We asked one of the dads who shop with us to write about his cloth diapering experience so other dads can get an honest opinion about what it is like to cloth diaper. Here is his take on cloth diapering:
Before our first son was born 4 years ago, my wife and I discussed many things in regards to the raising of our future child. Amongst the many things that were discussed was diapering. She wanted to use cloth, I did not.
For the first 6 months of my son’s life, I won. We used Pampers or Huggies, depending on what was on sale at the store the day I happened to go or whatever brand we happened to have a coupon for that day.
Around the time my son was 4 months old, my wife again brought up the idea of cloth diapering now that we had a grasp on what changing diapers actually entailed. So we sat down and did the math. Thinking about it, my logic was that as much as I’m in agreement that disposable diapers are a drain on the environment, I wasn’t willing to switch over unless it was at least cost neutral. Factor in the fact that I’d be running little baby poop through my washing machine, and I decided I wanted a big savings.
We decided on Fuzzibunz. (A side note: if you plan on looking into cloth diapering, get used to all the cute and clever butt related names). For 18 Diapers we were looking at $180.00. Throw in a few wetbags, a trashcan for a diaper pail, a couple of Pail Liners and suddenly we were upwards of $250.00. We also thought about several covers, a few nighttime diapers, and some prefolds to use while he was at home. All said and done we were looking at $400.00.
My first thoughts were – I’m going to spend $400 just to contain my sons poop… Wow
Then the math guy in me started to breakdown the cost of Disposables. A good price for a disposable diaper was in the ballpark of $0.21 per diaper. At the time, our son was going through 8 or so a day. I knew that number would go down, but I also knew that as they got bigger, the cost per diaper would go up. So roughly converted, I was looking at $1.75 per day to diaper my son using disposable diapers.
That meant that if we did go through with the cloth diapering, we needed to do it for at least 7 months for it to pay off. Well, with my son only being 4 months old, that was a no-brainer to me. There was no way he’d be potty trained by 11 months.
So, I finally agreed. We used those same diapers for about 2 years with our first son. We added a few more diapers to the mix as we tried out other brands of cloth diapers from time to time. We’ve added some accessories and such as well because my wife is crazy about cloth diapering. All said and told though, between the 4 years of diapering that we’ve encountered between our two sons, I have probably saved well over $1,500. That doesn’t include the fact that my wife has been able to resell most of the diapers that we didn’t like, some with a minimal loss.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some days, especially when the boys are sick, that I would give all that money back to not have to clean off some of their really bad diapers, but over-all, cloth diapering has not been any harder than disposable diapering. And like any good Boy Scout, I always keep a pack of disposables for the times when the boys are not feeling well because that can get a little nasty.
Financially it makes sense. Operationally, it wasn’t any more difficult than disposables. The only drawback was traveling. They added a considerable bulk to any suitcase and you had to know that there would be a quality washer and dryer whenever you were going. So there are still times when we travel we use disposables for ease, but 90+% of the time, our sons have had cloth on.
For the minimal amount of sacrifice and the large financial savings, it has definitely been worth it. And helping out the environment is always an added bonus.