Thursday, April 9, 2009


It's been about two months now since I've been using cloth diapers exclusively, and I have to say I'm really happy with it. Part of it is the contribution to the environment, but really, it's knowing that if I'm 'out of diapers' it'll never be a trip-to-the-store-with-two-kids-in-tow-that-I-didn't-really-want-to-make-and-it's-the-end-of-the-month-so-now-I-have-to-buy-a-small-package-only-to-go-back-to-the-store-again-in-a-couple-days-and-get-the-bigger-package-at-payday kind of deal. You just put a load in and go about your business.

Here's the skinny on my investment:

15 bumGenius 3.0 diapers-$254.25 (reduced price for bulk buying, free shipping and a free pair of BabyLegs with 12 or more)

1 Diaper Sprayer-$41.99 (worth it's weight in gold, no dunking for this mama)

1 Small Wetbag for diaper bag- $18 (something I'd probaly get anyway for trips to the pool,etc)

2 Large Wetbags for the laundry- $ 30 total

Total investment $355.59

The wetbags were not a necessity, but will make laundry nicer as I won't have to handle the diapers once they're in the pail...just shove 'em in the washing machine and be done with it. I got two so that one can line while the other is being washed.

The other consideration is that with disposables, I had to buy regular and overnight diapers. Now, I just add another insert for night-time wetting. They each came with a newborn and regular insert, so I just use both together at night. I've had no leaking issues, and there have been some long nights in them.

I had a lot of people ask me about the increased water and detergent use. After two months of exclusive cloth (about 8 months of cloth and disposable) I've had no increase in my water bill and don't buy detergent anymore often. I have a front-loader so it's energy efficient, and they get dried on low in the dryer, or aired out overnight if I have the time. Also, you use 1/8 of the recommended detergent for both the cold and hot washes of the diapers, so for each load of diapers you wash, you're only using 1/4 of what you'd use for a load of laundry.

When you compare it to the cost of disposables, especially if I were to use Seventh Generation ($11.99 for 35 diapers at Target; essentially 2.5 days worth) Whole Food 365 Everyday Value ($9.99 for 38) or another chlorine-free diaper, you can see how the savings add up pretty quickly. Add to the cost of diapers, the Diaper Genie 2 re-fills that are replaced every 2 weeks (at the very least) and are $5.99 each. If we say that C will be potty trained at the same time H was, that's $177 in pail liners alone that I won't be spending. The Diaper Genie itself was $39.99 and we don't use that as our diaper pail now, as you don't really want to seal in that smell.

Even better was that my trial with gDiapers was not a loss. There is a huge re-sale potential for cloth diapers that have been well-cared for. I was able to re-sell my g's for over $100, which I put toward the bumGenius diapers. Because I plan on more children, the savings will compound, as I'll be able to use them again with the next baby; supplementing new ones as needed, but the initial investment has been made. I had tried g's because I figured they'd be a good diaper gateway drug, and it was a really good way to see if I'd be able to do cloth, while have a disposable option built-in. I really liked them, and they helped me see how easy cloth diapering really was. (*gDiaper is coming out with their own cloth insert now) Once, however, I decided that I'd do cloth full-time, I wanted a more comprehensive cloth diaper with a built in later between the insert and baby's skin; so on the gDiaper yahoo group's list for sale they went. Obviously that's not an option with disposables.

If you've been thinking about cloth, but don't think you'll be able to do it, I would encourage you to do a little research and see if it would fit in your family's life-style, keeping an open mind...with all the aides out there (the sprayer being the biggest) they are so much more user-friendly than the diapers with pins that our moms used (and dunked). And while the bG is definitely the high end of diapers, the plain-jane pre-folds have a huge number of parents who love them with great success.

I've talked with some other mom's at the park, and have to mention that a key factor has been J's support of our use of cloth diapers. While he's not exactly running out to buy them for me, he has not complained or taken a changing strike or anything else that would make it more difficult for me to truly see if it could work with our family. If I were still working full-time could I make it happen? I don't know, quite frankly I probably wouldn't have even tried. But I do know that one of the things that made me give it a more genuine look is when my friend, who is a radiology resident and has two small children, let me know that even she has time to use cloth at least half-time.

However, will I be judgemental about other people's decision of cloth vs. disposable and how it works in their family? No. I'm only writing this because I was so negative about cloth diapering before, so I want to spread the word with how happy I am in using them...well, maybe happy is a stretch because handling pee and feces can only facilitate so much joy.

I honestly can't believe it's only been 8 months since I rolled my mouse, and my eyes, over the 'purchase' button on my first gDiaper starter kit after my friend had been talking for months about her own eco-conscious decision. Mea Culpa! Good thing les never gives up on educating such a stubborn friend!
*Since I'm part of the g-Mum program, I'll still be giving updates about the product even though I don't use them exclusively anymore.


Maggie Bahnson said...

Thanks for writing this. My friend is considering cloth diapering when she has her 3rd kid, so I sent her the link to your post. It's so informative!

MomtoSophieandOliver said...

Yay! I totally agree that it's so much less traumatizing than I thought it would be. I use G's with various cloth inserts exclusively during the day and Nature Babycare sposies at night (biodegradable) and I'm very happy. Gdiapers is also going to launch their own cloth insert very soon and I'm SO excited for that.

Jeff, Andrea, Mark and Kevin Thorpe said...

Thanks for writing this, Sara! Very informative and so goes the research on my end...thanks!