Putting $ Where My Mouth Is…

N and I are discussing using a cloth diaper service for baby #2.* We used a service the first seven months with mijo before we decided that the cost per diaper was just too expensive when he wasn’t getting changed as often.

We both would prefer not to put diapers into our landfills and consider ourselves to be environmentally conscious. So, it makes sense that we should be willing to shell out for the service to support our ideals.

Here’s the breakdown in cost (all estimates based on how much a newborn uses):
Disposable Diapers (Luvs): $.14 per diaper
Cloth diaper service: $.31 per diaper

I’ve heard from moms that cloth is great for the baby’s skin and doesn’t have any chemicals like disposables.** I’m curious to hear from readers what they have done or if they have any experience with cloth. If so, which covers did you use? Did you use a service?

Unfortunately, purchasing the diapers and then laundering on our own is not an option. Our condo’s washers don’t get hot enough to ensure sanitation, we’d have to rinse the diapers (you don’t have to for the service), and our laundry room is about 500 feet and down a flight of stairs away from our place. It is hard enough to get out there once every other week with one kid to do our laundry. It would be next to impossible to get out there more regularly with two kids to clean diapers.

*Yes, I realize that I’m still far away from giving birth. My nesting instincts are hitting hard this time around. I want to settle some of this stuff and if we are using cloth I’d like to add it to wish lists in case anyone is nice enough to get baby #2 a gift.
**The service we would use does not use industrial bleach, ammonia, or harsh chemicals to clean the diapers and they are 100% cotton.

5 responses to “Putting $ Where My Mouth Is…

  1. We started using cloth part-time once DS’s poo got solid. Smaller cloth diapers are on our wish-list this time around. I also saw on amazon that they have a new product that is supposed to catch poo in paper that you can dispose of. It gets relatively good reviews, so they’re on the wishlist too.

    We’re fans of fuzzibunz, in the different size options (not the one size fits all option).

    We did not use a service, but we have our own w/d. I’m not sure I’d be able to have kids, much less cloth diapers without our own in-house w/d. (My mom would sometimes just buy new clothing for the baby rather than go to the laundry room when we were living in an apartment without a washer.)

    One thing you could do if you have the time if you really feel like being environmentally friendly is infant potty training. You could do this in conjunction with disposables and it would still be better for the environment than cloth + disposables. We have some friends who did this and their kids were almost all completely potty trained the entire way by 12 months (basically as soon as they could walk to the potty and sit down by themselves), which really cuts down on diaper use. For that the mini bjorn potty is great. (We did training early and p/t, but not that early, more like 15 months; it seriously cut down on diaper use and corresponding trips to Target once we started.) The Diaper Free Baby is a good resource for this. (There’s some other popular books, but they kind of got on my nerves with their preachiness and condemnation.) Diaper Free Before Three is also good, but it doesn’t start with infant training, it starts with when the kid can sit up and has solid poo.

    • I wish I had a w/d with kids. Laundry day is a day I dread for two weeks. I mourn the piling of clothes into the empty baskets.

      Thanks for the tips! I’ll check out fuzzibunz. I think with a toddler that the infant potty training would be a bit much, but I’ll look into it.

      • I don’t have any IRL friends who did two kids at the same time (all the people I know who did it were doing it with their first), but I read a blog where the mom found that it was easier to infant train the baby than it was to potty train the toddler when she was doing both at the same time.

  2. We used a diaper service for LL all the way until he was potty trained just after 3. And we’re using the same diaper service now for Kermit. We bought a stash of Nikky breathable poly diaper covers for LL. They’re a bit expensive, and you have to buy lots of sizes as the baby grows, but we have loaned them out to other friends who also use diaper service, so Kermit is now the FOURTH kid to be wearing them. They are still in awesome shape, well worth the investment.

    Also, the diaper service we use lets you decrease your weekly diaper count as the baby gets older and is changed less often. When LL was three years old and partially potty trained, we were only getting ~20 diapers/week. (With Kermit @ 15 months, I think we’re getting 40/week right now.)

    • That is a cool service. The one I’m looking at is the same. I’ve been thinking about adding a few toddler undies to train mijo later on this summer.