Definitely not something I thought I'd ever be using in my life.
However, after seeing my niece in cloth diapers and learning how many of my friends have used cloth diapers I decided to read up on them and maybe give them a shot with baby number 3. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from fellow moms who love cloth diapers, and to learn that they are pretty relatively easy to use.
Why would I want to do cloth diapers? Well, lots of reasons. The price was the first thing that got me interested though. When I realized I could buy enough cloth diapers to last Harper her entire diapering years for around $200 that did it for me. $200- that's it. She's only 3 weeks old right now and we've gone through 2 boxes of disposable diapers already, which puts our diaper costs at almost $50 already...just for 3 weeks of her life! The average cost of disposable diapers in the US is around $800 per year. So 2-3 years of diapers (depending on how early/late you potty train) puts you at $1600-$2400 in disposable diapers in your baby's lifetime. Obviously, cloth diapers are a lot less, even when you factor in laundering costs (water, detergent, electricity to dry them, etc). Who doesn't love to save money? The frugal side of me was thrilled.
Another cool thing about cloth diapers that I loved: never running out of them. I can't even tell you how many times I've had to call my husband at work and remind him to pick up another box of diapers for one of the kids. I mean, yeah, I have to actually wash the cloth diapers and keep a clean supply so I always have fresh ones. I can run out of clean ones if I slack on the laundry, but I'll never have to dash out at the last second to buy more diapers.
I also love the idea of cloth diapers being less wasteful. I mean, think of all of those disposable diapers you've thrown away. Hundreds of them. Thousands per child, and they all end up in landfills somewhere. Plus factor in the chemicals and resources used to mass produce all of them- I doubt that's very good for the environment either. I'm no hippy, but I'm big on reducing, reusing, and recycling whenever possible, and cloth clearly wins out in this area.
Here are some more facts about cloth vs disposables:
I took all of this info into consideration, plus listened to my cloth diapering mommy friends' input and decided to go for it. I could do it. Why not? I'm not working outside of the home, so that's not an issue. I'm home all the time, and soon it'll just be Harper and I for 8 hours during the day while the older kids are in school. I have a washer and dryer, so clearly I can wash them. With a family of 5 now I've already got a ton of laundry as it is, so what's a little more at this point? Plus, they are just so cute. This could very well be my last baby, so why not give it a try and put her little butt in cute, fluffy cloth diapers?
Now it was time to figure out what type of diaper I wanted to use.
Today's cloth diapers are nothing like the big flat ones with huge safety pins from the "old days." OK, maybe some people still use those kind, but they've have come a long way since my mom used cloth diapers on me. There are so many different styles and types to choose from though, and I didn't know where to start really. I did some internet sleuthing and read blogs all about cloth diapers and compared the options. Cleaning and caring for the different types varies, so I took that into consideration when making my choice. After asking all of my cloth diapering mom friends I decided to go with one size pocket diapers (which is what my niece uses, so I've changed a few of them myself). The brand I chose is called Alva, and here's what I ended up getting to start my cloth diaper collection, or stash:
I ordered 20 Alva diapers with inserts a couple of months ago from their website to get started. I decided on a variety of prints and just selected anything that looked cute online. I love all of the ones I ordered. 20 isn't quite enough for a really well stocked cloth diaper stash, so earlier today I ordered another 10 for a total of 30 cloth diapers. The 20 diapers cost me $106 with free expedited shipping. The order of 10 diapers was $52, again with free expedited shipping (on orders over $49). So far my cloth diaper stash is only at $158 and those should last me quite a while. Remember, I've already spent almost $50 on disposables in just the first 3 weeks of Harper's life, so $158 total for all of the cloth diapers I need is an amazing deal!
Here's a closer look at an Alva pocket diaper:
These are fully adjustable and are one-size diapers, and are supposed to fit 6-33lbs. I think they would have been absolutely huge on Harper as a 6lb 9oz newborn though. I know a lot of people use disposables for the first month or two until baby is a little bigger and can fit into the cloth diapers better. I'm not sure how much Harper weighs now, but I tried one on her last night and it looked like it was just about perfect on the smallest snap setting, so I'm looking forward to using them very soon! I have one more box of disposables left and then I'm going to start using cloth.
Check out this one I ordered. I'm so excited for her to wear it!
I'll be sure to do a follow up post on my cloth diapering experience as I try to figure it out and get comfortable with them. I sure hope to report back with good news and rave about how awesome they are!
Have you used or wanted to use cloth diapers?
If so, which kind did you/would you try?
What was your experience?
I'd love some input and would love to hear what you think!