June 7, 2013

Keep It Simple.... Baby

I like the idea of keeping things simple so I'm thinking that every Friday I'll share  something simple, yet frugal.  So often I see people making things more difficult or more expensive when simplifying really should be easy?  Maybe I'm just lazy and/or cheap, but I will admit that seeing people make things harder or more expensive or more time consuming is difficult for me to watch.
I will warn that I've always been willing to accept a cheaper product for a cheaper price, but do realize that there are times when higher quality is necessary.

I received an email the other day.  It was for a cloth diaper party.  You could come, see products, and a consultant would even be there to help you pick out what you needed.
And it would probably set you back only $400-500.  That is just my estimate.
Apparently this is the norm, and I've done it wrong with my 3 kids.

You see, when I was a kid, people had just started using disposables, and I remember seeing cloth diapers changed and washed.  Some people might have had a diaper service, but for the most part you bought some diapers, put them on the baby, and then washed them when they were dirty.

Cloth diapers are supposed to be more cost effective,better for baby and better for the environment, right?  If my initial costs are in the $400 range, I wonder, how is that saving me money?

Now diapering a whole big, trendy thing.  Prefold, fitted, covers, or all in ones.  The good thing is that there are options.  The bad thing is that there are options and many are expensive when you remember that this is the temporary step from birth until using the potty.
It's a very short time, hopefully, in the scheme of things.  I don't want to put a ton of money into it personally.  I do want my child to be safe and fairly comfortable, but not so comfortable that he would rather use a diaper than a potty.

With my first child we had internet, but it wasn't quite like it is now.  I didn't buy things online.  I'm not sure anyone did?
So I went to Walmart and bought a 2 packs of diapers, some plastic pants, pins, a diaper pail and some washcloths to clean her with.  These are the same diapers that some purists look down upon, but they held up well till potty training occurred.  Plastic pants are NOT the most pleasant to work with, but they get the job done as well.  All for about $40.
With baby #2 eleven years ago, I went to my old faithful standbys, spent my $40 and called it diapering.

With my sweet boy last year, I was aware that there were so many products available now that I didn't have before.  I diligently researched Indian versus Chinese cotton, covers and diaper washing methods, but I found I didn't stray from my old ways too far.
I have some wonderful friends who gifted me with my favorite covers, Thirstie's Duo Wrap, and my old faithful diapers that are great for newborns.
I like the Thirstie's DuoWraps because they have a 'slick' inside and can be wiped off and easily reused if not soiled.  It might initially sound nasty, but the fact is, it cuts down on laundry.  They are also VERY easy to customize to fit your little guy (Size 1 fits 6-18 pounds while Size 2 fits 18-40 pounds).  I picked the snap design as I thought it would make washing easier as velcro can get gross in my opinion.
Remember washing and drying, if you choose not to line dry, is also a cost to consider as you will be washing them daily or at a minimum, every other day.
I have some heavy premium diapers (I chose the Indian cotton ones and they are heavy and show minimal wear at 14 months) as well with help soaker pads for overnight with a bigger baby.
I spent about $100 total.  (It turns out I had my old diaper pail and was using it for dog food storage, so I was able to save on that. ha!  )
I also figured that I'm going to be washing diapers daily or at least every other day.  I don't need a ton of covers or diapers if they are washed regularly.
My initial stash included

  • 2 packs of the Gerber diapers
  • 10 Indian Prefolds
  • 3 small Thirsties Duo Wrap covers
  • pins
  • small washcloths 
  • diaper pail
  • I added 6 more Thirsties covers in the larger size at about 6 months
  • plastic pants, but i didn't use them as the covers were wonderful

Resources that helped me when I was starting my diapering research were Green Mountain Diapers.  This lady knows her stuff.  She has a ton of great videos and links and how-tos.
I will add that I was initially disturbed that there were photos of diapers that were pinned incorrectly but this has been remedied.  ALWAYS have your diaper pin points facing outwards, not towards the baby's belly button.
I also bought my diapers from Cotton Babies.  They have great prices, but can get a bit overwhelming with the amount of choices.

Like most things, I find it easier to know what will work for me, and then find out what I can about the products and pick what fits.  I also tend to buy less than I think I will need.  If I am committed enough to make it work, then invest more.

And I'm not saying any of this to judge or put down.  I just want people to not be put off by cloth diapering options and to realize that you don't have to break the bank getting started with them.
baby Chase in his cloth diaper.
 I realize it isn't on correctly, but it was just to look cute for pictures.

No comments: