Wednesday, June 8, 2011

our cloth diapering choice

Most people's reaction to my choice to do cloth diapering is - "people still do that?" or "You say that now.."

But really, we're doing it. And here's why.

Disposable diapers contain dioxins, which are potentially carcinogenic and listed as one of the most toxic chemicals according to the EPA. Plus, there are dozens of other chemicals linked to allergies and irritations that I'm not sure I want baby boy being exposed to so early in life. We've already switched to green cleaners - mostly Green Works and Meyer's for chemical reasons.

It doesn't make sense to me that we would go about our recycling ways and then throw 60-70 diapers a week into a landfill. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, disposable diapers make up 3.4 million tons of waste or 2.1 percent of landfills (1998). Critics will say that , my cloth diapering ways will use more water in my washing machine and diaper sprayer. True. But, we have Energy Star appliances, which bring the cost and impact of laundering way down. Cloth diapering also means human waste ends up in the sewer system - where it belongs.

While I'd love to tell you that my dedication to health and environment was so loyal that I'd do what I could no matter the cost, it's just not true. But the shocking amount of money saved per year using cloth sealed the deal. I plan to calculate this all out once baby boy has arrived and offer a more accurate count. Right now, we don't know exactly what works and how many days per week we're willing to launder. But, assuming we only got the bare minimum, here's the cost of our initial diapering:

5 FuzziBunz One Size Pocket Diaper - $100 ($19.95 each)
5 BumGenius 4.0 One Size - $90 ($17.95 each)
2 Sugar Peas Fleece Covers  for nighttime - $40
5 Thirsties Duo-Wrap Covers - $60
12 pre-fold diapers - $24
1 diaper sprayer - $44
2 wet/dry bags - $32

Total: $390

We're starting off with pre-folds and covers along with the four newborn diapers we received from our shower. Then we'll switch over to one-size diapers that will last the rest of his diapering days. We're planning on the fleece covers and wool soakers for nighttime use but I'm trying not to have concrete plans until we see how the little guy does. We'll buy special soap in bulk from Amazon's Subscribe and Save program. Right now I'm undecided on cloth versus disposable wipes. We'll probably use a combination depending on degree of nastiness.

For comparison's sake, disposable diapers cost around $16.80 per week (national average of 24 cents per diaper at 70 diapers per week for a newborn). To see a detailed cost comparison, click here. At that rate, we'll make up the cost in just five months. If you include the fact that the majority of our diaper stash and supplies will come as gifts, we could make up our costs in mere weeks.

These diapers will last us for boy's entire diapering career and snaps/elastic are easily replaced so we expect them to last for kid #2 as well. The savings will be in the thousands per kid. It's hard to doubt the choice we've made.

Stay tuned for what I am sure will be many more posts as we figure out our own system. For more on cloth diapering and natural parenting techniques, these blogs are great!

Cloth Diapering Whisperer
The Diaper Jungle: Cloth Diapering 101
Kelly's Closet
Cotton Babies


  1. I don't doubt your commitment to cloth diapers for a moment. :) I'm excited to see how it goes!

  2. I just hope I don't get the poo on me...