Friday, July 11, 2008

Dollars and Diapers

Yesterday I received my first order from I got a couple of all-in-one cloth diapers, which I have been meaning to try for a long time, as well as a pack of 7th Generation diapers.

The cloth diapers are cute, very puffy, and confounded me with all their snaps and their lack of instructions. But then I realized that all the snaps are just for adjusting size, and I was fine. Pebbles wore one for the first time today, and woudln't you know, she pooped in it. So it's on a 2-hour "sanitary" wash cycle, with bleach, while I sit here and wonder if the environment is in the end suffering or gaining if use a cloth diaper but then do a "ballistic" wash load every time it gets poopy. Do other people just throw them in a regular wash? Bleach or no? And just what do you wash poopy diapers with, if you don't have a full load of them? Just anything, or just underwear maybe?

It's a whole new world out there for me.

With the coupon code I used (see below), these fancy cloth diapers cost me about $16 each. I calculated that if I am really dedicated and use one of them each day, I will probably recoup the expense in saved disposables ... (drum roll) by the time the baby turns 2. If I'm lax about using and laundering them, I'll be lucky to realize the savings by the time she's potty trained.

And that's not counting the expense of laundering them. Because I just can't calculate the cost of that -- it's just one tiny item in a load, and yet I'll be using hot water, the extra long cycle, and bleach which I normally would not have used. Am I a clean freak? Not normally. But what is the "sanitary" cycle on my fancy washer for if not for POOP? Anyway, hopefully I'll have better luck in the future and the baby won't poop three times in one day, foiling my plan to put on the cloth one AFTER the storm, if you will.

I figure that saving one disposable diaper a day saves me a "jumbo" pack of 35-40 diapers after about five weeks. I tend to pay around $8 for a week's worth of diapers, in CVS ExtraBucks. Figuring in that some days I will fail to use the cloth ones, I'm guessing that it will take me an average of 8 weeks to save a pack of diapers, so I'm saving one dollar a week. Woot, eh?

If we find that these couple cloth diapers work for us, we'll buy some more, of course, and at least the laundry costs, whatever they are, won't increase because I'll be washing them all together.

Anyhoo, I just joined the affiliate program at, which is a pretty good site if you need to buy either cloth or disposables, or other baby products. My order arrived in two days, as advertised, and that 2-day shipping is free on orders of $49 or more. If you buy there, please buy through my link, so I can earn a dollar.

And here's a coupon code for $10 off on your first order of $49 or more: PTG12, expires 1/31/09. I found it in Parenting magazine.


Bren said...

Oh, dear. Those really should have come with good laundering instructions. It's not hard, but there are important things you need to know. Like don't use bleach! Try (I tried to insert a link but couldn't - just google "laundering cloth diapers"). There's lots of info out there.

I anticipate your post will generate a lot of comments about whether cloth saves or does not save money - it can be a hot topic! (I know I've saved money, but many of mine have been used on 3 children now) Hope they work well for you!

Jen said...

We use bumGenius pocket diapers exclusively. We don't do wash as soon as one gets poopy; they all go into the diaper pail. We do wash when we need clean diapers, about every 2 to 3 days.

No bleach, and you need to be careful about the type of detergent you use or you can get buildup and they won't absorb until you "strip" them. Like Bren said, there's lots of info out there.