Some people have really great, ideological reasons for not using disposable diapers. They’re concerned about their consumption and the state of the earth they’re leaving for their children. That’s all well and good, but our primary reason for trying cloth was financial. I am pretty unabashedly frugal; I’m downright cheap sometimes.
For the first several months of Natalie’s life, we had bought her diapers at Essex, this great liquidation store where you can find awesome deals. We got our Graco Pack-N-Play there for $5o, when it was selling on Amazon for over $100. I’ve gotten great deals on baby things, all for about less than half of what you’d pay at a retail store: an extra car seat base, a NoseFrida, a My Breast Friend nursing pillow, etc. (They have more than just baby things, too! I saw a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for $200 the other day!) Anyway, we had been getting the HUGE boxes of 230-ish diapers for $35. That’s an awesome deal! But, the inventory of Essex changes all the time, and you can’t count on anything to be there at any given time. So I had to buy diapers at Target a few weeks ago. Do you know how much diapers cost? Like 25 bucks for 90 diapers. Uhh, we would go through those in like two weeks, and you know I’m not about to pay $50 a month for something I’m going to throw away. That was the kick in the pants I needed to finally buy some cloth diapers.
We used the “Changing Diapers, Changing Minds” trial program from Jillian’s Drawers, a natural parenting store in New York. (I would have loved to buy local, but I couldn’t find a program like this nearby.) They sent me about 8 or 9 different types of cloth diapers to test out for 25 days and refunded my money for any diapers I returned, stains and all. It was great to get to try out different types of diapers, because trying to pick which type I would like best without actually having them in front of me was nearly impossible. All-in-ones or pocket diapers? Prefolds or fitteds? Organic or simply unbleached?
I’m so glad we used this program, because I ended up liking the prefold-with-a-cover system the best, when I wasn’t even really considering it before the trial. So, we’re now using the unbleached OsoCozy “Better Fit” Prefolds with Thirsties Duo Wrap covers. I went the prefold/cover route because they were less bulky than AIOs or pocket diapers. Changing a cloth diaper isn’t any more gross than changing a disposable, and cleaning them is simple, too. (One cold rinse without detergent, one hot wash with detergent, let the covers air dry, tumble dry the prefolds on high.) I will say that disposables win in terms of convenience and trimness, but I was willing to compromise in those areas.
My stash is small right now; we’re going to fill it out in the next week or so. When all is said and done, I’d like to have five covers and 18-25 prefolds. That’s about $100 worth of diapers. Even with factoring in extra water and energy, cloth will save us a lot in the long run, especially when you think about reusing them for a second child.
Hope this helps anyone considering trying cloth! I highly recommend the Jillian’s Drawers trial to anyone who wants to try cloth but doesn’t know where to begin.