Cloth Diapers for the Clueless

Husband mentioned that we are using cloth diapers with Baby Boy. We're following the example of some friends of ours that use cloth diapers and love it. Supposedly, cloth diapers are a cheaper way to go, and better for the environment. We don't use cloth exclusively. We use them only when we're at home. I'll leave Baby Boy in the cloth if I'm running a quick errand, but if it's likely that I'll need to change him out and about, I'll switch him to a disposable. I have no desire (or room in the diaper bag for that matter) to carry dirty cloth diapers around. There are some really good websites out there with lots of information on cloth diapering, but there's a lot of information to sift through. It's EXTREMELY overwhelming.

Here's what we've figured out after a month of cloth diapering:
> Financial observations:
While a sizable investment on the front end, cloth diapers are less expensive overall than disposables. We go through a jumbo pack of diapers in approx. 5 days. Averaging $8 per jumbo pack (with the help of coupons, sales, and rebates) and using 73 jumbo packs per year, that's $584/year. Our disposables so far have cost $230 for 24 Kissaluvs Size 0 (KLOs) and 4 diaper covers. These should last us the first 3 months or so depending on how fast he grows. Keep in mind, we can resell these to make some of the money back, or we can save them for our other kids later on. (If we were to have 3 kids... that's $230 cloth or $672 disposable assuming we didn't replace any of the cloth and no inflation on the cost of disposables.)
A note on KLOs - They're great for people new to cloth diapering. Very easy to use, no folding, etc. They work just like a regular diaper except that they require a waterproof cover. Our son is a heavy wetter, so you may want to include a doubler, or change him every 1-2 hrs. The fit is GREAT!
The expense of cloth diapers doesn't end with the diapers, covers, and doublers (if you choose to use them). You've got the cost of water and energy to wash them (1 rinse, 1 regular cycle), as well as the energy cost to dry them. I have been drying ours on the clothesline. They smell great and the sun bleaches any remaining stains after the wash. I do toss them in the dryer for 10 minutes or so after I take them off of the line in order to soften them a bit. Too long in a very dry sun can make the diapers a little rough. (Cost of clothesline: 40 ft. line for $14 on Amazon... plus shipping)

> Environmental observations:
Diapers take up INSANE amounts of landfill space. One week's worth of disposable diapers (the little newborn ones) filled a huge Babies R Us shopping bag. That was just 1 week of the tiniest diapers for 1 kid. I can't imagine how much space diapers take up annually even for 1 city! (Why did you have a week's worth of disposables, you ask? The first few days of poop is a sticky, tarry goo and it's hard to get out of cloth. Until Baby Boy had all of that out of his system, we stuck with disposables.)
Using the clothesline for the diapers showed me how easy a clothesline can be to use. So now, I use it for some of our other drying... thus, saving more energy.

> General observations:
I like the cloth better than the disposable. The poop sticks to the cloth diaper much more so than the disposable diaper, so there is less to clean off of him when he's wearing cloth.
I've yet to have a blowout of poop. I have no idea if this is a result of cloth, but all my friends with babies that use disposables have many tales of blowouts.
The cloth diapers are the same thickness throughout. With that, we point his penis down when he's wearing the cloth diaper so he doesn't soak the top. If we forget to point it down, he soaks through the diaper much faster and it can leak onto his onesie a bit.

There are many websites to help... I recommend searching for blogs. They have the best and clearest information that I have found. Here are a few other sites I look at:


Newer Post Older Post Home