I know…who in the world WANTS to use cloth diapers. Not many. But, there is a growing demand for people to save money and let’s face it, disposable diapers are a multi-million dollar a year business. Plus, the reduction of waste that cloth diapering provides in relief to our land fills makes this growing trend one to seriously consider.
When I thought of cloth diapers I think of huge, sagging, dripping, soggy, white diapers with gaps and pins. Not to mention the necessary crinkly rubber pants that went over them that sometimes worked…and sometimes didn’t…at keeping the clothes from getting wet or poopy.
Not any more! Cloth diapers are now cute, colorful, and much better at doing their job than they used to be.
Disposable Diapers – What does it really cost?
The average baby will use 6-10 diapers a day for about 2 1/2 years…give or take a few months for potty-training. With the figures above we estimate:
10 diapers a day for 6 months = 1825 diapers
8 diapers a day for 12 months = 1460 diapers
6 diapers a day for 12 months = 1095 diapers
Totaling 4380 diapers at an average cost of $ .13 each for LUVS if you buy in bulk = $569.40
If you buy Huggies it is more like $ .26 each = $1138.80
That is a LOW estimate as we all know that we often do not get the best deals on diapers and babies seem to go through a LOT more than the average. Some estimates suggest the average family spends over $1500 for diapers before potty training is complete. The older the child is at potty training age, the more a family spends on diapering. Not to mention the bed-wetting that sometimes last up until (or past) school age.
We have not even talked about wipes yet…
There are few services that offer cheaper diapers like Amazon Mom where the first 3 months are free to get up to a 20% discount on disposable diapers. The first 4 months are at a 5% discount, so the longer you subscribe, the more you save. I personally didn’t think it saves enough, so I didn’t even give it a try.
Cloth Diapers – Is this really an alternative?
I decided to give cloth diapering a try.
Wow! Cloth diapers have come a long way baby! The PUL outer fabrics are cute and actually keep the clothes from getting messy. The insides soak up things quickly and are soft for baby’s skin.
There are a ton of choices and they range in price from $4.75-$29.95 each! Whoa! That is a huge difference in price. I searched around and decided to try both purchased and homemade varieties of training pants and bed-wetting pants.
I purchased diapers from SunBabyDiapers.com. They are made in China and shipped to the USA, making the price the lowest I found for what I figured would work for the 22 month old I’m putting into cloth diapers. I specifically bought the trainers because she will be potty training in the near future and I figured these would get us through. They have 2 smaller sizes as well and they list the approximate weight on the different sizes. Plus, they have several different prints to choose from, making them very versatile for both boys and girls.
I bought the 12 pack with 12 blended inserts for $69, making them $5.75 each with FREE shipping. They got here pretty quick considering they are coming from China.
Another alternative is to shop directly from Alibaba.com or DHGate.com which are also websites for Asian suppliers in which you purchase directly from the manufacturer. Check out their reviews before choosing a supplier. I have purchased other products from these sites and only had problems once.
I found that these trainers would also fit some bed wetters we have in our home (age 5 & 6). The kids were happy to switch to these because they are much softer than Pull-ups. Plus, they think they are “super cute” which made them an easy sell. So basically these 12 trainers were for all three at first.
I was spending about $70 a month on diapers and Pull-ups for these 3 kids. Diapers for the 22 month old and Pull-ups for the 2 bed wetters. I do make them re-wear Pull-ups if they are not wet the next night, which saves some money.
For the price of one month of diapers, I bought the 12 reusable trainers, 2 to use for the bed-wetters and 10 to use for the almost 2 year old. This does mean I need to wash a load pretty much every day, but as you’ll see in the next post, I later made some and we’ll then compare the differences and costs.
The ones I bought have removable inserts. They are sham-pocket style which allows me to change out the types of inserts or double them up for big time night wetters. This is nice if over time, as they grow, their habits change. For my heavy night-time wetter, I ended up doubling the insert. I wish I would have bought twice the inserts.
They are remarkably easier than I thought they would be, even the poopy ones. I have a utility sink in my laundry room. After I dump the solid waste in the toilet, I leave a small bucket of soapy water in the utility sink and put them in throughout the day. This acts as a pre-soak. Then I dump the bucket out in the sink and loosely rinse them out, separating the inserts from the outer shells. I put them back in the bucket and dump them into the washing machine.
I have an HE Maytag Front Loader (that I got used for a great price) and set the wash to Warm/Cold with an extra stain cycle and an extra rinse cycle. I am so thankful to have these options on my machine. As you can see in the picture, you can’t even tell which ones were poopy and which ones were just wet. I do not dry the outer shells, but pull them out to line dry on an indoor rack.
I wish I would have started cloth diapering sooner. I could have saved so much money! But, I was afraid of the mess and what I thought would be a lot of extra time. It really hasn’t been bad. I can see that with a newborn it could get overwhelming since they have so many diaper changes and the consistency of their solid waste would be extra cleaning I assume.
Another observation, the diapers I bought are adjustable in the waist and in the length (or rise) with snaps. I do like the snaps because, as I said, they are fitting 3 different sized kids! However, I think for small babies I would want the actual size and not a one-size-fits all diaper. They would be so bulky on a little 10 pound baby. SunBabyDiapers.com has 3 different sizes. I bought the largest.
Size of my kids that are wearing these particular trainers/diapers:
- 22 month old – 25 lbs. 75% of her age group (chunky monkey)
- 5 year old – 32 lbs. 32% of her age group (skinny minny)
- 6 year old – 40 lbs. 65% of her age group (barely squeezing them on)