Monday, July 19, 2010

the diaper battle

Cloth diapers...what images pop in your mind...the old folded up cotton rectangle with the pins and the rubber bottoms?

Today's cloth diapers are so different.

I have had a lot of conversations about cloth diapers lately. Some people love them, hate them, scared of them, misinformed about them...i feel like it will soon be the new taboo topic you don't bring up in 'polite'

Lots of chats over the past few months about cloth diapers and wanted to share some of the experiences we have had and the research we have done.

1 - cloth diapers are not for everyone (anyone can do it, but if they make you miserable, use what works for you)
2 - hybrids rock as an alternative (ie: G Diapers), if cloth scares you, but disposables scare you too (waste, pollution, chemicals on the babes' bum, etc), try a hybrid
3 - there are companies that will let you try out a variety of cloth options, before you commit to buying a whole set of them
4 - cloth is cheaper
5 - cloth uses less resources than disposables and one set can be used on the next babe, if there is a next babe...and the next one and so on
6 - cloth is better for the sensitive baby bum
7 - cloth is more work than disposables and totally worth it
8 - cloth uses more water, but not a lot more, and less resources overall
9 - cloth is easy to use

The facts (Statistics provided by the Real Diaper Association):

Cost of Disposables
The average baby will use approximately 6,000 diapers in the first 2 yrs of life.
Based on the average cost of 25.5 cents/diaper, diapering with disposables will cost about $1600 ($66.00 per month) to diaper for 2 years, excluding the cost of disposable wipes. Imagine having more than one child in diapers at a time and the costs skyrocket.

Cost of a Diaper Service
Using the estimate of 60 diapers per week, the average cost of using a diaper service would be approximately $15.00/week. That equals $780.00 annually and about $65.00/month. Over the course of 2 years, a family would spend about $1500.00 per baby for a Diaper Service.

Cost of Cloth Diapers - (not diaper service)
Pending what you buy, the average is about $16 per diaper with all the components and buying 2 dozen will cost less than $400. That's it. $400 for the entire diapering process with your babe! Financially smart, good for the environment and healthy for the babe.

We did not plan on using cloth diapers. We had friends who did and showed us how easy it was and that led us to do more of our own research. The facts are hard to ignore. We have been using cloth since Dean was one month old. His diaper rash cleared up immediately and with the type of diaper we picked, they grow with him. The diapers are one size fits all and they adjust as he grows. They will fit him until he is potty trained.

There are many different kinds of cloth diapers to choose from. We use pocket diapers because they seemed the easiest way to go for us. We also use cloth wipes and then wash them all together (any soft washcloths dedicated for use as baby wipes will do), so there is no need to have a monthly expense of wipes either.

Look up the chemicals used in cloth diapers, the petroleum that is used and wasted, the wood that is used and wasted, the waste in the packaging, the resources used for shipping. Toxic chemicals are in a product that is on a babies skin 24/7, for 2 years. Add that to the landfill these diapers will live in for 500 years before they break down.

Interesting info on:

Some of my favorite diapers: - check out their swim diapers, so cute!

Happy Diapering.

And...sweet dreams

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