Cloth Diapers: Why and How

Why use cloth and how the heck do I get started?

These are the two basic questions every cloth diapering parent needs to answer before beginning their journey. Okay, well, maybe journey is a littleover-the-top,but it is a new experience. Everyone has their own reasons for CDing, here are mine:

Saving Money
For me, the decision to use cloth diapers was based solely on money savings. I had an 8-month old daughter and another on the way. We could afford to use disposables, but every time I threw one out I felt like I was throwing away money. Then I did the math. I spent over $400 in diapers in just 8 short months. While money was my motivating factor, there are numerous other benefits for using cloth diapers.

Environmental Concerns
Let’s face it, diapers take up a lot of space in landfills. I don’t think I need to drive this point home. We have all heard the grim statistics about how long it takes diapers to break down after use.

Reduced Diaper Rash
Cloth diapers also don’t have the chemicals in them that disposables do. My kids have super sensitive skin so this is a huge benefit I had never even thought of before making the switch.

The Stash
I love the fact that I never run out of diapers. They are constantly there for me to use. When I’m running low, I just do a load of wash. I never worry about when payday is or how to get 2 kids to the store between naps or after work. I can have clean diapers in around 2 hours.

Resell Value
Another little-known fact is that cloth diapers resell very well. I bought 20 newborn diapers for my son. I paid $120 for them. I sold them for $120 after 6 weeks of use. After taking out shipping costs, I paid only out $15 for 6 weeks worth of diapers, but it’s not typical to make quite that much from used diapers. I got a really good deal when I originally bought them.

Fluffy Butts
The final benefit is well…they look so stinkin’ cute. You can get cloth diapers in tons of colors and patterns. I even got an amazing custom made diaper for my son. My daughter is even learning colors from her diapers.

What you need to get started
Once you have decided on cloth diapering, you actually have to buy them as well as some supplies. I chose to use one size pocket diapers. They fit babies from about 10 to 35 pounds. This meant I can use them for nearly the entire time my kids are in cloth. Pocket diapers are a liner with an absorbent cloth insert that is stuffed into a pocket sewn into the diaper. Both the liner and insert are washed after each use. Since they are separate, they dry fairly quickly. You can get them with snaps or Velcro closures, and they go on just like a disposable diaper.

I also purchased 2 pail liners, disposable liners and a kitchen trash can with a lid. That was it. I later bought 4 day packs of Flips diapers which are a hybrid diaper. I use these for my son, and also at night for my daughter.

Where to get them
If you are lucky enough to live in a city with a cloth diaper store, they can help you decide which diapers are right for you. They can explain the differences in types of diapers. I however, purchased all of mine on-line. I bought my first 18 diapers and supplies minus the trash can from diapers.com. Since my chosen diapers (Bumgenius 4.0) were on sale, I spent a total of $310.63. That got me enough diapers for 1 child if I washed every 2 days. I highly recommend getting 2 pail liners so you can wash 1 and still have a liner to use. I have also gotten diapers from cottonbabies.com. They have a much better selection than anywhere else. For those of you who don’t know what type of diapers you want and don’t have a store nearby, you can use kellyscloset.com or cottonbabies.com to get trial packs. I also talked about a custom made diaper. I got that from mapetitemama.com. I don’t think I would want all my diapers from work at home moms, but one splurge was fun.

I used to think that cloth diapering was only for tree-hugging stay at home moms with nothing else to do. I thought that they would be complicated, and take up way too much time. I was wrong. When I started using cloth diapers, I was working full-time as a police detective. My husband was gone for the first 2 months at military training. We still made it work. I was given a 10 month leave of absence from work prior to my son’s birth, but I will be back to working soon. It does take a little time, but the benefits are completely worth it for my family.

Are you a CDer? Looking for a FSOT shop? Visit TMP’s Cloth Diapering forum and share some fluffy love!

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