Cloth (kind of) diapering? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So as I've posted before this is my first baby.  I'm very conscience about environment, I drive a Prius, use all natural cleaning, skin products, etc., etc., blah blah blah...but I'm not considering cloth diapering to be green (just being honest).  I'm considering it to save green....

 

I was really interested in using the Thirsties Duo Wraps and then the cloth inserts that go inside.  The startup cost is about $350 for 6 covers, plus 24 inserts and a few booster inserts for night time.  Apparently you can rotate these covers thru 3 diaper changes because they just need to be wiped out if they get soiled and after the third time, you change to a new cover and wash the old one.  These will supposedly last up to 18lbs, depending on if your baby is bigger or not.  Then you graduate to the next size.  Thirsties comes in 2 sizes..size 1 - 5-18 lbs and size 2 - 18-40 lbs.

 

I took a parenting class the other night and the instructor swears up and down that cloth diapering is more expensive..I just don't see how!!!!  She said the babies need to be changed more..which may be true...but if you have a washer..why would it be more costly..still saving compared to disposible.  She also said that babies don't need to be changed as many times as people do (another thing I was shocked to hear)...This woman has 5 kids..and is a Labor/Delivery Nurse, Doula, etc...so does she know what she's talking about???  I'd have to say so...but I come to you guys for honest opinions and your knowledge about such things..

 

Any thoughts, opinions or suggestions.  Thanks in advance for your advice.

 

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#2 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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That lady doesn't know what she is talking about.

 

Besides that, cloth is known to be healthier for baby. I think those thirsties diapers should work well and that's a nice price I think. 

 

Oh and I just rotate covers until one is soiled then throw them all in the wash on wash day. Typically, I wash every other day. I have the thirsties sized covers.


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#3 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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I'm a first timer here, so I don't have actual experience, but I do have opinions, based on my research and being around other peoples kids. I don't think it's good for kids to sit around in wet/soiled diaps and am a firm believer in changing them when they go to the bathroom. You change kids less with disposables cause they can't feel how wet/soiled they are, which I'm not really a fan of. I think the startup for cloth can be a little more expensive, especially if you buy new, but overall the cost is less, even with a service. 

A random google brought me here: http://www.costhelper.com/cost/child/diapers.html

Disposable diapers end up costing about twice as much as cloth, I would think the energy costs would be negligable (as opposed to driving to the store to buy diapers) and if you line dry ( I was told line dry in the sun is the very best for cloth) then it's even better. And besides, so much better for the baby!

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#4 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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Yep, forgot to say about how often baby gets changed. Babies/toddlers should be changed as often as they need. If they've peed or pooped then you should change them. My inlaws thought I was dumb to change so often and when I left my oldest in their care when I went to give birth, I came back to him having a rash and he was already 2. Who knows how often they changed him? 


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#5 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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on the subject of cloth diapering... I've heard some folks say they don't start off with CD, but move to it after a few weeks... can anyone enlighten me as to why?  my husband and I were planning on CDing from the start, but I just want to make sure that's practical!


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#6 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamalynsky View Post

on the subject of cloth diapering... I've heard some folks say they don't start off with CD, but move to it after a few weeks... can anyone enlighten me as to why?  my husband and I were planning on CDing from the start, but I just want to make sure that's practical!


I've never been able to cloth diaper during the early stage. First time around I didn't know about them until my kiddo was 4 months old. Second time around I was in another country without a ton of access to a washing machine and then in an apartment with no washing machine inside. - so wasn't able to cloth diaper him until he was close to 4 months old either. 

 

I plan to cloth diaper the one on the way after a couple days to a week though. I would from the beginning if I could guarantee my ability to wash clothes. Hubby is clueless when it comes to all that. I've heard meconium poo can really stain diapers but I guess I'd just put some cheap cloth liners in there if that concerns you. I see no reason that you couldn't start from the beginning as long as you have a cover that'll stay under the umbilical cord stump and not irritate it. 

 


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#7 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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This will be my first cloth diapering experience too, so I'm no expert. I took a class, though! LOL..

 

There is also a newish thing out from either fuzzi buns or bum genius, called econobums? Supposed to be 12 prefolds and 3 or 4 covers for $50, and I was told that 2-3 of the $50 packs would see you nicely through the first 6 months at least. Just another option to consider.

 

Also, I assumed that meconium was why many don't start with cloth too. I read in another DDC that covering your baby's bottom with baby oil will help that meconium slide right off, and that's seriously good advice I didn't catch with my first two! I would think that and some flushable liners would take care of that.

 

And of course, MDC has the whole diapering forum, and they know EVERYthing. :)


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#8 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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I got all our cloth diapers used, and if I knew what I knew now, I probably could have gotten away with spending 200 bucks. I think I spent more like 400, but tried a bunch of things that we didn't end up using or liking (fitteds, some pockets, etc). We gravitated towards the cheapest option - prefolds, and now we only use wool covers (soakers and longies) even. (and I knit them myself) We do use pockets at night.

so basically, if I was to buy what we ended up using (and we bought used) it'd be:

24 yellow edge GMDs (40 bucks or so used)
24 lt brown edge GMDs (40 bucks or so used)
24 dark brown edge GMDs (maybe a bit more, heavier to ship)
7 pocket diapers (for nighttime) (used maybe 50 bucks or so)

we did use orange edge to start with but only for like 4-6wks? so not that necessary really. I also have in my total costs wet bags and other accessories I suppose (we did get some hemp inserts for a heavy wetting stage that DS went through)

I don't think disposables could be anywhere near that cheap, DS is almost 2 years old!


I will say though, we do use disposables 1.5 days a week (he goes to a school where they don't do cloth) he started at 15mos. And they ARE weird - they don't *feel* wet, so you can leave them for a while I guess? I mean at the school they change everyone all at the same time on a schedule. so some folks had to have been wet for a while. I *hope* they don't leave him in poo for long but I don't actually really know. Luckily he has pretty good control so I doubt he poos there most days (he poos beforehand, and in the evenings usually, midday poos are odd for him)

but even if you are willing to leave a child in a dipe all day or something, I think you can really only do that when they are down to a few poos a day - which I would guess is >12 mos? I mean 0-6mos there is way more poo so lots of changes whether you are in cloth or disposables (I'd hope!)


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#9 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayiscoming2006 View Post

That lady doesn't know what she is talking about.

 


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#10 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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DDCC'ing

 

I've cloth diapered with both of my kids.  

 

We use Thirsties covers (and actually used to ones that have 4 different sizes, as the Duos weren't around when my oldest was born) and I use tinytush fitted diapers (which, at $11 each, are more expensive than what you're planning on purchasing).. (I LOVE this diapers by the way, if you ever decide to try fitted, give them a try).  Even though at one point I had enough diapers to diaper my 3 month old and my 20 month old for 36 hours, I still haven't spent that much.  I *think* I've spent around $700 (on diapers for two kids), maybe $800.  Considering that disposibles for one kid would be in the neighborhood of $2000, ($4000 for 2 kids) I've saved a ton.  Add that to the fact that my DD was completely (even at night) potty trained by the time she was 24 months old:  it's totally worth it.


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#11 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 08:09 PM
 
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I have no clue what that lady is talking about? Cloth, no matter what system you choose, is WAY cheaper than disposables. Think of it this way, its $20 a box of diapers and you go through 12-15 diapers a day when baby is a newborn, the bigger baby gets the less diapers per box and the price doesn't change. Most kids nowadays are in diapers until 2 or 3 (more like 3). So if you choose a pocket or AIO system which are usually a little pricier you are spending about $20 a diaper. You need about 20 diapers, some people have less and you just wash them. Up front cloth is more expensive of course but long term it is cheaper by a long shot. 

 

You can also sell back your cloth diapers to make some of the initial investment back. They also make one-size diapers that literally last from age 3-4 months-3 years. The diapers I bought for my son still fit him at 3, even though he doesn't wear them anymore. Once this new LO is 15ish pounds I can use the same diapers. For the newborn stage I'm using prefolds and covers, some bumgenius all-in-ones and because I bought everything 100% used off Diaper swappers I think I spent $42 on the prefolds (I have 20 newborn and 10 infant), $2-5 a cover (6 covers I think) and for the AIO I spent about $7-10 a diaper (I have 9). Everything is in like-new condition though because they don't stay small long. If you looked at my stash it looks like I bought it new and I can sell it once baby grows out of it for basically what I paid. They also have cheaper brands of covers/diapers coming out now, the brand Kawaii is $10 for a one-size pocket diaper I believe, which is cheap!

 

 

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#12 of 62 Old 03-24-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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To the poster who asked why some people don't start out with cloth- For some people they decided to buy the one sized diapers so their newborn doesn't fit, OR people like to wait for the umbilical stump to fall off so the diaper doesn't rub (although, they do make diapers that have a notch for the stump) or for the baby to stop passing meconium because it stains the diapers. Some find that doing an extra load of laundry every other day when they are adjusting to the newborn schedule isn't worth it. 

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#13 of 62 Old 03-25-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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I CD'd with my daughter & will absolutely do it again.  I bought a bag of disposeables to have on hand for the first week or two & that was honestly just a convenience thing.  It was a little easier for the meconium stage & during the transition while getting to know our new babe.  It was handy to have a few on hand too to throw in the diaper bag as back ups for longer trips out as they were a little more compact & could hold more fluids for longer car rides. 

Beyond that though I pretty much exclusively CD'd unless we were travelling somewhere or camping where washing wasn't an option.  We have a front loader washer & with the cost analysis I did it was WAY cheaper to CD in the long run even though I went primarily with a more expensive option of using pocket diapers (Bum Genius & Happy Heiny's).  I also have some prefolds & covers that were great once I got the hang of them later on.  While DD was exclusively BF, it was super easy with a dry pail system & it took nothing to wash her diapers.  I gradually started using more disposeable liners once she got to be about a 10mos though just because I didn't have a diaper sprayer & the "toilet swish" wasn't working as well as I would have liked.

DD had no trouble with rashes & I really liked the idea of needing to change her after every pee.  I would gross me out when she was in disposeables just for the fact of how long she could go without appearing to need a change.  The added bonus for us with cloth too was that DD gave up diapers completely at 15 mos.  Potty training is so completely individual however so I consider us lucky to have done it so early but I would definitely credit the diapers to helping her become more aware of her body & make the connection.

 

here are a couple of fantastic sites for info & pricing:

http://www.bynature.ca/cloth-diaper-terminology.html#fabric   

(scroll to the bottom for more links)

http://www.bynature.ca/cloth-diapers-faq.html   FAQ

http://www.bynature.ca/cloth-diapers-top-10.html#economical   Cost comparison

 

http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/newmom.htm 

 

 

 


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#14 of 62 Old 03-25-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamalynsky View Post

on the subject of cloth diapering... I've heard some folks say they don't start off with CD, but move to it after a few weeks... can anyone enlighten me as to why?  my husband and I were planning on CDing from the start, but I just want to make sure that's practical!



In my case, I have several one-size diapers, and from what I've heard/read, these don't fit newborns very well... but newborns grow fast!!  Plus I'm not sure that I'll be up for the extra laundry those first couple weeks, so I am using disposables for a couple weeks before I start using cloth (I have some that are NOT one-size, but even those, I started with small sizes, but not "newborn").

 

I do think it can be practical from the start though, especially if you use prefolds for your newborn... then you can use those newborn prefolds as burp rags or doublers when your baby is bigger. ;)


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#15 of 62 Old 03-25-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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So I have to say that it would kind of irritate me if the instructor of a parenting class told me that cloth diapering is more expensive LOL.  It CAN be if your goal is not to save money and you'd prefer to have $40 diapers with cute designer fabrics LOL.

 

I'm sure the absolute cheapest route would be to do flat diapers with covers.  Just as an example, GreenMountainDiapers.com has a "Economy Kit" that is designed to get you from birth through potty training, for $206.45.  I probably spent that in 4 months on disposable diapers.

 

I also know that for someone like me, I didn't buy the least expensive disposable diapers.  I'm planning to mostly cloth diaper this baby, but I admit it's not so much for cost as it is for environmental and health reasons.  I have been buying cloth diapers when I see good deals and special sales, but I am not going for the most economical setup admittedly.  The disposables I HAVE purchased for the beginning and occasional use are Nature Babycare... so definitely not cheap, but I felt they were more environmentally friendly and healthy than typical disposable diapers.

 

I can't say for sure, but out of the variety of diapers I've purchased and been given, I predict that my favorite combination is going to be GMD Workhorse diapers and Bummis Super Brite covers. :)


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#16 of 62 Old 03-25-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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I love my cloth diapers. So much so that I kept popping into my local diaper shop and they ended up hiring me to do customer support. (Diaper Lab in Boston in case you are interested) So now I get paid to talk diapers.

 

Cloth has start up costs, but unless you have crazy crazy washing costs they are far less expensive. I ran the numbers when my son was born and prefolds were less expensive, than a service or disposables, even with my overpriced apartment coin op washer and dryer. And remember, at the end the used diapers still have value, where a used disposable is just a liability.

 

Thirsties are great diapers. They really do fit the whole range (many one size diapers fudge it at the ends). I wish the Duo line had been around when I started. You can also mix their covers with other brands of prefolds. Six covers is great, you may only need 4 in the size two. I let one dry and grab a new one. Once they are smelly, they go in the diaper pail.

 

econobums are made by Bum Genius as the least expensive diapers they could possibly put on the market. And it shows. My store ordered one to show people why it was worth spending a wee bit more on something that would last. Lots of people like their Flip system, which is still very inexpensive.

 

We started cloth as soon as my son was home from the hospital. It was not a big deal, though it took a few weeks to get all the kinks out. Minor stuff that resulted in a few wet leaks, but no blowouts. We were doing prefolds and were really lazy about how we folded them. When we traveled with disosables at 8 weeks, that was when we had the blowouts. Newborn breastfeed pop is explosive and with out real elastic, it just gets everywhere. Like socks and hair everywhere. Diapers are far easier laundry than that. Meconium can cause some trouble for diapers with polyester fleece, but washed out of cotton diapers without fuss. One size diapers generally start to fit around 10 lb and for most the baby needs to get some meat on their thighs.

 

Prefolds and covers are a great place to start. Thristies, Bummies and Green Mountain are all solid brands with proven records. Just buy for the beginning and then see what you like and want and what shape your little one is. Some diapers fit different types better.

 

We started with prefolds and Bummies and Thirsties covers. Now we do Baby Kicks One Size fitteds and a mix of PUL and wool covers with pockets occasionally at night. I splurged on Kissaluvs organic fitteds for the coming newborn.

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#17 of 62 Old 03-26-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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Wow that is too bad that she said that :(

I just recently started cloth diaper and ds who is 18mos uses mostly happy heiny's or fuzzibunz.. I am trying out a few other brands as well though (grovia, babykicks,kissaluvs) I do NOT like velcro at his age

b/c he rips them off. I am buying all one size for him so that the next baby can grow into them easily.

 

For my newborn diapers I am using kissaluvs size 0 and 1.. as well as some Mutts, and one other brand which I can't remember off hand.

I bought all of my One Size diapers new off amazon, cottonbabies, and kelly's closet but my

newborn diapers I bought some from here and the rest from diaper swappers. For 20 used newborn diapers

I spent about $150 but I can get most if not all of that back when I re-sell them. I am planning on using disposables until

the meconium is passed but after that I am going to CD completely... You don't have to wash out BF poop, you can just throw it in

so it doesn't really require very much extra work compared to disposables IMO.


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#18 of 62 Old 03-26-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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DDCC - On the subject of it costing more...You also need to take into consideration cloth diapered children often learn to go potty faster than their disposable counterparts.  It proved true for me.  My eldest learned to go potty two months before her 3rd birthday - disposables.  My youngest learned to go potty completely on her own by the age of 2 - cloth.  Some of it might be other factors, but the reality is that there was one years less cost in disposables involved!  That's a lot!


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#19 of 62 Old 03-26-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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We used cloth from the beginning last time and this time I got some 7th gen nb diapers.  The meconium wasnt the issue as much as babe was a tinkler.  So, she would pee just a little bit like every 30 minutes.  We'd go through atleast a diaper an hour during the waking hours and then she'd wake up because she tinkled and was wet every hour or two.  I dont intend to leave my babe in a sposie forever, but I would like to keep her dry in those beginning tinkler stages without so much changing those first couple weeks.

 

 

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Not that I'm any better - (I got a few huggies "pure and natural" for the first days after the birth) but I saw a news thing saying that 7th Gen is no different than any other sposie and that they actually dye their diapers brown. 

 

Personally, I'm hoping to cloth diaper as soon as I am pretty mobile after the birth. I've gotta be able to get up and down some stairs and walk around easily first. I guess I should show hubby how to do a load of laundry or 2 for my other laundry stuff though. 

 

From my research, the only naturalish disposable diapers are Tushies.

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We used cloth from the beginning last time and this time I got some 7th gen nb diapers.  The meconium wasnt the issue as much as babe was a tinkler.  So, she would pee just a little bit like every 30 minutes.  We'd go through atleast a diaper an hour during the waking hours and then she'd wake up because she tinkled and was wet every hour or two.  I dont intend to leave my babe in a sposie forever, but I would like to keep her dry in those beginning tinkler stages without so much changing those first couple weeks.

 

 



 


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#21 of 62 Old 03-26-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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I buy 7th gen because I like how the fit.  They are the only diapers Ive used personally that didnt result in blow outs.  Admittedly, I havent used many sposies.  I buy one pack of diapers so Im not feeling like there is much of a "better" or "worse" kinda thinking that goes into it for me.  I use paper plates in the post partum too. Heh.

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#22 of 62 Old 03-26-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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We use cloth for the health reasons mostly, but I think the cost savings are HUGE!  I probably invested almost $400 when we bought them for my last baby, but that still saved us money.  We used them from newborn to 2 yrs old (adjustable) and they are still in good shape for this baby.  So this time...$0.  How is that not a HUGE cost savings?


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#23 of 62 Old 03-26-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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Moved from DDC to Diapering Forum!


 

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#24 of 62 Old 03-27-2011, 12:37 AM
 
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Ugh, kind of sad that she is telling people to save money by leaving their baby in a wet/soiled diaper for a long time!  I think it is definitely cheaper and for us the early days of cloth diapering weren't that difficult because they don't really poop/pee that much in the first few days (at least not if you're breastfeeding until milk comes in).  Many things about having a newborn I found to be tough, but doing cloth was the easy part.

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#25 of 62 Old 03-27-2011, 04:55 AM
 
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Yep, that lady was just flat out wrong.

 

It's not uncommon(sadly) for some people to think you leave a child in a diaper until the absorbency is maxed out, or they poop. I don't happen to believe in that. I think you either change the child frequently, or you change when they wet. My DS2 was cloth diapered, and he pooped a LOT. All the way up through toddlerhood I was having to change him about a dozen times a day. Can you IMAGINE what that would have cost me in disposables?! And, unlike what I hear is the 'trend' of cloth-diapered kiddos potty-learning earlier, he didn't until he was 3 1/2, so that would have really been a lot of diapers! (and wipes, we used cloth wipes, too). 

 

I also don't think that cloth diapers are more strain on the environment. I hear that a lot.... That because of the water used to wash them, it's less 'green.' I say crap. lol. There is a LOT of water involved in producing disposable diapers. Not to mention the fuel. And then transporting them from the factory to the store, the store to you, then you to the landfill? Not to matter how many diapers end up in landfills..... It's a lot of waste. Even if I threw every cloth diaper away when we were done with diapering, it would only be maybe two trash bags full. That would take no time to accumulate with disposable diapers. 

 

Anyway, wrong wrong, lady wrong. What a shame that she's passing on so much misinformation to new parents. 

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#26 of 62 Old 03-27-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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Well.... if  you worked at it I'm sure you could MAKE it be more money. We didn't start CDing with DD until she was 11 months, and I was so "into" cloth diapering that I bought a lot of expensive fancy pocket diapers and AIOs as one-offs so paid through the nose. Even then I figure we probably broke even or were slightly ahead.

 

Now, with DS, we're laughing. I shelled out about $300 for newborn and size small diapers since we didn't have them already, and that's about it. I could have done that more cheaply too but it was one lot and exactly the diapers I wanted (Mother-Ease Sandies). We are re-using most of the diapers that DD used (although some were early BumGenius and Happy Heinys and fell apart - the designs are better now), and we also use prefolds and wool covers that I knit. I buy one pack of disposables every couple of months or so to give DS's skin a break some nights (he has sensitivities to PUL and polyester and occasionally will break out if I over-use the pocket diapers).

 

We CD'd from birth - we brought the cloth to the hospital. Meconium stains came out with hanging in the sun. I did use disposables more than I wanted to, however, because I found that even the newborn diapers irritated his umbilical stump (and in the end, I think they contributed to it coming off before it was ready). So I'd say have some on-hand "just in case" but there's no reason to plan on using them if you don't want to.

 

 


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#27 of 62 Old 03-27-2011, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys, this was so informative.  I really appreciate all your input...

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#28 of 62 Old 03-28-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
And remember, at the end the used diapers still have value, where a used disposable is just a liability.

Haha, :-D

 

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#29 of 62 Old 03-28-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Well, I do know some folks who used a cloth diapering service - every week, they got clean cloth diapers dropped off at their door, and the dirty diapers taken away.  I'm pretty sure this ended up costing more than disposable diapers, but hey - it's what they wanted to do.  Only way I can think of to make cloth diapering cost more than disposable.  :)


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#30 of 62 Old 03-31-2011, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamalynsky View Post

Well, I do know some folks who used a cloth diapering service - every week, they got clean cloth diapers dropped off at their door, and the dirty diapers taken away.  I'm pretty sure this ended up costing more than disposable diapers, but hey - it's what they wanted to do.  Only way I can think of to make cloth diapering cost more than disposable.  :)


maybe.  what do you think disposables cost for a week?

 

we used a diaper service with dd (won't be using one this time).  it was $20/week.  definitely worth it to us.  we both worked full-time and i don't know if we would have cloth diapered without the service.

 


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