Category: parenting

Frugal Friday: Choosing Cloth Diapers

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would ever use cloth diapers, I would have looked at you like you were crazy and said “Not possible.”  Now we are 9 months in and loving our choice.  If you are an expectant mama or want to have kids (or more kids) someday, I hope you will read on and consider cloth diapers.  Why did we choose cloth diapers?  There are so many reasons.
1) Cost
Here’s a calculator that will show you exactly how much you can save using cloth diapers, including cost of water, detergent, etc.  We broke even after about 4 months and will save well over $1000 after 18 months.  If we continue to use our cloth diapers with future children, the savings increase exponentially.  The average savings per child are between $1500-2000.  Nice.  Hello, starter college fund.  We went with one size diapers, and love some of the more expensive brands.  We could have saved even more using prefolds, but we couldn’t get on board with them.  We love the ease of use of our one size diapers and were willing to pay a little more initially.  Our favorite brands are Soft Bums, Apple Cheeks, and BumGenius.  I will explain our cloth diaper trials in a post coming next week.
2) Environmental Impact
Did you know that each baby using disposable diapers creates about a ton of landfill diaper trash during their diaper years?  It’s true.  Disposable diapers create over 3.6 MILLION TONS of landfill trash per year.  HOLY CRAP.  Literally.  Some folks argue that the additional energy used to launder cloth diapers negate the environmental positives.  Not true.  We do maybe 3 more loads of laundry per week than we used to do.  We line dry our diapers whenever possible, so that saves on some energy usage.
3) Safer for Baby
Disposable diapers contain so many chemicals, synthetics, and toxins (like dioxin) that I would rather avoid putting next to my Little Bear’s skin.  We have to use disposables occasionally (for Mother’s Day Out, church nursery, MOPS, etc) and know that when we do he is prone to get diaper rash.  He never gets it from his cloth diapers.
4) Functionality
Cloth diapers work better than disposable.  Really.  We have had very few leaks or blowouts with our cloth diapers, really almost none.  Disposables are a whole other messy story.
5) Cuteness
Cloth diapers are just so cute.  Seriously.  They come in a million fun patterns and colors and you can match every outfit.  So fun.
I plan to most more about our cloth diaper
decisions and routine soon.
Do you use cloth diapers?
Why or why not?
Would you ever use them?
Do you think we are crazy?

On Swaddling

We are in love with swaddling at our house.  Sometimes it works better than others, as may be observed in the photo above.  That was taken as a nap came abruptly to an end after a total swaddle fail.  We have used swaddle blankets in flannel, cotton, and muslin, swaddle wraps like the one above, and a zip up thing called the woombie.  The others worked well at first, but our boy is so big now (around 15 pounds) that he can beast his way out of any blanket.  One of the staff at The Nappy Shoppe, our local cloth diaper store, suggested the zippered number, and we really like it.  He can move his hands around and even suck on them through the cloth, but he doesn’t hit himself in the face.  We know his swaddling days are numbered as he gets more mobile, but we are enjoying them while they last.  My mama thought it was mean at first when she saw my bro and sister-in-law swaddling our niece.  She even referred to it as the “baby straight jacket”.  Then she saw how much Caroline loved it and started calling it the more friendly “baby burrito”.  
Do you/did you swaddle your kiddos?
How long?  When did you stop?
How was the transition?
Do you have a favorite swaddling apparatus?