Sunday, May 22

The Diaper Debacle: Trying Not To Go Completely Broke With Baby #2

My cloth wearing man enjoying his afternoon snack of sea weed and banana:
A friend of mine gave me some cloth diapers to try out when Conrad was first born. We used them a lot when he was little and liked them, but stopped using them because we already had a butt load of disposables. We put the cloth diapers in a pale under our guest bathroom sink and I washed them almost everyday or two. We never really noticed a smell and it didn't seem like I was doing anymore laundry than I already did....AND THEY'RE PRETTY CUTE on too! Conrad can still fit comfortably into those same cloth diapers because of the adjustable snaps! Pretty nifty huh? AND they're cozy and soft!

When we were pregnant with Conrad, we asked for everyone to bring us a pack of diapers to our baby shower and we ended up using the disposables from the shower until he was 7 months. Not having to buy diapers for the first 7 months was amazing, let me tell you! But the cost of buying disposable diapers every 2 weeks now is a such a burden. It adds up!

Now with the 2nd baby on the way, I was on the fence for a while about cloth thinking that it would be a lot of work, would cost a lot of money up front whereas disposables are bought overtime... AND I'm not thrilled about dealing with the POOP! (Even though the directions on disposable diaper instructions tell you to flush your baby's poop in a toilet so that over time baby poop doesn't mix with soil in our landfills possibly spreading disease....I missed the memo on that one.)...BUT Dustin wasn't on the fence. He is totally sold on cloth diapering our baby EVEN CLEANING OFF THE POOP! and mostly because he wants to save money, we are planning to cloth diaper our next baby.

***I wish I could say that I'm a tree huggin' hippy who cares so deeply for mother earth, and this is my reason for cloth diapering, but the truth is, I'm a cheap ass who is desperate to NOT go completely broke raising baby #2!

and I've come to some surprising conclusions.

Here are the facts:

Costs to diaper for 30 months (2.5 years):

Disposable diapers: 9000 changes averaging 24 cents per change = $2160

Disposable wipes: Average 84 wipes per week * 4.4 cents per wipe = $480

**Cloth Diapers laundered at home: $300-1000 (Depending on what brand you buy)

I need advice from the cloth diapering mom's out there!
What diapers do you like best & what have been the pros and cons of diapering? Was it worth it? What are your thoughts on the topic? (even if you're a disposable diapering mom, like me, please feel free to weigh in on the subject as well!!)

{I was thinking about these diapers so they could grow with the baby...I'd like to stick with one size.}


  1. When my baby was a newborn we stuck to disposable diapers only because we had so many diapers that were given to us at our shower, and because the cloth diaper was too big on him. After we ran out of disposables we made the switch to cloth diapers. We use bum genius 3.0 ( they don't have them anymore, since now they upgraded to the 4.0. We feel that with cloth diapers you have to change your baby's bottom every 2 hours or so, or else they can rash easily. They are not like disposable diapers that sag way down when your baby is wet. Also, as our baby got older and he started to sleep through the entire night, we found out that we had to add extra liners in his diaper to keep him from wetting himself and his bed at night.

    Overall, I think it's worth it. It might take a three extra minutes to change your baby's butt, but you save tons of money in the long run!

    Oh and we also add baking soda in the wash and vinegar in the rinse when washing our diapers! Takes the stink away!

  2. I will tell you right now.
    Indian prefolds and Kawaii covers. That's it. Cut up receiving blankets for wipes. [You know you have WAAAAAY too many of those ;]
    I don't even have a washer and dryer in my house, I have to go to the laundromat and spend quarters and it is STILL worth it.
    Lily just straight up got too fat for her diapers. She hit the limit on the size of diapers we bought at about 15 months. So we just potty trained! Worked out pretty well for us :]
    And the poop doesn't become an issue until they start eating solids, promise.
    Every mom I know who's bought into all of the fancy systems eventually say it wasn't worth the money, and they end up sticking to prefolds. Buy a dozen newborn size, and two dozen of the larger size, 3 or 4 covers, and your set. My system cost about $175 for the diapers and maybe $6 a week depending on whether or not I can air dry them. If I had a washer in my house, I'd just throw the diapers straight in there and start a cycle at the end of the day. Guaranteed!
    Also, use Rockin' Green soap. It's the only antibacterial and antimicrobial soap that is made for diapers that is made without synthetic fragrances. I cringe when I hear people talk about using Tide or bleach on their diapers, especially if they have little girls! They can get UTI's SOOOO easily, and both of this will give it to 'em.
    I love that D's just like, hell ya! Lets dig in to that poop!

  3. I love all of the information I've been learning from you in this process. It's so awesome to be close to you and learning what you're learning.

    I miss you...

  4. We also use Kawaii pocket diapers. They are similar to bumgenius and other pockets, but a lot cheaper. At first i was just going to try them, and if they were terrible, i was going to buy some more expensive pocket diapers. But they turned out to be awesome, so we bought 12 more. We have 24 of them, and have been using them for 13 months without issues. It cost about $160 for 24 diapers. We plan to buy another 12 when we have another baby (hopefully soon lol) I'm glad i tried them, as 24 diaper of another brand would have been $600.

  5. Question.... whyyyy is conrad still in diapers? Isn't he 2? My mom said she used cloth on us and it helped potty train us faster, because... they didn't absorb the pee like regular diapers. So it would burn our skin and make it really uncomfortable. We were all using the "potty" at 12-14 months. I think the regular diapers are good for when they are really young (and especially cause you'll have 2 babies) but when they start walking put the cloth on to get them to the toilet faster. I hope I get a lot of diapers at my baby shower too!

  6. I love this blog... and they praise cloth diapers! Plus, they installed a little nozzle to their toilet to help clean off the goods (if you know what I mean :P)

  7. April, Conrad hasn't shown interest in the potty yet. I don't think he's ready. Boys usually don't train until they're 2 1/2 to 3 years old, from what I'm told. Girls are easier to train and show signs of wanting to potty train sooner. We have a potty and we're talking about it and learning about it, but he's not ready yet. Plus, if we train him too close to when the baby is born, he will most likely regress in his potty training (from what I've been told by my pediatrician and friends with multiple kids.) SO we're probably going to wait until the baby comes and we're all settled in until we potty train.

    I'd be curious to know what kind of cloth diapers "burn" the skin.... All of my friends who cloth their babies never have babies who are crying or burning from the pain of cloth. Interesting. Maybe they were made differently back then? Who knows. I think there are a lot of myths about cloth diapering though, like that they burn the skin and babies dont stay as dry. When Conrad wore them, I never noticed his skin wet....

    All I know is, i'd rather not have to pay for diapers every other week.

    Great tips ladies. Thank you!

  8. I really want to switch. We were going to use the G diapers as I told you yesterday but with the move right after he was born and being crammed into my parents house, it just never happened. I am determined to change as soon as we are settled this summer in the NW. So, I dont have any useful info for you but we can explore the magical world of cloth diapering together!

  9. I don't have any kiddos, but when I do, I am going hard for cloth diapering. And you better believe I'm -not- doing it for environmental reasons. Costs and baby's health alone are good enough motivators for me!

  10. I don't cloth diapers my little guy but probably will our second (if I can get my husband on board). However, all my friends that do swear by these: They are the one size diapers and are really good quality but cheaper than all of the more popular brands.

  11. i use cloth and disposables diapers. when we are at home or going on short errands i use cloth, but if i know we'll be out all day long or on road trips i'll use disposables. i could use cloth in those situations too, but i just choose not to worry about carrying around wet cloth diapers in my bag. so, i don't think you have to choose one over the other! just do what works for you. i love cloth diapers though, i found them to be less work than i thought, and they do save you a ton of money and it feels nice not to be contributing nearly as much to the landfill waste! bum genius all-in-one 4.0 are my fave. good luck!

  12. I have been using the Flip cloth diapering system since my son Oliver was 3 months old (he's now just over a year). I tried several different types/brands but this one definitely fit him the best. It's a one size cover with snaps so there's lots of room for customizing a great fit and comes with an insert, either organic or stay-dry. With this system you can just change the insert and re-use the cover for diaper changes. Flip also makes disposable inserts as well for when you are on the go. Although I have a wet/dry bag that I use and find it's easy to do cloth when out and about since I am just changing the insert so it's not as bulky as some AIO. Pricing is reasonable at about $20 for a cover and insert and about $5 for additional inserts. In total I have about 40 inserts and 8 covers (though I started with less and received a bunch as gifts). I have more info on my blog (post are Flip for Cloth Diapers and Flip for Cloth Diaper... an update). Good luck with your search, there's so many to choose from!

  13. We use a bunch of different ones but my favorite are the pocket diapers. They are a little more of a hassle because they have to be washed everytime rather than using a cover and prefolds. They fit really snug and grow with them and are super absorbent. You can find them on ebay for cheap.. these iare the ones Isaac has: and you can make the nappies so easy!

    Other than that, you can also use old tshirts and covers and they work great. If you want the link for those let me know. You don't have to cut or sew or anything.. just fold them.

    And just another thought.. those disposable diapers will be in the landfill long after even our kids are dead.. like 300 years long. That is just weird and wasteful!

  14. Hi!
    I love your blog, it's one of my favorite to read! I am due in October with our 2nd, so a lot of the things you post about are just a step ahead of what i'm thinking about since your farther along than I am. I thought about cloth for our first but we didn't have a washer dryer in our apt. I tried a G diaper once and he exploded out of it. My husband also thinks it's too much work.We now live in a house with a washer and dryer so I don't think it would be too much of a problem. I really want to do maybe i'll keep some disposables around for when my husband changes the baby:) The cost up front seems a bit overwhelming, but we did start a baby savings for things we need after the baby is born. It would be nice not to have to spend that 40+$'s every month on diapers
    Also my son is 2.5 yrs. He'll be 3 in October. We've tried potty training 3-4 different times, were in the process of trying again, letting him
    wear underwear when were home, he's still not that interested...he goes in the potty (pee) when he's in his undies, but poop is another story, it usually doesn't make it all in the potty. I think when they are ready they will be ready and you will see signs of that. We've had his potty since he was 16 months old. It's true that boys take way longer...It's ok though, they don't need to grow up faster than they already do..and in the words of my mother: "no mom ever sent her baby to kindergarden in diapers!"
    Please let me know what you decide to try out and which cloth diaper is most cost effective:)

  15. okay, i have cloth diapered madilyn since she was 3 months and we have cloth diapered olive since her cord stump fell off. it is so much easier and cheaper than you think! we have tried a ton and out of everything i'd say stick to bumgenius. but like mae said, prefolds are great!!! we do prefolds and flip covers for both our girls and they work wonderfully. and girl, get that sprayer, its worth the expense!!!!

  16. I agree with April about the potty training Chels. Even the boy babies I know potty train sooner than babies who use disposables. But she brought up something interesting-diapers that are burning babies. That means they weren't washed properly, it used to be A HUGE problem, and still is. I've done a mountain of research and I will pimp out Rockin Green detergent any day of the week!!!

  17. Hendrix is cloth diapered about 90% of the time (80% on a lazy week). I love the CDs. The only thing i say to everyone is that you need a good washer/dryer situation. For a while I had to use our old junky W/D and it was a HUGE hassle. Now we have a new set and I have had no problems. I love BUM Genious 3.0s (they grow with) and rockin green soap. Hendrix didnt fit into the CDs till he was about 10 or 11 lbs so i didnt use them for the first month.

    oh also, we only own about 8 diapers. I would say if you have 12-14 you have enough...just have to do more laundry

    Also, to address April...I have never heard of a kid being totally potty trained at 12 months, maybe starting but totally? No.Nor burning of the skin from a CD.

    good luck to you!

  18. off the poop blows. i hate it. so i try to put him in disposables for his morning poo since he poos pretty much every day about 15 mins after he wakes up. he does surprise us sometimes tho and its stinky. with the next bebe im gettin the hose and bucket combo from one of the CD shops.

  19. lol..okay one MORE comment (im annoying) if your hubby is into CD'ing you should have him check out its my hubby and his friends blog and they are all about cloth diapers/breastfeeding/babywearing. he might like it.

  20. Thanks for all of the info guys!

    and Mae, you are a fountain of knowledge when it comes to this stuff! Thank you! <3

  21. Many of my girlfriends use cloth diapers and give nothing but raving reviews on them! When I have a little one, I'll be sure to use them!


  22. Wow, kudos to you for doing this! Joshua and I considered cloth diapers, but we just couldn't deal with the poop that's already in his disposable diaper we knew we just didn't want to deal with cleaning the cloth ones.

  23. Can someone tell me what a prefold is? I know nothing about this!

  24. I don't have any input on the cloth diapering since we are on our fourth baby (gasp) with disposables, and I am not going to turn back at this point, though if I could go back I would have tried it like I wanted to.

    Regarding the potty training, though, you have to remember that the kid has to a) have the interest and b) have the ability. Every one of my kids was different in this dept. Chelsea, I think you are smart to wait until after the baby if only because you don't want to be racing to the bathroom every 15 minutes and cleaning poop off your floor (okay, I am being dramatic, but it does happen at least once or twice, and sometimes lots) when you have a newborn, unless Conrad is just set on potty-training NOW. Seriously.

  25. Great blog! We've been using Best Bottom Diapers for our little one and they've been great. One can buy different sized inserts, but we've only used the medium sized all along. She's 13 months now, and the medium inserts are still fine. I don't anticipate needing to get a different size. The shells fit her from the start, all snapped up, AND fit on our four year old on the loosest setting (just testing out the size range...she's not in diapers). I recommend them. Good luck!

  26. Anonymous22 May, 2011

    I will soon be 63, it's great to see you ladies using cloth. That is all that was available "way back when"..I can show anyone how to fold a cloth to any size to fit a bottom. Dunk dirties in the toliet a few times and then place it in a pale with a 1/4 cup of pink Dreft washing powder, and a gallon or less of water. When the pale is full of dirties, and wets, Dump the whole thing in your washer, and more Dreft laundry detergent, and wash!

  27. I cloth diaper my son (18 months) and have one on the way (due in October) and I plan on cding that one as well. I would say there are many benefits (cost being a HUGE one) and it really is much easier than you think. I wash diapers about every 3 days. I use both the BunGenuis 3.0 & 4.0's and the Flip. I love that one diaper fits all sizes of baby. I try to change my son every 3 hours or so to avoid leaks. If we are going out somewhere that I don't think will be convenient to change him, I just put a doubler in (extra stuffing) so I know he will be good for longer. We have never had trouble with rashes or burns. Though I do sometimes think babies are either prone to rashes or they aren't. As far as smell goes, I don't have trouble with my son's room smelling. And as for the diapers, you just have to figure out the washing cycles that work for your washer to clean the diapers properly and you will be good to go. There are plenty of blogs out there that talk about that sort of thing. It seems like you have a bunch of blog followers that cloth diaper, so if you have any specific questions about it, just ask...we generally want to get everyone else on the cding bandwagon too!

  28. I saw your link to this post on facebook, and since I've been considering cloth for this babes myself I wanted to see check out this post. I am still undecided, but I got some great info from a girl I knew when we lived in Massachusetts who has had 3 of her four kids in cloth diapers-at the same time! One of my questions/concerns was would it be too much of a hassle for my older kids to be able to help with diaper changes. My friend told me her 5 year old helps change her other three kids so I figured my kids would be able to help me out still, which is an important factor in the decision for me. She has blogged quite a bit about her experience with CD and has a lot of useful information on her blog. Here is a link to her posts about CD if you are interested in checking it out

    I'm with you on the reasons for doing it too... I am mainly looking into it for financial reasons, but also I am just a sucker for how stinkin' cute all the cloth diapers are that I have seen. At least they are cute when they are new and clean and not filled with poop!

  29. I tried several different kinds of cloth diapers before I really got started and my favorites are fuzzibunz (, grovia AIO (, and grovia hybrid ( I think the grovia hybrid is the one you linked to that you said you were thinking of. I like that the grovia uses organic cotton and you don't have to pull anything apart before you throw it in the wash. But the fuzzibunz is fleece and that does keep the moisture away from baby's bottom better, if that's a concern for you. The nice thing about the grovia hybrid is that you can also get disposable inserts for them. The hybrid shell also hand washes easily and air dries very quickly, if you're traveling or don't want to/aren't able to machine wash.
    I also definitely recommend getting the snap closures instead of velcro (hook loop). The velcro gets stuck on everything else and is super annoying.

  30. I wish I could help out! My friend uses cloth diapers and she really likes them. Btw: what a brilliant idea to ask for diapers as a baby shower gift! Love that:) Have a great afternoon, sweetie

  31. We used the Bum Genius 3.0's and LOVED them!!! The initial investment was totally worth it. And for the gooey poo phases, we bought the roll of diaper liners from amazon. When it was just a pee diaper, we put the liner right in the wash with the diapers. They come out looking a bit like a dryer sheet. I think I've successfully rewashed the same liner maybe 4 times before it finally fell apart. But it rocked cuz when she actually did poop on one, nothing gets through it and the whole thing just goes away like magic in the toilet. I think if we have a second babe, we'll order up the snap closures as we did use the velcro and the velcro sucks up any and all strings that let loose in the wash. It's not hard to pick it out with a knitting needle but still....

  32. One of my friends cloth diapered and she wrote a good overview post of it if you're interested. She loved cloth diapering and shared a lot of good info-

  33. Way to go Momma!! The fact that you even attempted them is pretty awesome. That's what I was worried about..the POOP..and what if your out? What do you do with the poop one?! For our next baby I am seriously considering cloth diapers...I can't believe how much you a thousand other benefits

     Delighted Momma

  34. I used prefolds with thirsties covers for the under 10 pounds stage and they worked perfectly. Although I did have some poop out burst with them if I didn't get them tight enough or I folded them awkwardly. After 10 pounds I went to the pocket one size diapers. I have the Fuzzibunz and BumGenius brands. I have some pee leaks with the fuzzibunz but no leaks at all with the BumGenius. Both have pros and cons but I would say I like the BumGenius ones the most. They are a little spendy but totally worth it. For my one baby I have 24 diapers and that is just enough to get my through 2 days before I have to do a load.
    Hope all this helps!

  35. You said to weigh in from both sides... and I for one have never had any interest in cloth diapering. Maybe because my mother used cloth diapers for her first 4 children and disposables for the last 2 and I've heard her take on it. She said that cloth diapers were A LOT more work, and that didn't sound too enticing. My first baby had anywhere from 20-24 poopy diapers a day. There was NO way I was going to add washing diapers to my growing list of responsibilities. He was also very colicky, so I wasn't getting much sleep.

    My other babies have been much easier, but I've still stuck with disposables. I guess you could say I'm too lazy {although I don't really think I'm lazy. Raising 4 kids has made sure of that :)}. I don't know that I'll be having anymore, but I'm pretty sure I would buy one cute cloth diaper to take their picture in and that's about it.

    I guess you're either a cloth-diaperer, or your not. I look forward to seeing what you decide to do. {Although from an outsider's perspective it sounds as though you've already made up your mind:)}

    {It was fun to find your blog. I'm Sarah/Christina/Rachel's cousin}.

  36. Oh man, the cloth vs. disposable decision. We took the plunge with 24 Bum Genius 3.0's and have used them for over two years (starting when Milo was 5 days old). It was an initial investment of around $400. And other than when we've been on vacation, that was all we had ever spent on diapers...

    Then we began to potty train, which went sort of okay, but stressed everyone out and so we backpedaled into Pull-ups, then went on vacation and bought disposables (it was tough to "go back" to diapers, but necessary for sanity...) and when we got home decided to take an official break and went back to the Bum Genius. We probably spent $80 on diapers in those in-between weeks. It was a quick reminder why we love cloth!

    With a new one coming, we just bought Milo a couple Bum Genius Flips to try, and we are hooked. Definitely getting a couple more when the baby comes and our pocket diapers are being monopolized by a newborn. The flips are awesome because you only change the liner (we bought Kushies pre-fold liners and they are great, and cheaper than the Bum Genius) not the whole diaper. Even with poop I've only had to change the cover once (in a day). I hear they're not as great with newborns because of that fantastic baby poop which tends to get on the cover more, so you might as well have a pocket diaper...but the flips might work great for your toddler until you're ready for potty-training.

    I can 100% recommend the Bum Genius pocket diapers. And if I was buying them now, I'd go for the snaps rather than the velcro because the velcro gets annoying after two-years of washing (think: pulling a chain of velcro-ed together diaper covers out of the dryer every three days...)

    Good Luck!