Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cloth Diapering... What's the deal? Part One

I will begin by discussing Cloth Diapering, because this, coupled with Grocery store planning/Meal planning are the things that really started me on my pilgrimage to Thriftyhood.
Okay, so initially I was turned off by the idea of using cloth diapers with my children... I pictured the white kind with diaper pins and rubber pants that people of my parents generation grew up wearing and leaks bursting forth at pricisely the worst moments possible. I have found in talking to other Moms my age that they also have these preconceived ideas of CDing, and these visions are simply not the the reality of today (THANK GOODNESS!). There are so many different types of cloth diapers and systems that it can be very overwhelming to drive into this lifestyle change, but there are many sites that yield a pleathora of information that will win a Mom on a budget or a Mom concerned about the effects of the diapers' chemicals on her baby over instantly!
I wanted to use cloth diapers when Zack was born, but everyone discouraged me, and I knew absolutely NOONE locally that used them... my only experience in talking with Moms about CDing was online on my Fertility website ( He had colic, and we had so many other issues with him that I let the CDing slide, and THANKFULLY my sweet gradparents, Mimi and Popdaddy, would buy us cases of diapers from Sam's Wholesale, which helped out our budget TREMENDOUSLY... but when Benjamin came along, the story changed. Any disposable diaper I put on him gave him an AWFUL rash... so bad in places that he looked like someone had scalded his tender little skin. Cloth Diapering became my only option, and in truth, I wish I had done it all along!!!
I was instructed by my FF pals to go to to learn about the different systems available ( the more basic the cheaper... the most user-friendly are the most expensive, as is true with almost everything!). I initially chose Prefolds with water proof wrap covers to diaper Benjamin, and multi size fitteds to use on Zack with waterproof wraps. (I decided that if I was going to CD one child, I might as well do both!) The PFs are the white rectangular diapers of olden times, but are usually aalot thicker now and therfore more absorbant, and are fastened by a triangular piece of plastic that has teeth like a comb to keep the diaper together. I eventually converted to using cotton flannel fitted on both kids (they look just like a disposable diaper except they have real velcro and cute patterns on the cotton flannel, and you can either cover these (to keep the liquid from coming out) with a fleece soaker, which look like underpants that you just pull on over the diaper and are super easy to sew on the sewing machine, or wraps that are colorful and made of a waterproof material that is reathable on the inside and a cloth on the outside, and this velcros over the diaper.
I found a lady on one of my favorite websites that is a work at home mom (WAHM) who sews diapers. I ordered 20 Diapers from her at 7 dollars a piece, and although I have added a couple here and there to the stash, it was enough to diaper both of my boys for a whole day (I put them in the washer every night before bed) . Now Ben has the stash all to himself because Zack is potty trained and wears real underwear unless we are going somewhere, then I put a Pull Up him just in case. Think of how much money we have saved! On average, as a 10 month old, Ben goes through 8 diapers a day... younger babies use more each day... so that's 224 a month just for Ben, and 2688 a year (that should actually be a higher number since the younger babies use more) and a pack of 40 diapers costs about 20 dollars now.... it turns out to be $1344 a year just for Ben if he were to wear disposable diapers... compare that to my initial investment in diapers of Less than 200 dollars for BOTH boys together... it's a no brainer in my opinion. In my next post, I will discuss Diaper Care and how to deal with (ick) DIRTY diapers, because a lot of people are turned off from CDing because of this unknown.

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