Welcome to the Cloth Diapering Board!!
Just a note upfront, some of the words are clickable to other links. Scroll your mouse over the blue words and click to be directed to another link.
If you are considering cloth diapering or just want to know more about it, this is the place to look! We know all the information overload can be overwhelming at first, but if you give cloth a shot we think you'll find it easy and fun! If your question isn't answered here, please feel free to post to our board. Actually, post an introduction anyway so that we can get to know you! We are so glad you are here!!
Our board is a little bit different since we have a lot to do with buying and selling. So, before posting, please take a few moments to become familiar with our Community Guidelines. Outside of that, we also have two topics that we'd like to highlight:
* Anything concerning buying/selling or trading your own cloth diapers: A bi-weekly thread will be started by the mods where you can add your diapers for sell or trade , all info & updates will go here or in the actual FSOT (for sale or trade) sticky, nowhere else. We do this to keep the clutter down on the main board.
*WAHMs (work at home moms) can advertise by putting links to their store and/or products in their signatures. Links & info can also be added to the Huge cloth diaper list and the FSOT Sticky. No other spamming by WAHMs is allowed.
* All other fluffy pictures are allowed so long as there is no spamming (ie - no trying to sell a product in a regular thread on the board).
1) Sharing Links from Other Websites:
* If you are sharing a link from another website, please keep the topic of conversation within guidelines. Ie: "look how cute this is" or "help me stalk this". These links should not relate to something you yourself are selling (because that would be spamming). Questions about a store or products feedback are welcome (for example, "do y'all like XYZ diaper?"). Please do not bring outside drama from other message boards to this one.
Now, on to the fun stuff!!
Cloth Diapering Board FAQ
The list is complied by different members of the cloth diapering board here on pregnancy.org. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
- Common Acronyms
- Diaper Types/Diaper Accessories
- What You Need to Get Started
- Prepping Diapers Before First Use
- Storing Dirty Diapers
- Washing Diapers (including wool)
- Stinks and Stains
- Cost Factor
- Time Factor
- Leaving the House With Cloth
- Sewing Your Own Cloth
- Cloth Wipes Information
- Mama Cloth and Other Alternatives
- Favorite Stores/Brands
IPF- Indian Prefold
CPF – Chinese Prefold
DSQ- Diaper Service Quality
AIO, AI2- All-in-one, All-in-two
CD- Cloth Diaper or Cloth Diapering
EC- Elimination Communication
TTO- Tea Tree Oil
MT- Mommy's Touch
EUC, GUC- Excellent Used Condition, Good Used Condition
PPD- Postage Paid (Price includes postage)
Acronyms for Brands of Diapers
MOE- Mother of Eden
HH- Happy Heiny
JB- Jonny Bottoms
BB- Better Bum
BLB - Blueberry
FB- Fuzzi Bunz
FF – Fuzzi Fannies
SB – Swaddlebees
BG – Bum Genius
GM – Good Mama
PBPD – Pot Bellied Pig Designs
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 07-17-2008 at 02:33 PM.
Information on Diaper Types and Accessories
*Note: The blue words are links, you can click on them.
Types of Diapers
First, the types that need covers:
Flatfold Diapers aka "flats", see them here, are the original, basic, cloth diaper. They are made up of a simple square of birdseye cotton, cotton jersey, or hemp. They can be folded into whatever shape is needed to suit the baby, and secured with diaper pins or a Snappi. An origami fold can be used to fold the diaper so it has a thicker center soaker. Flatfolds are generally the most inexpensive diaper option, but some parents find them tricky to use, A flatfold may not be absorbent enough, depending on the baby, requiring some kind of doubler. Flatfolds are generally “one size fits all”. A cover is required with flatfold diapers.
Prefold Diapers (PF), see them here, were invented by a mother in the 1950’s as an improvement over the flatfold. The name prefold means that the thick soaker pad is already sewn into the center of the diaper, so no special folding is needed to create the soaker. However, some folding is needed to get the diaper onto the baby. To use, prefolds can be folded in thirds and laid in a cover, or folded into custom folds such as the Angel Wing Fold, Jelly Roll Fold, or many others. The prefold diaper is usually secured with diaper pins or a Snappi.
Prefolds are typically made from cotton, but can also be found in hemp and other fabrics. Cotton prefolds are made from either Chinese or Indian cotton. The Chinese cotton is said to be more durable, but the Indian to be softer. Both kinds of cotton prefolds are available as “bleached” or “unbleached.” Bleached cotton prefolds are just that—bleached until the fabric is pure white. Unbleached cotton prefolds are their natural off-white color. Although parents may prefer one to the other, the only difference in function between bleached or unbleached is how many times the prefolds must be pre-washed (“prepped”) (see prepping section of FAQ) before use.
Available sizes of prefolds, from smallest to largest, are preemie, newborn, infant, regular, premium, and toddler. Measurements can vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. A set of numbers such as 4 x 6 x 4 is given for each size. The center number refers to the number of layers in the center soaker, and the outer numbers the number of layers in the outer fabric. So, a 4 x 8 x 4 prefold is thicker in the center than a 4 x 6 x 4 prefold.
Prefolds are a popular choice for parents who practice Elimination Communication (EC). The prefold can be secured around the baby’s waist with a wool belt for quick release before pottying or for a quick change. Prefolds are popular and very economical option (generally $1-3 each) but because they require some folding, some parents may find them tricky to use. A cover is required with prefold diapers.
Contour Diapers, see them here, unlike prefolds, have a typical diaper shape, so folding may not be required to make the diaper fit the baby. However, they have no leg or back elastic like fitted diapers. They may have a center soaker sewn in. Contours are usually secured with diaper pins or a Snappi. Sometimes contour diapers are made from prefold diapers. Contours are usually sized diapers, ranging from NB to XL, but might have a lot of flexibility in sizing through folding down the rise of the diaper. A cover is required with contour diapers.
Fitted Diapers, see them here, like countour diapers, are in a form-fitting shape. They come with elastic sewn in around the legs, and usually have elastic around the front or back as well. Fitteds come with their own closures, which can be snaps or some kind of Velcro-like closure (aplix or touchtape are examples). Fitteds can be made out of a wide variety of materials such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo. This flexibility allows for a lot of variety and creativity, so fitteds can come in lots of fun patterns and colors. Some fitted diapers have snap-in or sewn-in soakers for extra absorbency. Others are “stuffable,” meaning that a doubler can be placed inside layers of the diaper for customizable absorbency. Some fitted diapers include a sewn-in fleece liner, which helps wick away moisture, helping baby to feel dry. Fitted diapers can be sized or One-Size-Fits-All, with adjustable rise settings. Price can vary from rather economical ($8-$12) to extremely expensive ($300+ for popular custom diapers by sought-after makers). A cover is required with fitted diapers. However, some parents enjoy putting fitted diapers on their babies around the house with no cover, which allows for better air circulation as cure for rashes.
Next, the types that do NOT need covers:
Pocket Diapers, see them here, get their name from the pocket formed between the layers of the diaper. Pocket diapers include an outer waterproof cover and an inner liner that wicks away moisture from the baby. Inserts are stuffed between these layers into the pocket, providing the absorbency of the diaper. Pocket diapers have elastic around the legs, back, and sometimes the front of the diaper. Pockets come with their own closures, which can be snaps or some kind of Velcro-like closure (Aplix or touchtape are examples). The outer of pocket diapers is generally made of PUL (polyeurethane laminate), but can be made from fleece or other breathable yet waterproof materials, and may be covered with ultra-soft fabrics such as minkee. The inner layer can be made from fabrics such as microfleece, suedecloth, or bamboo velour.
All parts of the a pocket diaper are washed after each use. Most pocket diapers require that the inserts be removed prior to washing, but others are designed to agitate out the inserts in the wash. Pocket diapers may come sized (NB to XXXL) or One-Size-Fits-All, with adjustable rise. Pocket diapers are a more expensive diaper option ($15+) but when stuffed, are easy to use (they are considered very daycare, babysitter and daddy-friendly). No additional cover is needed with pocket diapers.
All-in-One Diapers (AIO's), see them here, are true to their name: They are ready to go as is and are as close to the process of using disposable diapers as cloth can get. They include an outer waterproof layer, inner absorbency, leg elastic, and closures. A common complaint about All-in-Ones is that they take a long time to dry after washing, but are still loved my many. All in One diapers are sized diapers (NB to XXL). All-in-Ones are a more expensive diaper option ($15+) but require no other inserts or covers.
All-in-Two Diapers (AI2's), seen here, are very similar to All-in-One diapers, but are in two pieces instead of one. The waterproof outer and the inner absorbent part are detachable for washing and drying. Some All-in-Two diapers have shells that can be re-used without washing.
Covers are waterproof or nearly-waterproof and are worn over a non-waterproof diaper. Covers come in all shape, sizes, and materials. Covers can be used over and over again until they actually look or smell dirty.
When the cover comes off, if it is simply damp, just hang it somewhere to dry and put a new cover on. When the baby needs another change put the now-dry cover back on.
Here is a quick rundown of some types of covers. They get more expensive as the list goes down:
Pull on covers - picture old fashioned plastic pants, see them here. These are good for a potty training toddler over training pants. These can be hot on a child though, unless you buy a breathable material.
Velcro covers:, see them here - They have velcro tabs similar to a disposable diaper. Velcro allows for a custom fit of the cover.
Snap covers:, see them here, Most are constructed similar to velcro covers with PUL, but secure with plastic snaps instead.
Longies, see them here, are wool or acrylic pants that also function as a diaper cover. They can be made from recycled wool (an old sweater), crocheted, or knit.
Shorties (shorter longies) are wool or acrylic shorts that also function as a diaper cover. They can be made from recycled wool (an old sweater), crocheted, or knit.
Skirties (a wool skirt) are wool or acrylic skirts that also function as a diaper cover. They can be made from recycled wool (an old sweater), crocheted, or knit.
PUL:, see here, Polyurethane Laminate, otherwise known as PUL. It's a very lightweight and cooler alternative to old fashioned vinyl pants.
Fleece , see here, can be found as snapping, velcro, or of course the pull on! fleece is water resistant and breathable, and can be cooler than PUL material. Windpro fleece has a layer of PUL in between two layers of fleece, so its reliable, and will not compression wick (leak when the diaper is very wet and compressed).
Wool, see here, has the same benefit of fleece (breathable) but is a natural material instead of synthetic. Wool has natural antibacterial properties that allow for multiple uses without getting a urine odor. Wool will draw the moisture out of the diaper and allow it to dry slowly as baby sleeps, preventing leaks and diaper overload. Wool can hold up to 30 percent of its own weight in liquid before it feels wet! Wool does not need to be washed as often as other covers because of the antibacterial properties. Most wool must be handwashed, and it must be lanolized (you can buy a special wash) every so often to keep its waterproofing feature. See the washing section of FAQ for more on washing wool.
Inserts/Doublers/Liners -- Oh my!
Inserts, see here, are absorbent cloths stuffed into a pocket diaper or stuffable fitted. They are made from several layers of an absorbent material such as microfiber, hemp, or bamboo. If you choose microfiber, make sure it is in a pocket and NOT touching baby's skin since microfiber can be very drying. The most common shapes for inserts are rectangular or contoured (hourglass shape). Some inserts are foldable for customizable sizing and may have snaps to hold their shape. Prefold diapers and microfiber towels (sold in auto body departments) can also be used as inserts.
Doublers, see here, are absorbent cloths that provide extra absorbency in a diaper, but they don't add as much bulk as a second insert would. They can be used with inserts in a pocket diaper, laid between a prefold and a cover, or placed between any diaper and the baby.
Soakers can refer to two different items. One kind of a soaker is a wool, acrylic, or fleece diaper cover that fits over the diaper. The other type is an extra-absorbent part of a diaper, kind of like a sewn-in insert.
Liners, see here and here, can be put between the diaper and the baby to protect one or both of them from the other. Squares of inexpensive microfleece can be cut and placed between the baby and the diaper when using diaper rash creams that might stain or harm the diaper. Microfleece also will keep the baby's skin dry much like a disposable keeps the baby's skin dry. Flushable liners are sometimes used for the convenience of not having to scrape a dirty diaper.
Other tems you may hear around cloth diapering sites
Snappies, see them here, - A way to fasten some cloth diapers
Pins, see them here, - Another way to fasten some cloth diapers
Wetbags , see them here, are waterproof bags for dirty diapers on the go. They are usually made of PUL and can be covered with patterned fabric for fun. They can have a drawstring, snap, or zipper closure.
Pail Liners, see them here, are basically big wetbags that you use to line your diaper pail. You put your dirty diapers in the pail liner, then dump it all in the washer on wash day (including the pail liner).
Diaper Sprayers/Mini-Showers , see them here, are faucets that attach to your toilet. They are used to spray off a dirty diaper instead of doing the old fashioned "dunking" way.
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 06-20-2008 at 05:09 PM.
What you need to get started
Getting started with cloth can feel daunting. However, its really not, or it shouldnt be. Generally, there are two schools of thought in this area -- more and less.
"Less" people want to find a diaper that will fit their child well, and buy a whole stash of that one diaper. To do that- find 2 or 3 different types of diaper that you think would fit well, and are the system you want to use (I.E. pockets, or AIOs, or fitteds), and buy one or two of each. Try them for a few days, several washings, and different situations (night time, try them in the car seat, etc). Sell the ones you dont love to help fund some of the ones you do love.
"More" people want to try everything! Buying used will save you some money, and then you can re-sell for what you paid and be out only the shipping costs. Check out the preg.org FSOT sticky or www.diaperswappers.com for used diapers.
To get started, buy 6-8 diapers total just to give it a trial. That will likely be enough to last most of a day, if not a full day. If you are sure you want to use cloth - go for more. You'll also need a pail or hanging liner of some kind.
To do cloth full-time, generally you will need more for a newborn than for an older child. For a newborn, ideal is 36 diapers. For an older child you should have about 24. This will enable you to wash about every 2-3 days.
And as a final note, understand that not every diaper will fit every child the same. Even sometimes with the same measurements. There are no promises of fit, or that you will like it, etc. We've all purchased diapers that don't fit, or that totally didn't work for our kid even though we thought it would. Don't allow yourself to get worked up, and throw in the towel. Sell the offending, bad fitting, diaper- and move on. There are hundreds of diaper makers out there, one will for sure make a diaper that fits well, and perfectly fits your needs.
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 06-20-2008 at 03:24 PM.
Prepping Diapers Before the First Use
HempNew hemp needs to be washed on hot by itself about 3-4 times before washing with any other diapers.
Wash it at least once alone, then you can wash it with your regular clothes laundry (not diapers, and not towels until after the initial 3-4 times).
Hemp is coated in natural oils that make not only it repell, but will make your other diapers repell.
Another option is to boil it first, then wash it 2-3 more times with regular clothes laundry. You do not need to dry between washes. After the first 3-4 washes, you can then throw it in with the rest of your dirty diapers on wash day.
PrefoldsNew PFs also need to be washed by themselves about 4-6 times before using.
Wash alone twice on hot (use soap), then you can wash with regular clothes laundry (not diapers or towels until after the inital 4-6 times).
PFs will continue to soften up and become more absorbant the more you wash. You do not need to dry between each wash, or use soap each time.
OtherMicrofiber, pockets, and covers do not need anything special. Wash AIOs a couple of times before use, depending on the soaker.
Storing Dirty Diapers
Storing the dirty diapers is just as easy as storing sposies except you don’t have to dispose of them! For a pail, any medium-sized trash can with a flip-top lid will work, as will any other larger plastic container with a lid. Most people simply use a regular 13 gallon trashcan with a pail liner in it. Do NOT try to use a diaper genie or diaper champ for cloth diapers because the cloth will get stuck.
There is no need to have a wet pail, which is a pail with water in it to soak the diapers. Wet pails require soaking and can be messy and unsanitary.
A dry pail, just like you do for disposables, is all you need. If stink is an issue, you can put a couple drops of tea tree oil, lavender oil, or baking soda into the pail.
If you have a baby who is exclusively breastfed, you can take the diaper straight from the baby to the pail. Breast milk poop is water soluble, so everything will dissolve in the wash. For “peanut butter poo” you can either use a diaper sprayer or kitchen spatula to get it off, or you can let it dry until it flakes off into the toilet. Otherwise just shake any solids right into the toilet - whatever remains after shaking will come off in the wash. Dunking is NOT required – let your washing machine do the work.
On wash day, simply take the cloth pail liner out and dump the diapers in the wash, throwing the pail liner in with them. No need to touch any of the diapers!
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 06-20-2008 at 09:49 PM.
Gone are the days of soaking diapers in the toilet and bleaching at every wash. If your child is not on solids yet, you dont need to do anything to your poopy diapers other than wash. When your child eats more solid, and his/her poop becomes more solid, you will need to dispose of it in a toilet before washing. You do not need to use bleach at all. Also, do not use fabric softener as it will coat the diapers and make them leak.
Start with a basic routine, and only change it if you need to. This is a pretty simple wash routine, and works well for most people:
- Cold rinse (especially important if your child is still young enough that you are not rinsing diapers, the cold rinse will help with stains).
- Hot wash with 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent.
- Double cold rinse
Look at this list for detergent choices-
Here are the basics:
Wash your wool when it needs it (ie dirty or smelly)or every 2 weeks, whichever comes first. If it's a night soaker that gets fairly wet at night, wash every week. Here are the steps:
a. First, decide if you need to lanolize or not. Lanolizing keeps the wool water-proof. If the wool is brand new, yes, it needs to be lanolized unless the maker lanolized it for you. If it's used, recently lanolized and not leaking then don't. You CAN overlanolize and it's a pain, so if the wool is working and not leaking, let it go.
b. If lanolizing, put a tuperware container (or babyfood jar) full of water, a teaspoon amount of lansinoh and a tiny bit of either baby shampoo or wool wash and nuke it till the lansinoh melts. You can also boil some water on the stove and use that instead of the microwave, but that takes a little more time. (if not lanolizing you do not need this step)
c. Run sink full of tepid water and add either baby shampoo or wool wash. You want enough water for the wool to move freely and be covered, but you don't need too much excess, it just wastes wool wash Don't fret too much about getting the perfect temp -- it doesn't matter. As long as you don't put it in cold, then hot, then cold you won't felt it.
d. Add tuperware water into sink and mix. (if just washing the wool, you don't need this step)
e. Put in wool, inside out. This is so that if you have any clumps of lansinoh, it won't mess up the front of your wool.
f. Let soak 10 - 15 mins -- or if lanolizing, 30 minutes. If you forget about it, no sweat -- it can stay in there for hours with no problems.
g. Turn wool right side out and wash any food, dirt, random lint off but do it gently. Don't rub wool against wool, just use your finger to rub it off.
h. Take out and roll it in a towel - do not ring it or twist it, gently roll it
i. Some people put in washer on spin cycle. Others are afraid of this, but it cuts drying time in 1/3.
j. Reshape and lay flat to dry on drying rack or kitchen cooling rack.
DryingThe best way to dry your diapers is debatable. The dryer is hard on elastic, and too much heat will cause it to become brittle. However, heat also re-energizes the PUL. So, if you chose to dryer your pockets and covers, they will be dry in 10 minutes or less, so be sure to check them, and not let them get too hot. You can also line dry.
Bamboo will become brittle if over heated, so only dry on low, or air dry. Hemp becomes hard and scratchy when air dryed- so fluff that in the dryer after its dry.
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 06-20-2008 at 10:04 AM.
Stinks and stains
The best way to solve these problems, is to avoid them. Many say couple of squirts of Simple Green or Bac-Out in the wash will deter both stains and stink.
This will be our troubleshooting area. Here are some common complaints, and what to do about them.
Leaky diapers.Leaks are caused by a couple of different things. If the diaper still absorbs, but leaks poo out of the legs- you have a fit issue. Either fasten the thighs tighter, or buy a smaller size.
If your diaper is leaking pee out of the legs- you have build-up and need to strip. See below for more information on stripping. *Hint, many PF folds will leak BF poo onto the cover. Thats normal and not a problem.
If your PUL diaper seems to leak from the front, or "wick", try putting them in the dryer on hot for 5 minutes. This will reactivate the PUL. If that doesnt work, it could be that your diaper is just too old. If it is farely new, contact the manufacturer. Some are guaranteed. Many Moms also find success by "re-waterproofing" their diapers with waterproofing spray from the camping section of stores like Wal-Mart.
StinkIf your diapers are stinky when they first come out of the wash (before being dried), wash them again on warm or hot. Sometimes you need a little more soap, sometimes you're using too much. You just need to experiment. The amount of soap you need will vary from city to city based on your water.
If your diapers smell of ammonia the second they are peed on- cut out the vinegar from your wash. Many people find vinegar causes more problems than it fixes. Strip the diapers, and stop using vinegar.
If your diapers smell when they get peed on, just a light foul (non urine, and non ammonia) odor, you need to strip.
If your diaper pail stinks, use a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil on a piece of cloth in your pail or liner.
If your hemp has a very sharp, horrible smell when wet, strip them. Hemp stink is almost painful. In my experience, hemp almost always has a light odor, especially if you are using it at night. However- bad odor is a sign of build-up and not getting thoroughly cleaned. Strip.
StainsMany people find stains come out easily by getting them wet and putting them in the sun to dry. You can also add lemon juice to white diapers for a boost of bleaching power.
Its normal for inserts to stain, even if your pockets didn't. Pockets are usually lined with a material thats hard to stain (fleece or suede cloth). Inserts are microfiber or hemp, and will stain. You can bleach your inserts occasionally to get them sparkling white (but do not bleach your PUL covers since bleach is hard on diapers). You can also sun them.
You can also pre-treat the diaper before washing, by putting some of the laundry soap directly on the stain. You can also pre-treat with Simple Green.
StrippingNot as fun as it sounds ...stripping just removes any detergent build up, and also any remaining urine or poo smell.
Run a hot wash with two to three squirts of regular Dawn dish soap (you can use whatever you have in the house. I'm told blue Dawn works best). Rinse on hot until you see no bubbles during agitation. Depending on your water, this could be 2 rinses, it could be eight. Just be diligent about checking.
Dry as normal. If your diapers still stink- you didnt do it properly and still have build-up left.
SunningSunning will remove stains.
Start by wetting your diapers. They dont need to be dripping, just wet. Lay in sun for a couple of hours. Wash.
If that didnt work, wet your diapers. Spray/ squirt a little lemon juice on the stain (only on white). Lay in sun again. Wash.
You can actually tape a diaper to a big sunny window if you dont have anywhere to lay it.
The best way to solve these problems, is to avoid them. Many say couple of squirts of Simple Green in the wash will deter both stains and stink. It also works on stains in clothing.
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 06-20-2008 at 03:14 PM.
This will show you a break down (approximate break down) of the costs of disposables and Cloth diapers. For Sposie Math one, we will make the following assumptions: (based on 2008 prices)
-You are a great shopper and buy well priced disposables that are $.25 a piece. Some disposable are as much as $.38 a piece, so keep in mind if you use name brands or have high taxes in your area, you pay more for each disposable.
-You decide to use mainly pockets to diaper. There are cheaper and other options. We will profile one of the more expensive way to cloth diaper now, and the cheapest way later.
-You change diapers 7 times a day. My daughter is three months old right now, and thats probably about right for us.
-You have a moderate to light wetter. A heavier wetter may need other inserts or another system, etc...
-You choose to go with a sized diaper.
OK, here we go.
7 disposables a day at .25=$1.75 a day in diapering
Lets say you bought a "stash" of brand new pocket diapers. They will run you roughly $17 a piece, and will include one standard insert. If you wash every other day, 15 will be enough.
15 diapers at $17 each= $255
Also, to diaper full time, you'll need a few things:
Pail Liner- $15.00 (you can use other, cheaper alternatives, but to buy one online...)
2 hemp inserts to use at nights- $6 each, so $12
You'll need to change 1128 diapers to "break even." Thats about 161 days, 5 and a half months.
May seem like a lot. Except when you are done with your size small stash- you can re-sell them. Lets say you get $12 a diaper when you re-sell (which is reasonable after one child, in EUC).
You'll get back $180. So, you've actually only spent $108 to diaper through the size small stage. Thats only 408 changes, so 58 days, less than 2 months.
So, for the cost of two months of disposables, you've diapered your child for 6 months (about average for a child to outgrow smalls. However- there is the occasional 2 month old child who has zoomed through smalls- and a 1 year old child still in smalls).
Now- because we've gone a sized route, and you've sold all your diapers- you have to do it again
Except you can re-use the pail liner and hemp. You will however, want to add some sort of sprayer to your home when your child starts on solid foods, so you can rinse your diaper (no touching toilet water). They cost about $40.
So for a medium stash,
15 x $17= $255 + $40 for the sprayer means you'll spend $295 for your medium stash.
Sell them again when you are done. You get back $180. You spent $115.
To break even in your medium stash, you'll need to change 460 diapers. 66 days, a little over two months.
Again "average" will be that your child is in mediums for a year. So you've just saved 10 months worth of disposables.
And now its time for larges. This time- you don't need anything special. Just the dipes. Many people never even make it to size large as most kids potty train out of mediums.
So again, 15 x $17 = still $255 Sell them again for $180. You've spent $75.
300 changes, 43 days, a month and a half to break even.
Lets add that together. You've spent $298 to cloth diaper your average sized child (will be more if you have a large child who needs Ex-large- less if you have a small child who stays in mediums) until potty training.
I've just googled it- the first study to come up says 37mths is the "average" time to potty train. Thats a little over age 3, so lets just make it 36 months for the sake of my sanity.
7 diapers a day x 30 days a month x 36 months= 7,560 changes
Now wait a minute- what about the cost of utilities and soap?
Many Moms do not notice a change in utilities, depending upon where you live, so we'll say the utilities go up $5 a month. For 3 years, you'll need around 6 bottles of soap. Soap costs under $3 a bottle for most brands.
$5 x 36= $180
$3 x 6= $18
We'll add $198 to the $298 you've spent on diapers. So total, you've spent $496 to cloth diaper your child for three years.
So, you've now spent $.07 a change to cloth diaper.
7560 changes x $.25 a disposable= $1890 for three years (this does not count pull-up type diapers, which are more expensive)
You can cloth diaper for your child's three years in diapers for the same amount you spend on 6 1/2 months of disposables. Not counting wipes.
What if you decide to keep your diapers for your next child? In the example above, you've made back $540 with selling your diapers.
$496 + $540 = $1036 you've spent on diapers
$1036 / 7560 changes = $.13 a change for your first child only. Your second, and third, are free.
You've now cloth diapered for 108 months for the same price disposables would have cost for about 18 months. Thats 7 and a half years of free diapering.
Lets see what you'll save using a one size option.
15 x $17 = $255 still.
$255 / 7560 changes = $.03 a change.
You have now cloth diapered your first and second child for less than 5 months of disposables.
Many women add 2-3 extra loads of laundry a week, washing every other day to every 3rd day.
Most women will tell you diaper laundry is different than regular laundry though. There is something nice about getting nice,clean diapers out of the wash for your baby.
Working mothers tend to throw the diapers in the wash before going to bed, and get them out the next morning. Some don't even fold the diapers, but just put them in a bin in the closet to get out as needed.
When you think about it, you are no longer going to the store to buy disposables, so you get that time back to be at home with the family.
Leaving the House with Cloth/Traveling with Cloth
Quick TripsTaking cloth on the go is super simple. People's main concern seems to be carrying poopy diapers back to the house with them. Which is true, you do have to do that, but its really not that bad.
Buy yourself a wetbag with some type of closure (zipper or aplix), put the dirty diaper in there and rinse it when you get home. Easy Peasy. You can also re-use grocery sacks, or ziploc bags for this. But crunchy etiquette would suggest a wetbag- plus its so easy to just throw it all together in the pail.
TravelingTraveling with cloth is a bit different, but easily do-able.
If its a short trip (3-4 days or less)- just bring a pail liner with you and bring your dirties home to wash upon returning.
If it's a long trip, it gets more complicated because you need to find washing facilities. Many say that laundry-matt machines have tons of build up. Adding 1/4 cup of baking soda to a large wash can help combat that problem. Wash on warm, and keep a close eye on the dryers so that no one steals your diapers.
If you are using a personal machine in someone's home, you can use a super simple wash routine - just 2 Tbps of detergent, cold rinse- hot or warm wash-double cold rinse.
The good news is one or two "bad" washes won't scar your diapers for life, thankfully. So even if they aren't as clean as they would be in your home machine- they will still do the job for your trip. You can strip them when you get home if you want.
Last edited by Baby_Vol; 06-20-2008 at 10:05 AM.