The Caskey Family

Cloth Diaper Monologue

Cloth diapering seems to be growing as an ever-increasingly popular money-saver during these tighter times (this is a perfect example of the GOOD benefits of difficult times)

This past summer as I was looking for ways to save money, and after I noticed the savings on diapers when Elijah potty trained, I decided to take a second look at cloth diapering.

MONEY: Investment amount to begin cloth diapering can range from around $100 per child to over $500 per child (still a savings over disposables) Basically there are two methods: Cheap and Expensive.  Cheap, being Indian prefolds (they give you the best run for your money) held together with Snappis instead of pins, and covers to keep the moisture in.  Expensive being All-In-One diapers that are basically a cloth version of a nice disposable – all one piece and VERY easy to change.   As noble as it is, our main reason for using cloth now is NOT for environmental reasons (though that is a great reason – supposedly one TON of waste is saved for every child that is cloth diapered!) but for the financial savings it brings ($1800-$2500 is saved per child over the 2-3 years before they are potty trained)

CONVENIENCE: Since the summer, I have been doing a cloth/disposable hybrid method. Basically, I use cloth when it is convenient, but use disposables at night (you have to spend money on special covers usually and often children wake up at night b/c of the wetness, so we skip that part) and when we go out when someone else might change them (church for example).   Jeremy sneaks a disposable on the children at home sometimes, too. We went with prefolds with Snappis instead of pins, and Thirsties covers, after trying a lot of other covers and diapers. Dappi NYLON covers (cheap) are the best backups when I run out of my Thirsties. This has saved us a TON of money already. I buy my prefolds as seconds (meaning they supposedly have a flaw, but nothing makes them unuseful.)

TIME: After you learn the ropes, a cloth diaper doesn’t take longer than a disposable to change.  I wash a load twice a week – it takes me an extra 20 minutes at THE MOST TOTAL – 10 minutes per load to load, switch to the dryer, hang covers and fold.

THE POOPIES: The old fashioned method of toilet dunking for taking care of the poopies has gone the way of records and VHS tapes.  Now there are little things called “diaper showers” that hook to your toilet that allow you to spray a diaper off without you or the diaper ever touching the toilet or toilet water.  I actually only use this about 20% of the time.  80% of the time the stuff will just drop off the diaper into the toilet, or for a breastfed baby, it is totally liquid and soaks out in the bucket.

THE BUCKETS: Check out the diaperpin website below for methods for this.  I use a dry bucket and we have LESS smell in the house from diapers now that we are cloth diapering (NO LIE!)

WHERE TO START: There are a few good websites that I use to research diapers (what works for one family may not work for another) Cloth diapering reviews, options, instructions for cloth diapering Their seconds on prefolds are WORTH waiting for. . .this site is the reason I got my cloth diaper set up for under $100 per child Lots of items for free shipping – Thirsties ship for free from this site, and so do wetbags (bags to have in your diaper bag to hold wet/dirty diapers) -AWESOME! I have been able to find some All-In-One diapers for a discount on here – I got 5 Bumkins and 5 Kushies for $60 and they were barely used.  These deals take some watching for, but are worth it if you find them.  Jeremy likes to use these, and they are nice to have when we go out too.

The cloth diaper switch has been good for our family, but is NOT for everyone.  We don’t think it’s a moral issue, no more than any other family financial decision, and we don’t think our children feel more nurtured because we cloth diaper them.  There are some out there who do think that. . .be aware of that if you do chose to join this ever-growing group!

Please feel free to post what you have done/not done for cloth diapering, or questions.