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Counting the costs and cloth diapering

March 15, 2012

[Written Monday, 02/13/2012]
I enjoy saving money. OK, I am not the haggler that DH is. But, I like knowing that I have saved us some money. I am not “nursing,” but I am “breastfeeding,” if that makes sense. I have written a post on my nursing experience and you can read it here
if you want. I’ll probably write an update and let you know where it is. Anyway, although I am not actually nursing from the breast, I am giving my baby breastmilk. I am pumping and giving it to him via bottle. that means that I still have to buy bottle bags and will eventually (hopefully) have to buy some larger bottles to pump my milk into. But, I don’t have to purchase formula. I still have some dry 4-oz packets that were given to me in a sample box. I probably have 8 packets. So, in case I “need” formula, I do have it. But, besides the health benefits of breastfeeding, I like the fact that we are saving money. Oh and instead of using the milk storage bags, I am freezing any extra milk in ice cube trays and putting them into ziplock freezer bags. This works well, even if it is a bit more work for me.
I still found it too time consuming to coupon. I can’t get someone to read me the coupons and frankly, I don’t have a printer. Many of the “add them to your card” sites like Meijer are not very accessible. Besides, there were lots of sale items that I just didn’t buy on a regular basis and the items that I do buy regularly (garbanzo beans, rice, hummus) were never on sale…. accept at peapod, but that is another post. And, while Yogurt was on sale at Croger, (for example), it wouldn’t save money to go to Croger just to get the yogurt and go to … … Aldies to get everything else. So, for now, couponing was just not worth my time and energy.
But, cloth diapering is. for simplicity, I will call the cloth ones “nappies,” and the disposable ones “Diapers.” OK, I have found that some nappies are not very absorbent(which would mean that I will have to change more often). But, I have to give it to the bumgenius company. they did a good job with their pocket nappies. Baby boy had to wait until he was about 10lbs to use them. And, they are about $16.50 (don’t know what that translates to in other currency) Each which makes them quite expensive. I have ordered from Abby’s lane and They were quite helpful. They have lots of information about cloth diapering, detergent to use, etc. I ordered 5 thirsties at $16.50 which are… … OK. they are a velcro nappy that just needs a cover over them. The covers are like plastic pants, but with velcro instead of elastic. the other good thing about both the thirsties and the covers is that they have snaps in the front so that they can grow with your child. You don’t need as many covers, because you can wash and hang them up and they will dry quickly. I also got 5 Bumgenius pocket nappies. They also can grow with your little one. You stuff the pocket(cover with a pocket on the inside) with inserts and put it on “all in one,” like you do a disposable diaper. I can attest that my little supersoaker has stayed dry all night in these. But, he had to wait until he was at least 8lbs to use them.
I also found a store in my area called Toasty Baby they also provide free cloth nappy classes and a nappy service for those who don’t want to launder their own nappies. Sure, the service is a bit expensive. But, I found that their prefolds (which is just a rectangle of fabric that you have to fold into a nappy yourself) are less expensive than Abby’s lane. and, for city residents, there is free delivery. Now, I have not ordered from them because I wanted to take a class and/or go and meet them first. But, they are technically in another county and Pub/trans doesn’t go that far out of my county. They were quite helpful on the phone, though. I do want to say that Abby’s Lane has “indian prefolds,” and Toasty Baby has “chinese prefolds.” I have not found out what the difference is yet. Anyone know????
But, back to economics, , let’s say that I order from Diapers .com Which by the way seems to have the cheapest diapers around. I’ll admit, they have some really good deals. If I order the most economical package of pampers (size 1 which is 8-14lbs), fifty in a box, at approximately $0.25 per diaper, I’ll pay about $12.49 per box. [We are not counting taxes or shipping&handling]. that means that I will have to use my most expensive nappy sixty-four times to equal out. If you change your baby approximately 6 times per day, it will take you almost eleven days to get your value. The prefolds are between $2.50 and $3.50, so you see your value quicker. But, yes, they are more work and a bit less absorbent. I am not taking into consideration the following factors,
1. As Azaan gets older, there will be less diapers in a box for the same price.
2. We will use more laundry detergent and water with cloth nappies.
3. I will use more trashbags with disposable diapers.
4. If the cloth nappies are not as absorbent as the disposable diapers, we could be changing more often, so it could very well be that the absorbency of one disposable diaper is equal to that of … … three nappies.
5. There are a few more accessories to buy when you are using nappies. I bought a “Snappy Fasciner,” (which is a thingamabob that holds the nappy in place. It has replaced nappy pins), a bag with a plastic lining to store the wet nappies and a nappy sprayer to help get waste off of the nappy. I don’t have the sprayer, but do have the other two. I call the Snappy Fasciner “the tri-claw,” because it has teeth-like structures extending to the east, west and south sides. It looks kind of like a helecopter propeller with teeth on the underside.
I thought that it would be difficult to learn to fold the prefolds and to handle cloth nappies. I was wrong. sure, it takes me a bit longer. But, I don’t mind at all. And, with the snappy fasciner, I don’t have to worry about hurting the baby by sticking him with a nappy pin — or me, for that matter. Blame it on my youth, but, baby poop doesn’t bother me as much as it use to. It is probably my imagination, but it doesn’t smell as rancid as it use to and it is not nearly as gooey and yucky. I don’t know, it seems like there is less of it than there use to be with my older children. Probably not. I am just probably in a different mindset and that really makes a difference. and, I don’t know if it was the diapers or what, but I have had no “diaper rash.” Now, I must admit that I can’t place all of the credit on cloth nappies. Since I received disposable diapers as shower gifts, I used them for the first 8 weeks (until they ran out) and Azaan did not have diaper rash with those either. There is one thing that I don’t like about the nappies, but it is unavoidable. I don’t mind taking them apart when they are dirty, I don’t mine washing them out and I don’t mind putting them back together after they are dry. But, they make my little one look like he always has a loaded behind. He has a huge disproportionate “weeble wabble behind,” and it is sometimes hard for him to sit. Man, I wish that I could actually take a good picture.
In any case, I am trying to save as much money as possible. I’ve not tried making my own laundry detergent, yet. I think that there is a recipe on the Dugger’s website for that. But, I will in the future. For now, I make my own Wipes and will make my own babyfood. I have not calculated up the savings, but I keep telling DH that we are saving a bundle. He will soon find out when his sister has a baby and she uses disposable diapers and buys wipes all of the time. she will tell him!
For now, we have not broken the bank and things are good!!!

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One Comment
  1. Just wanted to say my wife and I use the “nappies” and they are wonderful. You do use a little more water, but it really hasn’t effected our water bill yet. Charlie’s Soap is a great natural alternative that works well for the diapers and you can use it on your clothes as well. Much cheaper than most other detergents. My wife did make her own laundry soap and I think it smells amazing and she says it works wonders. Good luck! I know times are hard and it helps to save anyway you can.

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