November 29, 2012

Cloth Diaper Convert

A few weeks ago I switch Finn to cloth diapers. And I freakin' love it. Seriously, I was warned that it can be addicting which seemed weird, but everyone I know who cloth diapers really seems to enjoy it. And now I see why! I researched for several weeks and shopped around for what I wanted based off different recommendations, websites, and blogs I read. I nagged my friends Lynn, Ashley, and Brooke for information and they all were (are!) incredibly helpful (and patient) and on Finn's 17 month birthday (not planned, just coincidental) I switched him to cloth and haven't looked back.

 My handsome boy on day one of cloth diapers.

I wanted to switch to cloth because now that I'm staying at home it's actually a viable option for us. We are also down a paycheck, so I'm always looking for ways to save money and cloth diapering definitely saves you a lot. The other thing was that I really do believe in recycling and reducing the amount of waste we produce. I wasn't always good about this, but it seems that since I've stayed home I've become much more conscious of all we throw out and try to make a focused effort on reducing that. Maybe it's the inner hippie in me that I didn't know existed, but I genuinely feel good every time I change a diaper and I know I'll be reusing it. Also, they are stinkin' adorable. I mean who doesn't love a little fire truck booty:

The start up cost definitely is noticeable, but spending a chunk of money on cloth diapers really didn't bother me because I knew that in the long run this would save money. Even starting Finn late in the game, I will save money on the disposable diapers he would have gone through before being potty trained. I shopped around and tried to get deals where I could, found some places that offered discounts when you buy packages, I found one store in Austin that gives a military discount, and I bought different brands, which all helped save some money. But I still spent a little over $300 to get everything I needed which included all the diapers, cloth wipes (yup, doing that too), wet bags, a pail, diaper sprayer, cloth diaper rash cream (which I have only used once), spray for the wipes/bum, detergent, and extra inserts.

At this age Finn was going through 6-8 diapers a day and when I did the math, and was assuming Finn ONLY went through six diapers a day, it still costs us roughly $655.77 a year to outfit Finn in Pampers diapers (that was the brand we've always used that's worked best for him - I also did the math based on the cost of a box of size three diapers). So the way I see it, I only have to cloth diaper for about six months (less really if you consider that he goes through more than six diapers some days) for the diapers to pay for themselves and anything after that is just sweet, sweet savings. And seeing as though I don't think he will be potty trained before two (cause let's be honest - he's a boy), I think we will see the savings with him alone. And if one day we are lucky enough to have another kiddo - using these diapers a second time around would easily save us a couple thousand dollars. And I'm not even factoring in the costs of disposable wipes, diaper gene refills, etc. I've played with the numbers a lot. I've calculated the cost if we used different (cheaper) brands, and every single time the cost of disposables is far greater than the one time cost of cloth.

As I mentioned before, I bought several brands. I was leery of just buying one style because what works for one baby may not work for another. So far, I really have no complaints about any of them and am figuring out which ones work best for different situations (bedtime, nap time, going out, etc). My friend Ashley shared this blog with me which at first was really overwhelming, but after figuring out what different styles of diapers are available and the cloth diaper lingo, it became a really helpful blog when deciding what to get Finn. I also pestered Brooke for help and re-read her cloth diaper post several times, and found the cloth diaper post from Young House Love helpful as well.

That one on the bottom left as little math problems all over it. And the top right, bicycles! 
Does it get any cuter!?

I still will use disposable from time to time when the situation calls for it (travel, etc) and I use disposable wipes when the situation calls for it (gross poos!) but we have been able to totally switch to cloth at all other times - even during the night and Finn sleeps like a teenager, so I was pleasantly surprised when he was waking up in dry pajamas when he used to leak through disposables some nights.

Freshly washed diaps! And yes, I color coordinate his diaper with his outfit from time to time

Right now I am using Rockin' Green detergent, but also bought Country Save to try next. I throw a load of diapers in the wash at the end of each day, but probably could wash them every other day if I wanted. I have the BumGenius Diaper Sprayer, which is helpful for particularly gross poops, but my initial complaint with it was that it was too powerful and this house has small, shallow toilet bowls (read - poop water was spraying where it shouldn't!) but after adjusting the sprayer some it is fine now, also as long as Finn is regular - his poops can just be flopped off from the diaper directly into the toilet with no spraying needed (you're welcome for the visual). At first the poop thing was Miles' biggest complaint about me wanting to switch to cloth and the first time he changed a poopy diaper I heard a panicked cry for help from the nursery - "honey! honey get in here! There's poop in here! What do I do!?" But he has manned up (a little) and is adjusting well. I've learned that there are many different ways to wash the diapers and think I've found a good routine for now. After the wash I hang them out to dry, step away and bask in the glory that is cloth diapering.

My biggest complaint thus far? I just wish I had made the switch sooner.



  1. Sweet! wish I was that motivated...and good at keeping up with laundry :P
    Go you!

  2. I'm so glad it's going well! I can't wait to get Maddox going.

  3. I LOVE cloth too! I'm afraid to try it at night... what have you done to make it successful for you? Emma sleeps really well too, and usually wakes with a (pee only) loaded diaper.

  4. That is the cutest fire truck booty I have ever seen :-)

  5. First off, I am really excited to hear what Finley has to say about that "1st day of cloth diapers" photo when he's like, oh 18. It will be well worth the wait. Second, of course you have an inner hippie in you, have we met? Pretty sure we're related... Lastly, Mr. F probably has the cutest undie drawer ever! Nice work baby mama!

  6. Love this post. I will need to call you to chat about cloth diapers because I have been wanting to do it (for all the same reasons you mentioned) but just thought I should wait until Elizabeth got past the newborn stage.

  7. Yesssss! Love the cloth. Tell your friend Felisa to do hemp inserts at night! Also the alphamom website has lots of helpful cloth diaper info.

  8. Huh. I really didn't think I was the cloth diapering "type," but you've inspired me to think maybe this might be doable for me if another babe ever comes on the scene. The most appealing benefit for me would be cost savings. If my H weren't nearing potty training (though at nearly 2 yrs 10 mos he's still not showing many signs of giving up on diapers), I might consider it now. Curious about the laundry, the fact you are doing a load a day...were you able to factor that cost in when considering the savings? Not challenging you at all, genuinely curious how it all comes out in the wash, so to speak! :)

  9. We just made the switch too! I'm surprised that we have *fewer* poop blowouts than we did with disposables...

  10. Lol at Fire Truck booty! Hahaha! So cute- the baby and the diapers :) Glad it's working so well for you!

  11. I have heard through my cloth diaper friends that stains from really nasty poops come out perfectly if, after they're treated and washed, you set them out to dry (stained side up) in the sun. My kiddos are potty-trained now, or I would have made the switch myself. Good luck!