Sep 19, 2014

Cloth Diapering, Can Save You MONEY!

You can do it a couple ways, you can buy disposables, ruin the environment and spend a TON of money, or you can buy compostable disposables and spend even more money or you can spend a little less money and do cloth diapers OR you can spend way less and do cloth diapers.

Some cloth diapers are just ridiculously priced.  I searched high and low for a diapering solution that was environmentally friendly, healthy for baby, easy for me, and cheap.

If you are not sure if you are a cloth diapering person, there is only one question you need to ask yourself.  Do you have a problem keeping up with laundry? If they answer is yes, definitely or what is laundry? then you will either need to change some things in your life or know that cloth diapering is not for you. 

What I've spent on cloth diapering ...
And what I've bought will last me until this babe is out of diapers. I may need to add a new set of liners here or there, but even then we are talking $20-$50 more  The average family spends $600 per year on diapers. If you are diapering for 3 years... or more... That really adds. up.

Here's what I use:

Imagine Newborn Diaper cover. Only if you have very small babies. My 6 month old is still in these, she is very small. About $9-10 each. I ordered 4. That was enough for the first couple months. You can dump out the liner and reuse the cover all day or until soiled.

Alva Baby Bamboo Diaper Liners.  About $36-40 for 12. I ordered 24.  They wash up really nicely and are really absorbent and stackable. 

  Planet wise wet bag. A place to put dirty diaper liners when you are on the road. $11.95  You could just use a ziplock bag actually, but these are washable and reusable and come in bigger sizes too. 

A waterproof, reusable, diaper pail liner.  You take the whole thing out of the pail and dump it and the diapers in the wash. You will want 2, so you have one to use while the other is washing and drying.  $17-$20

Imagine diaper cover.  You'll need bigger diaper liners eventually if you go with the newborn size at first.  Both are adjustable to fit many different sizes but the newborn gets very small.  The regular size can accommodate many newborns or after the first month. $10-$12

We decided to try a new brand Bumkins. They are great quality and way more adjustable but I kinda like the simplicity of the Imagine covers.  These have way to many snaps and they have a flap inside to "hold in the liner" better. I find it just gets dirty faster and doesn't stop leaks any better than the Imagine brand, without flaps and is cheaper.  They also have double gusseting, that means 2 elastics around the leg. the imagine brand has this too.  I have 2 Flip diaper covers also, that were the most expensive. You can tell when you look at the quality stitching. Other than that they are not better than the Imagine diapers. They do not have double gusseting but it doesn't really seem to make much of a difference in terms of containment. They also have those inner flaps that do nothing but get dirty faster.

For wipes, I bought a roll of these bamboo towels. I cut them into fourths.  They get washed with everything else and reused.  They are way better than regular wipes. They are thicker, and better at cleaning and keeping your hands clean with a much smaller wipe. $15-20 

You need a place to stash diapers until you can wash them.  This Safety 1st pail is perfect because it seals the smells out well and my liners fit it well. It is small and compact but holds plenty. $20.

I have 10 diaper covers and 24 absorbent diaper liners,  It is best to put a fleece liner over the diaper liner for a stay dry feel. I simply bought fleece at the store for $2 a yard and cut about 24 that fit my absorbent liners.  You can double up on liners for more absorbency or buy microfiber liners to place under the bamboo liners. You can also use triple folds.  I've even seen people make their own absorbent liners with terry cloth, cotton, microfiber, bamboo, hemp, and other things.    
At each change, dump the liners in the diaper pail, if the cover is clean then you can reuse it. If not put it in the pail too and any wipes used. If baby is eating solids, dump them into the toilet as much as possible, then put liners in the pail.  If baby is exclusively breast feeding, then you do not need to do anything but put it all in the pail.  
To wash I use tide and have soft water in my home.  I have a front loader machine and have no problems with it getting them clean. 
I dump the diapers, liners, wipes, wet bags, pail liners, all into the washer, then I run it on cold rinse and spin. Then I add 1/4 the amount of soap the box recommends for a load, and wash it all on hot wash. When that is done, if my diapers have been getting a little smelly after baby wears them, like uric acid is building up, which is an ammonia smell, then I do one last rinse and spin. This always solves that problem. Remove all of the diaper covers, diaper pail liners and wet bags (do not dry in dryer, it will ruin your covers) and allow to air dry. Put the wipes, and liners and fleece in the dryer and dry on hot. 

If you have stains on your liners, hang them in the sun for 1 day. The sun bleaches away the stains.
When you leave the house pack a wet bag, 2 covers, equivalent liners, plus one or two extra liners and some wipes.

If your baby has a rash problem, try washing with a cup of vinegar in the second hot cycle. 

Do not use any diaper creams against your absorbent liners or they won't absorb anymore. Use your fleece liners to protect your absorbent liner and then just make new liners when you need to.

If you are not sure if you are a cloth diapering person, there is only one question you need to ask yourself.  Do you have a problem keeping up with laundry? If they answer is yes, definitely or what is laundry? then you will either need to change some things in your life or know that cloth diapering is not for you.  
If you are ok with laundry, then know that you only have to wash diapers once every 2 days or so and you are doing tons of laundry anyway with a little baby.       

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