Sunday, August 26, 2007

More on being Cheap: Cloth Diapers

Long before Angelina was born, I told Fredo I wanted to use cloth diapers. He was a little hesitant at first, not being familiar with them, but he was easily swayed. The morning I went into labor, he was online for awhile. He stopped and said "Ok, I found out how to fold cloth diapers, now we can have a baby!" Not only are they great for the cost savings, but the environmental savings. Yes, you use more water and energy to wash, but since we have a high efficiency washing machine (8 loads in ours = 1 load in a standard US washer) and we hang dry all our clothes (no dryer), we use very little water or energy. After a year I have yet to see any change in our water/electric/gas consumption.

Compare Disposables:
0-3 Months:
8-10 diapers/day = 60+ diapers/week (I'll round down for ease).
Pack of 60 Size 1 diapers = ~$16
$16/week x 12 weeks = $196

4-6-12 Months:
6-8 diapers/day
50 diapers/week x 32 weeks = 1600 diapers = 40 packs
$16/pack of 40 Size 2 or 3 Diapers
40 packs for 32 weeks diapers @$16/pack = $640

Minimum $836 for the first year. We won't even start with the second year.

Cloth Diapers
One time expense of cloth diapers: ~$300
Can be done for much less, I bought a few different types to see what worked best. With what we have, we're set at least until she's 2 yrs old. And we have diapers for kid #2. And we can use the pre-folds for many many things.

We were using prefolds with Bummis or Prowrap covers (which ones depends on her size, at different times d ifferent wraps worked better). I scoffed at the fancy new All-In-One (AIO) diapers. Ridiculously expensive and did we really need them? For the unintiated, AIOs are just like disposables only they're not - they have an absorbent inner layer and a waterproof outer layer, so no wrap/cover needed.

Then our friend came over and showed us the AIO diapers she made herself. Hmmm, I can sew. Sort of. Well enough for a diaper, right? So I found a website that sells the fabric pre-cut (since I can't cut to save my life) for a fraction of the cost. Then I can sew them myself. I decided to try just a few to see how we liked them. Now we're sold. I still love our prefolds and they're useful, but the AIOs - hand sewn by yours truly - are great!


Monica said...

adorable! And way more color choices than the store-bought AIOs. Although, I do love my bum genius...

Cherise said...

I just got some neon orange PUL for another set. She'll have a bright bottom :)

I love sewing them now, it's so much fun.

Jodi said...

I totally agree that cloth are cheaper in the long run (especially if you have more than one child!) but your disposable prices are pretty high. I despise doing laundry and poop in cloth really grosses me out - I seriously considered cloth but in the end wasn't up for it.

Anyway, I think people tend to change disposables less frequently than cloth because if they're only a little wet, you can barely even tell. I calculated that I spent $5/week on disposables for my kids (generic brands). That's $260/year.

Cherise said...

For disposables, we buy 7th Generation, but they're the same price as Pampers, and only $1-2 more than all the other brands. The generics I've seen have been around $12/pack.

Jodi said...

I don't remember what I paid (I used to get them in big cases) but once past the newborn stage I only used 4-5/day. I do think my $5/week was an Anna calculation which was 8 years ago so I probably did spend a bit more on Matthew. :)

Riana Lagarde said...

you did a great job of making them!!!

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