Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cloth Diapering 411 - Part I

When Baby C arrives my hubby and I are taking on a new challenge of cloth diapering. We did not do this with our first child because of the typical response "GROSS". Well once your a parent and have changed diapers for 2+ years - it still may be gross, but its tolerable and no big deal anymore.

So one day I was at work and just reading around and decided this would be something that would be excellent to do with our family situation. My hubby still has not been able to get a teaching job and we were unsure about my job for awhile. So our finances are of course not where we want them at this time, but next year we will have to pay for two childcare fees and I thought we need to start saving money in areas that we can control. For instance, we got rid of cable - saves us a $100/month. We lowered our house phone line down to the minimum just so we could keep our security system - saves us $20/month. And now from researching many sites and talking to many people we are going to stop using disposable diapers - except for the eldest who is pretty much potty training right now so we don't go through as many. This will save us about $1200 a year in diapers. WOW!!!

I will be perfectly honest I did not research brands of cloth diapers because I got so many recommendations to use Bum Genius cloth diapers. So I just thought since so many people love them then thats what I will use. I'm a big blog reader and one of the blogs I read frequently is Young House Love and they are big on being eco-friendly. Well as nice as ec0-friendly is I was going for my economical reasons, but anywho they use Bum Genius diapers with their daughter Clara and here is the article I read on their blog about their experience with cloth diapers. CLICK HERE

Now I would say since Young House Love started using cloth diapers Bum Genius has expanded their line of diapers to ones with prints and to a One Size Elemental 4.0 diaper. The reason being I've been told is the 3.0 leaked on some babies depending on their size. The other cool thing they have added is there are cloth diapers with pocket inserts and ones without. I've been told to get the pocket inserts because it adds extra absorbency. So I finally made a decision to use the Bum Genius One Size 4.0 Snap Cloth Diapers - pocket inserts. They not only come with one liner to fit all sizes, they come with a newborn one as well for the first couple of months. I was so excited about that because I could start using them ASAP with Baby C at home.

They also offer velcro instead of snap, but in my lifetime experience of velcro - when you wash velcro they just don't seem to last over time and they curl. So it just seemed that I would be wasting my money if I didn't get the snaps. So for the next couple of years we will be using these diapers. They work from 7-35 lbs. Our eldest is at 33lbs right now and almost 2 1/2 yrs old. So give or take 3 years of not buying diapers - $1200x3 = $3600 savings - A-mazing.

Questions I've gotten:
1. Aren't they expensive? Well yes each diaper is about $17-20 dollars. When our eldest child was a baby he went through 8-10 diapers a day and then eventually it has gone down to 3-5 diapers a day. So I figured in my head I would need 12 cloth diapers total. 18 might be the ideal just to have extras, but if I see that needed I will go get more. My initial cost up front for diapers are anywhere from $200-$250 bucks. I am all about spending that up front if I'm saving $3600 over a three year time span.

2. How do you clean them? The directions say to clean them every other day with a certain type of detergent. I am using the bumgenius detergent and you get 66 loads out a small box - so I know it will last me for awhile. You should bleach them once a month and you can either dry them in your dryer or hang them out to dry in the sun. I've been told hanging them to dry in the sun keeps the color fresh and the sun bleaches them for you. One thing we invested in is a diaper sprayer for our toilet. If Baby C just has a wet diaper there is no reason to use the diaper sprayer. But if Baby C has a dirty diaper you just take the diaper to the toilet and spray it off in the toilet. I have two trash can containers in Baby C's room - one for wet and one for dirty. This is where the liners also make it easier because you can just take out the liner and clean it and put a new liner in - unless your baby has a blow-out, which does happen then you might need a new diaper.

3. What do you do when your out and about? I've invested in two wet bags, one for the sitter's house and one for the diaper bag. Basically you just put the diaper in the wet bag and seal it up and then when you get home you clean it with the diaper sprayer if needed or just put them in your trash can pails and they wait for cleaning time. If their poop is solid you can just dump the poop in the toilet. Seems pretty simple to me. Now if we are going on long trips I would definitely get disposable diapers for the long trip because of the time you are in the car vs. out of the car. (i.e. - vacation road trips). So my hopes when he goes to the sitter is that she just dumps solid poop out - changes liners if needed and put dirty/wet liners and cloth diapers in the wet bag each day for me to pick up and wash and return the bag the following day. Yes it will be a routine we will both have to get use to but I'm all for it again if I'm saving $3600!!!!


Bum Genius - cloth diaper brand that we are using
Cottonbabies - for all cloth diapering
BabiesRUs - they sell a few
Cloth Diapering 101 - article on cloth diapering

If you have any questions please comment below - I will try to answer them all. Part II will consist of pictures and my actual experience of using them once Baby C gets here.


ValleryB said...

Good for you guys! We've used cloth with both kids and it has saved us a bundle, but when we are really stressed or on the go, we do use disposables sometimes. I also use a disposable overnight because it is hard to find a diaper that will last all night. We have 12 bumGenius 3.0s and 4.0s with Velcro and they have held up well through both kids. I keep the laundry simple and just use All Free & Clear for everything and it works great. You may need to use a fabric softener like Calgon or Borax because we have hard water here, and you want to keep them from getting build-up and repelling (and leaking) even with the BG detergent. Look into Thirsties Duos, too because they un-stuff themselves in the wash! :)

Jonathan, Amy, Addison, Bennett, and Garrett said...

Sounds like it is worth a try. I am anxious to hear how it is going. Hope all is well.

The Tiny Team said...

Yes yes yes! We love Bum Genius too! Check out by blog post on it!