My Love of Cloth Diapering Revisited

My Love of Cloth Diapering Revisited

I’ve done a lot of traveling this past month and consequently have used a lot of disposable diapers. While disposables do have their conveniences, every time I use them my love for cloth is only reinforced.  (And I say that even when I have two kids in diapers with no end in sight. (When asked if he wants to sit on the potty Cooper adamantly says, “No, potty! Diaper!” Ugh.)

I was reading an article on cloth diapering the other day and decided to do some calculations on how much money I’ll save by cloth diapering just two kids. I added up all the costs I’ve incurred from purchasing diapers and diaper paraphernalia (And I really tried to account for every penny spent on anything cloth diaper related: covers, inserts, diaper sprayer, special detergent, wet bags, etc) and found my expenditures totaled $607.96. The article suggests it would cost me $3,120 to put two kids in Pampers for two years making my savings $2,512.04. Even if I swap out Pampers for Walmart diapers (which goes against a personal creed, but for the sake of cheap examples lets go with it) I’m still saving about 1264.04. If you use the cloth diapers for more than two kids or more than two years per kid (which I probably will since it’s looking like Ellen would have to be potty-trained at like a year for us to average out at two years) the savings become even greater. Definitely something that makes my cheap and green sides smile. (Note:  Even if I’d only used the diapers for one kid the savings would have been $952.04 vs. Pampers and $328.04 vs. Walmart diapers, although I’m guessing the savings would have been even more since I probably wouldn’t have bought as many diapers for just one kid.)

I did a post on cloth diapering awhile back, but I feel like I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade since then.

Cloth Diapering Newborns – I didn’t start cloth diapering Cooper until he was several months old, so when Ellen came along it was a whole new experience. I bought two different diapers GroVia Newborn All-In-Ones and some Pre-loved Thirsties XS covers from Nell’s Natural Baby. The GroVias were adorable and a good fit for a newborn, but they had be put on just so in order for them not to leak. It looks like they’ve redone the diaper to make it more absorbent since I bought mine. The GroVias were my “going out” diaper since they were more trim. They also were an excellent photo prop. The Thirsties were the more practical diaper, but definitely more bulky. They were pretty huge on newborn baby Ellen so she wore them mostly at home. I got more use out of them since she could still wear them up until about 5 months. (Keep in mind my kids don’t top the charts on size.) I’ve also heard great things about Kissaluvs and almost bought some, but decided I didn’t want to invest too much money on newborn diapers. I didn’t cloth diaper 100% the first month since I only had seven diapers that fit Ellen, but it significantly cut down on disposable diaper usage. (When I was using disposables I used Naty diapers by Nature Baby  Care. All the diapers I bought came at a pretty good price by shopping around and finding awesome discount codes.)

Diaper Ointment – Coconut Oil makes a good diaper ointment and I’ve read that it doesn’t affect the absorbency of cloth diapers. The only problem I’ve encountered is that it turns into a liquid when it gets warm, so we had a few incidences where the floor was unintentionally polished this past summer.

Line Drying Inserts – I love line drying my diapers, but am not so fond of how it makes the inserts a bit crinkly. One of my retired neighbors suggested I put them in the dryer on the “fluff air” setting for just a few minutes after pulling the diapers off the line. It works great.

Find a Use for the Diapers You Hate – I’ve tried a handful of diapers (Flips, GroVias, Thirsties, bumGenius, gDiapers, Econobum, and SwaddleBees) to find what works for me and have varying degrees of love for all of them. gDiapers have been my biggest disappointment which is unfortunate since I bought a pack of six of them. I keep two in the closest as  back up diapers for when I forget to do a wash and run out of clean diapers and the other four are in our 72 hours kits. I also use the one bumGenius diaper we own as a swim diaper since it has enough lining to not feel uncomfortable, but won’t absorb so much water that your kid will sink.

Cloth Wipes – I’d never really given cloth wipes a chance, but recently was convinced by a friend that I should give them a fair shot. I cut up an old flannel receiving blanket and some other miscellaneous flannel and keep it on the changing table. I’ve just been running them under water when I go to change a diaper and I’ve been quite pleased with their wiping ability (way better than disposable diaper wipes) and how clean they come out in the wash. Perhaps I will be converted after all. I’ve also tried making my own wipes, but wasn’t so fond of the results. (I didn’t use the “right” paper towels and I don’t seem to have a sharp enough kitchen knife.)

Do you guys have any tips and tricks?

8 thoughts on “My Love of Cloth Diapering Revisited

  1. Reselling is an option. Not for profit, but you can recoup a majority of the cost that way! Reusing the reusable-VERY green! My diaper stuff has only cost me $100! So think of my savings over disposables! I’ll prob spend $100 for baby #2 that includes newborn ones that I will sell ASAP. I am also a fan of using Cloth in 72 hour kits.

  2. My newborn diapers are on their way to cover their fourth (or maybe fifth) baby’s bum. *I’m* not saving anything, but I appreciate that they are being used and loved.

    I bought some washcloths in an ugly color (to keep them from being used on anything else) and used those as wipes for messy diapers. They were really good at getting bums clean. 🙂

    Oh, and I love the pic!

  3. I have been hesitant to try cloth wipes, too, but I got a couple free ones recently, so maybe I should give them a shot. I didn’t know about the coconut oil, so thanks for the tip.

  4. I LOVE cloth wipes. I made my own by getting two or three yards of flannel on clearance for about $4. All I did was fold the whole thing in half (so the wipes are double sided), then used a serger to go around the edges. Next I serged 5″ wide strips, then serged the strips to make squares. If you use stripe or plaid fabric then you don’t even need to mark the fabric- you can just follow the lines. It took me maybe 30 or 40 minutes to make a batch. When I use them I just run them under some warm water and wring them out. The kids like them better than disposeables, plus they work better. I like them because something that cost $4 has saved me about $255 over the past year and a half. Also, one cloth wipe does the job of about four disposables. I’m a fan.

    Also, I’ve never heard of using coconut oil. Have you used it much? Does it do a good job of getting rid of the rash? Where do you buy it and how much does it cost?

    1. I’ve used coconut oil off and on since Ellen was born. (I laid off it when the house was so hot and we kept spilling liquid coconut oil all over the floor – me on accident and Cooper on purpose.)I feel like it works well. If I use it religiously it does a good job of preventing rashes and if one of my kids already has a rash it works just as fast as most diaper rash creams. I’ve seen it for anywhere between $5-$8 for a jar. The best deal I’ve seen was at Sprouts Market, then actually Whole Foods, and then Target or King Soopers (Smiths). The jar lasts quite awhile and is also really comes in useful for all sorts of other natural “recipes” (hair treatments, spider repellent, deodorant, etc). I spoon some out into a smaller container and keep it on the changing table. It’s solid in the container, but once you get it in your hands, it melts almost immediately.

  5. Just stopping by! It’s been a while, but I enjoyed browsing 3 pages of your blog. Sorry I didn’t leave more comments on the posts I read. 🙂 I do have to say, you never cease to amaze me with your talents!! Congrats on your Etsy shop! I do have one question, whatever happened to your lawn? I couldn’t find any “after” pictures. And of course, I love love love your sewing skills and wish I could make something beautiful out of something old!!

    1. The after pic is still pending. It’s taken a bit of time to kill the entire front lawn with the tarps. We’re beginning the first stages of the makeover this weekend, but it will probably still be a few more weekends until it looks anywhere near good. Our neighbors hate us 😉

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