Monday, September 19, 2011

Newborn Cloth Diapering Love

Let me start with this: we love cloth diapering. Why? better for baby (no chemicals), we can tell when it's wet, better for the environment (less trash), and mostly A LOT less money. I wanted to see how it would work out, and so I didn't invest too much, but we've already more than paid them off, and I'm now looking into our long-term stash of diapers. But this is not meant to be preachy, just a review of what we did and what I would do differently if I had to do it again.

For the newborn phase I decided to get prefolds + covers and it was a great decision. A friend of mine told me to get 4 dozen prefolds and 5 covers. She was right. This allows us to do laundry only twice a week! I ended up getting:

18 Green Mountain Diaper newborn prefolds (5-10 lbs)
18 Indian prefolds infant size (up to 15 lbs)
12 Green Mountain Diaper small prefolds (10-15 lbs)

(If I had to do it again I would just get 2 dozen newborn + 2 dozen infant)

For covers I was pretty indecisive so I just got a whole bunch of different ones to figure out what I would get long term:

1 Bummis super bright (4-9 lbs)- was great size-wise for the first month, but I wouldn't get it again
1 Thirsties x-small velcro (6-12 lbs)- I like it a lot for fit and would get again even though the edges get moist and need to air out longer between uses
1 Thirsties Duo size 1 snap (6-18 lbs)- I really this one too, even more since I don't have to worry about velcro getting mangled in the wash
1 Econobum- love the stretchiness but these are way too big for a newborn
1 Flip Cover- again good stretchiness but too big for a newborn

(If I had to do it again I would just get Thirsties covers for the newborn phase)

So how's it working for us?
Really well! Baby Boy is a major pee-head, so we go through about 10-12 diapers a day, changing at every feeding + whenever he goes number 2 or seems uncomfortable. We don't have to worry about "wasting" a diaper if he pees on a fresh one during a changing.

Twice a week we do the laundry. We wash once on hot with normal Kirkland detergent and an extra cold rinse, occasionally adding a little bit of bleach to get them extra clean and stink free. We've been hang drying them, which works out really well in our weather, saving a bunch on drying them and getting a "bonus" sunning, which keeps them stain free. (I can get away with such a "lazy" routine because everything we have is cotton which is super easy to wash).

Has it been cost effective?

Most definitely yes! We finally calculated the increase in our utilities (water + electric), 4 dollars + 9 dollars monthly, respectively, and I can attribute about half that to diaper laundry (the rest to all that other laundry we've been doing). So that's about 90 dollars a year. Plus the initial investment was about 200 dollars= 300 dollars for the first year. (I plan to buy more diapers of the larger size to get us through the rest of the year, so that the expected totally is about 500).

For reference a pack of diapers here in Mexico is just over 5 dollars (not discount for bulk in this country) and we would use just over half a pack a day (12 diapers out of 20 in size 1, and as you know, as the diapers get bigger there are less per pack, so proportionately we would use the same amount even when he starts going through less per day). Long story short that's 3 dollars a day in diapers, which is 1100 dollars for the year. (This is not including the cost of wipes, which for us are nothing since we wash the flannel ones with the diapers).

So that's all about our experience cloth diapering so far. I have to say it is one of the decisions I feel best about and I'm very excited to shop for our one-size long term diapers!

Oh P.S. When we used disposables for 3 days on a trip (post coming soon) M had this to say:
Day 1- "they stink"
Day 2- "these are so easy"
Day 3- "these are gross"
I would agree with all of the above statements.

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