Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cloth Diapers - A Guest Post

When I found Christie's blog, Crazy For Cloth, I thought her writing was great!  I am in the final stages of potty training and here I was reading a blog about cloth diapers....If you know me you know that I have used disposable diapers with my daughter and frankly because of the diuretics she was on pre-transplant and just the craziness of our lives I did not even consider putting her in cloth diapers but while I was pregnant I did investigate the option and was utterly amazed at the misinformation I had about them.  I asked Christie to do a guest post and let us know Why cloth diapers are a good alternative...and it turns out it is a very Frugal alternative too!  (OH....and how crazy cute is her little girl?!)

This Aint Your Mama's Cloth!
I was totally thrilled and honored when Florida Frugal Mom asked me to write a guest post for this blog. And terrified as well! So, without further ado, here is my contribution to our collective cause for being frugal!!
There is a new trend going around that runs hand in hand with the green movement and our poor economy. Cloth diapers. This new trend is combining old fashioned concepts with new technology and textiles. This trend is not going away. Why? Because it:
1. Saves money
2. Can be reused
3. Has become more and more convenient in the recent years.
If you are a parent with a child in diapers or soon-to-be, you may think that this up and coming trend could never work for you. I will admit, it can be difficult because you can't find many of the products at a large retailer near you. Most of your purchases are online. However, just as with the organic/all natural movement, more stores have become interested in carrying some of these products.
So, what is different about cloth now than back in the day? I will try to outline the quick facts:
1. No pins or folding if you don't want to.
                A. There are many different types of dipes.
                B. Fastening can be done by hook and loop (generic version of Velcro), snaps, fasteners that grab (called Snappi), or the old fashioned pins (for those feeling crazy!).

2. No diaper cover if you don't want to.
                A. Many dipes come with a waterproof outer layer that is already sewn onto the dipe. No more rubber pants!
                B. Some of these dipes take just as many steps as a "sposie" (disposable dipe). Put it on, take it off, throw it in the pail...off he goes!
3. More absorbancy "technology."
                A. Different types of cloths are being used that include microfleece, microchamois, microsuede, bamboo, hemp, cotton, etc...
                B. Different sizes and types of dipes, inserts, doublers, have been developed. These all can increase or decrease the amount of absorbency desired for that particular moment.
4. You do  not need a wetpail.
                A. Wet pails are actually a no-no if you use anything with PUL (the waterproof outer layer), as it can break down the waterproof seal.
                B. Simply use a dry pail of some sort (I use a waterproof bag that fits in a 13 gallon trash can).

5. Washing
                A. Dipes now-a-days are machine washable and dryable.
                B. There is no soaking needed (I throw everything together in the wash on rinse, then I wash regularly, then dry on medium).
So How Much Do You Save?
1. The average cost to put a child through sposies from birth to potty training (let's say age 2-1/2), is roughly $1700 right now. Remember, this is one child, and this does not include wipes, a diaper pail and diaper pail refills.
2. Now, I like some of the pricier cloth diapers, so I have spent a little more than I could have on cloth, so I would estimate that I have so far spent roughly $500-$600 on diapers alone. I also use cloth wipes and make my own wipe solution, and this was only about $20 total. I use a trash can and 2 wet bags (a waterproof bag to hold wet stuff in), and this cost me about $45 total, which would bring me to less than $700.On top of this, I don't have to spend this much on future children because I already have the supplies I need, and the diapers I already have can be reused.
3. So, to sum it up, for kid #1, you save about $1000. Kid #2, I won’t say they are free (insert sarcastic laugh here), because you would probably want to replace any dipes that are looking worn or losing their elastic in the waist or legs (I don’t have any of those yet!).  And there will always be some absolutely adorable dipe you fall in love with and splurge on.  However, as you probably are thinking, you can save much more than kid #1. If you plan to get frisky and go for more than 2, well, you get the idea…By the way, I do recommend buying some gender neutral colors if you are going to use them on more than one little bugger!
I didn’t even touch on the environmental benefits of cloth dipes. There is just too much info for one post! But if you keep reduce, reuse, and recycle in your mind, you get the idea of the many environmental and physical benefits of going cloth.
Oh, and one more plug for cloth. I’m a working mama (out of the home), so if I can do it, anyone can!
For more information on cloth diapers, check out my blog at http://crazyforcloth.blogspot.com, and click on Cloth Diaper Info.


Crazy for Cloth! said...

Thanks again for having me on your blog!

Frugal Mom said...

Thank You for such a well written and insightful view on cloth diapers!