diapers on him for the past four months now. But before that, we used cloth diapers and it was quite a fun and interesting experience using it.
How we decided to use cloth diapers instead of disposables?
When Mother with Cents was pregnant, we went through many items that we would need for the baby. And when we brought up diapers, she had been researching cloth diapers and loved the idea of using it. I did not know much about cloth diapers so I did my own research to understand the differences between cloth and disposables, the different types of cloth diapers, how to fold them, and the different diaper covers.
I figured that we didn’t have to worry about adding more trash and running out of diapers since we could reuse them. I also wouldn’t have look for sales on diapers every month or so to stock up on them. Also, the diaper covers look pretty cool. Check it out:
Pre Fold Diapers and Diaper Covers
So I thought let’s try it out. I was all in for the cloth diapers and MWC was more than happy that I was on board with this crucial decision. We checked out a few cloth diaper companies online and figured that we go with a company called Green Mountain Diapers. Their prices were very reasonable especially their organic pre-fold cloth diapers. We ordered two dozen of them for about $70 along with 5 diapers covers for around $10 each. For those not in the cloth diaper game, pre-fold diapers are one of the more cheaper types compared to the other ones and you use it by folding into thirds, lay into a the cover and fasten hook and loop or snap closures. Once the diapers arrived we practiced using it along with the covers and everything was good to go. We were all set with the diaper part of the baby arrival.
More supply of cloth diapers
During her pregnancy, MWC would often checked nextdoor.com for toy giveaways from neighbors for our baby. Once we saw a posting, she would contact the neighbor to see if it was already taken from another neighbor. If it wasn’t taken, we would drive over there and pick up the items. We received many toys like a toy piano, kitchen set, lawnmower and even a stroller that we currently use for BWC. One day MWC saw a post from a neighbor who lived five minutes from us and was giving away a lot of toys and some diapers. So we figured it was disposable diapers but decided to stop by and check out the toys anyway. Once we got there, their front gate was open and we immediately went inside where we saw the mom in a room full of toys. We scoped them and picked out the toys we wanted to take. And as were picking the toys she showed us her supply of diapers…it was cloth and lots of them. Here is the diapers we got from that mom:
Insert Diapers. Photo Credit: diaperjunction.com
She gave us diapers that were made from a company called Best Bottom diapers. With these you lay the insert into the diaper cover, slide the insert and cover under the baby, and snap closures. They were easier to prep than the pre folds that we bought. She had about a dozen that we could immediately use on BWC and another dozen diapers that we used when he turned six months old. Also on top of the diapers were about to get, she also gave us about 5-6 covers for them. You could say that we were in cloth diaper heaven.
Using the cloth diapers on our newborn
When Baby with Cents arrived, we temporary used disposables since the doctors recommended the cloth diapers could touch the healing belly button and may cause an infection. Once his belly button healed we immediately used the cloth diapers and it looked nice on him:
Baby with Cents with his aqua diaper cover
As with other babies at this stage, he went through about ten diapers a day. And with our supply of three dozen diapers we had to put the dirty diapers in the wash every other day. This routine went on for about another three months. At four months, he started to use fewer diapers a day which meant less times to put it in the wash where it went from 4 times a week to 2-3 times.
Is their savings on using cloth diapering?
This one is tricky. With disposables, it’s the cost of buying the diapers from the store which means a lot during the baby’s first year. With cloth diapers, you have to factor in not only the upfront costs (the diapers and covers) but also the increased usage of water and electricity from the washing machine/dryer and more detergent for the diapers. Based on some research, using cloth diapers compared to disposables during the first year, the price difference is a ‘wash’ like literally. Although upfront price for buying disposables compared to cloth is more, the washing, drying, and detergent use makes up the price difference between the two diapers. Where you save on cloth is if you have a second child and use it on the second newborn. Your only worry for cost is the resources (wash/dry/detergent) for reusing the cloth diapers. The savings go up the longer you use cloth. In short, do you save using cloth diaper on one baby? Maybe not. Using it on two or more babies? Definitely.
In our case with the donation of insert diapers we received from our neighbors and the fact that we hang dry the diapers on some occasions to bypass the dryer, we saved an okay amount by going the cloth diaper route.
After BWC’s first birthday, he started to eat more solid food which resulted on more #2’s. The two of us did not want to deal with the increased number of poop diapers to wash so we decided to switch to disposables. But the experience of cloth diapers from that first year was something we would not forget. The cool looking covers, the fact of we could reuse them as many times as we want instead of increasing our garbage use if we had to use disposables, and it saved us money compared to using disposables. If we do have a second baby we will definitely go the cloth diapering route again.