As you may or may not know, we have been using cloth diapers on Claire since the beginning. We have never once regretted the decision! When we were first exploring all the options, I was so overwhelmed! I had no idea there were so many different choices out there. I had an image in my head of a white triangle cloth and some pins. While that method is still around, it is now one of a million! A lot of the sites I explored used all these different acronymous. I honestly had no idea what I was reading most of the time. But, we persevered. There was so much information to weigh: cost, washing/care requirements, convenience, etc.
The spectrum runs from $14.00ish for a dozen of Diaper Service Quality Chinese Prefold
(the old fashion type people like to uses as burp rags, only more durable for lots of washes)
to $35.00+ for one of these swanky designer type that function just like a disposable with velcro and a wide selection of colors/designs. And then there's the accessories. Some types (like the prefold) require a waterproof cover, the fancier ones do not. And the covers can be fancy at $20.00 each, or cheap at $4.00 for a three pack (old reliable gerber vinyl pants.)
Really what you're paying for is fashion and convenience in the more expensive models. The cheaper the diaper system you choose, the more adjustment there is, and the less opportunity to bling it out. So, of course I really wanted the ones that had no learning curve and that I could bling out! What we ended up choosing was the old fashion Chinese Prefold, with a gerber vinyl cover through a diaper service. So, absolutely no opportunity for bling, and we had to learn how to fold and fasten them, but it only took a while to get the hang of it!
Why a diaper service, you ask? Well, because this meant that once a week some nice man came to my door, picked up the dirty diapers and replaced them with a bag of clean ones. No washing, rinsing, or soaking required. The service is $80.00/month. We calculated that it was about the same cost as buying disposable diapers, considering that you go through 12+ a day with a newborn. It would have been exponentially cheaper if we had purchased the diapers and done the laundering ourselves. We chose not to for several reasons: 1. We do not have direct access to our W/D. It's around back in the garage. 2. New baby, zero sleep, and laundry every day did not sound like a winning combination to me. 3. Newborn breastfed baby poop is messy messy messy. The amount of soaking, etc. would have been unreal while I was trying to adjust to life as a new mom.
Now that Claire has grown up, we're re-exploring our options. She goes through far fewer diapers now. Also, now that she's eating solid food, there is way less mess to contend with. Once you dump the "deposit" in the toilet, the diaper is not in too bad a shape. And I'm in a much better position to be doing one load of laundry a day. If we were to purchase the same diaper service quality prefolds that we "rent" now through the service, it would cost about $50.00 total (100.00 if we splurged!) to get an ample supply that will last her until she's potty trained. And they'd be usable for all our future children! What a relief that would be to the budget! $100 one time forever, as opposed to $80/month!
Now of course, because it's me, I'm trying to talk Kevin into an upgrade to one of the (cheapest of the) fancier types of diapers (this one!) for a few legitimate and a bunch of frivolous reasons. The legitimate reasons: 1. Nighttime. The prefold is just not absorbent enough to handle 10 hours of pee. She is soaking wet in the morning. I don't like the idea of her laying in that moisture all night. The fancy diapers wick away the moisture. 2. One size fits all. These diapers adjust to fit anywhere from 7-35 pound all with the same single diaper. The prefolds have 4-5 size categories. That means if we have two in diapers at once, they will have different sized diapers to sort. Frivolous reasons: They're prettier. And easier to maneuver (church nursery and babysitter friendly). And did I mention prettier? Plus, even if we get the fancy ones, it will still be less than the diaper service is currently. So, we're still saving money! (Just not nearly as much!)
I got as far as convincing him to buy one of the cool ones to try it out for a nighttime solution. It's so nice and soft! In the morning, her skin is dry now. I love it! Will I be able to justify spending more for them to use during the day? Probably not. But we'll see how far my "one-size-fits-all" argument fares :-)
Baby model pose in the new diggs.