I initially started cloth diapering my son because it just seemed more natural. Disposable diapers are papery, have an odd odor, and no amount of printed on cartoon characters is going to improve their looks. However, obviously getting started in cloth diapering is a financial undertaking, and I hoped to save money, as well. I started cloth diapering my son when he was about 4 months old. I was working full time, and while he was at daycare he wore disposables. I used cloth on the weekends, in the evening, and through the summer (I’m a teacher). With this system, I don’t know that I saved a ton of money. I probably broke about even, and maybe saved a little.
My daughter was born six years later, and I knew I would start with cloth right away. She first wore Kissaluvs size 0’s with Thirsties covers, and then when she was about two months old, I switched to FuzziBunz smalls and bumGenius. When she was about three months old, I went back to work. I was using a different home-based care provider this time around, and I approached her about using cloth diapers. I brought along a Fuzzi Bunz and wet bag to show her how it would work, and after seeing how simple the cloth diapers were, she readily agreed that using cloth diapers would be just fine. It’s no more work to change a pre-stuffed pocket diaper than a disposable one—the main issue was keeping all of the used diapers in a wet bag. Every day when I take my daughter to the sitter’s house, I bring along 4 pre-stuffed pocket diapers, 4 moist cloth wipes (in a disposable travel holder), and a small wet bag. The diaper bag also contains some Grandma El’s diaper cream, and a few disposable diapers and wipes in case of an emergency. For my cloth wipes solution, I use 10 oz. of water, 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract (to prevent a musty smell), and a drop of baby soap. This system has worked out perfectly. When I get home from picking her up, I go through the wet bag and separate the diapers and inserts, spray the diapers off if necessary, and toss them in my large wet bag. I wash cloth diapers about every 2-3 days.
Before approaching my sitter, I did check the laws for day care homes. These may vary by state, but in Illinois, the code specifically mentions cloth diapers. According to the Licensing Standards for Day Care Homes, “A toilet shall be easily accessible so that the contents of reusable diapers may be disposed of before placing the diapers in the diaper pail. Disposable diapers and their contents shall be disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. “
My daughter Campbell is 8 months old now, and she’s been cloth diapered 99.5% of the time since the day we came home from the hospital. She’s only worn disposables a handful of times. She currently wears FuzziBunz size mediums and bumGenius. I wish I had kept better records of what I paid for the diapers I have and how much I’ve earned back by selling the ones we are no longer using, but if I had to guess I’d say we are currently getting close to the break-even point and from now on we will just be investing in detergent and water, assuming she is like my son and wears size medium through toddler-hood.
I am very thankful for my open-minded sitter who is willing to use cloth diapers. No only are we saving money, we are helping the environment, she has more natural fibers against her bottom, and she looks adorable!
Jan Scott – Mom of Evan, 6, and Campbell, 8 months