Adventures in Cloth Diapering

8 Jan

When I was pregnant with Baby E, I started researching cloth diapers as an alternative to using disposables. I was looking for something affordable and fairly easy to use, and I like the idea of being a little more environmentally friendly. I was also interested in health benefits. I’d read a good bit about chemicals used in disposables, and while I don’t think they’re a huge threat, my goal is to limit unnecessary chemical exposure whenever I can. So I embarked on my mission to bone up on cloth diapering.

Holy cow! There are a ton of options when it comes to cloth diapering, and a whole vocabulary to learn! It was a little intimidating at first, but fortunately my favorite local baby store, Natural Baby, holds Cloth Diapering 101 classes, and that was the crash course I needed to get things going. If you live in Upstate SC and are curious about cloth, I suggest you go.

I found my cloth diapering solution through Cotton Babies, a great company which offers a variety of cloth diaper systems and tons of cute colors and patterns. I decided to go with Flip Diapers and Econobum because I was looking for a combination of cheap, effective and easy. I mostly use Flip, which is a hybrid system. Flips have one-size waterproof covers with snaps that allow you to adjust the size as your baby grows. They offer two kinds of absorbent inserts – a flat stay-dry insert and a folded organic cotton insert. They also offer a disposable insert for extra convenience. Econobum is a prefold/cover system that’s super-affordable. They’re just a simple one-size waterproof cover with an organic insert. I can mix and match between the two brands to meet my needs. I like to use the organic inserts at night because they hold more pee and the stay-dry during the day because they’re thinner.

Over all, it’s been a great experience. I am saving ridiculous amounts of money. My stash consists of seven Flip covers, two Econobum covers, 14 stay-dry inserts and seven organic cotton inserts. Since they’re adjustable, one-size diapers, I’ll use these same diapers until Baby E is potty trained. And if we decide to have another kiddo, the diapers are great quality and will last a second round. I spent a total of about $200 on my diaper stash. Not too shabby, considering Babycenter’s Cost Calculator estimates disposable diapers dinging you at $864 per year. And I think that’s a conservative estimate. Pretty major savings, especially over about three years!

I don’t feel like washing adds too much to the cost. We have an HE front-loader and I wash diapers three times a week. You do need to wash cloth diapers with special, additive-free detergent. I bought a bag of Rocking Green cloth diaper detergent for $12, I’ve been using it for five months and still have half a bag left.

When it comes to convenience, I find cloth to be comparable to disposable. I have very few leaks or blow-outs. Baby E stays pretty dry, even overnight, and we haven’t had any diaper rash so far. Smell hasn’t been an issue, either – I use a trashcan with an antibacterial wet-bag liner. When it’s time to wash, I just throw the wet bag and contents in the machine. Since Baby E is breastfed, rinsing diapers by hand isn’t necessary. And when he starts solids, I’ll use flushable, biodegradable liners for easy poop cleanup.

The last thing I love about cloth is that they’re way cuter than disposable. Here’s a pic of Baby E in his Flip at one month old. Pretty cute, right?
Flip Diapers
If you’re interested in learning more about cloth diapering, here are a few resources I found helpful:

FYI – I haven’t been compensated for this post and all views expressed are my own. However, I am entering it into a contest. The contest prize is a set of 12 bumGenius diapers for me and a set for one lucky commenter. So get to commenting and keep your fingers crossed that I win!

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4 Responses to “Adventures in Cloth Diapering”

  1. Krystyn January 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM #

    I wish we would have used them for the first two, so I could factor that into the savings with #3.

    You’ve got a little cutie there:)

    • Wendy January 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM #

      I have a three week old and I am wanting to use cloth diapers. She seems to be having an allergic reaction to the disposable ones. Thanks for the information!!! 😉

  2. Rachel January 10, 2012 at 1:22 AM #

    That Flip is just too cute on him!

    My son is one month old, and we’ve got him in newborn diapers at the moment still. I can’t wait to use the one-sized diapers on him. And I can’t wait to rake in the savings on future children!

  3. Rachael January 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM #

    I definitely looked into cloth diapers and could not get past washing them out.

    I know that’s lame, but it’s true.

    It’s also true that I have one of the strongest gag reflexes known to man, and likely would’ve have vomitted on poor Lilah.

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