Diaper Debate

The internal debate I have with myself continues.

I’m fairly lazy by nature. We have cloth diapers, but I have found I don’t like to cloth when I’m out and about because I have to change so much more frequently, and be so much more attentive to when baby’s wet.

And of course there’s the extra laundry.

And the general gross factor of having to rinse a pooey diaper–(I swish it briefly in the toilet to get the majority off without ever touching anything icky)–and put in our diaper bin–(a step lid trash can with a recycled grocery bag liner).

But cloth-ing is way better for the environment of course.

And it’s cheaper.

And (my personal opinion) cloth babies potty train sooner.

And there aren’t any chemicals next to baby’s special parts.

And you never have to make an emergency trip to the store.

I decided to run the numbers to see if I was *really* saving all that much.

Ahem. I was astounded.

I bought the convenience pack of one size diapers from Motherease. This allows me to not have to wash diapers every day when I’m full time cloth-ing (although I generally do anyway) and be able to line dry them. I bought them almost 6 years ago when I was pregnant with Aviana.

Aviana (3 mo) in her Motherease One Size Diaper and Breathable Cover
(not your mama’s rubber pants)

I almost full time cloth-d her, mostly did with Brielle and very part-time (only when we’re home) with Cadrian. I don’t remember how much they were then, but at today’s prices that would cost you $500.

We order Huggies disposables from Amazon, precisely because I’m lazy by nature and it’s extraordinarily convenient to have the UPS man deliver them to my door. Huggies was the brand that we found to be the least ‘smelly’ for my sensitive nose and best for my babes as far as getting rashes goes. For a case (150 diapers) of Size 4 diapers, it’s $37.38 (no shipping). I just went with that number as a baseline, even though you get more diapers in the smaller sizes, you’re also changing more frequently.

Let’s say, you change baby 10 times in a 24 hour period. That’s 2 cases of diapers a month.
That’s $64.76/ month. Let’s say, baby potty trains at 2 1/2 which seems to be about average, though I know lots of people who waited until closer to 3. That’s 30 months.

That’s $1,942.80 for one baby’s diapers.

Let’s say you have four children, like a Farm Fresh Mama close to you–that’s $7769.20 in diaper outlay!

What was the cost of the cloth again? Oh yeah, $500.

Seems to be a no brainer. I better get off my lazy bum and go change a diaper.

***Another thing you may be interested in that saves money, but is time and brain power intensive is Elimination Communication. I truly believe this works and is a viable option for some families.

I did this quite a bit with Aviana, but not enough that she was a diaper free baby. With Brielle, I was too overwhelmed with postpartum psychosis to even consider it. And with Cadrian, I was too overwhelmed with three small children to give it the time and mental awareness it takes.***

Edited to Add: Wash cost–for me it seems negligible. We have well water, so that doesn’t cost anything. The diapers are always run as a “small load” as well. I dry my clothes on the clothesline for March – October. I use Quixtar (Amway) SA8 laundry detergent which, incidentally is amazing for getting stains out, for sensitive skin and doesn’t harm the environment. It’s concentrated so a 10 lb box for $40 lasts us all year andI do at least one load a day. It equals out to be about 11ยข a load.

7 thoughts on “Diaper Debate

  1. The cost factor was the main reason I started infant potty training with my first baby. I also liked the idea of cloth to keep diapers out of the landfill, but I have read a few articles that argue that cloth and disposable diapers are about equal in regards to environmental impact. Sounds crazy I know, but they downside of cloth is the energy and water usage that goes with cleaning dirty cloth diapers.

  2. That's awesome…I used disposable with both of my girls, but have since wished I could go back and use cloth, at that time I didn't know anyone who used cloth. Now, I'm using flannel feminine pads for myself and washing them and reusing them…at least I feel like I can do something!

  3. We did cloth for the first time with David, our youngest. Kind of. We did cloth during the day, and used one disposable when he started sleeping thru the night … cause I'm lazy. I've found that the HEB store brand diapers are my favorite … after trying them ALL. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We EC'd with David, too. By 10 months, we were using one diaper per day (at night for bed). Now he's 3 … and we're using one diaper per day (at night for bed), lol! There's something to be said for consistency, I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚ We're planning on doing it again with this one, but starting earlier and sticking with it. You should give it another whirl when your little one gets here. What's the worst that can happen? It doesn't work? No loss there!

  4. I'm like you – I love the convenience of disposable nappies but hate the cost! I also hate the idea of all that rubbish going into landfill.

    I used plain square toweling nappies with all six of my babies. Once they starting sleeping through the night I bought huggies – we called them "night nappies" because they were the only ones I found would not leak after 6 hours!

    During the day we used cloth nappies, unless we were going out for a whole day when we took the cheapest brand of disposable nappies.

    When we went on holidays I got the bonus of having a break from washing cloth nappies but interestingly I found my babies often got a rash after a few days. I think we tended to leave the disposable nappies on longer.

    Anyway, once you get in a routine of changing nappies and washing nappies it won't seem so bad. Just keep thinking of the $$$ savings.

  5. Hi Jessica ๐Ÿ™‚ Just wanted to pipe up and say we use cloth on a full time basis, and really like it. I do prefolds with covers during the day, and also have a couple of pockets for night time and when we are out and about. We didn't use cloth with my first, and when I think about how much money we wasted…uggh, I could have done so much with that money!! Oh well, live and learn ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just an FYI, I like to look at a website called diaperswappers.com. It has tons of info on cloth diapering, and people sell new and used diapers at a good price. There are also a lot of WAHM's who make diapers that are ridiculously cute!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck with your cloth diapering! You can do it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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