Road Today, I threw away our diaper bag. I lovingly placed the travel first aid kit and a comb (hey, a little dude has got to look good...) into my Kavu bag, which is a small bag that I generally carry into music festivals to hold all of my small necessities. The diaper bag that we used was not some fancy, snazzy bag that was overpriced, trendy, and sold in only the finest baby stores. It was an old Jeep duffel bag that I have had for probably fifteen years, that has traveled the world with me, and survived the day-to-day beatings that come along with carrying said bag every single day for two years. I was not sad to throw away this bag, but happy that it survived this long, perserving onward through whatever journey it embarked upon. I am also not sad to be done with diapers.
A little over two years ago, I remember having a conversation with my father about cloth diapering. I told him my intentions to cloth diaper and make my own wipes, and he laughed at me, saying that this was another one of my zany schemes, and that I was going to waste a lot of money and quit within two months... Fast forward to now. Little dude has only ever worn a handful of disposables and that was in the hospital because we had to leave to get there in quite the hurry with me having placental abruption. Little man turned two on March 30th - two years of cloth diapering, two years of never once having diaper rash, two years of cute, fluffy butt diapers, two years of laundry. I would not change a thing. As I type this, Rayn's whole stash of cloth diapers (minus a few that I threw away from excessive wear) are being stripped clean so that I can put them into storage for (hopefully) our next child.
I did some math while drinking my coffee this morning. We bought most of our diaper stash used, from friends and buy/sell/trade sites. Of course, we had to buy a couple of new ones, because once we found what worked the best for us, which was Best Bottoms, we naturally needed to start selling them at Creekside Music & Naturals. We spent about $350 in total to cloth diaper, which included diapers, inserts, wet bags, wipes, and the ingredients to make our own wipe solution and laundry detergent for the past two years. During this time, we did laundry approximately every three days, which would be equivalent to about 243 loads of laundry. Given that we hung our laundry often, always hanging the covers, I would anticipate the cost of laundry to be about $1 per load, so aroun $250. In totality, we spent about $600 to diaper our son for the past two years.
Our little guy went through I would say an average of ten diapers per day throughout the past two years. That is 7300 diapers. At around 30 cents per disposable diaper, this would have cost us $2190. Add in wipes at about 4 cents per wipe, with some extra wipes used for poops, that is another $400. I am not even going to begin to try and figure out how to factor in the diaper ointment and all the other fluff that people buy, because I have no comparison. We were gifted some Burt's Bees baby ointment at our baby shower and still have the tube. So, this equates to about $2600. $2000 more than it cost us to cloth diaper. Our kiddo is potty trained at two. Many kids aren't potty trained til much later, so that number could be doubled to $4000 and even more. Further, if we are able to have another child, we will not have to buy anything. We can use the diaper stash we have and I can make some more wipes with the fabric I bought, which is included in that original $350 we spent.
So, how do I feel about cloth diapering? I love it. I would and will hopefully do it again in the future. In two years time, we saved the landfill from approximately 7300 disposable diapers, saved $2000, and spared our child from having any type of rash issues. Yes, I realize we had to do a couple of extra loads of laundry per week for the past two years, but once you get into a routine, it is not that much of a burden. Further, I completely believe that cloth diapering has made potty training ridiculously easy. On Thursday evening, I decided that I was done with diapers and that on Friday, potty training would begin, seeing as I had off of work until Tuesday. Kiddo has not worn a diaper since Friday morning, and has been accident free since Monday. Fluff butts can tell when they are dirty much easier than kiddos that wear disposables, and he has been telling us for many, many months. The transition to regular undies was seamless.
Cloth is better for the environment, better for the pocketbook, and better for baby's bottom, at least in our experience. As I put these diapers into storage, I am happy. I am happy that we did what was best for our child and what worked for us as a family. I am happy to not have polluted the landfills with disposables. Moreso, I am happy to be done with diapers (for now) and to see our son moving on to the next stage as he proudly sports his Nemo undies that he picked out himself. Parenting is awesome. Now, what am I going to do with all of this extra time of not washing/drying/sorting/folding diapers and making wipes? Oh, the possibilities....
Road tripping is going to be so much nicer. We aren't going to have to haul dirty stinkies across the nation, stopping at strange laundromats every few days and then hanging the diapers from the line, in the car, or in the middle of the tent (ticks, eeeeep!) while camping. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.