Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cloth diapers? Are you crazy?!?

No, we're not crazy. It just made sense for us. We looked at it from a few different angles.

We spent around $400 for 24 of our diapers. These are expected to last until our daughter is potty trained. If we were buying diapers, let's assume that they would cost us around $0.38 a diaper(assuming we were purchasing Huggies from Walmart) and that our daughter will be somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 before she is potty trained. We typically go through around 10 diapers a day (this may reduce in the future, but it was definitely higher when she was first born). So we would be looking at spending anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 on diapers approximately.

We also don't often use baby wipes, so there is a bit of cost savings there too. 

We've tried disposable diapers on our daughter. We decided to use them until her cord dried up and fell off and we tried them for a bit during a family vacation. With the disposable diapers we found that they weren't as absorbent as our chosen cloth diaper and we had to deal with a lot more diaper rashes when using the disposable diapers. This makes for a less happy baby and therefore less happy parents.

Also, I should mention, we only use wipes if we are doing a diaper change where we don't have easy access to water. OMG! No baby wipes. Relax, a warm damp washcloth cleans your child just as well and may be better for them. I.e., fewer irritating chemicals. We've had this confirmed to us by many public health nurses and a few doctors too. If she's really, really dirty then in my mind it is time for a quick bath anyway.

Now I have a feeling you may be sitting there thinking that having a newborn is a ton of work and that you aren't going to have the time to wash all these diapers. Well, if you have a modern washing machine with a sanitize cycle, it really isn't that much work. Actually, for us, it felt like less work because we didn't have to make a trip out to the store to go buy more diapers. I really didn't feel like dumping a bag of diapers in the washing machine and pressing a few buttons was overly taxing in my sleep deprived state during the first couple of months.

Now this is where picking out the right diaper for you makes all the difference. 
We wanted a diaper that we could wash ourselves and acted like a disposable when putting it on our daughter. I couldn't for a second picture my husband trying to fold and pin a cloth diaper. And we didn't like the idea of all the harsh chemicals used when using diapers from a diapering service. What we picked goes on just like a disposable diaper would and can be cleaned in our washing machine. In the cloth diaper world, it is called an All-in-One diaper. 

Now there are a few different types of All-in-One diapers and they aren't all the same. We decided that for us, the snaps weren't the right option. We chose a velcro style of diaper that works from 7lbs until it's time to leave diapers (even though the velcro likely won't last through more than one child). But even more importantly, we chose a diaper where the liner comes out on its own in the washing machine (i.e., no stuffing my hand in a gross diaper to pull out the liner when putting it into the machine). This makes a huge difference. I literally take the diaper bag and dump it into the washing machine, no thought or extra steps involved. And the diaper bags you can get are sooooo much cuter than a diaper genie and the tonnes of plastic the diaper genie uses any day. Check out the bags you can get from Monkey Foot Designs. We love ours.

What diaper did we choose? Mommy's Touch Easy Clean Touchtape

The impact to the environment was a consideration for me. Not so much for my husband. I'm pretty sure he just sees it as a nice bonus. I think it's the dollar savings and ease of use that wooed him over to the cloth diaper side [insert evil laugh here]. 

We've started to joke that he should become a paid salesman for Mommy's Touch the way he will talk them up to anyone that is willing to listen for a minute about them.

There are a couple. Nothing is perfect.

1) If you use a diaper cream with zinc in it or fabric softener you will have issues with the absorbency of your diaper. For us this isn't an issue. The diapers are super soft, they don't need fabric softener. And our diaper cream works so much better than many of the zinc based creams. Oh Bum Bum Balm how we love you. . . but I'll save that review for another post.

2) The diapers are bigger than disposables. They take up more space in diaper bags and your babies butt will look large than others. Really for us, not having to worry about when she's going to outgrow her current diaper size, it wasn't that big of a deal. And I haven't had a pair of pants or outfit that didn't fit because of the diaper.

3) You have to lug dirty diapers home with you when you go out. We have a smaller diaper bag that we just hang off of our stroller. It is a bit of a pain, but we could always use a disposable diaper or two while we are out if we wanted.

4) You may need to do a few minor velcro repairs here or there. I've had a couple stitches come out on a couple of diapers. We could still be using the diapers as they are, but being that I can sew, I've just reinforced a seam on the velcro here or there on a couple of the diapers.

As I'm sure you can tell from my review, we love our diapers. I'm so glad that a stranger took the time to whip off her son's diaper in front of me to tell me about how wonderful these diapers really are. 

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