Tessa makes 3!

The adventures of a young couple starting a family, teaching each other and learning as we go, and having fun doing it!

August 12, 2010

Cloth Diapers

Joel and I have decided that we are going to cloth diaper this little peanut we've got coming. Not only are cloth diapers cheaper in the long run than buying disposables, they have many other added benefits. We did a lot of research before deciding this, and determined it was  great decision for us.

Here is a cost comparison of cloth to disposables:

Disposable Diapers

Prices for disposable diapers come from the least expensive package of 2 popular brands from a discount chain store.

Length of time in size
Changes per day
Diapers used
Cost per change
Total Cost
2 weeks
48 in package
196 used
5 packages
5 packages x $16.23= $81.15
Size 1
10 weeks
104 in package
770 used
8 packages
8 packages x $22.88= $183.04
Size 2
12 weeks
88 in package
924 used
11 packages
11 packages x $22.88= $251.68
Size 3
12 weeks
96 in package
756 used
8 packages
8 packages x $30.72= $245.76
Size 4
12 weeks
6-8 changes
64 in package
588 used
9 packages
9 packages x $23.68= $213.12
Size 5
24 weeks
6-8 changes
58 in package
1176 used
20 packages
20 packages x $23.78= $475.60
Size 6
Training pants
48 weeks
6-8 changes
48 in package
2352 used
49 packages
49 packages x $23.00= $1127.00

Grand Total: $2577.35

Average cost per change: $0.36


Prefolds and covers

Prices for prefolds and covers come from www.TheStorkWearhouse.com

Length of time in size
Changes per day
Total diapers/changes
Cost per change
Total cost
6 months
12-16 for the first 2 weeks and 10-12 for the next 2 months and 8-10 thereafter
36 infant prefolds, 6 small covers and 6 medium covers
Average changes: 1998
12 prefolds package for $24.00 x 3 = $72.00
12 x $11.00 = $132.00
Total = $204.00
24 months
8-10 for 6 months and 6-8 thereafter
36 premium prefolds and 6 large covers
Average changes: 5400
12 prefolds package for $37.00 x 3 = $111.00
6 x $11.00 = $66.00
Total = $177.00
Energy costs
30 months
3 times a week
Electric water heater: approx. $0.34/load
Gas water heater: approx. $0.10/load
Add approximately $0.01 to every change
Total washing costs = $36.00 - $122.40 depending on your water heater.

Grand Total: $381.00

Average cost per change (including washing): $0.06

We are doing a combination system of prefolds and pocket diapers. The pocket diapers we have chosen are mostly BumGenius with a few of the Fuzzibunz brand mixed in.  Pictured below are the BumGenius diapers. These are great because you only have to buy them once! These diapers are designed to grow with the baby and come with snaps to make them bigger or smaller so they fit babies from 9-30 pounds. These will most likely be Daddy Diapers since they are much faster and easier than the prefold diapers with a cover.

We have started building our stash of diapers as we see sales. There are some great websites and resources available to those interested. Beyond the money savings, here is a list of other added bonuses of cloth diapering!

#1. Your baby's comfort.

Would you like to wear stiff paper (and/or plastic) underwear 24 hours a day? The comfort of cotton and knowing I was providing the best possible comfort for my daughter was the #1 reason I switched to cloth diapers, and why I still love them so much today. 

#2. The environment.
Leave a cleaner world behind for your baby, and your grandchildren. Disposables leave behind an average of 2.7 tons* of non-biodegradable waste (not to mention the waste produced by manufacturing them alone) per child. Compare that to a few dozen cotton diapers, and the responsible choice also becomes an easy one.
#3. Save money. 
With disposables, some estimate you spend an average of $2000 per child. Cloth compares at only an average of $150-$350 per child (with the added but minimal cost of electricity and water to launder them). What a great excuse to start a college fund for your baby now, and you can rest assure that your money is being well-spent and not going to "waste" in a land-fill! 

#4. Potty training is easier, and happens earlier.
It's a little-known fact that cloth diaper children potty train earlier, and with less effort on their parent's part. This has mostly to do with the fact that when a cloth diaper is wet, they can feel the sensation. Chemical laden disposables can feel so dry, your baby never gets a chance to understand what their body is doing. 

#5. Cotton diapers are gel free.
Polyacrylate gel in diapers is a relatively new phenomenon, and no one really knows what the long term effects are. It also leaches moisture from your babies skin. Additionally, disposables are full of dioxins. While non-organic cotton cloth diapers can also have dioxins, they typically are washed out within the first few pre-washes (before your baby will ever wear them), however one-use-only disposables are never rid of them. Additionally, and perhaps the most compelling reason to use cloth diapers, is that disposable diapers containing polyacrylate gel are suspected of exacerbating and potentially causing asthma. 
#6. Cloth diapers are so much better looking.
Photographers still traditionally photograph diapered babies in cloth diapers, simply because they are so much cuter! Today they are available in as many prints and colors as their are fabrics available, not to mention the combination of choices you have with twill, flannel, hemp, terry and more. Imagine how many classic baby photos would suddenly become less "quaint" with a baby wrapped in a disposable diaper. I prefer to bring my groceries home in paper and plastic, not my baby! 

#7. More fun for Mom.
While not every mother (or woman, for that matter) is a born "shopaholic", most moms I know just love how fun it is to shop for cloth diapers. There are unlimited choices today in cloth diapering, like all-in-one, terry, flannel, contour, prefold, fitted and other contemporary-style cloth diapers. And when you are on a budget, swapping is a great, and economical, way to try the latest new "rage" in cloth diapers. 

#8. Better cushioning for baby's bum.
We all know that babies and toddlers have their fair share of bumps and spills! Cushy cotton provides a much softer "landing pad" than a flat paper diaper. 

#9. Convenience.
Convenience? Yes, convenience! You'll never have to worry about making another late-night trip to your grocery store for a package of disposable diapers.. You'll never have to hold your nose while emptying and re-bagging one of those complicated "Diaper Genie®" contraptions.. And you'll have approximately two bags less of garbage to haul to the curb every week! 

#10. Being a leader is much more fun than being a follower.
Stand out from the crowd and show you care to give your baby the very best, including the way you diaper. It's so much more fun to share the joy of cloth diapering with other mothers (who are usually very curious!), than to waste time clipping the latest coupons for the cheapest disposable paper diaper. 

These were from here!

Check out the link below for a great resource on all things Eco-Friendly!

For more information, check out this link: Cloth diapers

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