Picture credit- BabyKicks Hemparoo Fleece Prefolds
According to Kelly from View Along The Way, it costs about $2,460 per child for diapers and wipes for a child up until the point they are potty trained. WHOOOOA!
Real Diapers calculates that cloth diapers washed at home for one child can cost as little as $300 a year. Dividing those costs by two children, the total cost of cloth diapering one child is about $450 over two years.
Often times people don’t care what they throw away because they never see it actually go into the ground. My husband and I take our garbage right to the landfill. We see the trucks in the distance throw garbage into the soil, and I often wonder to myself if people were to see their garbage buried into the ground, maybe they would think twice what they throw out. No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years. Cotton diapers on the other hand are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.
We are also expecting a major down turn in the economy, worse than what we saw in 2008. If you are interested in reading why we think that is going to happen, here are 100 of my favorite articles which overwhelmingly show we are in for major correction. We don’t think, we know this is heading our way, so I for one want to be sure that the money we spend doesn’t go right into the garbage. Our kids, and family are worth investing in, and I feel our families money is going to have to stretch as far as it can go. Diapers are one thing you cannot go without, and I would hate to think what kids would have to endure when their parents don’t have enough for diapers in those trying years ahead. I don’t want to wait until the last moment to understand how to cloth diaper.
If you have small children, and are considering making the switch like I am, here are a few tips I have gathered to educate myself through this post to buying the right products, and what is needed to make this a successful transition.
I am a new mom, just trying to avoid the mistakes, and wanting to protect her investment….. I do use affiliate links in this post, but also point to the very best info I have discovered along the way. I hope you enjoy this article.
Here we go……………………..
Here are a couple did you knows:
- Diaper rash was almost unheard of before the use of rubber or plastic pants in the 1940s. Up to our generation, moms used cloth. We need to learn these techniques again.
- Older babies need to be changed every 3 hours, no matter what kind of diaper they are wearing. Disposables will no longer be affordable in the years ahead… With the amount of diapers we go through, most families won’t be able to afford to just throw away diapers when they have to afford rising food costs. It is great time to start learning how to do this now.
- Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, a by-product of the paper-bleaching process, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. Do you really want that on your babies bum? Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin a pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. Disposable diapers also contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet –Real Diapers
Do You Know What Cloth Diapers Look Like?
Cloth diapers have come a long way over the years. I have linked to google images to give you a visual of the 4 kinds of diapers that are available to purchase.
1. The Pre-fold Cloth Diaper: These diapers are the most basic of diapers. These diapers look like diapers your great grandmother used, but many moms say it is the best way to go. Not only are they easy, they are the most affordable! Rectangular shaped fabric is divided lengthwise in three sections and can be secured with safety pins. If you go this route, consider getting the Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners instead of using safety pins. Investigate the “Cloth-eez by Green Mountain Diapers” – as their fabric has been known to hold more liquid than your typical pre-fold cloths. If you are interested in using the prefolds, you will want to purchase waterproof diaper cover which acts as a waterproof barrier.
2. Pocket Cloth Diapers: These diapers consist of a water proof outer layer, a inner layer, and a pocket opening in the diaper to insert a soaker pad. This type of diaper just fastens on and does not need a diaper cover over it.
3. The Fitted Cloth Diapers: Fitted cloth diapers resemble disposable diapers, but are fastened with either Velcro or snaps. You can insert soaker pads or “inserts” in any of these diapers. Wool soakers are popular, and works well as a diaper cover. Wool also can hold up to forty percent of its weight in moisture and can be used with fitted or prefold cloth diapers. They are becoming very popular with cloth diapering mommas.
4. All-in-One Cloth Diapers: Some of the all in one diapers have everything sewn together, so you cannot take the soakers apart, where as the other kinds allow you to disassemble the diaper.
Out of all the articles I viewed for this post, the article featured on Baby Love, from kidalog.com from Camrose, Alberta was one of the best I have read. Being the largest pinless pre-folded cloth diaper business in Canada, they make it very simple. Many websites make cloth diapering very complicated, but if you read just one link,…..I feel this is the article to read. They talk about the TOP 10 mistakes people make when using cloth diapers.
- Why synthetic materials make for smelly diapers
- Why your washing machine bec0mes a septic tank for odors when you don’t rinse your diapers after every change….
- Why using tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, or aromatherapy oils is a HUGE no no for disinfecting cloth diapers.
The Best Cloth Diaper Tips From Around The Net:
– It Is Never To Late To Try Cloth Diapers – Don’t be afraid to give cloth diapering a try even if your child has been wearing diapers for a year or more. Many people have discovered cloth diapering when their child turned one or two. Once you establish your routines as a parent, cloth diapers can be easier to try and experiment with.
– Don’t Complicate Things – Keep It Simple – A comment from Cameron Mae “I was so nervous to begin almost four years ago. While pregnant I researched so much that it overwhelmed me to the point where I just had to take a step back. A little while later I found a great deal on prefolds and small thirsties covers. I decided I would just start there and get my toes wet. I am so glad I did! It was enough to cloth diaper full time and slowly start buying other kinds if diapers to try (one here, one there. Etc) I was in a super tight budget at the time. So that’s my little not if advice. I say, don’t research to the point if getting frightened away. It’s easy. You put a diaper on and wash it, the internet has a way of complicating everything. A nice thing about cloth is that it holds it’s value well. If you buy a diaper that you don’t like, you can sell or trade it so that aspect makes it easier to try a bit of everything”
– Wash New Materials So They Absorb – “Diapers made of hemp, need to be washed as many as 8 to 10 times before becoming absorbent; cotton, which needs to be washed 4 to 5 times; and bamboo, which should be washed 2 to 3 times” parents.com
“Wash and dry new prefold cloth diapers 5 to 10 times to remove chemicals. This will also increase the absorbency of your cloth diapers. Do not worry if you notice that your cloth diapers “quilt up” during this process. This is normal. To extend the life of our cloth diapers and covers, we hang them dry. ” diaperpin.com
Budgeting For Diapers
– Work Up To Being A Full Time Cloth Diapering Momma IN TIME – Cloth diapers can be costly, so work up to a full time schedule, by incorporating cloth with disposables. Gro-via suggests building up enough diapers to last you through two days, (washing every day, or two days).
“With a one size diapering system we recommend enough diapers for at least 24-36 CHANGES. Even a system like GroVia’s Hybrid requires at least 12-18 Shells and 24-36 Soaker Pads for full time diapering. If you choose to diaper with a smaller stash, plan on replacing your diapers every 6-9 months. Don’t expect one-size diapers (or sized diapers!) to last 2 years if you only have 10-15 in rotation.” Gro-via
“The surest way to ruin a diaper is to leave it soiled in a closed, dark, warm pail for several days before washing it” Gro-via
“If you have stains, hang them in the sun. The sun naturally bleaches out stains, and kills bacteria and yeast” Gro-via
“If you diaper full time with a one size system and want them to last until potty learning, buy enough diapers (24-36 minimum)” Gro-via
How Many Diapers?
“24 diapers is the usual recommended minimum number, but I like a few more with a newborn (they pee and poop A LOT!)” thiswestcoastmommy.com
“We picked up 12 and have never needed more than that thus far but we wouldn’t mind 18, which seems to be the magic number for many other cloth diapering parents. We might grab six more someday, but we’re definitely getting by with 12 so far” younghouselove.com
“Enough cloth diapers to last you 2-3 days. If you have a child in disposables already, average out the number they use each day and use that to calculate. If you’re planning to use a hybrid system like the Flips, you probably want a 1:3 to 1:2 ratio of covers to inserts” (Meaning by more inserts than diapers) jornie.com
“I don’t recommend buying your first cloth diapers used. Once you’re in the cloth groove, have a good idea of what you’re looking for, what’s normal/what’s not and what fair prices are,” change-diapers.com
“Not buying enough cloth diapers is a mistake. If you don’t have at least 36 diapers, you won’t be able to change baby after each wetting. You need at least 20 dry diapers while the others are going through laundering. If you get less than 36, they will wear out before baby is potty trained, because with fewer diapers, they will be laundered more frequently.” kidalog.com
– Try Cloth Diapers Risk Free, Retailers With Trials – Maria Moser put together a great list of 15 retailers who offer a cloth diaper trial. Check it out at kellywels.com
-Great Websites For Second Hand Diapers Consider picking up diapers for between $5 and $10 each on diaperswappers.com
– Buying All Your Diapers At Once Is A Big Mistake “Buying an entire cloth diaper stash before your baby is born is a big mistake says Olivia From This West Coast Mommy. Enjoy the hunt and discovery of your best diaper ever. Once you’ve found it, by all means go nuts, but don’t blow all your stash cash on diapers that you may end up cursing two months later and trying to resell. She explains what works for one mommy, may be a diaper your baby doesn’t like. Try a number of different brands.
What Kind Of Cloth Diaper Should I Buy?
-Invest In Snap On, Or Hook and Loop Diapers– The snap-on, or hook and loop cloth diapers been said to be the best compared to all other cloth diapers. Many moms complain that the velcro sticks to all the other diapers and snags in the wash.
-One Size, Or By Size? You have two options when it comes to cloth diapers, – the sized diapers, or the one or two sized kind. Many moms consider the sized diapers to be better as they fit more snug against your babies bottom, and they are less bulky.
– Consider Avoiding The “all in one diapers“, as they take too long to dry. The pocket diapers have the insert feature, which allows you to take the cloth pad out and sanitize them individually.