Friday, September 6, 2013

Cloth Diapering Plunge

I think I'm going to take the plunge into cloth diapering.  I briefly mentioned the possibility a few weeks ago. And a couple friends are probably laughing because I've been 'thinking about it' since I was preggo.

[Disclaimer: this post has some boring budget breakdowns & mentions poop.]

One reason I had decided not to do this earlier was because Miss Adelyn is a serious pooper. We used to do prunes in the morning, but she would poop 4-5 times a day!! Off of prunes, on a pretty regular formula/ solids diet, she is down to 1 (sometimes 2) times per day.  4-5 times a day with a poopy diaper didn't seem worth the switch over to cloth.

But now that her intestines are less enthusiastic, AND our local kids resale store has bum genius at $4 a pop AND I'm almost out of disposables at home, I started thinking about it again.

Our sweet girl is a heavier wetter (meaning more diapers per day)ever since we switched to formula. [More about that another time.] As I did the cost breakdown, it seemed like a no-brainer for our student-loan-living budget.

Here's why.

She uses 5 diapers per day minimum. (This girl produces some serious wet diapers at night so we use size-up huggies snug n dry overnight and I do not plan to change that.) I've been ordering diapers on which seems to be slightly discounted. Also, we now live in Boston without a car, so lugging a box of 200+ diapers either on my bike or in the stroller doesn't sound like loads of fun - especially through the snow, which I hear we might get some of this winter... At the price I've been getting them it's approximately $.23 per diaper x 5 per day (minimum) = $1.15 per day.

Even if she is perfectly potty trained on her 2nd birthday, we still have 478 days of diapering to go.
At $1.15 per day, that's $549.70

But wait.

Our local kids resale store just took in a ton of bum genius 4.0 diapers (seemingly the most popular brand on the market) that are in GREAT shape. They are selling them for $4.00 each.


We have an in-unit washer/dryer that is apartment sized, so I do laundry every couple days anyway. And it's unlimited included already in the cost of our rent. So water cost isn't really a factor.
I was thinking 15 would be a nice number. (Wash every 2 days, but still have enough for that day while the others are in the wash.)

$4 x 15 = $60.00

Plus, I think I'll get flushable inserts & probably put at least one in per day before her morning nap, which usually ends with a lovely 'present.' $8 for a box of 100 on amazon. If I have to buy 8 boxes of those over the next 16 months, that's $64.

So far, our total is $124.

Okay, so for Addie, we're only saving $425.

Not that much money in the grand scheme of life.

But wait, again.  We'd like a few kids. Somewhere above 3 and under 10. ;) ;)

Let's say we can use these diapers for 2 more kiddos after Adelyn, starting at age 3 months.

That's 640 days of diapering per kid.
1280 days for 2 kids.
At $1.15 per day.

$1472 to diaper 2 more kids from 3 months to age 2. 
Plus the $425 from Addie.
Now our total is $1897 saved.
And maybe we'd be able to use them on a 4th... I don't know how long they last.

Lord willing, $1897 would be a doable amount to spend on diapering over the next couple years.
I am so so so thankful that we are not in a place where we literally HAVE to cloth diaper to make ends meet.

On the other hand, with the flushable liners, no-smell pails, and in-unit washer/ dryer, the hassle factor is very minimal for me. I recently picked up a couple at the resale store I mentioned and haven't minded them at all. It feels almost the same as regular diaper-changing. In fact I would be happy not to have to empty the diaper genie (or beg Ben to) or remember to order more diapers.

And for basically no hassle, doing something I don't mind doing, I could think of other ways to spend the $1897.

Like saving for a car. Or a downpayment.
Or new shoes.
Or all the many children's books I dream of adding to our library.
Or fabric.
Or amazing handmade gifts for all my friends.
Or Christmas.
Or missionaries.
Or finishing off those undergrad loans.
Or putting a tiny debt in the grad loans.

Plus, there's the cute factor of a cloth-diapered bum.
Maybe, just maybe, I'll share a picture with you once we are fully cloth diapered over here.


  1. We've been cloth diapering from the beginning and are so glad that we did! Not only are we saving money, but we have also found that it's really not as much extra work as we thought it might be. You do lots of laundry with a baby anyway, so what's one extra load, right?

    $4 for BumGenius is a STEAL! Snatch those up while you can!! I've seen them for $10-12, and I thought that was a great deal. Hope you get to them before someone else does! :)

    Really enjoy reading your blog! Addie is adorable, and you are such a great mama! :)

    1. Sam/ Mrs. Schoe, Thank you for commenting!! It is so good to hear from you and to know you're reading my blog. I feel honored! I just found your blog and am excited to read about your adoption journey. :) Pass along any tips you may have on email or facebook! I was just in time to grab 2 bum genius ones... so I'm still on the hunt.

  2. Have you read up on how to clean cloth diapers? It's super easy... but I just want to make sure you know before you wash them in something you're not supposed to. I knew of someone once that had a daughter who kept getting re-ocurring UTI's.... they didn't understand why.... especially because they were using cloth diapers..... until someone pointed out to them that they were using way too much detergent (and maybe bleach??????) in their cloth diapers!

    We loved Rockin Green....... a special cloth diaper soap. :)

    Happy Cloth Diapering!!!!!!!

    P.S. You will love it!

    1. Allyn, I had no idea! Thanks!! I'll look into that - pass along any other tips you have too!!