Still Skeptical: The Cloth Diaper Experiment Day 4

My husband and I are getting the hang of these things now. Lil’ J still seems to be her happy cheering self around me so I’m chalking up her misbehavior to missing me while I’m at work.

My husband is still convinced it’s the cloth diapers that are keeping her from taking long naps so tomorrow we may try a FuzziBunz all-in-one pocket diaper we have because some commenters suggested pocket diapers for naps. I may also buy some soft sleeves by Sprout Change to add an extra layer of absorbency. You can use these with any other system of diaper you already have so I think this may make it less expensive overall since I won’t be buying an entirely different diaper and cover etc. It’ll only be $4.95 versus $20+ for each additional diaper.

It is a little discouraging think about all of the different things you need for different scenarios. So, I’m with one commenter on my last post–I’m still not totally convinced cloth diapers are as economical as people say. Especially when you consider the special detergents you need (I still use Tide despite some people who suggest a special, more expensive kind). If you want stain remover you need a special kind for that. Buying a diaper sprayer, a diaper pail (I didn’t though, I’m just using what I have). Then when you consider doing an extra load of laundry every-other day (I could go longer but I hear it’s not best to let the diapers sit more than 2-3 days). That’s 15 extra loads of washing and drying a month. You’re using hot water in the wash, then some suggest running an extra rinse cycle… It’s a lot of water and energy you’re using.

A friend of mine buys 200 diapers at Costco averaging $.14 a diaper. That’s hard to beat. Then on the other end of things, some people get “addicted” to cloth diapers and are always buying more and more cloth diapers and while having a minimum stash I think is awesome, and cost effective–having dozens of brand new, different brands and styles seems to defeat the point… To me. I’m NOT going to go crazy with cloth diapers. Mark my words. We have enough. And if I want to save money, I must not go crazy.

Using the Sprout Change diapers for a second child I’m sure will make up the difference in costs, and I’m going to look into buying an indoor drying rack that I can set out on my porch, or use inside to dry the diapers after they’ve washed. I figure that’s more green, and more economical. It also would keep from the wearing on the elastic–Which one of my commenters mentioned can happen with continued dryer use. Lucky for me though, the Sprout Change diapers have a lifetime warranty on the snaps and a year warranty on everything else!

I have been using my diaper champ as a diaper pail instead of buying a new pail to put them in. I’ve been reusing a plastic bag after dumping the diapers in the washer, but the bag is beginning to stink so I’m thinking of buying a cloth bag to put in the champ, that I can throw in the wash with the diapers.

So if money is your main and only motivation for trying cloth diapers, you may want to check your numbers and make sure it would work out for you. If you’re planning on having more than one child and using the same diapers more than once like I hope to if these work out–That for sure will save ya some dough, probably about $40 a month.

There are other reasons for liking them though besides possible savings and that’s what I’m trying to focus on now.

mama and baby

My husband isn’t skipping a beat with the diapers. Tonight when he brought my daughter up to work for my break, she was in a cloth diaper, and he brought extra to change her while he was there. He just put the dirty one in a plastic bag, and did diaper laundry when he got home. I told him I’d do it but he said he would. And he did!

I noticed a couple of the inserts did have poop stains on them (see, breastfeed baby poop CAN STAIN!) these were ones that weren’t rinsed, just thrown in the pail then washed. They’re faint, but I don’t mind because it’s just the inserts (not the cute, reversible cover), and I can always sun them later if I want to get the stains out. A commenter on my last post also mentioned a diaper-friendly stain remover I may try.

So day 4 of my adventure is down. What’s next? Who knows!


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  1. Oh yeah, breastmilk poop DOES stain. I can attest to that. But it dissolves in the wash so you don’t have to worry about it contaminating other clothes.

    Yeah, if you coupon or get diapers at Costco (or both!) you can save a TON of money. I never pay full price for diapers.

  2. Well, I have 2 kids in diapers and I don’t have a sprayer, it is the old dunk n swish for us. I also just have a small trash can I bought at Family Dollar for my pail. I wash diapers every day and a half with the 2 girls, and my electric bill went up by about $5 and my water bill went up about the same. I make my own diaper detergent, which lasts for a long time, and all the ingredients only cost me a little over $9. All in all on all my diapers I have only spent about $250 so if you do things the efficient way and don’t buy into all the expensive luxuries, that aren’t exactly necessary, you save a TON of money. I also just commented on BabyDickey’s blog that I use cloth wipes. I bought some 4 packs of washcloths from Dollar Tree, and I recycled a baby soap pump bottle for my solution. My solution is mostly water with a little bit of witch hazel and a few drops of Tea Tree Oil.

  3. We use cloth and I find it SO easy. Here is what we do- we use Purex Free n’ clear detergent (you can find it anywhere) I do 2 loads in the wash- one on hot and one on cold. Then I hang the covers to dry and put the inserts in the dryer. and that’s it!! I think if you do it that way it’s pretty simple. 🙂 We don’t use anything fancy.. I use a garbage can to keep the dirty ones. I do laundry every 3 days or so.

    I wrote this a while ago, but our method is still the same on how we wash/dry our diapers.. maybe it will help?!

  4. This was a good article I found on the cost difference from cloth to disposable: Now they didn’t include gas running back and forth to the store for disposables but did include washing of the cloth and only used the cost of pre-folds, instead of pockets or AIO’s. Plus you have to add in the cost of a diaper genie for disposables or wet bag for cloth and diaper sprayer for cloth but I think cloth still wins. And then doubles if you use them for more than one kid.

    I’m really liking hearing your real life adventure through this. Great posts!

  5. Breastfed baby poop DOES stain, it’s just that it will wash out, rather than needing to be rinsed first (or get stuck to the washer, ewwwww!)

    I majorly bargain hunted disposables and used coupons, so I usually paid around .15 per diaper. That’s still $45/month. (plus 2 cents or so PER wipe, and I often needed 4 or 5 for messy diapers!) Even if you bought 25 bumgenius pocket diapers, that’s $430, or less than 10 months of disposables.

    Of course, hybrid/all in two systems are much cheaper, as are prefolds & covers.

    I machine dry all of my inserts but I hang dry my shells/covers. I did not notice any difference in my electric bill when I switched. I wash less clothing with cloth since I don’t have blowouts. With disposables, I had to wash multiple outfits because of that!

    I use Tide HE powder, maybe 1/4 of the lowest line (a box lasts forever!) I do a cold wash/rinse, then a hot wash/rinse with the detergent, then a warm/warm with no soap. The last one might be overkill but I like to make sure all the Tide is rinsed out.

    The best deal I’ve ever gotten on Pampers worked out to 8.something cents a diaper. Even if you got that deal all the time (not likely) and only changed 6 diapers per day (kinda gross) that’s still $14.40 per month, that’s still $438 over 2 1/2 years. Plus, all that $ would be in the landfill. With cloth, you can re-use them, sell them, donate them, whatever!

    It’s HUGE savings for me!! Yes, I have definitely overthought this!

  6. Thanks ladies for the cost comparison! I’m not doubting that cloth diapers are cheaper. I’m just saying converting to them doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be rolling in the dough cause of the switch 😉

  7. young house love had a great CD post you might want to check out (and tons of comments i’m sure that had really good tips/follow-up):

    about the plastic bag, perhaps you’ll like this one instead:

    we haven’t started CDing our 2 month old yet as we are still working our way through the disposables we were gifted, but we bought this bag for when we do get started. we like that it’s portable from the nursery to the bedroom. we use it now for disposables, but it has a wet and dry side for separation.

  8. i’ve considered cloth numerous times, but have stuck with disposables. i don’t always like that my little one is in “chemicals” and sure don’t like that i’m contributing to landfills, but i coupon and stocked up on diapers before she was born. i hardly ever pay more then a dollar for a bag (sometimes a box) of diapers and can’t see that buying all that is necessary for cloth would save us money. sure wouldn’t save me time, since i’d have to do more laundry! (not to mention, my husband is not at all excited about the aspect of cloth). good for you for trying it out though!

  9. I think the cost issue has so many variables… it’s hard to compare someone who uses coupons and Costco to buy inexpensive disposables with someone who buys new cloth diapers constantly. If you want to do cloth cheap, you can do it VERY cheap. It may not be a huge savings, but I love knowing that we’re saving $40-$50 every month by using cloth over disposables.

    Don’t forget that when you’re done, you can still often sell your cloth diaper stash and get some of your money back. ; )

    As for the washer/dryer… I noticed that a full cycle in the dryer wasn’t getting my inserts 100% dry anyway, so now I just dry them on low for 15 minutes (just long enough to keep the fabric soft) and then air-dry them the rest of the way (if I air-dry all the way the hemp part of the inserts dries all stiff). Luckily, living in CA the air is so dry I think they dry even faster by air than dryer! lol But that’s one way I’m reducing energy costs.

  10. Don’t forget that when you’re done with the diapers you can sell them somewhere like diaperswappers and recoup some of the initial outlay. Cloth retains its value pretty well.

  11. I like that you are brave enough to give it a try and decide if it’s for you or not. I don’t think there is one set way to do everything. It’s good that you are seeing what works for you and what doesn’t. It will definitely help when you and the hubby have Lil J #2. LOL.

  12. What Stam House said is right on–put your covers (and inserts!) in the sun and it will bleach out your stains! A foldable drying rack is a great thing to have. I am on child #2 with FuzziBunz I bought used…they still work great.

    I think someone mentioned this, but you only need to use 1/4 of the amount of regular detergent. I use Kirkland Free & Clear, but any perfume- and dye-free detergent should be fine. I do a cold rinse, hot/cold wash w/ extra rinse and am done.

    Good luck! :o)

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