Cloth Diapers: Are They For You?

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Before Bee was born, I jumped all over the cloth diaper movement. I remember being all about how much money we’d save. I bought cloth diapers, purchased tons of cloth wipes, preached about how great they were going to be, and swore disposables weren’t for our family.

When we brought Bee home from the hospital, weighing a hefty 5lbs, 6oz, I knew the “one-size-fits-all” cloth diapers I had bought weren’t going to fit her. I tried putting them on her anyway, just to be certain. Nope… they didn’t fit!

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That’s when the use of disposables really started. And continued until she was 8 months old. They were so convenient! I knew I’d dropped a few hundred bucks on the cloth diapers before she was born, but maybe I could sell them? Or hide them so Hubby would stop complaining about how we wasted money on them. Out of site, out of mind, right?

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When Hubby’s pay cut happened, I started scrambling to figure out where we could save money. You see, not only did his pay decrease, but our 8 year old dog, Goliath, started having some serious spinal issues. I put way too many vet bills on our credit card because it was the only way we could get him help. So, not only was Hubby making less, we were spending way more than normal, too.

While attempting to rework our budget and find ways to save every penny I could, I remembered those damn cloth diapers and wipes. Well, I thought, I really have to use them now. If I could cut diapers and wipes out of our weekly grocery bill, that would help save $40-50 a month!

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And that’s what we use now, with the exception of trips outside the house. I could use them while grocery shopping or when we go fishing, but I’d rather just throw a couple disposables in the diaper bag. Sure, I have an extra load of laundry to do every evening now and I’m not quite as fast at changing cloth diapers as I am disposables, but I don’t have to buy a package of diapers ever single Friday anymore.

They are cute, I’ll give them that…

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…but there are pros and cons to using them. Here’s what I’ve learned:

PROS

1. CHEAPER THAN DISPOSABLES
Well, kinda… I can tell you right now I’m not going to run out and buy a couple of these $20 diapers anytime soon! I’m just thankful I continued working throughout my pregnancy and was able to afford to stock up before Bee arrived. You can Google around yourself and see the different articles all over regarding whether or not they actually save you money. Today I’m really glad we bought them, though, because it’s an easy way to cut $50 out of our monthly spending expenses.

2. SUPER CUTE
These things are 10 times cuter than disposables! Seeing your little one crawling around in an aesthetically pleasing butterfly print diaper is pretty adorable! Hubby and I stuck with mostly unisex colors for Bee’s diapers, but her bedroom theme is butterflies, so when I saw this diaper, I knew I had to get it!

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3. GOOD FOR THE EARTH AND STUFF

I’m not big into the hippie “save our planet” crusade, but I do hate seeing beautiful places and the remote countryside trashed by my fellow humans. I firmly believe that if you pack it in, you best be packing it out with you. I can see the benefit to keeping some diapers out of a landfill, but it’s really not a huge upside for me. It may be for you, you may be a greenie, so I’m listing it as a pro.

CONS

1. PAIN IN MY ASS
I’m sorry, but they are much more of a hassle than disposables. I thought the diaper with an insert idea was cool. Reuse the diaper itself a time or two, just throw in a new insert. The concept is neat, but it’s actually kind of a pain getting your 10 month old to stay still so you can make sure the insert is sitting in the diaper properly. And then I always feel dirty removing a soaked insert. Touching urine? Eew… And poopy diapers are pretty gross. Diarrea is sooo disgusting in a cloth diaper. I mean, a breastfed newborn’s poopy insert and diaper can be thrown in the washer as is, but once solids start, you have to spray the poopy insert off before washing. Yuck. Then there’s the whole washing them regularly thing. I wash Bee’s every night after she goes to bed. They have to go through a pre rinse. Then you can wash them with a special detergent. Can’t use fabric softener! Have to make sure to remember to switch the dryer over to a low setting!

2. UP FRONT COST
Spending $15-20 (or more!) on a single diaper isn’t very appealing. Like I said before, I’m not buying them now. I’m just lucky I could afford them prior to Bee’s birth.

3. UHHH… I DON’T THINK THERE IS A 3…
I think the inconvenience and price per diaper are really my only complaints… which is surprising. When I started writing this I honestly believed I’d be able to list off about twenty cons. I guess cloth diapers aren’t as bad as I thought!

Do you use cloth? What are your feelings about them? Can you add any pros and cons?

One thought on “Cloth Diapers: Are They For You?

  • July 29 at 7:11 am
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    Pro: way more comfy for baby – and safer (no chemicals – we started cloth because my baby got a terrible rash from them).

    Cooler and breathable: The PUL diapers are about 1C cooler than plastic, and wool and fleece are 2C cooler. They are also breathable. Ask yourself: would you rather wear a fleece jacket or a plastic bag?
    This may be especially important for boys – which was why I first investigated cloth. Many men in our generation have problems with fertility, and while no ‘one’ cause has been found, the temperature in plastic diapers is less than ideal for the developing scrotum, and is pegged as one of the possible culprits.

    Feel nice: The insides are also nice and soft when compared to plastic diapers. My daughter loves sleeping in fleece covers, though for the night, we always do wool, it has more capacity.

    Fewer leaks! And for EBFs: no poopslosions. Cloth can be 100% customised to the baby in terms of fit and capacity, plastic cannot.

    Cons: lots to lug. Going out with cloth is a bit… bulky. When we’re going on vacation, I no longer take cloth, or only night cloth, depending on what we can fit in the luggage. Otherwise, we’d have to get an extra piece of luggage just for the diapers!

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