Cloth diapering may seem crazy, actually if you haven’t done much research on the topic, I know it does, but we’re doing it. If you start to look into it, you’ll probably be overwhelmed at first by the terms (AIO, AI2, pockets, fitteds, prefolds, covers, inserts and on and on). Basically, there are a bunch of ways to go about cloth diapering and you have to decide what works best for your family and situation. I’ll run down my list of reasons for using cloth diapers, but first I’ll show you the difference between the cloth diapers you’re probably picturing and the cloth diapers of today that I’m using.
I’m using a combination of one-size AIOs (all in ones), pockets, and diaper covers. These are most like disposables in my opinion and I think they’re best suited for us with me working.
So, what does it all mean and how do they work?
One Size = The same diaper is used from birth (usually fits at about 8 pounds) through potty training (35 pounds). These should work the whole time unless you have a sumo-baby.
All-In-One (AIO) = the absorbent material is sewn onto the diaper in some way so it is all one piece.
Pocket = the absorbent material (insert) is stuffed into a “pocket” inside the diaper. These give you the flexibility of adding additional inserts at night for greater absorbancy and you can choose what materials you use for your inserts (fleece, bamboo, microfiber, etc…).
This is what the inside of the pocket (where you insert the material) looks like. I stuff all these ahead of time so when you actually use them you put the diaper on just the same as you would a disposable.
and you’re still wondering why, right?
I’ll preface this by saying that I get that diapers can be bought fairly cheap (possibly free) sometimes, but being cheap-diaper crazed is not my idea of a fun hobby. I also don’t live in an area where you can be a crazy couponer (what’s the name of that show?) and end up with free stuff. And lastly, I have no intention of hoarding diapers all over my house when there is a sale (I don’t do clutter!).
That said, I have 24 diapers (some use more, some use less). At $15-20 per diaper (it can be done A LOT cheaper if other methods are used) you’d spend about $500 (I actually ended up spending about $250 because several diapers were gifted to us). You spend $500, but the beauty of cloth is that if the diapers are well taken care of you can use them on another baby.
Quick estimate for disposables, lets say you use 3,000 diapers per year (I’ve seen estimates ranging from 2,750-3000), for 2 years (most estimates assume your baby potty trains at 2), for a total of 6,000 diapers. Estimate an average of $.25 per diaper and you’ve spent $1,500 on 1 kid. Yes, you have the upfront cost of buying the cloth diapers, but you end up with a cost savings of $1,000. If you have another baby, you already have your diapers and there is no upfront cost so you save the entire $1,500. Have a few more and see how quickly the savings go up.
Better for Kennedy
I like knowing that she won’t have a bunch of weird chemicals and drying agents against her skin 24/7. Cloth is also better at preventing diaper rash and skin sensitivity.
Better for the Environment
I’m not super green, but the thought of my household not adding 6,000 disposable diapers to our landfills is nice.
Less Time in Diapers
Babies that are cloth diapered typically potty train faster and I’m all about getting the diaper stage over with as quick as possible.
Yes, I had to add it.
So that’s my quick and dirty (ha!) run down on cloth diapering. Hopefully I seem a little less crazy now, but if I don’t that’s ok because… my baby’s butt will be cuter than yours 😉