Part 1: Getting Started
So if you’re clicking on this post you are either thinking, have thought about, or you currently are cloth diapering- and my guess… You have some questions. As any fluffy mom can attest, cloth diapering is truly NOT as hard of a process as one would think. And contrary to what your initial thoughts about it may be; you will become addicted. Addicted? Yes, I said it.. Addicted.
Now let’s start by talking about the main reasons why one would consider cloth diapering:
Reason 1: Saving Money
Now this is probably the most popular reason someone would want to cloth diaper. And after doing the math myself about a million times, even if you spent 500.00 during your first year of cloth diapering, you would still save money that first year! I know what you’re thinking, “Wait! It’s going to cost me 500 dollars to cloth diaper?! Is she crazy!?” And no to both questions. No it will not cost you 500 dollars UNLESS you want it to. And no, I’m not crazy… Okay, well no just to the first question.
Your investment into cloth diapering can be as cheap as about 60 dollars and range up to about 800.00 dollars. It really all depends on you and your baby, and how you want to do it. Now, we’ll talk about the options on cloth diapering later. For now, just stick to the basics. Which are, that even if you spent upwards of 800.00 dollars on crazy top end diapers and all the best of everything; you will STILL save money cloth diapering. I’ll put in my savings equations later in the post so you can judge for yourself.
Reason 2: Eco-friendly and Baby Safe
This is probably the next most popular reason I hear from moms who chose to cloth diaper. Eco-friendly is awesome! Especially if you opt for the hemp inserts and cotton diapers. You’re footprint will be super low (I’ll be adding the statistics on exactly how much less waste you contribute later) but rest assured, it’s super low.
Now, as for the baby safe part…This is one thing I honestly didn’t even really think about until I was doing my hours and hours of research on the best options and ways to cloth diaper (and yes, I’m being serious, I spent weeks researching). Have you ever looked at what a disposable diaper is made of?! It’s really quite scary, and to think those chemical are constantly next to your babies most delicate parts and being mixed with ammonia (urine) regularly makes it even more horrifying. So switching to things like cotton, bamboo, and hemp all the sudden sounded heavenly and so much safer for baby. One has to wonder what diseases and cancers we’ve caused by using some of these chemicals the way we do, but that’s for a different blog post.
Reason 3: They’re so much cuter
Yes, this is a real reason and an added bonus to switching to cloth diapers. The diapers you can buy out there are SO adorable. I bought my LO a diaper that is a cow skin print and my sister had a great idea to pair it with a fringe top and baby cow girl boots. Come on. Tell me that doesn’t sound adorable! So yes, when you switch to cloth diapers you will have a million prints,styles, and fabrics to chose from. This is also where the addiction may become a problem.
So how much money can you expect to save?
What I’ve decided after doing my research is that depending on which site you are using they save different things about how much you will save using cloth diapers. So, in an effort to give REAL numbers I am going to use myself as the example.
So let’s take a moment and total up the cost for disposables. Now a lot of times when people are trying to figure out the savings amount, they take absolutely everything that you need for cloth diapering, and compare it with the cost of a box of disposables. Well heres the thing, in my opinion, that is not 100% accurate. Just like with cloth, disposables also have things that go along with them. So here is what I would use/need to disposable diaper my baby for the year:
Diaper Jeanie: $34.97 (on Amazon) this is a one time fee
Diaper Jeanie refills: $16.14 for a pack of three (on Amazon). Now for myself personally we go through about 2 inserts a month. So you would need 24 of these to last the entire year in my case which would come out to $129.12 per year ($16.14×8=129.12)
Disposables: We liked the pampers swaddles for my baby for awhile so that is what I will base this on which are $36.78 for a pack of 216 diapers (on Amazon on sale for $4.00 off). So if, on the LOW end you change your baby 9 times a day (about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours which you should) that large pack of diapers will last you 24 days. So if you take 365 days a year and divide that by 24, it would give you just over 15. We’ll round up to 16 since they won’t sell you a half of a diaper. Which means you would need 16 of that size box diapers to last the year. At $36.78 a box, times 16, you get $588.48. Then of course tax, which in my area is 7.5% so you get $632.98 just for diapers for that year.
Okay now lets add the diaper jeanie and diaper jeanie refills.
That’s a whopping 797.07 a year! Now, keep in mind you and I both know that when your baby is sick you will go through more diapers than that. When you are out of town you will most likely pick up a pack to take with you. And there are always those accidents that lead you to change them more! Don’t even get me started on swim diapers here…Because thats another expense I could easily add in. Let’s just go with the $797.07 to make it easy, and just for the sake of making it even easier let’s go ahead and round up 3 bucks for the tax on the diaper jeanie and call it an even 800 bucks per year.
Now I will list off everything I invested to cloth diaper my baby girl (keep in mind I DID not get the cheapest options)
*I got everything from Amazon except the SoftBums packages and the GroVia packages*
Wet bag- 6.99
Bum Genius 4.0– 16.95
Diaper pale liner x 2– 13.95
Best bottom shell– 16.95
Diaper sprayer– 39.99
Gerber refolds 10 count (don’t buy these refolds buy the OsoCozy if you’re going that route)- 12.94
Snappi 3 pack– 11.98
Bamboo inserts 6 (I was not impressed by these AT ALL, I’ll include the link so you know NOT to buy)- 19.97 *price reduced to 14.97*
Grovia bio liners– 10.00
Oso Cozy prefolds– 12.99
Blueberry coverall– 19.97
Wool dryer balls 6 pack (any kind you want)- 14.99
Rockin green detergent– 19.99 I bought the Hard Water mix
*it’s important to know what kind of water you have when you start cloth diapering*
Grover AI2 set– 76.99 *price dropped to 70.00*
Grovia starter set (great sample set if you’re new to all this)- 19.99
HappyEnding AIN 3 pack– 42.89 *4 packs now available for 49.99*
Soft bums AI2– 39.99 *price dropped 21.95*
I should also mention that ALL of these diapers listed above came with minimum of 2 inserts each EXCEPT Blueberry Coveralls and Best Bottom Diaper.
Now I hear a lot about the added water and energy cost. Realistically, it may increase your bills a dollar each month. So we’re talking an extra $12.00 bucks a year; if that.
Now as it stands right now I have enough diapers to go about 2-3 days without washing them. I could go longer, technically, with my stash, but I don’t use the prefolds. I have them more as a backup. If you don’t know what prefolds are, don’t worry, we’ll get there. And I’ll go over my laundry routine in another post. That comes to a 486.61 **price does not reflect price drops**for a total, and this will get me all the way till my little one is potty trained! So lets add in the water and energy and round it out to a nice even $500.00 buck investment spent by yours truly. Not only will I save $300.00 dollars this year alone, next year will be all savings. And if we decide to have another we can use these same diapers again and save about $2,000 dollars right there. So lets add in the water and energy and round it out to a nice even $500.00 buck investment spent by yours truly.
Amazing right? Yes, it really is. Now my stash consists of a few things I bought from trial and error. If I could go back, knowing what I know now, I could cut my investment down about $100 to $150 bucks. Which stinks for me, but is great for you! Because I’m going to give you the low down on what each thing is, and the pros and cons of each so you can make a more informed decision with your purchases! So on average per baby we are talking on saving anywhere from $1,500-$300.00 depending on which route you go! So worth it. That’s a vacation for you and your love.
In part 2 we’ll talk about the things I wish I wouldn’t have purchased, along with some terms you should know going into this, and your options for how to diaper your babe!
Cloth Diaper Favorites: