Hi, I’m Jill…and I love cloth diapers.
You know what I miss right now? Having a baby in cloth diapers. Okay I don’t miss the laundry so much as the laundry LIST of things that I truly love about choosing cloth for my babies. Cloth diapers are economical, fun, and easy, and I feel like they have such health benefits to them, not to mention environmentally friendly and convenient! They’re also amazingly cute. The cloth diapering community is one I could have never imagined existing, let alone being a part of, but it’s one now that I can’t imagine being without! There are so many wonderful people involved in the CD world, and although we’re all different people with different circumstances, we’ve made that common choice that brings us all together to discuss life, parenting, and of course, fluff! Warning: pictures of adorable children in cloth diapers ahead–might make you want to purchase said diapers in mass quantities. *
As you can see, I won’t be missing fluff for long! Baby #3 is scheduled to arrive no later than the first week of December, and I’ve already got my newborn stash 95% prepped and ready to go in my diaper bag I’m taking to the hospital! That’s right, my goal is to cloth diaper this little one from birth! With my first, she was in cloth part time at about 3 weeks and we ditched disposables for good after a couple of months. She potty trained during the day at about 26 months and wore nighttime diapers until little sister came home and needed them, and decided she could go without at night–she was a big kid! I’ll never forget the look on her face (note: not the actual look below, but close!) when I told her what other people do with their diapers! As avid recyclers, we just couldn’t imagine continuing to throw out disposable diapers that will sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. Apparently, neither could our daughter…
With my second, I had to wait for her to get out of special care in the hospital and then she was mine all mine to do what I wanted with! We cloth diapered her from then on out until she potty trained at about 22 months. I’ve been without a fluffy tush to change for about 3 months now and I’m ready to put my teeny tiny newborn diapers to good use! I’m so excited that our new baby will be sporting comfortable cloth from day 1 and not be exposed to chemicals at such a tender age. My bag is full of prefolds, flats, fitteds, covers, small pockets or aios, and 6 precious bumGenius small diapers that have seen us through those bleary eyed 2 a.m. diaper changes for one or both children. In fact, my second daughter’s first cloth diaper was a 3.0 small in blossom. Here she is, sporting it for her first fluffy photo op at 4 beautiful days old!
I have favorite diapers for babies for different stages, times of day, and so on. During the bitty newborn stages I love prefolds and covers for daytime use for their economy. You haven’t lived until you’ve imagined dropping 4 quarters in the trash can as your new baby squishes his/her face and totally blasts FOUR diapers in a row–only to realize you don’t have to REPLACE those diapers with a run to the store, no, you just toss them in the wash! *Hallelujah chorus* Put those quarters back in your pocket! Now…You’ve already seen my 2nd there in the tiny AIOs that are great for nighttime changes, and heard about the glory of prefolds, but what about when they GASP! grow out of their small diapers? I’ve got that covered, too. My favorite for all around use, from the diaper bag to overnight is the 4.0 bumGenius pocket– get this– stuffed with a flat diaper. Crazy, right? Nope, it really is genius! They wash up so well and I was thrilled to snag some new diapers for me, I mean… the new addition while my other cutie was potty training–in a seconds sale no less! Don’t worry, I don’t have an addiction, it’s just that…well, every baby deserves new diapers, right? So this one will find some new diapers waiting just for her.. I mean him.. I mean…well, whatever we have, he/she will be well dressed, from the bottom up! (p.s. there’s new prints on the way, and shh! Santa may be dropping them by as a special gift for mom.. or.. baby..whatever!)
Now, you may be wondering this about me: If you’re addicted and you buy new diapers with every baby, are you REALLY saving money? The short answer? Yes. We were fortunate enough to have my husband land a job offer that upped his salary a good amount JUST when I was ready to deliver my first in October, so by Christmas (and Easter) when we decided to morph our $75 investment that allowed us to cloth diaper a newborn part time into a giant stash of one size pocket diapers that fit her, and her sister, and will fit THIS BABY until potty trained, we had the cash to do it. We were VERY blessed to discover a Cotton Babies store in the town we were living in at the time. Getting our hands on the diapers, looking at them, and asking questions of the knowledgeable staff is something I would wish for every mom considering cloth diapering her baby. It’s one thing to get answers online, it’s another to get first hand knowledge! It’s also easier to fall in love with the variety of options, colors, and prints when you have them in hand. So, how much have we saved? Well, calculating ALL the items we bought (including pail liners, wet bags, wipes, and a wide range of diapers spanning the spectrum of ages and stages) we figured we broke even at 18 months with our first. So 8 months of diapering her were free. I’m going to say that we’ve spent around $200 since that calculation with our first on fun prints and a few additional newborn diapers to make a full stash. However, I’ve also won diapers through giveaways that offset that cost, and all new diapers have been ‘gifts’ for the new bab(ies) so I think that’s pretty much a wash. Even if you subtract that $200 from our bottom line? It’s still HUGE!
8 months x .25 per change x 10 diapers a day = $ 600 saved after initial costs
8 months of nightly diapers x.45 per change = $108 saved on pull ups
3 months of 12 changes per day at .25 = $270 saved during newborn period
19 months x.25 per change x 10 diapers a day = $1425 saved after newborn period
2 months of nightly diapers x .45 per change = $27 saved on pull ups
newborn+infant+pullup= minimum of $1722 saved
(if new baby potty trains at 22 months and night time trains at 2 years like previous child–savings increase with age of child)
Total savings on 3 children (with a HUGE budget for diapers) = $4152
I’ll let that sink in for a minute. Over 3 kids potty learning years, we will have saved at a minimum of $4000 AFTER our investment in cloth diapers, which I will NOT lie– was significant. If you start your stash early, register for cloth diapers for your baby shower, buy 2nds, gently used, take advantage of freebies and sales, or less pricey options, the savings possibility is INCREDIBLE, especially if you use them on more than one child. Yes it IS possible to cloth diaper for next to nothing, but even if your budget is unlimited, the savings potential is still out of this world!
Now, you may wonder what everyone does with cloth diapers once their kids are done with them? One answer is to sell them for a recoup on your investment, another is to donate them to a charity like Cotton Babies Share the Love program. I personally boxed up about half my newborn diapers this summer and sent them to a friend who is a host for a site. I wrote briefly about the experience on my blog, just to remind myself what good diapers have done for us, and to literally SHARE our love with someone else (with a tiny newborn girl!)
Obviously some other mom will have the great experience of cloth diapering her baby, and perhaps when she’s done with them, she’ll pass them on to someone else…who will pass them to someone else…and none of them will ever know that those diapers started their journey 5 years ago with 2 scared new parents looking for a way to save money on diapers in an uncertain future. As for the rest of my stash? Well we’ll see if we have a boy or a girl, and then, yes, a certain percentage of my tried and true diapers will probably be boxed up and shipped off to some other lucky mom, who will put them on her baby and feel the arms of another mom hugging her–she won’t be able to place the feeling, but I will, because those diapers will be sent off with a little bit of prayer, a smattering of nostalgia, and a whole lot of love. The rest (and any new ones I can’t resist) will diaper baby #3… and…who knows what the future holds? Maybe #4? Hard to say. In any case, I hope I’ve explained to you just exactly WHY I love cloth diapers (savings, cuteness, environmental impact, and so much more) and that you’ll give modern cloth diapers a try for your own baby!