Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"C" is for Cloth Diapers

I hopped on the cloth diapering bandwagon for several reasons, mostly to save money and decrease waste.  We spent approximately $700 for disposable diapers for Tully in one year.  I stopped tracking diapers after his first year, but I can guess we spent about that much for his second year as well.  He used fewer diapers, but the price per diaper increased with size.  In September, Tulsa changed the trash service, and we seriously selected twice a week trash pickup instead of once a week because of the number of diapers I was expecting between both Tully and Clare.  Now that we're cloth diapering and Tully is potty trained, I'm hoping to reduce our service back to once a week.

I started with four gDiapers I purchased on Craigslist from a new mom who didn't want them after only a few uses.  Four diapers wasn't nearly enough for a newborn, since we were constantly washing the same diapers over and over.  They also weren't absorbent enough.  First attempt = fail.  I did some more online research to decide what type of diaper I wanted to use: All-In-Ones (AIO), All-In-Twos, pockets, or hybrids--just to name a few.  I liked the idea that I could adjust the absorbency in pocket diapers, and they were the closest thing to AIOs, as far as ease of use.  Some of the most popular pocket diapers are fully adjustable one-size diapers that fit almost from birth to potty training.  The one-size pockets fit best starting at about 12 lbs.  Once Clare hit 12 lbs I bought a stash of 10 pocket diapers from my friend, Callie, at Oui Oui Cloth Diapers.  Ten diapers is enough for about one day for us, so it was a decent start.   I bought a few other brands to see what types and styles fit best: BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Bumkins, and Thirsties Duos.  We experienced some leaks and had some diapers that still smelled even after washing.  First I thought the diapers were repelling, so I tweaked our washing routine.  We now rinse/wash/rinse and use Charlie's Soap or Rockin' Green Hard Rock for the wash.  The rinses are really full wash cycles on warm with no soap.  The actual wash cycle is done on heavy duty with hot water and an extra rinse.  The diapers are definitely clean each time now, and we're actually saving money on laundry soap because Charlie's and Rockin' Green are both cheaper than Tide from Sam's.  Since we can't use laundry softener (causes repelling), I bought some wool dryer balls.  They help with softening, and I noticed everything definitely dries faster.  I'll be happy when we can use our chemical-laden laundry softener again though so our laundry will smell delicious.

I figured out some of the leaks were leg leaks from loose elastic, so we fixed that too by replacing those diapers.  The last piece was figuring out the right inserts.  Pocket diapers typically come with microfiber inserts.  These just did not work for us.  They weren't absorbent enough.  They can't be placed directly against baby's skin, if needed, and it was difficult to get them clean in the wash.  Callie brought over some old-school cotton prefold diapers like the ones my mom used on me 30 years ago, and I put those in place of the microfiber inserts.  Boom--no leaks!  There are lots of options for cotton prefolds, so I've ordered several brands to see what will work best for us.  They also make hemp prefolds.  They are more expensive, but reviewers say they are trim and more absorbent.  I can't wait to try them.

So far I've spent about $500 on cloth diapers, wet bags, dryer balls, diaper pail liners, and a sprayer.  The initial investment is nearly what it cost to diaper Tully for a year, but I can use everything until Clare is potty trained.  Also, I've been able to resell the first four gDiapers I purchased and recover my cost for those.   I still use some microfiber and gDiaper inserts to double up with prefolds at night, so I want to keep some on hand, but I don't need over half of what I own.  If the cotton and hemp prefolds work as I expect, I'll unload most of the microfiber inserts and the rest of my gDiaper inserts, and my costs should come down to $400.   Also, when Clare is potty trained, I can resell my entire stash, so hopefully it doesn't cost much of anything in the end to diaper her.

It's been a learning process for sure, but I like the cloth diapers.  Now that we have a wash routine and no leaks, it's easy, and there are tons of prints and colors to choose from.  I think my little bunny likes them too.


  1. I hope you love love love CDing. I have used cloth since Eva was 3.5 weeks old and LOVE it. Even for the 4 months they were both in diapers, it was great. I spent a total of about $600 for everything I will need to diaper both kids. And most of that $$ was from gifts when E was born. I use sposies at night, because I am lazy, but i figure 1 disposie a day is better than 12!!

  2. I commend you. Reading this overwhelms me, lol. You're a very inspiring mom!! XOXO

  3. I love cloth diapers! I sold them on Ben when I was pregnant with Paxton! We use the Grovia brand that snaps inserts! We love them! We ended up buying BabyKicks inserts (for the pockets diapers) for using at night on top of the snap in Grovia ones. It really helped out and he does not leak out for his 10-12 hour sleep.

    They are also having a Great Cloth Diaper Change coming up this month. Might want to check it out in your area! It's a gathering to set a world record on cloth diapering!

    1. I'm flying back from DC early next week just so I can attend our local GCDC event! Apparently the moms line up hours before it opens because they have amazing grab bags here in Tulsa. I can't wait!

      I'll have to try out some Grovias.


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