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Diapers- Cloth vs. sposies...how much do you spend per week?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

So we live in Brooklyn and do not have laundry in our building. We're going to stay in our place likely till baby is one. We use the laundromat a block away and I know laundry in general is going to be a headache when we have our first babe but one thing i know for sure is I can't do cloth diapers there even if I wanted to.

 

I've always been interested in cloth diapers but always assumed diaper services were super expensive and that I'd just have to accept we'd be using disposables. It's hard to be super environmentally friendly while living in Brooklyn but one thing I've always known is that the waste that 10 dipes a day creates would make me kind of sad. So just for the heck of it I started looking up pricing. Being that I would want to use unbleached disposables those already are more expensive than conventional brands.

 

So, if you use disposables about how much $$ do/did you use per week on them? I'm trying to figure out price comparison. This is of course if you guys don't mind sharing that kind of info. If not, understandable.

post #2 of 45

well you have to figure 10-12 diapers a day, which equals 70-84 diapers a week. Theres approx half of that in a standard pack, which cost $12/each, so you'll spend $24/week ($100/month (w/tax))

 

With the black friday and cyber monday specials I was able to buy OS(one size 6-30lbs) cloth diapers for $11/ each. You only need 12-24 to start out, so the initial cost is $250-$300.

 

With DD I mostly used disposables because we weren't planning on having another. Now that we changed our minds and are finally having another I was a little hesitant to the initial cost of cloth. As long as I CD (cloth diaper) for 3 months, it will have paid for itself in 3 months and I will save $900 in the first year :)

post #3 of 45
With DS1 we started with one size prefolds, snappi fasteners and one size covers. Total cost was about $85, and prefolds and flats are much easier to hand wash and then dry on a clothes rack. With DS2 we added some one size pockets, which are used mainly for over night. We got Kawaii Baby pockets at Superstash for $7.50 a piece. I can't even begin to imagine spending so much money on throw away diapers. The customer service at Superstash in amazing, and I even got a hand written thank you card for my order. They do have pocket diapers from $4.99 each, so you could build up a stash that would last several days for only a few months cost of throw aways.
post #4 of 45

I don't remember what we spent in total. I mostly got basic prefolds and covers but I did splurge on some cute cow print all in ones that I think were like $8 each. We use cloth wipes too. I wouldn't use cloth if I had to use a laundromat because you would be there everyday to wash diapers.

 

All I know is that I was sure glad to double check that I had all the cloth I was going to need this time though.  :-) We are going to use disposables at night right away with this one, though. Especially with a breastfed newborn it saves about 3 diaper changes a night. I learned the hard way with DD how much babies pee at night. I got really sick of washing sheets and baby jammies because she would pee through 2 layers of cloth overnight.

post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 

So cloth is less absorbant/you go through them faster than the disposables?

 

My main expensive, if we did cloth, would be the washing service. Here is just one company I emailed..

 

Our Prefold service
is $50 to get a set of prefold diapers ready for you and to deliver them.
And then $35/week upon your first pick-up.
(note:  needed accessories are purchased separately;  you can purchase them from us or from any source that you wish.  To see which accessories we consider "must-haves", hit that link above and then click View Details under the Prefold Service button)
 
Our All-in-Two service
is $100 to get a set of AI2 Inserts ready for you and to deliver them.
And then $50/week upon your first pick-up.

(note:  needed accessories are purchased separately;  but we strongly recommend purchasing from us as these inserts will snap-in to only one brand of cover.  To see more on that,  you can hit that same link above and then click View Details under the All-in-Two Service button.

 

Remember, no washer/dryer here so I'd have to use a service. I'm guessing this is more expensive (between $10-$25) more a week than if I used disposables. Hard to figure out that exact number though.

post #6 of 45

We used a mix of cloth and sposies.  And we did EC (LJ, since you are trying to be as green as possible, I would encourage you to check out diaperfreebaby.org and the EC forums on mothering.  Then you don't even have to wash dipes!)

 

At the outset, we used prefolds with snappis and covers.  My newborn size fit DS to about 4 months or so.  My initial stash 24 prefolds, 4 covers, 2 snappis, 2 large wet sacs, 1 small zip up wet sack for my diaper bag) cost less than $80.  I also bought the small size prefolds (I think 20 or so) and covers, but ended up selling them because we had DS in trainers at 7 months and I didn't really need them.

 

We used sposies overnight and on longer outings and car trips (like more than 3 hours).  So I used less than 10 sposies per week most weeks.  (Keep in mind, the cost of sposies varies depending on where you live, where you buy them, and the size of package you buy.  I would wait for the big packs to go on sale at Superstore and then pick one up.  If I'd been buying them at the local grocery store they would have cost way more)

 

With 24 prefolds, I did not have to wash dipes every day.  More like every other day.

 

We started EC when DS was 2.5 mos old.  Within a few weeks I was having very few poopy diapers to wash because DS was very predictable about pooping (he communicated it very clearly).  By the time he was about 6 mos old, we had almost no poop misses (only on very rare occasion) and by the time DS was 7 mos old we had him in trainers and had about 2 wet trainers per day, and I can count on two hands how many poopy ones I had to wash before DS was potty trained at just shy of 19 months (so if you wanted to use cloth and found EC could work for you, handwashing pee diapers would not be a difficult undertaking!).  I sewed the trainers myself, and calculated that they cost me $4 per pair, plus my time.  I had about 10 pairs.  So that was $40 x 2 (I had to do two sizes as DS grew).  We continued to use sposies over night and on long car trips because overnight EC just did not work for us.  So again, less than 10 sposies per week (probably just the 7 most weeks).

 

So, my total cost for cloth was approx. $160 over 1.5 years.

 

I can do a rough guesstimate at the sposies cost at $.27 each  (we used pampers) at 10 diapers per week ~ 78 weeks x 10 diapers x .27 = $210 approximately.  

 

A mix of the two worked best for us. 

post #7 of 45
I used throw away diapers for the first 6 weeks with DS1 (we used gift cards to buy the diapers) and I found that the throw aways were not as absorbent as the cloth. We had multiple blow outs with the throw away diapers, and when we switched to cloth we found they contained everything, so although his diaper was a mess there was none leaked out of the cover. Wish I could have said the same for the throw away ones, as I had to change EVERYTHING, often including my clothes for those first 6 weeks. He continued to have the explosive poops for another 6 or so weeks until we found out he was having issues digesting my milk, so while it was an extreme situation it did show that for us the cloth was a way better choice.

Cloth does tend to need changed more frequently, especially the prefold/flats as they do not wick the moisture away from their skin, so they know they are wet once they have peed. We switched to pockets for overnight for this reason, as the lining next to their skin helps to cut down on that with the pockets, and if you have heavy wetters (like my boys) you can add more inserts for overnight. However I don't see that as a negative, as it is good for them to know when they are wet. Babies who know they have peed tend to develop bladder control much earlier. Those who never recognize they have peed because of how dry the throw away diaper feels against the skin tend to pee more continuously and take much longer to develop control of their bladder as they are not getting any feed back about peeing.

I also found that even with 2 in diapers (DS1 was 15 months when DS2 was born) I usually only have to do diaper washes twice a week, although if they are having a lot of poops then I may have to do a third wash in a week. We use a dry pail for storage of used diapers, and I wash when it either is close to full, or the stash of clean ones is getting low (rarely happens as we have so many) and even though we live in a hot climate I've never had an issue with smells coming from the diaper pail. A diaper service would usually have you store diapers for a week, so doing 1 or 2 washes a week for diapers wouldn't be such a huge thing.

Another option would be to use flushable liners inside the cloth diapers so that you can deal more easily with poop, as then the liner catches the poop, and the whole lot just gets emptied into the toilet and flushed away.

All of this to say, don't completely discount doing cloth without a service yet. There are so many options out there. However I can also sympathize that having to go to a laundrette to wash diapers can't be much fun either.
post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 

Well my gitlrfriend, who uses cloth, said the machines in the laundromat, even if you're using your own choice of detergent can "ruin" the cloth diapers as any residue from the chemcials in the other detergents does something to the absorbancy of the cloth.

 

I think we'll probably wind up doing a lot of drop off/delivery laundry service of all our clothes+babe's clothes and not sure if I'd want to include dipes in there too. UGH if only I had my own machine!!!
 

post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

Oh, we also don't have a dishwasher irked.gif

 

lol

post #10 of 45
Would it be possible to hook up a washing machine in the bathroom? That would certainly solve a lot of issues for you. Or a counter top washing machine like this one or maybe this one.

It is true that residue in the machines does effect the diapers quite a bit. Fabric softeners are a definite no-go, the same for dryer sheets. The baby clothes would also be liable to pick up residue, which can irritate the skin of new borns.

Using a laundry service for everything must get rather expensive, so I do hope you find a solution that works for you. It makes my tiny laundry space seem rather luxurious.
post #11 of 45

Wouldn't you have the same issues with a laundry service as with a laundry mat in terms of residue, etc.?

post #12 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

Would it be possible to hook up a washing machine in the bathroom? That would certainly solve a lot of issues for you. Or a counter top washing machine like this one or maybe this one.
It is true that residue in the machines does effect the diapers quite a bit. Fabric softeners are a definite no-go, the same for dryer sheets. The baby clothes would also be liable to pick up residue, which can irritate the skin of new borns.
Using a laundry service for everything must get rather expensive, so I do hope you find a solution that works for you. It makes my tiny laundry space seem rather luxurious.

 

Unfortunately our bathroom is so small that even our tub is economy size. When I sit on the toilet I have one arm up against one wall and can touch the other wall (which is inside the shower/tub right next to me) with the other hand. It's that small. That first washer though looks interesting! I wonder if the plumbing in my building could handle it. We've gone through spurts where we run out of hot water and we have a drip under our sink that our landlord has been unsuccessful as fixing. Can you tell we live in the Taj Mahal? dizzy.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

Wouldn't you have the same issues with a laundry service as with a laundry mat in terms of residue, etc.?


No because they wash ONLY diapers. It's a diaper service not a laundry service. We'd send our clothes to one place, dipes to another. Don't get me wrong, we'll be washing our own clothing a lot but for weeks where it's too much for me to do on my own with a baby or we DH can't make it in time on his way home from work when they close, drop off service for clothing will be more convenient (but much more expensive, ugh).

 

Yeah, I'm really going to have to figure this out. I wonder if we'll just have to use disposables until we move to a place that has a private washer/dryer. It woul dbe nice to have the option of even doing half and half. But I dont know if a diaper service let's you do less than a once a week pick up.

post #13 of 45
Thread Starter 

I should add, our kitchen is big enough to make room for a stacked washer and dryer. We would TOTALLY splurge and spend the money to buy the unit it's just that our biulding is old and decrepit and I don't think it could handle it. Not to mention I thin it's in our lease that we're not allowed.  Our building can't even handle dishwashers. Such a joke. Why do I live here again? lol. Oh right, we like the neighborhood. I need to keep reminding myself of this.

post #14 of 45

Ohh, Loogie, I feel you. That is the kind of apartment I've lived in for the past 6 years in Boston! I am glad that we are moving to a city where sqft are a little more affordable when we actually have a kiddo. I hadn't actually thought to wonder what my laundry situation will be though, hm... will just have to wait to find out

post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 

Yea and we'll be sharing our bedroom with the babe. Which in the beginning months I like the idea of I just hope it doesnt become annoying to us after 5/6 months. I have friends who tried to keep the baby in the room with them but they all werent getting the best sleep and when they moved babe to another room everyone slept better. We won't really have that as an option as all the other rooms in our pad are walk-throughs. We live in a railroad...large bedroom at one end, kitchen and bathroom at the other, with a bunch of little windowless rooms in the middle. Like I said, Taj Mahal lol.

 

But our neighborhood is so great. Lots of young families, independant coffee shops, small grocers, the best of so many cuisines within 3 blocks walk from the apartment, one block from the subway (we dont own a car either). We live by one of the largest parks in NY and there's great playgrounds and free live music in the summer, farmers markets within walking distance, our CSA pick-up a walk away, etc. But the apartment, oh the apartment :P

 

My neighbors upstairs have a 3 yr old and a baby on the way and they're staying in the building. They have a 2 bdrm but they still deal with no dishwasher and no laundry in the building. They do have parents who live locally though who they bring their laundry to. I should ask them how they managed with a newborn and laundry. Of course, they werent even trying for cloth diapers though.

post #16 of 45

To be honest, I didn't find the laundry situation THAT much worse with a newborn.  It amounted to 2 loads per week extra, really.  Those 2 loads were the dipes.  I just threw DS's stuff in with ours (I use homemade laundry soap on clothes and no fabric softeners or bounce sheets, etc. so wasn't worried about just mixing everything in together) and did the dipes twice per week.  So, I guess it's easy to say when your laundry room is in your basement, not a couple blocks away, but I don't want you to worry about suddenly having a mountain of laundry, because I really didn't find that to be the case.

 

And about the residue - I agree that is not good for the dipes, but if you go with pre-folds they are less "sensitive" than other types of dipes and stripping them on occassion won't damage them the way it would AIOs or pocket dipes.  Also, if you put white vinegar in on the rinse cycle that will help prevent build up.

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

To be honest, I didn't find the laundry situation THAT much worse with a newborn.  It amounted to 2 loads per week extra, really.  

 

LOLSOB ... we do laundry (laundromat) like, probably every 2.5-3 weeks! I was surprised to learn that some people we know in Germany where we'll be moving do in fact have their own washers, though. (Dryers are rarer, but also less crucial)

 

DH had never heard of EC until the other night, but maybe we'll discuss trying that more seriously to help cut down. The enviro perk is nice too.

post #18 of 45
Prefolds or flats would definitely be my recommendation for a difficult laundry situation. The wet ones can be very easily hand washed, and are really easy to "strip" (term used for removing residue build ups) and can even be boiled in a pot on the stove if you get yeast issues. Prefolds are still my work horse diapers with both my boys.

nstewart, we use homemade detergent too, and never add anything to our washes (other than the occasional bleach wash on our cloth table napkins.) The only time I've ever had to strip our diapers was after using commercial detergent when we were in the middle of moving and ran out of the homemade stuff in the midst of packing and unpacking. I could never go back to commercial laundry detergents again.

If we didn't have laundry facilities I'd definitely go for a counter top washer and use a drying rack over the bath-tub on rainy days, and out on the patio on sunny days.

A quick search on hand washing cloth diapers brought me to this, and this video is a great demo on hand washing diapers.
post #19 of 45
I wonder if Gdiapers would be a good solution for your situation if you find that cloth is not working well. I have not used them so I can't give much input and i don't know if they'd save much money but I thought I'd put it out there.

I am hoping I learn to love prefolds this time since I constantly have build up issues with my pockets. We will use sposies at night though since, like Bailey said, cloth meant to many changes at night time.
post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

Prefolds or flats would definitely be my recommendation for a difficult laundry situation. The wet ones can be very easily hand washed, and are really easy to "strip" (term used for removing residue build ups) and can even be boiled in a pot on the stove if you get yeast issues. Prefolds are still my work horse diapers with both my boys.
nstewart, we use homemade detergent too, and never add anything to our washes (other than the occasional bleach wash on our cloth table napkins.) The only time I've ever had to strip our diapers was after using commercial detergent when we were in the middle of moving and ran out of the homemade stuff in the midst of packing and unpacking. I could never go back to commercial laundry detergents again.
If we didn't have laundry facilities I'd definitely go for a counter top washer and use a drying rack over the bath-tub on rainy days, and out on the patio on sunny days.
A quick search on hand washing cloth diapers brought me to this, and this video is a great demo on hand washing diapers.

Once in a while I'll run some items through with an "oxyclean" type booster (if I know something is particularly in need of stain removal) but otherwise I haven't had to add anything either.  I just thought the vinegar might help OPs concerns about build up if she were to wash the dipes at a laundry mat.  What's your recipe?  Mine is 1:1:1: washing soda, borax and grated sunlight laundry soap.  We have pretty hard water.

 

I think the issue with the flushable liners (like G dipes) is that they can be really hard on plumbing.  So, even if you CAN flush them, you really shouldn't, especially as it sounds like your building isn't that up to date in the plumbing department.  But you could always use the disposable liners and garbage them instead of flush.  I've read mixed reviews on Gdipes.  Some people claim to have had leakage issues with them.  I haven't owned any so can't say from personal experience, just from word of mouth.

 

LJ, diaperswappers would be a good place for you to get some advice (although I think you've gotten lots here too!) on specific brands, washing routines, etc.

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