Originally published on Snugglebugz
There once was a time where I thought cloth diapers went out of ‘style’ (use) in the 80s. Like when my mom used them on me. This is me a couple of years ago: anytime I have ever seen a baby in a diaper, ever, that I remember, it’s been a disposable one. Then my friends were drinking the baby Kool Aid and all of a sudden tons of them were pregnant. One mom specifically requested gift certificates to a small local baby boutique. When I inquired why so specific, she said she was going to cloth diaper. I was so surprised that I didn’t even know what to say next. But I did it, I got her the gift certificate, and then I never heard any more about it. And then I started working at Snuggle Bugz. One of the first projects on my plate was a contest for a diaper cake made out of $1000 of AppleCheeks diapers. It would then take an entire year for me to know EXACTLY HOW BIG OF A DEAL THAT WAS. Anyway, I started to realize that this cloth diapering was NOT my mother’s cloth diapering. No plastic pants or pins here, folks! And so we’re going to do it – we’re going to cloth diaper, which is something I NEVER thought I would say, and here are the things that convinced me.
We spend so much of our time and energy recycling and composting things, but then when it comes to diapers, many families treat the thousands of disposable diapers that your baby will use as a necessary evil. I’m so glad Snuggle Bugz helped me realize that isn’t true. I’ve seen so many recycle-happy families use disposables because that’s just what you do and they didn’t really think there was another option. Disposable diapers are responsible for 3% of all (all!) waste in Canada. If I wasn’t on board before, this would have swayed me in that direction:visual disposables vs clothAlso, in my city you get ONE bag of garbage per week. You can’t put diapers in the green bin (I checked – you can do that some places) and it takes them hundreds of years to break down (seriously). You can jump through a hoop or two and get some “exception” stickers to put on extra bags of garbage but I’m not really interested in that. I’d rather just reduce the waste altogether.
Also, we’re all like falling all over ourselves to wash out our cans and jars and yogurt containers and then contribute a pile like this of diapers without even a hesitation. Just because many people don’t know better.
You can see in the graphic that they have costs there, and you’ll see the cost comparison everywhere, all stating slightly different numbers. The cost that is generally shown is for one child, in diapers for 2.5 years. I’ll give you my own costs here with actual dollar amounts from actual stores. Using the graphic as a reference, 3,800 diapers (give or take) are used on one child in a year. On average. So if I go down the street to El Wal Marto, and get the ECONO PACK of diapers, it will cost me $49.97 for 222 diapers (varies by size). Accounting for 3,800 per year, that’s costing us $855.34 per year. We’ll say Junior is half potty trained at 2.5, we’re looking at $2138 total and then an additional $200 for night time and nap time diapers to last until full potty training. So I’m looking at $2338.00 for our first child, one assumes double that and add a bit for inflation for our second child, and we’re running up a $5,000 bill, assuming of course that we don’t have more than two. I realize that’s dished out over a long time and in small, manageable pieces, but I’m looking at the big picture here. We don’t make tons of money so a long term cost like that is really startling to me. If we use cloth diapers, I’m going to say AppleCheeks, we can buy a Full Time Kit for $849.99 which contains everything we need to get off the ground running. I’ll factor in an extra $500 over the time of your first child for updates on colours and additions to your cloth diaper collection (depending on when you want to do laundry), and it’s a savings from just one child of $988, double that for the second one. I have friends who have used AppleCheeks on going on 4 kids and they’re still going strong.
But what about the laundry cost? And the time? Well that’s certainly something to take into account. According to this calculator, to wash a load of laundry for 2 hours at off-peak times will cost me $0.07. Washing (exclusively diapers) every three days will cost me $8.50 a year. Let’s say I do ALL of my washing at peak times, even then I’m looking at $17 per year for electricity, then added in the cost of water, let’s say that it costs me an extra $50 per year, that’s still only $67.
Ok, so the cost thing is settled in my mind.
Totally vain on my part, but they’re awfully darn cute. Who needs those little diaper covers that come with girls dresses and whatnot when you can just have their ACTUAL diaper showing? AppleCheeks
This was strange to me at first when I happened upon the MASSIVE cloth diapering community that is out there, but now it’s a regular part of my day. Specifically, if you search your fave cloth diaper brand on Facebook, there are pages and groups full of parents (generally moms) who are not only using the same brand as you, but who also are interested in the same types of things. It’s a great way to meet others online who you can get advice from on things other than just cloth diapering.