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By Heather Novak

I am a mama? I have two kids? I have a mummy tummy?

HUH?!?

I used to be a martini-swilling-cigarette-smoking-single-girl out on the town (or table top) with my pals. I used to leave lights on in rooms I wasn’t in, run water too much and too long, and eat Hostess Twinkies and McDonald’s like they were part of the four food groups.As I have grown up and changed mostly for the better, I feel I am wiser. I am more satisfied with who I am and how I choose to live my life. I choose to live my life instead of it just happening around me. Part of choosing how I spend my days, my money, my life is rooted in my two daughters now. I think of how I want them to live, what I want them to know and how my lifestyle will teach them more than my words ever could.

Look at that great big bum! Love it!!!

Google “reasons to use cloth diapers” and you will get 2,440,000 results.

Google “disposable vs. cloth diapers cost” and you get 83,300 results.
Google “disposable vs. cloth diapers environmental impact” for 86,100 results.

We love to debate this topic — this cloth vs disposable diaper topic.

Who is to say one is truly better than the other?

I say cloth is it for us, but “they” say it impacts the environment adversely just like disposables. I say I feel better parenting with cloth diapers, “they” say it is a lot of hassle and time and energy for little return. Who wins this argument?

Is it an argument that must be won?

I love using cloth diapers. I just love it. I will encourage you and enable you if you are interested in doing cloth yourself. If you just aren’t up for it, it is OK. The benefits go beyond cost or environemental for me. I wrote about how cloth diapering slows me down on my own blog.  I’ve also talked about the trenches of poop and cloth diapers in a post.I also know cloth diapering is a big leap for most folks who picture buckets of cloth diapers and sewage around their house, chunks of poo in their washer and someone hugging a tree in their front yard all day and all night.

If you choose to use disposable dipes, so be it. I will still respect you, and your parenting, in the morning. You will also be in the majority, with 95% of U.S. households using disposable dipes according to this Web MD article.

If you are interested in doing cloth diapers and would like to know why my husband and I chose cloth, here it is: The chemicals.

I do not know exactly how much environmental impact washing my diapers has. Maybe it is similar using disposables.

Nasty chemicals on my precious fanny? WAH!!!!

What I do know is my daughters will not have a padding of chemicals designed to hold liquid, reduce smell and whatever else they do up against their genitals for 23 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year for two to three years. The chemicals is what finally sent us over the cloth diaper edge.

I heard a report on Pregtastic podcast similar to this one that talked about rising infertility rates and the possible link to the use of disposable diapers. THAT is what tipped us to cloth. Run anything you put on your face and skin through the website Cosmetic Database and you will get a fast education on the harm level of more innocent chemicals in our shampoos and body lotions and makeup. Even the Livestrong website addresses the chemical concerns.

Oh yeah, and that over the course of diapering two girls for six years total we will pay about $500 vs $2,400 for disposables. That is a lot of martinis, folks!

Here is what that looked like for us:

NOTE: 6 months weekly diaper service ($18/week) baby #1 = $360.00

When we left the service, we bought our own supplies and we got:

16 diaper covers, adjustable average $10 each $160.00

Plastic trash can $20.00

Two diaper wet bag trash can liners $30.00

Two diaper bag small wet bags $20.00

4 dozen unbleached prefolds approx $1.75 each, $85.00

(Indispensable!) Happy Heinie Diaper Sprayer $45.00

$360 supplies, plus $360 for the service! If we chose not to use the service and instead bought newborn sized covers and diapers (thanks to my friend Jean giving me hers, it was free. Cloth diaper enthusiasts are very generous, I gave mine away too!) it would have cost about $80 for newborn covers and $40 for two dozen newborn prefolds. If you have a kid who grows a bunch maybe you would need more covers or more expensive ones that expand. Our girls are fairly slight so that helps.

You could diaper two children for three years for a grand total of $480! That is total! I do buy disposables for out of town trips, when I get behind on laundry or when I am feeling lazy. I do not even know how much a pack costs, we buy them that rarely.According to Real Diaper Association, the average cost of disposable diapering one child for two years is about $1,600. To diaper for three years, and let’s face it, that is what most of us will be doing, is over $2,000. Cost alone is a good deal, even if you factor in two extra loads of laundry with longer washer cycles. If you want to use cloth, the extra effort doesn’t matter as much, and more people are moving back towards cloth diapering these days. It is such a special thing to do as a parent, as a family. For us, it has been a rewarding experience we have never regretted.

Besides, you could drink a lot more martinis with that money. And with the look of some baby diaper loads, no matter what kind of diaper they end up in…you might need to tip a few of those back!

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Category: Babies

Tags: budget