Why choose cloth? It is no surprise to veteran parents that disposable diapers are awfully expensive, but the thought of using cloth can be overwhelming to some. Isn’t that a lot of laundry? Aren’t they really expensive? And most importantly, what do you do with all the poop?
Yes. You will have to do a few extra loads of laundry a week, but after you have a baby you will be doing extra laundry anyways, what is an extra couple loads a week? Modern Tightwad did a cost comparison and the extra $4.56 spent a month on utility bills still saved $42.44 each and every month that they diapered. At Fluffysauras headquarters we typically wash diapers 2-3 times a week max, using Ecos detergent, which is the same stuff we use on all of our clothes, sheets, and baby gear with nothing extra to buy. Some detergents are not recommended for cloth diapers but that is a story for another day.
No. Cloth diapers are not expensive compared to the cost of two to three years of disposables. Diaper Decisions estimates the cost of the diapers alone to be over $2,500 per child, and probably twice as much if you are using the eco-friendly brands. Don’t forget to add the cost of your pail and an extra 7$ a month for diaper genie refills, which adds about $252 to your total, plus the cost of your wipes adds another couple hundred. While you may only be spending a little bit each month the costs really do add up.
Compare that to 24 cotton newborn prefolds with four covers for around 90$. Then 6 one-size Fluffysauras covers at 108$ and 12 medium sized prefolds for 26$. Don’t forget the accessories. Two large wet-bags and one small one for the diaper bag with set you back 50$. Or you can buy a large plastic trash can for 20$ and use grocery bags on the go. You can get 30 flannel cloth wipes for 15$ or make your own for even more savings. If you only had 300$ to spend you could easily cloth diaper your baby. Even as you start getting into some of the higher end diapers like organic all-in-ones you are still saving a fortune. 25 diapers at 30$ each is $750. The initial sticker shock can scare most people away from the fluff, but the math proves that it is worth it in the long run and with each subsequent baby the savings just keep adding up. Remember your stash can be as simple or as elaborate as your imagination and your budget.
Let’s face it though, saving money was how I convinced Daddysauras that cloth was wonderful, but cloth diaper butts are so cute I couldn’t possibly do things any other way.
But what about the poop? Yes, there is poop, but did you know that disposable diaper packages also tell you to flush your precious little angels diaper nuggets down the toilet? Over 16,000,000,000 diapers enter landfills every year, and all that human waste carries with it bacteria and potentially dangerous pathogens that are a hazard to groundwater and sanitation workers. Technically speaking even using disposables you are supposed to get the poop out of the diaper.
Really it is not that bad. If you are exclusively breastfeeding you can jut throw your cloth right in the machine. Once they start solids the poop can be shaken, scraped, wiped, or dunked off. We have a spatula that was sacrificed to the cause and a sprayer. It takes about a minute to clean off a diaper, if that is too much time for you than you can buy flushable, biodegradable liners to go in your diapers and just flush the whole thing. Its baby poop, you are going to end up covered in it from time to time, you will have to deal with it one way or another, we chose the cloth route and I hope that you consider it too!