Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More on Diapers

Yeah, I realized I have more to say. Can you believe it?

First of all, today I received my most recent order of diapers. I got a dozen flats (brings the total to 15) and a couple more hemp doublers. I wanted to get one more silk liner but they were out of stock.
Then I got a couple BumGenius 3.0 pockets. The new 4.0 have come out so these were slightly marked down. Since I can stuff them and put them in the diaper bag like an AIO and they are one size so they will last a good long time I decided to get them. Pockets are new to me. They are currently in the diaper pail waiting to be washed so I'll have to report back on them. My only concern is that the inserts for stuffing that came with them are microfiber, and I know E has had issues with that in the past. We'll see if they work for him though, and if not maybe I can just fold up a flat to stuff in the pocket instead.
I also have had some curiosity about fitted diapers. The Play All Days are being discontinued so I went ahead and ordered a couple before they were all gone. I ordered two mediums, but alas, the website wasn't updated to reflect what they had in stock, so instead I exchanged them for two larges that won't fit until E is 26-28 lbs. I'll have to report on these later I guess. I do think they will make good toddler diapers since they should be pretty easy on and off.
I pulled out my sales receipt and got to thinking. I've kept all my receipts so that at the end I could see just how much I have spent on cloth diapering. I said in my last post that I wasn't convinced it was any cheaper with just one baby. I decided to start adding.
What I found is that I have spent a little more than $800 on diapers, wipes, accessories, wet bags, swim diapers, fasteners, liners, and a few little extras like that pail powder I tried and a couple pre-made wipe solution. Add in what I spent on the diaper pail itself, and ingredients for the wipe solution and maybe a couple things I'm forgetting at the moment and it is still under $900.
Now I know we do use more water now and more electric with the extra 15 loads of laundry a month, but I don't have a good way to measure that. I could compare our utility bills from now to last year, but that isn't really fair for a number of reasons. First, there have been lights left on for nighttime that didn't used to be on. Second, no one except that cat used to be here during the day and now either I'm here all day or my mom is here babysitting. Third, it was a cool summer last year and a pretty hot one this year so we've had to use the AC and fans much more. Lastly, there is an increase in non-diaper laundry since we had E. I guess I estimate that those utilities are about $20 more per month now total, so in ten months our utilities have cost about $200 more. That brings the cost of cloth diapering for 10 months the way we've done it up to $1100.
So what would I have spent if we did disposables? Well say E averages 12 diapers a day. That is fewer than many days have been, but disposable don't feel wet as fast, so I'm going with a lower estimate. We would need at least that many wipes plus maybe 25% more for diapers that require two or three to get a clean bottom. I would also need a diaper genie and those rolls of bags for them. I'm not going to count trash cost, since we have a dumpster that is irrelevant for us, and I'm not even going to factor in extra garbage bags because I don't know how to estimate that. I went to Wal-Mart's website (because that is all we have in town) and figured the cost for diapers for each size (I used Pampers), wipes, diaper genie, and refill bags. The total came to about $1225.
So right now we are still ahead on cloth diapers. In my cloth cost I included shipping. I didn't include the price of gas for us to go over to Wal-Mart all the time (it isn't a normal stop for us) if we had gone with disposables.
I'm not done buying diapers. I know we will need bigger swim diapers. What we have now will work until E is 30 lbs, then the only ones I have that will work are those two pockets and two fitted I got today. Well the flats will work too, and so will 6 of the covers. I will want some size large Bummis covers, maybe 3. I *think* I will end up getting 2 dozen toddler sized prefolds. So that will run me somewhere between about $120-150 depending what I get. Of course there are continued costs with the utilities and the wipe solution ingredients. I will need to find some training pants for potty training time. All in all though, even if we are only 1/3 the way through diapering, I think I've already got the bulk of what I'll need. The cost of disposables would just keep on going. Plus, there a lot of people say babies who are in cloth diapers learn to potty train faster, so with any luck we might be done diapering sooner than we would be otherwise.
I have determined that I was wrong, cloth diapering is less expensive, even with just one baby. It is just that when you spend so much all at once it seems like you are spending more than you really are. I guess you don't notice it when it is $20-30 here and there every few weeks.
Plus you can always resell diapers and recoup some of the cost. You can use old prefolds and flats as rags, so they can serve more purposes than just diapers.

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