After Hazel’s umbilical stump fell off, we made the switch to cloth diapers. Because I am a total nerd, I had researched the topic pretty ruthlessly before deciding to pursue it.
I’m not here to write a Cloth Diapers 101 post – many other bloggers have done that better than I could. But I will share how our experience has gone so far.
Miss Fluffy Buns 2014
We chose cloth diapers for several reasons:
1. The cost, or lack thereof. I spent $100 to buy a set of 20 (gently) used cloth diapers, and we received about 10 more as gifts. We are currently using disposable wipes, but are seriously considering making some cloth wipes, simply because throwing everything in the wash seems easier then separating diapers from wipes. We bought a pair of wet bags and a diaper pail with gift cards from various showers. We also bought a clothesline and a set of 50 clothespins, again with gift cards. This should last us until Hazel is potty trained. By contrast, a bulk box of approximately 200 Target-brand diapers is $35. A baby goes through roughly 10 diapers a day (more as a newborn, fewer as a toddler). So that box of 200 will last you about 20 days. If your child potty-trains at 3, that’s 1,095 days, or 55 boxes of diapers. Total cost? Almost $2,000.
2. The time. Since I’m not working, it’s not a terrible burden to wash the cloth diapers every other day. If I was working, it would be much harder to find the time.
3. The climate. No, no, I’ve not turned into some eco-warrior. I live in Florida. We have abundant sunshine for drying and naturally bleaching the diaper liners and shells. Why not make use of it?
So, here’s my method:
We collect our diapers in a diaper pail lined with a wet bag and wash them every other day. I rinse them on cold, wash them on hot, then rinse them on cold again, and out to the clothesline they go. If I start the rinse-wash-rinse as soon as I get up in the morning, they can be on the clothesline by 10:00 a.m., and off the clothesline before the set-your-watch-by-it Florida afternoon thunderstorms roll in. That’s it.
We opted not to put our clothesline in the ground, and instead filled a large flower pot with cement and rocks and put it next to the deck:
Not only does this make the line easier to reach, the line can be folded and put away when we have company, and the pot can do double duty as a side table, like this (from Dukes & Duchesses):
Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by the cloth diaper process. It’s easier than I thought it would be, and works well for our situation. I certainly don’t think it’s for everyone, but if you can handle the time commitment it’s a great way to save money.