Beating the High Cost of Diapers

From Anne:

As I mentioned, I cloth diaper my two youngest children (ages 2 and 5 months). I didn’t start off cloth diapering when I had my eldest for a variety of reasons, but one day I started thinking about how many times a day I changed a diaper. Add to that, at that time my 3-year old wasn’t potty trained and I was tired of cleaning him up! My friend cloth diapers her kids and said that on average, kids who wear cloth diapers potty train about 1 year earlier than kids who wear disposable diapers. I thought about how many diapers I had thrown away in 3 years and how much I could have saved if I had cloth diapers (both in terms of money and my sanity!). I started looking into cloth diapers and how it might work with my family. I talked to my friend who cloth diapers about logistics, researched online and got my husband on board. So far it’s gone really well and it’s very easy…these are not your grandmother’s cloth diapers with pins and leaks! Mine go on just like a disposable diaper and are one size that is adjustable from about 8lbs to 35lbs. I also wash them myself which is very easy as well.

The company that I get most of my cloth diapering supplies from has a kit with 3 diaper covers, 12 diapers, and a wetbag (that you store the wet/dirty diapers in while you’re out and about) for $48.95. What you do is fold the diaper in thirds and lay it in the cover. Lay the diaper+cover under baby and fasten just like you would with a disposable diaper. The diapers are 100% cotton and VERY absorbent and my kids have no complaints!

Here is the web page for the diapers I’m talking about:  http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=138&products_id=2533.

And I know what you’re thinking…what about poop? It’s actually fairly easy with cloth. Breastfed or formula fed baby poop can just go right into the machine, no rinsing needed. More, ahem, solid stuff is dumped into the toilet. If it doesn’t “roll” off, you just dunk and swish it in the toilet a bit then put it into the diaper pail (mine is a regular trash can with a lid with a washable liner) then wash as normal. My wash routine is: wash cold with just a little detergent, wash hot with a little detergent (once a month I use 1/4 cup of bleach in the hot cycle) then another hot wash cycle with no detergent. Line dry the covers, tumble dry the inserts/diapers.

Here is some info on washing in a laundromat:
http://clothdiapers.blogspot.com/2011/04/cloth-diapers-101-washing-in-laundromat.html.

A couple notes of caution: DO NOT use diaper rash cream with cloth diapers or you will have issues with your diapers repelling liquids. If you do need to use it, you have to put a thin layer of micro fleece between the baby’s bum and the diaper. Also, you need to use special detergent that is free of enzymes, brighteners, and whiteners. Brighteners/whiteners leave residue on the diapers (they’re meant to make clothes’ colors look brighter) that lead to repelling and enzymes which eat away at stains can get onto the diapers and could cause some irritation on baby’s skin.

Here is a list of acceptable detergents for cloth diapers: http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoicesataglancepspd.htm.

Here is a great way to calculate the cost of cloth vs. disposable: http://www.diaperpin.com/calculator/Calculator.asp.

Cloth diapers would be a great way for the moms that the Gabriel Project helps to save money, I think. Let me know if you think Gabriel Project would want to purchase any of those kits that I mentioned earlier in the e-mail to give to any of the Gabriel Project moms (and I’d be happy to demonstrate everything to them).


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