Saturday, July 3, 2010

Can you really save money with cloth diapers?

Much of this article was originally posted on The Daisy Blog on April 29, 2010.

Many people jumping into cloth diapering have an idea that they might be saving some money, but really, how much? Sometimes, it seems easier to parents to keep buying $20 packages of disposable diapers instead of investing a few hundred dollars in a cloth diapering system. So, let's crunch some numbers here, and see what we can find. How much can a cloth diaper user really save?


We are going to have to make a few assumptions here in order to make this number crunching workable.
  • Let's look at the cost of diapering a child from birth until potty training starts. For our purposes, let's say children will be in diapers for 2.5 years, so we will study the costs for that time period.
  • Some people are really great about buying diapers at inexpensive prices. Others buy them at regular price in small packages. Still others focus on more high-end disposables (ie Seventh Generation and Tushies). For this study, we are going to look at the cost of buying diapers in bulk through, getting the discount of bulk without adding the discount some people get for couponing. I am going to look at the cost of Huggies Supreme diapers in the Giant Case size, a middle-of-the-road diaper as far as cost is concerned. Hopefully this will even things out overall.
  • We are going to assume there are 30 days in every month, just to make my life easier. This shorts us by about 12 days in the final cost analysis for disposables.
  • With disposables, I did not figure out the cost of garbage, just like I did not figure out the cost of water and electricity for washing. I also did not figure out the cost of manufacturing and transporting to stores (and then to consumers' homes) over 7000 disposable diapers. I am hoping the costs about even out. Let me know if you want to do the number crunching for those. :)

Sticking with Disposables

When breaking down the cost of buying disposables, you cannot pick one flat rate per diaper, because the cost of each diaper goes up as a baby increases in size, and at the same time the number of diapers used each day goes down. So, I first figured out the price per diaper at each size based on current prices at Then, I did a price breakdown of the cost per month based on the growth of my older boys, who honestly were always big for their age.

Disposable Table 1

Disposable Diaper Table 2

So, you can see that in my calculations, the cost for 2.5 years of disposable diapers is $2294.39. But there are more costs to consider, including wipes and garbage bags. For wipes, I looked at the 576 count refill of Huggies Natural Wipes on for $22.99. For garbage bags, I turned to, where you can get 180 Glad drawstring kitchen bags for $45.99.

Disposable Accessories Table

So, with these calculations, the grand total for diapering a child in disposable diapers for 2.5 years is $2489.91.

Cloth diapers

The cost of cloth diapering can be extremely variable, based on the types of cloth diapers one purchases, whether they are sized or one-size, the accessories purchased, etc. So, I did three different cost analyses. The first is for a frugal cloth diapering system, the next is for a one size system, and the third for a sized diapering system.

All three include diaper detergent and other accessories to make cloth diapering full time a possibility, including hemp doublers for nighttime and at least one pail liner and wet bag for storing diapers at home and on the road. For detergent, I picked Rockin' Green Detergent, which is the least expensive cloth diaper-specific detergent out there. Some people buy mass-market products (ie Tide), while others choose more expensive options (like Allens Naturally or Country Save). I chose this option because it is middle-of-the-road.

Here is where the numbers fall...


Frugal Cloth Diapering Costs


One Size Cloth Diaper Costs


Sized Cloth Diaper Costs

So, the cost of cloth diapering for 2.5 years ranges from $358.10 to $927.19. The savings can range from $1562.72 to $2131.81.

The Final Numbers

If I average the three cloth diapering packages, I come up with an average cost of $629.80. If I use this number as the cost of cloth diapering for 2.5 years then we find...

Cloth diaper users can save an average of $1860.11 from birth through age 2.5!

What do you think? Without even considering the environmental and health benefits of cloth, will over $1800 dollars in your pocket convince you to use cloth? For me, it is a no-brainer.

Sara, Diaper Daisy

Friday, July 2, 2010

Finding the Baby Carrier for you! (Giveaway)

Here at Snuggle Hugs we are passionate about baby wearing (Baby wearing: The act of keeping baby close to your body by means of a carrier tied or fastened to the parent/caregiver’s body.) and love to share our passion with everyone we can. Today we would like to introduce you to the different types of carriers you have to choose from. We are confident that everyone can find a type of carrier that fits their lifestyle and personal fashion sense.

The Ring Sling
Baby slings are probably the most popular baby carrier available. Also called ring slings, the baby sling is simply a length of fabric that has two rings sewn on one end. The fabric is threaded through the rings, first through both and then the rings are separated and the fabric is threaded back through the first ring. When the baby is placed in the ring sling, his weight pulls down on the fabric, which locks it in place. The leftover end of fabric, or the sling's "tail," can be pulled on to tighten the sling, making it adjustable to fit different wearers and different positions. Ring Slings come in a variety of styles from the open-tailed un-padded ring sling like the Zolowear Ring Sling, to the padded closed-tail ring sling like the Hava Ring Sling.

The Mei Tai
The Mei Tai is an Americanized version of the baby backpack carriers used in Asia for centuries. The carrier is simply a rectangle of fabric with four straps, two for the waist and two for the shoulders. Because the straps simply tie together in a number of configurations, this baby backpack carrier is very versatile; it can not only be used on your back, but on front and hip as well. The Mei Tai is a one-size-fits-most carrier. You can find these carriers in many colors and combinations of features. Kozy Carrier is a wide bodied Mei Tai that even has a small pocket at the end of the strap just the right size for your cell phone and keys. Catbird Baby offers a hood for baby and a cinching strap to adjust fit for smaller babies or for facing out positions. Deciding on which features you want or need will determine which of these two great carriers would work best for you.

The Baby Wrap or Wrap Sling
Baby wraps are the one of the oldest style baby carriers. Wraps are a long continuous cloth that ties around you and baby. With baby tied on to you, you are free to go about your day and do what you need to do all the while being there for baby. You can wear your little one in many different positions including cradle (breastfeeding), facing in (snuggle hold), facing out, on the hip or easily and securely on your back.
There are stretchy wraps like the Moby Wrap and the Sleepy Wrap which are great for first time wrappers. For those who plan on doing extended baby wearing, i.e. for long periods during the day or well into toddlerhood, a woven wrap is usually the wrap of choice. The woven wraps like the Didymos or the Dolcino offer all the same great tying options of a stretchy wrap without the stretch. For those who love the idea of a wrap but feel that the tying is a bit more than they wish to learn there is always the Baby K’tan with all the front carry options of a traditional wrap but no wrapping needed.

The Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)
A Soft Structured baby Carrier has a semi-rectangular body with buckles instead of ties and can come with a formed waist strap like the Scootababy or an unstructured waist strap like the Pikkolo. The Scootababy is a hip style carrier where the Pikkolo is more like a Mei Tai with buckles.

Getting Help
For parents that would like a little bit more help with learning their carrier there is a wonderful DVD, Tummy2Tummy that covers most styles of carriers. In the Tummy2Tummy DVD’s you learn everything from the basic carries to the more advanced carries all while in the comfort of your own home and you can always pause and rewind to view something again and again.

We hope this has given you a little taste of the different types of carriers there are for you to choose from. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will cover the pros and cons of each style carrier from our point of view.

Happy baby wearing, and to help you with that leave us a comment here and follow us on Twitter SnuggleHugs is our Twitter ID, to be entered in the drawing for a free Tummy2Tummy DVD great for beginners and experts alike.  DVD will be given away July 24th. 
One Comment per day = 1 entry
Each Tweet with @SnuggleHugs = 2 entrys
If you link back to me (link to on another forum/blog = 3 entrys (you must email me link to where you posted
Good Luck!
Christine of Snuggle Hugs
Winner of our Free Tummy2Tummy DVD was Kasey Goodnough.  Congrats!!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adventures Vacationing with Cloth & a Giveaway!

I just arrived home after a 2 week trip (for a wedding and taking my volleyball team to AAU Nationals), the entire time we used cloth diapers! It was quite an adventure!

Before the trip, I did lots of planning. One of our biggest decisions was do we bring our cloth or not. We have traveled before but never this long, and when we had been gone we had stayed with family so we had access to their washer and dryer.

Since my son just started to do some potty training prior to going on the trip and my daughter was pretty much potty trained except for nighttime this did make it a bit easier. Plus we found out that the condo we were staying at had a washer and dryer!

I had to remember though to bring the following:
1. Our diaper detergent
2. Vinegar in a travel spray bottle (I use this to wipe out the inside of the washer and dryer to remove any buildup).
3. Both our potty chairs (we have cheap IKEA ones that fit into one another, thank goodness).
4. Wipes in a container for the road.
5. Diapers of course. (For this trip I decided to bring the following 24 prefolds, 6 OS Pocket, 12 hybrid inserts, extra covers and snappis). I put them in 2 clear plastic bins so I could see what I had.
6. 3 wet bags (1 was a wet/dry bag: we used the dry part for dirty clothes, 1 back up and 1 small one for outings).
7. Anything else I figured I could get on the way if needed. I also made sure I knew which retailers were in the area in case.

So let the adventure begin.
Day 1: Travel to Des Moines, Iowa. My daughter thought it would be fun to stop like every 30 minutes to pee or poop after the midway part of our journey. In all fairness, she really had to go! Overall we arrived in Des Moines with no problems.

Day 3: I washed at the hotel, because we were going to be on the road for up to 3 days starting tomorrow. I was really fortunate as this hotel is run by my Uncle so I was able to check out the facilities during our last trip there. I was however pleasantly surprised to discover that the water was extremely hot, much hotter than we keep so I figured I was good.

I loved the fact that we were there for a wedding and the wedding was in the hotel we were staying at. So we were able to leave the potty chairs and diapers in the room and just run the kids up. Though my kids that it was fun to need to use the bathroom during all the good times of the wedding reception. Food game and my daughter needed to go to the bathroom, I literally got back with her and my son decided to poop, so back upstairs with him. I think they thought it was funny to watch mom run back and forth, lord knows I need the exercise too!

Day 4: We left Des Moines and start our journey down to Orlando, FL. Mind you I never would have made this trip had my volleyball team not been going to play at AAU Nationals. I definitely learned to expect the unexpected this day. We had to wait in a Taco Bell during a tornado warning, the expressway was closed down in St. Louis, then my daughter told us she had to pee and we told her we would get off at the next exit. Well wouldn't you know the expressway was closed down again near West Frankfort, IL (home of Mom's Milk Boutique). Poor thing held it for 45 minutes until we were able to stop and let her go.

Days 6-13: We stayed at a condo in Florida, it was amazing and I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to use cloth while on their vacation. We had a full washer and dryer in our condo. It was great and I didn't have to worry about going out and washing the diapers.

We got some funny looks when they checked our bags at Disney World since we had a potty chair in there. But this was a really relaxing part of our trip while cloth diapering.

Day 15: Our last day, was by far the worst day of cloth diapering. We generally change diapers in the car instead of taking the kids inside. At our last stop before arriving home, I dumped my daughter's potty chair over in the front seat and my son decided to have his worst poop of the trip on the windiest day of the trip. It took us almost 20 minutes and lots of clean up and hand washing at that stop!

So here are things I learned from traveling with cloth:
1. If your child says she has to poop and she is potty training find a place to park next to a garbage can or a wooded area so you can get rid of the evidence.
2. If you are wanting to take cloth with, condos in resort areas are a great option because many have washer and dryers in them.
3. Plan for a days more diapers than you think you will need to be safe.
4. Relax while traveling. We were gone for 2 weeks and 1 day. I planned my diaper washing around naptimes. It worked great and I didn't get stressed because of it.
5. If you don't want to travel entirely with cloth look for one of the disposable insert options.

I forgot to add our giveaway! Win a free bag of Rockin' Green Detergent, Crunchy Clean Detergent or Lulu's in the Fluff!

To enter:
1. Follow the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative on Facebook!
2. Follow this Blog!
3. Follow My Baby Pumpkin, LLC on Facebook!
4. Leave a comment to this post with your favorite traveling story with cloth or disposables!
5. Contest ends 7/14/10!

And happy travels!
My Baby Pumpkin, LLC

Monday, June 28, 2010

Daycare and Cloth Diapers?

When our daughter was born in 2004, we never planned to use cloth diapers. After a couple of months, she developed a rash that we couldn’t get to go away. We never dreamed of using cloth, but we were getting desperate, so we decided to give it a try.

We started purchasing a variety of different diapers to try and we quickly realized how much we preferred using cloth. She was attending a daycare center full-time and after we realized how much it helped her rash by using cloth at home, we approached the teacher in the newborn room about using cloth diapers.

I started out by bringing in a pocket diaper (already stuffed) to show her how easy it would be. I also explained to her that it was for a “medical” reason because of her reaction to disposable diapers. She was very impressed with the diaper example that I brought to her and she said that she would discuss it with the director and nurse who consulted with this daycare center.

A few days later, her teacher asked me to come in and talk to the nurse about it. The nurse said that it would be fine for them to use cloth diapers, but they had 3 requirements:

#1 – The diapers had to be easy to use. They had to be one piece: Either a pre-stuffed pocket diaper, or an all-in-one diaper.

#2 – We had to supply a diaper pail to bring home every evening and return every morning.

#3 – They would only agree to try using cloth for 3 months and they would reevaluate after the three months were up if they were having any issues.

We were ecstatic! I purchased nine diapers and a pail bag for them to store the diapers in during the day.

After the first day, the teacher raved about how much she loved the diapers! They used them happily and told other parents about them too. One of the best features of cloth diapers are they keep the mess inside the diaper. Before we started using cloth at daycare, my daughter would come home just about every day in a different outfit because she had a diaper explosion. Once they started using cloth diapers, the explosions stopped. Whenever I hear of a daycare provider saying that cloth diapers are unsanitary, I shake my head because that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Hope Wilson - Owner of Happy Tushies

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cloth Diapers For Overnight, Seriously?

I know you may be thinking to yourself, “cloth diapers are ok for the daytime, but could never hold up overnight.” However, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy cloth diapering at night can be! The key to cloth diapering successfully through the night is all about absorbency. In general, AIO’s (All-In-One’s) are not going to get babies or toddlers through the night unless your child is not peeing much during the night. The type of material you are stuffing your diaper with will make all the difference. When considering what to use as an insert, keep in mind that hemp is far more absorbent than microfiber. In fact, I have not met any babies or toddlers who can make it through the night with only 1 microfiber insert. A combination of the 2 materials is great as you will see below.

Check out a few of the great options for cloth diapering through the night.

1. Lollidoo Overnight Eco Pocket – this is my personal favorite overnight solution. Lollidoos are not only perfect for overnight, but the single most environmentally friendly diaper out there. They are made from recycled beverage bottles and most everything on them is recycled including the metal used in the snaps. Even better, each Lollidoo diaper is made by WAHM’s in the U.S. (eastern Washington, specifically). You have the choice of a stay dry layer next to the baby or an organic cotton layer next to the baby. This is a pocket diaper and you have the option of choosing to purchase a Lollidoo Eco Pocket with innies (their inserts) or purchase one of your own. I personally use an overnight Lollidoo Eco Pocket Diaper with a super-do insert on my super heavy wetter for 13 hours at night. We’ve never had a leak! Plus, Lollidoo Eco Pockets are a one size diaper!

2. Since the key to cloth diapering overnight is the absorbency, you can stuff any of your pocket diapers with a super-do insert. Super-do inserts are the #1 rated insert on Diaper Pin and amazing for absorbency. They have 6 layers of hemp terry covered with 2 layers of microfiber. The microfiber does a great job of absorbing liquid quickly and the hemp holds it for long periods of time. Super-do’s will fit in most pocket diapers.

3. If you are still having leaks with a super-do in a regular pocket diaper, try putting a diaper cover over the super-do stuffed pocket diaper. That will give you just enough of a boost in coverage to keep the diaper from getting clothes and sheets wet. You could also put a hemp stuffin underneath the super-do in the diaper for an extra boost of absorbency.

4. Do you have a ton of hemp or thick cotton prefolds left over from a previous diapering time? Try using your prefold in your pocket diaper! Need more absorbency than the one prefold? You can wrap a hemp stuffin in your prefold and use that as your pocket diaper insert.
As you can see, there are many great cloth diapering options for overnight. The level of absorbency you will need will depend on how heavy of a wetter your child is at night. Have questions? Please ask!


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