Monday, September 6, 2010

cloth diapering for the rest of us

I admit it : I really don't care how bad disposable diapers are for the environment. I don't care that they take forever to break down in landfills, or that they're made with chemically questionable materials. The ease of going to Wal-Mart and grabbing a package of Huggies off the shelf, knowing that baby will be dry and there's nothing more to be done, is immensely appealing. I even think the Pooh Bear designs are sweet and I kind of like the way they smell. But I'm also cheap, which is why I switched over to cloth diapers five months ago. The money factor is also what keeps me going when cloth diapering gets boring.

I was a disposable user for a long time. All three of my oldest kids wore Pampers and then moved on to Pull-Ups. I never, ever considered using cloth diapers (other than briefly thinking, what a bunch of crackpot nuts those cloth diaper users are). Then when I was pregnant with Hobie and Coral was still wearing Pampers Cruisers at night, Pampers did something sneaky and redesigned their diapers. They essentially removed all of the "guts" of the back half of the diaper; all that was left was the outer shell. I contacted Pampers multiple times and got the crazy answer that the diapers were "thinner and more absorbent than ever!" (ha!) and the promise that they would send me coupons (never saw those). I posted a rather scandalous photo on facebook and online message boards and Pampers e-mailed me and asked me to take it down. We became Huggies users.

photos I took in November of 2009, naughty Pampers!

Fast forward to Hobie being almost four months old, and Pampers was once again a hot topic on all of the message boards for their new DryMax formula which was reported by many to cause chemical-burn-like rashes. None of my kids had ever had any real issues with diaper rashes, but for some reason the whole controversy just made me take pause and start thinking about my diaper choices and wondering about cloth diapers. I was disgusted with Pampers and worried that with the economy being in such upheaval and companies being forced to cut every corner possible, that soon all of the disposable diaper brands were going to be ruined. I have a really hard time paying good money for a product that is not going to live up to my expectations.

So, with all of that in mind I purchased my first ever cloth diaper. I went with a FuzziBunz sized pocket diaper, which I knew was one of the recognized brands and seemed easy enough to use and maintain. I found a company online that offered free shipping on any order and accepted PayPal, plus paid me 10% back on future purchases. One diaper was $17.95, which was a lot to swallow! That was about the same price as 45 of the disposable diapers I was buying (Huggies Little Movers size 4). I was really skeptical that  the diapers would be leakproof and that they'd wash clean. Within a month I liked them so much that we had switched to cloth diapers full time, and also for Coral for nights.

The maintenance certainly is not as easy as disposable diapers, but I also wouldn't qualify it as difficult. When I go to change a diaper, I unsnap it, wipe baby down, pull out the insert and fold it in half and lay it in the dirty diaper, fold the diaper down, and toss it in a wetbag (a washable cloth bag with a waterproof liner) until it's ready to wash. If there was anything solid in the diaper (which we have not yet experienced) it would get shaken into the toilet before the diaper went into the wetbag. Washing is easy; I wash every morning and it's one small load that gets a cold rinse, a hot wash with about half the recommended amount of Tide Free, a cold rinse, and then they get tossed in the dryer on low until dry. Voila. The expense is pretty minimal. With the FuzziBunz I have not had a single stain on the diaper itself, and only the occasional stain on the insert. A simple few hours sitting in the sun has magically erased those stains every time.

Overall I have 12 size medium cloth diapers for Hobie, and I spent about $170 (I purchased some of them new and some in good used condition). I also have 2 size large for Coral, although she can, at age three and a half, wear the mediums. A $170 supply of Huggies Little Movers would have consisted of about 500 size 4 diapers. At a conservative usage of 5 disposable diapers a day, a $170 supply would have lasted us 100 days, or three and a half months. We've been using cloth now for almost five months, and it is a GREAT feeling knowing our diapers have paid for themselves and are now saving us money with every diaper change! They don't have to be an expensive addiction, or run your life. ANYone can cloth diaper, and save money. I'm so glad we switched!

our FuzziBunz collection for Coral and Hobie

one of our two non-Fuzzis - not your mama's plastic pants!

Note : I am not being endorsed by The FuzziBunz Store but after much shopping around and price comparison, they by far had the best deal on FuzziBunz diapers and their shipping has been phenomenally fast and you earn money towards future purchases. I have nothing but good things to say about them!

1 comment:

Jen said...

I got into cloth when my 2nd son was 10 months old. I'm sad that we're potty training and I'm not planning on any more kids! I will miss his little fluffy bum!