Baby On A Budget: Cloth Diapering 101
Baby on a Budget is a series of posts that I'll be doing to share all the ways we've managed to save money while bringing up our baby. When I read the stats about how much money new parents supposedly spend getting ready for a baby and caring for a baby in its first years, I cringe! I can certainly see how it happens though.... These posts are meant to help you stay away from that awfully high number!!
One of the biggest expenses that we've saved on since having a baby is diapers. I decided to cloth diaper after being inspired by Young House Love. I had never thought much about it prior to then but it all made sense and seemed right up my alley when they talked about it. Plus, I had no idea they made such amazing cloth diapers as they do these days! When someone mentioned cloth to me before I just thought of prefolds and diaper pins.
After hearing about the positive experience that YHL had with the Bumgenius Elemental All in One diapers and reading a million reviews I decided I needed to have them as well. It was important for me to choose the easiest to use cloth diaper available as I was afraid that we wouldn't use them if they were any hassle at all. I spent nearly $500 on diapers! It doesn't sound like a money saver when I say that but I would estimate that after this month we will have gotten our money's worth out of our cloth diapers and anything after this is pure profit. These diapers will really begin cost effective when a second (maybe even third?) child uses them. Even if we decide not to have any more children, these diapers hold their value amazingly! Check out Ebay if you don't believe me! I even bought about 5 diapers from my current stash used and they've all held up beautifully!
These are my pocket diapers. The giraffe printed diaper is a Blueberry diaper and the yellow one (and insert) is a Bumgenius 4.0. The 4.0 is similar to the Elemental in that it is a one size diaper bu, being a pocket diaper, the insert needs to be stuffed into the diaper and pulled out again for the wash. I don't mind the extra work of stuffing the diapers or pulling out the inserts in the wash. I do think they are the most bulky of all my diapers though so I use them most when we are at home. The Blueberry diaper has the best print of all of my diapers but it is not my favourite as the fit is not quite as nice as the Bumgenius diapers.
I was lucky enough to get some Bumgenius Bamboo Fitteds after they 'found some in their warehouse' long after they'd been discontinued. These were my very favourite diapers at the beginning and I still love to use them now. The fitteds are identical to a disposable diaper except you have to use a diaper cover over top of them so you get a perfect fit every time which is important with gooey infant baby poop. I love, love, love these diapers!!! Pictured here are a Flip diaper cover and an Econobum diaper cover both of which are great. I have only used the Flip with these fitteds as I purchased it as a second and have yet to purchase a Flip insert.
I have found that there is really no extra hassle to using these diapers. They are all just as simple as disposables. I suppose the snaps take a little bit of getting used to but they really are quite simple as well. I do 1-2 loads of diaper laundry a week. I use borax or washing soda and a bit of laundry soap with no additives. I let the diapers pre-soak and then wash with hot water and an extra rinse cycle. In the summer I line dried them which worked great for our infant baby poop stains. This winter I have just dried them in the dryer and this has worked out better than I expected. Somehow I still don't have stains, though I think this is because of our baby's perfect age (and therefore poop) during the changes of seasons. We have just begun seeing solid poop and it is great because it just plops out of the diaper into the toilet and there is hardly a mark left on the diaper. We have a diaper sprayer but I have yet to use it very much. It is messy and I'm not fond of it so far.
Our wetbag hangs on the side of our change table. We have about 4 wetbags and they are all great. This one has a drawstring and the rest of them have zippers. We just wash them with the diapers. It is all very hassle free.
We use cloth wipes since we are washing diapers anyways. You can see how we make them here. These are very convenient and perfect for 'washing' poopy bums. They smell much better than commercial wipes too!
We do use disposables as well. None of the diapers we bought are especially suited for newborns/ very small babies so we waited awhile until our baby fit into our diapers properly. This was perfect as it gave us a chance to get used to having a baby without the added worry of washing the diapers. Plus, he had started pooping a little less by the time he fit into the cloth diapers.
We still use a disposable each night. I am sure we could use cloth at night as well but I have not tried it yet as sleep problems are so hard to figure out- I don't want to add another element into the mix. Also, we were gifted a large quantity of disposables before our baby was born so we use these at night. I also like to keep them on hand for travel or laundry day or to keep in my purse. I have nothing against disposables other than the fact that they are an ongoing money drain!
So far, we have loved our CD experience and highly recommend it to all of our friends. They do a great job and we are so happy that our baby costs us so little in this area!