This is not going to be a post comparing different cloth diapers to each other. This is not going to be a cloth diaper info post. (I am willing to do an info post on cloth diapers, if anyone is interested, but that is not my goal in this post.)
I am simply going to say why I cloth diaper. I could say it is because of the cute prints and different styles, etc.
But that is not the reason I got started and it is not the reason I continue to cloth diaper my 14 month old and am going to from newborn with my son.
I have one very simple reason for cloth diapering. It is the only way I can afford to diaper my children.
One week, when my daughter was about 6 months old, I realized I was running out of disposable diapers. It had been a very hard time financially for us. I lost my job due to my store closing when I was 3 months pregnant and after months of going to interviews and doing my very best to save money, by this time, I had been unemployed for a year, with a new baby to take care of. That particular week, I had paid all the bills, but not bought groceries for the next few weeks. As I sat there and looked at what money we had left and what I still needed to get, I realized I was having to make a choice between groceries and diapers. From where I was looking, both were not an option. It was either or. No way around it.
Now, God once again showed Himself to be Provider and Target was running a sale that if you bought so many packs of diapers, you got a $5 gift card. And then I found 4 high-dollar coupons for the very same brand of diapers. Our diaper budget ran about $40 for 2 weeks. That week, I got 2 weeks worth of diapers for $20, after you factored in the gift cards and coupons. I was able to use the gift cards to get some groceries, and had saved some money to buy other groceries.
But that doesn’t happen often. In fact, that was the first time that ever happened. And having to be faced with that decision was the hardest thing I have had to go through since becoming a mom.
That was the last straw for me. I had wanted to cloth diaper from the start with her, but everyone told me it would be more practical to not cloth diaper. I had done research and had a good idea of what I wanted to do. And that day, I knew I had to do something.
It was around tax time, so I knew we would have some extra money coming in soon. I had planned on either stocking up on diapers or setting aside some money in the savings account for diapers. But instead, after discussing it with my husband, we decided to use some of that money to venture into cloth diapering.
I went the next payday to a local store that specializes in cloth diapering and bought my first cloth diaper covers. And while I chose prints I liked, the prints were not the thing that sold me on the Rumparooz covers I chose. I chose them for their construction and their ability to keep leaks at bay. I bought 2 and a dozen cotton prefolds and started cloth diapering part time. I would cloth diaper on days that I knew I was going to be home and could really pay attention to what was going on.
After about a week of part time cloth diapering and doing more research, me and my husband were sold. It wasn’t hard to transition into, and we could already see how it was going to save us money.
In about another week or so, we both made the trip and bought the rest of our cloth diaper stash. Altogether, we spent about $180 on our first cloth diapers and accessories. We had enough for 2 days, so I would be washing diapers every other day.
Even with added laundry, I immediately felt a big weight come off my shoulders. No longer did I have to make a choice between diapers and food. I had found a way to provide for my baby and make sure that she had what she needed.
That was just the start of our cloth diaper journey. The only thing I added to our stash in the weeks that followed were a few thicker diapers for nighttime diapering, and a few wet bags for going out. Added bonus to that is, she no longer woke up to be changed and, with the thickness of the cloth diaper, there was no need to change her in the middle of the night.
I did not start buying other diapers to try out until I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. My goal in cloth diapering had not been to save money to buy luxuries. Though I did want to try other kinds of diapers, I hadn’t, because it was not a necessity. The ones I had worked perfectly fine.
But then, we were suddenly faced with the fact that we were going to have two in diapers. The diapers I was using were ok when just diapering one, but not going to work so great when diapering two. And that is when I began adding more to my stash.
Over the past few months, I have been slowly gathering enough diapers for two kids. It seems like a lot of money up front, but then when you look at the cost over time, you see some big savings. Like I said, our diaper budget was $40 for 2 weeks for one child in size 2 disposable diapers. That is $80 a month or $960 a year. If one child is in diapers until they are 4 years old, that is $3840 spent on diapers for one child.
By the time we get all the cloth diapers we need for two kids, we will have spent in the neighborhood of $700-$800. That is a one time cost. For 2 kids.
I did not start to cloth diaper because it is a trend or because it is the “green” thing to do. I could sit here and tell you about all the chemicals in disposable diapers and how much room they take up in a landfill, or how much they increase your carbon footprint. But I am not going to do that. Because that is not why I started cloth diapering. I started cloth diapering so that I never again had to chose between what necessities my family needed.