We decided to use cloth diapers early on in our pregnancy… about the time I said, “Craig, figure out what our budget will look like when I stop working.” Cloth diapering was one way that I could help us save money. Granted it is a joint effort, Craig has to change diapers and spray poop off diapers just like I do. But he would change diapers anyway, and I think he secretly likes spraying them. (He installed a super power sprayer in the bathroom.) So far, I am taking care of washing and getting the diapers ready to use again. So, aside from breast feeding and eventually making my own baby food, this is my way to help us save $$$$.
We chose BumGenius 3.0 One Size, Pocket Diapers. Why BumGenius? This was an easy decision for me. Maybe I could have thought more about it, but I had heard of multiple people I trusted that had used them and liked them, so I went for it! Later I went to a store and heard about every kind of cloth diaper out there right now, and I think I still would have picked BumGenius. I like the velcro closure, it is easier than snaps, and if the velcro wears out, it can be replaced, where as snaps would be much harder. They grow with the child… one size from birth to potty trained, so we only have to buy them once! We purchased 18 of them on sale from a store in Sioux Falls when they were having a sale on BumGenius $12 / diaper instead of $16-$19! I received a couple as a gift, and after finding out we had a girl, I bought two more pink ones on sale for $14/ea.
I probably spent an additional $75-$100 on other supplies. So total I probably spent close to $400. That may seem like a lot up front when you can just buy a box of disposable diapers for $20, but when you do the math it saves so much over time. Disposable: $1500 & $1900 per child! Cloth $400 from start* to finish for EVERY child! (*I did wait a couple weeks until Liv was almost 9 lbs before starting. In those two weeks, we probably went through close to 150 disposable diapers!) There-in-lies the environmental benefit to using cloth diapers!
I probably do laundry every two or three days. But as I’m finding out, I would probably be doing that even if I didn’t have cloth diapers to wash. Babies are messy! I use the soap nuts for our normal laundry too, and they are also a money saver as detergents are expensive. Just dump the bag of diapers and liners in the wash and toss in the bag! (You do need to make sure the velcro is fastened down, so it doesn’t catch on things in the wash, and make sure the liners have been dumped out of the pocket.) I do one cold wash w/o soap nuts, and one hot wash w/ the soap nuts. So far I have not dried them. I put them on my drying rack and set them out in the sun. Lately it has taken FOREVER for them to dry because of the humidity. I have been bringing them inside after the sun has sufficiently bleached them to finish drying. In the winter I’ll probably have to do the same. After the sun has bleached them, and the cold frozen them, bring them inside to thaw/dry. But I just love how white the sun gets them, that washing/drying don’t do.
Traveling with bumgenius… which we’ve only done once… They are bulky. Liv needed her own bag as big as ours mostly because of the diapers. But that’s okay with us, saves $$$$! Unfortunately, when you’re at someone else’s house, the odds that they have a diaper sprayer in their bathroom is small. So next time, I’m going to try using disposable liners that you can flush, to help with the staining (which the sun took care of fine I might add.) Some other brands of cloth diapers would work better for traveling. e.g. G-diapers have an outer cover you can reuse and just change out the insert, which would be less to pack. They also have flushable liners, however these cost as much as disposable diapers. Some people who use cloth diapers also choose to use disposables while traveling. I’m also not sure how some daycare facilities feel about cloth diapered babies.
I understand cloth diapers are not for everyone. Just like breast feeding, it is a lifestyle choice. But one that was easy for me to make, and thankfully, I have a sweet, supportive husband!
BTW: Have you seen how cute babies are in cloth diapers?!
And one new picture just for good measure: