I just threw out the trash. By my calculations, we blasted through 101 diapers in the first week of our second daughter’s life. No, I did not pick through the trash to count the dirty diapers. I know I started with two packages of 40 diapers, another gift of 20 teeny tiny newborn diapers, and the blessed first diaper that the midwives apply after the baby had her first weight and height measurements taken. Holy Baby Poop!
I may be sleep deprived, I may be totally in love with my second born, I may also be a little bit crazy. But $12-15 for a pack for our preferred Chlorine Free Diapers, made with renewable resources and fewer petrochemicals, is just too much for us. And it’s too much waste. I don’t even really want to think of all the baby wipes used for those first few bowel movements when it seems one wipe just won’t cut it and we feel overwhelmed with all the new pees and poops. Those good wipes are over $3 per package! So, when we think about how we would like to live within our means on our own land, tdrying to create a holistic homestead, these disposable, expensive luxuries are just not for us. We opted for reusable cloth diapers instead.
Squawkfox.com has some great math on this stuff. The biggest takeaway is that cloth diapers can cost about $1,799.09 less than disposable diapers! And of course if you are planning on having more than one child the savings just grows since you can reuse most diapers for more than one child.
The Natural Baby Co also has the numbers and great supporting arguments for cloth or even the “hybrid system” (using cloth and disposable). Cloth seems expensive up front, but the overall costs of cloth diapering is 1/4 of the price for disposable!
The beauty of cloth diapers is that they are reusable. They are washable. You can even line dry them near the woodstove in the winter and hang them outside to dry and be bleached by the sunshine in the summer! They have really only added 2-3 loads of laundry a week to your normal wash loads (make sure to use a good reusable diaper laundry detergent).
AND! These aren’t your parents’ or grandparents’ cloth diapers either. Or, at least they don’t have to be. The modern options are multicolored, easy to use, and so cute! We are in love with FuzziBunz, an AI2 (All in 2) system, meaning there are 2 pieces you take apart to wash and easily stuff back together to use. I was introduced to cloth diapering because of a neighbor friend and she was so pumped to be done and have potty trained kiddos that she dropped off trash bags of used cloth diapers for me when I was 6 months pregnant with our first kid. Little did I know what kind of GOLDMINE had just dropped into my lap.
Even after your child or children are done using them you can give them to someone else with babies or babies on the way. Or, alternatively, you could sell them for a little short money on an auction site or through mommy diaper exchange/swaps/sales. diaperswappers.com is a great resource and sales site. You could always donate them to a charity to get cloth into the hands of people who need them and want them. Check out givingdiapersgivinghope.org and nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org.
When the diapers are really far gone, we have used them for burp cloths, cloth rags for window washing, dusting and they can even be thrown in the compost pile if they are made of all natural materials like cotton or hemp. Any lingering smells are actually really great for future soil composition!
I highly recommend some cloth diapering to all new moms and dads and have expressed my love for them as well as how easy they can be. Add a few to your baby registry today and you won’t be sorry! What is your favorite cloth diaper system? What is your favorite thing about cloth diapering? Tell us in the comments!