Mar 10, 2010

The choice to cloth diaper

When you procreate, you in effect add a great deal of poop to your daily life for a number of years. Even if your little one is potty trained early on, you most likely will still be up to your elbows in poo for a time. It's a sunny afternoon and my hands are in the toilet. Why, you may ask? Because I am one of those crazy moms who prefers scraping poo over twisting a Diaper Genie.

I have used disposables before and can appreciate having them on hand occasionally, but cannot justify buying them on a regular basis when cloth is so much cheaper. While there is definitely a green factor to my decision to go cloth, it wasn’t the driving incentive in my plan. Nor is it about following a trend or being a better mom. I do not feel that anyone should be shamefaced into using cloth. Arial Gore said it best in her book The Hip Mama Survival Guide, "I mean, couldn't we start saving the world somewhere else? Couldn't we ban cars or something? How about just shutting down McDonald's and Exxon? Yes, I have to agree with Erma Bombeck on this one: 'I'd rather do away with foam cups and have hot coffee poured into both of my hands and drink fast than do away with disposable diapers'."

I use cloth because it saves me money. It's a bonus that it also means less waste for the landfill and it’s better for my baby’s bum. The factor here is that even if you go all out and spend more than you can afford on the best cloth diapers and buy them in abundance and end up only using half of them, you still save money. Here’s how; by using this handy dandy calculator, I factored in twice as many cloth diapers than I will ever need (36 prefolds, 20 covers, 60 One Size all-in-ones and 1o night-time diapers) and priced them at 25-50% more one should expect to pay for them. Then I priced the disposables to an unbelievably low price of $.09 per diaper. The calculations said I would break even in one year. The reality is that if you go bottom of the barrel and just do prefolds and plastic covers, you can break even in less than 20 weeks and save over $1500 in the course of 1.5 years. And let's face it, most kids don't potty train until 2 and a half, boys can take longer, so you're looking at nearly $3,000 in savings from going cloth. If you want to have fitted diapers, All-In-Ones and One Size fits all, you will still save money. When entering in the factual information for my diaper collection, my savings come to $1,347! When it's time for Jack to move into the next size, I'll be going on Diaper Swapper to sell his size Large and move on to the XL for much less.

Here are some great diaper deals:

Fuzzi Bunz

Amazing package deal for newborn to toddler

Did I mention that cloth diapering can be addicting?

Other helpful links:

Whether I want to admit it or not, it is trendy

Washing cloth diapers

Why use cloth?


  1. Love that opening line! Also love it that so many moms are seeing the value (not just monetary) in using cloth & in staying home to be with their kids, which is such a privilege these days! I just posted an article about making our own cloth diapers - and once you get beyond the idea that you need some fancy pattern or something, it's really not that hard. You don't have to use all the fancy fabric that I got carried away with (being a silly ol' gramma & all) - recycling flannel shirts, cotton T-shirts, & towels is an EXTREMELY economic way to go - and some people out there are even shrinking & felting old wool sweaters for the outer layers. I'll have to check into that. Want to see what I made? ...blythe

  2. Blythe, you've got some great diapers there! I've tried but don't have the patience with elastic; I'm to lazy to take my time with it. Who knows, I may give it a try again. Thank you for the link!

  3. Hi! My name is Denise and I noticed you linked to my store's FuzziBunz page, since we're currently running a promotion. I just wanted to thank you for posting the link and to concur with everyone you said in this post! The reasons for using cloth are numerous, and even though I consciously make environmentally-friendly choices my primary reason for using cloth is the savings. It's remarkable! Anyhoo, thanks again and I just love your blog!

  4. Thank you Denise! FuzziBunz are my most favorite cloth diaper yet, the perfect size ones are the best. I use liners, so most of mine still look as good as new!