Cloth Diapers – To Use or Not to Use?

My baby weighs 21 pounds and is 30 inches tall.  He generates about the same amount of pee and poo on a daily basis.  I think his esophagus connects his mouth to his butt.  We go through 8 – 10 diapers on a daily basis.  Now that I am at home, I’ve been contemplating using cloth diapers. 

Here’s my logic:

1) Disposable diapers are expensive.  We buy size 4 diapers from Costco.  We get 186 diapers for little more than $39 a box.  That’s about $0.21 a diaper.  One box lasts us about 21 days.  If we have to keep buying diapers for another 12 months we will have to spend roughly $678.  This is a low estimate.  The cost of diapers goes up when he hits the next size. 

2) Disposable diapers are not biodegradable.  These suckers will be around in the landfill until the end of time with petrified poo stuck in them.  Ick.

3) Poo should go down the drain to the waste water treatment facility and not unleashed by the bucket loads into the nearest landfill. 

Here’s the problem:

I am more clueless about cloth diapers than I am about coupons!  Have you ever tried to research cloth diapers nowadays?  There are prefolds, inserts, all in ones, waterproof covers, inner doublers, paper liners.  There are pins, snaps, velcro strips.  There are organic material, bamboo cloth, cotton, and fleece.  Oy vay.

The solution:

While rummaging through bins of cloth diapers at the local consignment sale, I chatted up a cloth diaper veteran and asked her which diapers were the best.  Her answer?  “It depends…we like X for this and Y for that…and then there’s Z for the other.”  The gem that she did give me – a wonderous company called “Jillians Drawers“.

Jillians Drawers offers a 21 day cloth diaper trial program.  For a deposit of $151.09 they will send you 7 entirely different styles and brands of diapers, 3 different styles of inserts and Snappis to hold certain diapers together.  These diapers are BRAND NEW.  You try them for 21 days and if you don’t like them, return them all and get a refund of $141.09.  You will basically get 3 weeks worth of diapers for $10. 

According to the website, they will send full care instructions and even include a roll of paper liners for free.  The liners can be flushed in the toilet and makes for easier cleanup of the poo.  If you want to keep any of the diapers, you can return the rest and they will refund you the difference.  They also sell gently used diapers on their website if you want to purchase more of a brand you like.

We are going to give it a try starting next week.  I’ll keep you posted on how things go and what we learn.

Let the diaper drama begin!

Frugal tip of the day:  If you want to experiment with cloth diapers, try picking up a few gently used ones online, at garage sales, or consignment sales.  Cloth diapers are not inexpensive.  I’ve read that the initial investment can cost $250-$300 if you buy all new.  This still is far better that paying $600 – $1,000 per year for disposables, but can still pinch your budget.

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