People ask me all the time "WHY" I started cloth diapering. The answer is simple: Money. I had severe complications at the end of my pregnancy and, while my recovery went rather smoothly for a C-Section, I found I had a baby with "issues". From day 1 she was quite fussy. At first, I thought it was that she wasn't getting enough to eat because she wasn't latching correctly. After that issue was solved (2 months down the road), we still weren't getting relief. Realizing that her "spitting up" wasn't normal by any definition of the word, I kept after my pediatrician. At 2 months old, Fuss (as she had become lovingly known) was diagnosed with acid reflux. Now, we add medication. She does better for a few weeks and hits a growth spurt. You guessed it, she outgrows her dosage and starts projectile vomiting across my house once again. Week after week this kept up. Doctor, meds, spit up, doctor, meds, spit up, over and over. I started taking her on "shopping trips" to relieve my stress and hers. The outings kept her upright (in a carrier or stroller) and lessened her chances of having a reflux episode. I was beginning to look for work outside the home. Up to the point I was put on bed rest, I worked from home as a telephone operator. I knew this wouldn't work with a screaming child in the background, so I was going to venture outside the home to work. I went back to a previous employer and spoke with them about starting back there while still pumping. No problem. Well, there was a problem. Fuss. By 5 months old, she refused to take ANY bottles. Hubby didn't know what to do and neither did I. Add in the fact that we were still having some severe issues with reflux, knowing she was "high needs", hubby and I decided that I should stay home instead of trying to put Fuss in a daycare environment. Hooray! Now what? We have to make due on his income.
I go back to doing my normal daily routines: Dishes, laundry, walks, etc. I work hard to find ways to save money wherever I can. We are still getting behind. This is where the serious talks of cloth diapering come into play. I knew Fuss used between 8-10 diapers a day. Huggies Snug 'N' Dry (or Little Movers/Snugglers) were the only diapers Fuss could wear on a regular basis without having a severe rash. I ended up buying boxes of 264 diapers at Sam's Club for $39.98 in size 1-2. I'm going to be using Wal-Mart's prices for comparisons here though. So, a box of SnD at Wal-Mart is around $40 for 264. That comes to $0.15/diaper. Each size gets increasingly expensive (even though baby does wear fewer diapers per day as they grow), and the size 6 is a whopping $0.32 per diaper! [Comparison note: Even Parent's choice diapers start out at $0.15 cents each and go up to $0.23 each.] Okay, so further math: average 9 diapers a day at an average cost of $0.24 and you'll get $2.16/day x 7 days = $15.12/week. Four weeks in a month = $60.48. Twelve months in a year = $725.76/year! We couldn't afford to buy a lot of diapers all at once, so we split up our initial investment. I purchased a Flip Day Pack: Stay Dry One-Size system with 2 covers and 6 inserts for $49.95. Cotton Babies is wonderful to start out with as they have excellent customer service as well as they are very knowledgeable about all of their products and can match you to the perfect diaper for you! So, I start out with the Day pack. I then bought a dozen prefolds at a cost of $31.99 and one more Flip Day Pack for $49.95. Total cost up front was $131.89. I started out doing cloth part time as I just wanted to get the feel for it.
A couple months roll by and I buy some pre-owned diapers from a good friend for $20 for 2 covers and 6 inserts and I won another diaper from a giveaway. At this point I am buying 1 small pack of disposables for use when out of the house or when someone else watches Fuss. I exclusively used cloth at home. When my mother and mother-in-law saw the new diapers, they were really impressed! They used cloth with me and my husband and couldn't believe it was as easy as putting the cloth in the cover and snapping it when they used pins. I had already proven to them how great the new CDs were, now it was on to my friends and other family members. After acquiring 3 more diapers (2 free and one for $10 off a swap) I went to cloth full-time! I have been able to show off Fuss's fluff to many people while out running around and she'd need a change. The last diaper I purchased makes my grand total $211.84. I have also SOLD diapers that I didn't like to gain some of my investment back! And since switching to cloth, I have saved $997.76 to put toward our other bills. If you add in the cost of the diaper sprayer I use to wash the poo off, I will still have saved $957.81. That is how much of my husband's hard-earned money DOES NOT go in our trash! And after I get done with this batch of diapers, I will put them away
for our second, saving us $1451.52 with no out of pocket cost! I am also thankful that we switched due to the fact that Fuss developed a very bad blistering rash after Huggies changed their formulation and that left us with only "organic" disposables to use, which are TWICE as expensive as regular ones! Cloth is pretty much hypoallergenic!
We are currently working on potty training Fuss which, generally, happens earlier when a baby is in cloth diapers (thus potentially saving even more money). She knows as soon as she's dirty and tells me "butt". I certainly get some strange looks from people when she does that, since she is tiny and looks to be about 1 but acts like she's 3! She also tries to tell me "potty" but usually doesn't get there in time. She will get it in time, but I'm not rushing her. I don't "need" to rush her! Admittedly, I still buy disposables now and then, but it's more like once every 3 months I buy a small pack for $6. I do prefer the use of snaps on my diapers, however, there are ones with Velcro-like closures on them that are JUST LIKE disposables to put on and take off! Many of the diapers now are all-in-ones that are a "cloth disposable." You put it on, you take it off. End of story. The only difference is that instead of dropping it into a trash can, you can wash and reuse the cloth diaper! My 15-year-old cousin watched me change Fuss's diaper at a family party one day and said, "That is so cool that you're doing cloth diapers. It keeps it all out of the landfill and you can reuse it! I think I'll use them too one day." Thanks to my pocket diapers, even my 15-year-old cousin sees cloth diapers as easy and cute!
These are so far from your "Grandma's Cloth Diapers" that Grandma wouldn't realize they really were cloth until she touched them! Let me tell you, some of these diapers are SOOOOO soft that you can imagine how great they feel on your baby! Plus, now, they come in great colors and prints that you can match to any outfit your little one owns. There are even people who make custom diapers specifically to match a particular outfit! From bright colors to florals and animal prints, they really have it all now. Cloth diapering has come a very long way from prefolds (which are very handy to have around still) and "rubber pants" and they're becoming more inventive and versatile as each day goes by. Cotton Babies has even come out with a really awesome training pants system that is designed to fit from 20 to 50 pounds! That's sizes 3-6+ in a regular Huggies. (I say 6+ because the Huggies box states that the size 6 fits 30+ pounds, but my nephew outgrew them at around 40 pounds.)
How would you like to try out some diapers from BumGenius by Cotton Babies? Just leave me a comment telling me WHY you would like to cloth diaper, or why you do already, and what you are interested in about the BG's. This post is being entered into a contest to win 12 BumGenius diapers for you as well as for myself! *I have received no compensation for any statements in this post from Cotton Babies or its subsidiaries. All opinions expressed are my own and should be taken as such.*