Before my daughter was born I had read every book about birth and raising a daughter that my library had to offer. Apparently, I had skipped the constant and horrible diaper rash education of parenting. I had tried every brand of disposable diapers with that child and nothing helped. I had tried every cream, powder, grandma’s book of tricks, and her being naked. Nothing worked. It had been a year of misery, rashes, and bleeding. The doctor had even prescribed a burn ointment, which also didn’t work. One day at a follow-up appointment I asked my doctor if she thought I should try cloth diapers. I received a pause and a “you could try it since nothing else is working” but when I asked for suggestions on where to even get cloth diapers all I received were cricket sounds.
While starting cloth diapers may seem daunting you do get used to the cleaning and maintenance and you stop thinking about it and dreading it. The upfront price can send you into a panic attack but it is better than the total cost of disposables for 2-3 years or diapers for a few children. Plus there are many ways around that cost.
What are the benefits to using cloth diapers?
First off, if you were wondering about the end of my story, all of the ailments my daughter was experiencing were cured once we switched to cloth diapers. I can’t guarantee that if you are having the same issues this will work for you but it did work for my family.
-Cloth diapers are free of many chemicals that disposable diapers have. This may explain why babies who have sensitive skin do better with cloth diapers and why we were lucky and this stopped all of our issues.
-Cloth diapers are better for the environment and they do not get thrown away. Cloth diapers were my gateway into more natural parenting.
-Buy cloth diapers once and you will never buy diapers again. You will never have to buy them again for baby number one, two, three, four, and you can keep going.
-According to realdiapers.org disposable diapers are $750.00 a year. This is a total of $1500.00 for 2 years and $2250.00 for 3 years. Cloth diapers cost about 300.00 one time only. If you keep reading this blog post you will also see a few tips to get around that price tag (I didn’t even spend 100.00).
How to clean cloth diapers
I have no issue washing the cloth diapers or any clothes by hand. It is not gross at all or messy and since I am not really into the whole exercising by choice thing or for fun, it is a great workout. You can also wash the diapers by themselves in a washing machine. As your children get older you will want to rinse off the poop in the toilet. Also, Google your area, there may be a cloth diaper cleaning service in your area.
How can you afford cloth diapers?
-Buy used. Anything used in my opinion is the best. Find cloth diapers for sale on craigslist.org or do a Facebook search and you will find a ton of cloth diaper sale groups. I guarantee there is one in your area and feel free to ask me to find it for you.
-Ebay. Can I say Ebay again? Ebay! I get all my diapers for beyond cheap, sometimes for literal pennies on ebay. It is worth the slow shipping. I just bought ten diaper covers for 1.50 each and these are the ones that pull up (no tabs) so they are perfect for my kids who just are not built for the shape of (any type) diapers.
-Go old school and use Gerber diapers/burp cloths. Gerber makes great diapers and water-proof covers. I have the child safe safety pins and set up the diapers the old-fashioned way. Also, I only use the Gerber cloth diapers as inserts for all the cloth diapers.
-Old clothes and towels make for great inserts for cloth diapers. Not only is it easy, it is free.
-Make your own diapers. I am not sewing savvy, I really wish I was. But if you are sewing savvy here are some great patterns to make your own cloth diapers. I just did a google search and found this website http://www.diapersewingsupplies.com/free-cloth-diaper-patterns