Monday, January 24, 2011

More With Less Monday: Cloth Diapers

*Whoops! This was scheduled to post on Monday, but didn't!*

If you've talked to us at all about babies, you know we ADORE using cloth diapers.   They're cute, colorful, don't smell like disposable diapers, don't fill up landfills, cheaper than disposable diapers, and all around awesome.

Honestly, I can't really remember our exact motivation for deciding to use cloth diapers.  I guess it was mostly the idea of filling up landfills and spending money on things we would throw away after 2 hours.

So anyway, here's the breakdown of what we do and how we do it.  (If you're not remotely interested in babies or cloth diapers, I'd go ahead and just stop reading now...cause it's going to bore you to tears.)

The Specs:
Altogether we have around 20ish diapers, 10ish Fuzzibunz One Size Pocket Diapers and 8ish Flip One Size Diapers (with extra inserts).  We also have about 35 8x8in pieces of flannel that we store in a wipe warmer for wipes.

Waste: Nada. 
    Pascuals: 1
    Landfills: 0

Pre-wash Cleaning: None!!!!  I just drop them in a trashbin with a lid and wait to stick them in the washer.
    Grossness: 0

Washing:  Every other day or so.  It would be less, but I need to make sure we have enough Fuzzibunz diapers for Rory's daycare, because they're easier to use.  (Let me stop you there.  Did you hear me say that I send cloth diapers to daycare with Rory?  I do!  I had to call around and get permission ahead of time, but it's totally doable!)  I soak them in cold water without detergent.  Then, I wash them in hot water for the longest cycle with 1/2 of the recommended amount of All: Free and Clear.  (I can't use my homemade detergent for these because lots of laundry soaps ruin the diaper's absorbency.)  The wipes are washed along with the diapers.
    Stains on diapers: 0

Drying: On a drying rack of course!  I wash them at night and let them air dry overnight.  When I forget to wash them, they dry in under an hour in the dryer.
   Energy Bill: 0

Time Spent: Not nearly as much time as it takes to find and print some coupons to make the diapers more affordable, get in my car, drive to the store, walk a mile from the parking lot to the store, find the best deal, stand in line and pay for the diapers, walk a mile back through the parking lot to my car, drive home, put the diapers away. 
   Pascuals: 5
   Time Wasted: 0

 ***Already bored?  Let's take a break and consider all the ridiculous brand names of cloth diapers. My personal favorites are: Fuzzibunz, BumGenius, Econobum, Happy Heinys, Kissaluvs, Knickernappies, Thirsties, and  Rumparooz.  Really people?

Ease of the Diapers: Rory has never not leaked out of a disposable diaper.  Her daycare says her diaper needs changing way less than the kids with disposable diapers because hers are so absorbent.  They're not the original prefold and safety pin diapers.  Take a look.  They're an engineering miracle!  I have a hunch that the same people who designed these diapers are also the ones who build spaceships and develop alternative forms of fuel. 

Is anyone else drooling over the awesomeness of these yet?
   Awesomeness: 1
   Leaks and lots of changes: 0

Cost of the Diapers: On first look, these diapers are expensive.  Quality cloth diapers cost anywhere from $15-$25 per diaper.  BUT, these diapers (because they expand as she grows) will fit her until she's potty trained.  That means we only had an upfront expense.  And, everyone likes buying people things for babies before they're born, so we didn't even have to buy any diapers.  Still don't believe me?  Check out this cost calculator.  Go ahead, plug in what you'd want.  According to what we estimated, we'll break even after 8 months. (Remember, we didn't even buy the diapers.)  Then, we'll just be saving money.  And it's not even taking into consideration the cost for buying disposable diapers for a second or third child!
   Pascuals: 6
   Money in the garbage: 0

So, in case I didn't make it clear.  Cloth diapers are awesome.  I'm so passionate about cloth diapering that I am even willing to add extra periods to tell you how. much. I. love. cloth. diapers.

And there you have it.


Kathryn said...

Wow! I'm convinced to use them, but I don't have any little ones around. I would love to share this idea with my Kindermusik families. Do you have any objections to me sharing this blogpost with them???

Cori Shaff said...

I think this is GREAT that you're going this route - I love that you also promote that it's just as easy & better for the environment. Thanks :)

Sarah said...

Thanks everyone! Kathryn, you're welcome to share the post!

T Garrett said...

So, what about poopy diapers? Do they sit in the trashbin and get washed while poopy in the washer? That'd be pretty gross. Though, I guess you'd empty the excess into the toilet first? What's your process for the poopies?

Sarah said...

T-We do just wash them in the washer and though we get rid of the excess, there is definitely a little bit of poop in our washer. We haven't seen any residue and don't feel like it's all that gross since we use detergent and occasionally vinegar to clean. Since Rory has gone to solids though, it all just falls off of her diaper into the toilet so no poop goes into the washing machine.

Some people buy a spray nozzle they attach to the toilet so they can spray down the diapers really, really well, so that would be a way to avoid it too.

Thanks for your question!