I have been using cloth diapers ever since we came home with the boys and I have to say I love it. It isn’t hard at all and the diapers are super cute. I promised Tegan a review of cloth diapers months ago, so in honor of her (and Greg’s) recent referral I am finally going to do it!
I could go into detail about all the different types of cloth diapers, but I personally think Tara wrote a darn good post about it so why would I bother? I will instead focus on the four types of diapers I personally own.
KCK One Pocket diaper (one size). These are my least favorite diapers for two reasons, not the most absorbent (means you have to change more frequently and when you are changing two bums that is a downer) and they do not fit as nicely as other diapers underneath clothing. These are velcro (snap is better) but the way the velcro is done on these is great and it is holding up very well. I purchased these because I could get cute designs on the bums (like Pittsburg Penguins for Matt). The etsy seller I purchased them from is fast and willing to do special requests. I still use them every day and they work just fine, I just don’t put them on right before a bottle.
Swaddlebees All-In-One (sized diaper). These are again not some of my favorites. The fit is great and they work wonderfully under clothes, but they are not super absorbent, so I have been doubling them ever since the boys came home. Not a huge deal but I refuse to fish the doubler out of these before I wash (tight squeeze for your hand) and they never come out in the wash, so the doublers don’t always get thoroughly washed. These all-in-ones also take a ridiculous amount of time to dry even over the other all-in ones I own.
bumGenius One Size Pocket Diaper. I like these diapers a lot. The fit is great, the absorbency is great, and they are easy to use. My one complaint, they only come in velcro and the velcro does not seem to be holding up that well, plus I have caught a couple little boys getting very close to getting them undone.
bumGenius Organic All-In-One (one size). These are my favorites. They are ridiculously easy, come in snaps, absorbency is good, and the fit is great. They are also the most expensive, we just have a few and we use them mostly for going out and about. They do take a long time to dry, but overall they are worth it.
bumGenius does have a new product out, Flip Diapers, and they have washable inserts, similar to the G Diaper system, but washable. These come in snap and are more affordable then their all-in-ones. I would give them a try if I needed any more.
A couple of accesories that you would most like want:
Diaper Pail Liner. I have two of these because I throw them in the wash every time I wash diapers, you could get away with one if you wanted to, but it is easier having two.
Wet Bags. Useful whether you cloth diaper or not, you can use them if your baby has an accident and you don’t want to throw the yucky clothes in the diaper bag. I again have two, you can get by with one, but again I like to wash frequently.
The two things that scare people away from cloth diapering seem to be the washing and the initial investment. I will say that washing diapers every other day is not among my favorite things to do, but it isn’t that bad (hey I line dry and I can say that!). I use the No Soak method from diaperpin.com, yes this does require two washes, but I have a high efficiency washer and soaking my diapers wasn’t going to happen.
Now let’s talk cost. We are going to pretend I actually counted my diapers and kept track of how much they were. I think we have 40 diapers and I am going to say the average cost per diaper is $22, so $880 in diapers (remember I have twins, if you have one baby you won’t need so many). Accessories (doublers, cloth wipes, wet bags) let’s say I spent $250 on miscellaneous stuff to go with the diapers some of which you might not need (probably an over estimate). I use cloth wipes, I think they are easy, but you might choose not to and that’s okay. So that is $1,130 total. I will say we did not spend that much, we received some as gifts. Now let’s pretend I didn’t purchase cloth and I was purchasing disposable. Let’s say it was these disposables, I estimate at least 8 diapers a day per baby so that is 36.5 packs per year. In one year that is $1,387. Obviously we will need diapers longer than a year so the savings will continue to add up. Of course, I am not factoring in the cost of washing the cloth diapers, I have no idea how much it costs to run my washer per load (it can’t be too much the amount of laundry we do has increased exponentially since the boys, but our water bill is pretty much the same and electric bill is just up a little). I am going to say overall we are still saving money and a whole lot of landfill space. At least 5,840 diapers worth of space in one year!
Night time diapering can be a bit of a challenge. We were managing to cloth diaper the boys and they were making it through the night without leaking (very fat diapers though!), but we had a persistent diaper rash, so we switched to disposables at night. The diaper rash cleared up and all is well. So we do use two disposables a day.