Cloth vs disposable diapers
There is always two sides to every decision, and diapering your child is no different. Do I use quick and easy disposable diapers; better absorbency, easy to take care of, but represents 30% of non-biodegradable waste, or Cloth diapers; requires an initial investment, poopy laundry every night, zero waste and long-term financial stability. Each have serious pros and cons, but let us take a quick look at the cloth vs disposable diapers debate.
For roughly $500, I bought 12 outside diapers, 36 liners, dry bag and a few rolls of bioliners ( otherwise known as poppy-catchers). As an infant, I changed him 10-12 times per day, using the same outside up to three times ( unless soiled) before washing.
If I do the math, which as a cheap mom I love to do, after 9.6 months I have my cloth diapers paid off. Since we stopped at around 1 year, I saved just over $100 with him. Baby #2 is going to be even more savings, close to $650 if we stop the cloth diapering at 13 months.
I say roughly because I did buy a box of disposables while using cloth. I found the cloth soaked too fast and he would wet the bed after 4 hours. Rule #1 of night feedings, do as little manipulation as possible to make the feeding as short and sweet as possible; changing a diaper is high on the list of things not to do.
Bioliners are basically poopy-catchers. Toss the liner in the toilet, place the insert into your dry back and place a fresh one into your diaper shell. Voila. This will require a changing station in the bathroom, instead of only in the nursery, but this does make for a much cleaner space anyways. And having all of the bath-time necessities neatly organized on baby’s own shelf is great too.
The larger the diaper size, the fewer diapers that actually come in that box. We went from 250 size 1(.14$ each) to 140 size 4 (.25$ each) for $40. For infants, a baby can run up 300 diapers a month.
As a bigger boy, he “goes” less often so he gets changed less often. $35 per months adds up quickly when you are used to buying one box per size before he turned one.
I find myself at the store fairly often buying a new box of diapers; one for school, one for home, always have spares in his diaper bag when we leave the house, a box at grandma’s so we don’t have to travel with a box of our own. These add up.
The landfill statistics alone are enough to make be want to purchase the next size up of cloth diapering but we are so close to potty training, that I don’t want to make another large investment if I don’t have to. This is also a symptom of lack of disposable income – I don’t exactly have the revenue to purchase $500 in diapers in one sitting, but I do have $40 a month for disposable diapers in my budget and they often go on sale.