Cloth Diapering HebrewDawn Style

I’ve answered the question before about why we chose to use cloth diapers, but haven’t shared how we have gone about cloth diapering. I’m very thankful that we have a friend who cloth diapered her two kids, and she was a treamendouse help with her tips and tricks on how to get started. In talking about how we’ve cloth diapered, I’ll start out by stating that our goal was to keep things as inexpensive as possible. 
Initially I thought we would opt for AIO (all-in-one) diapers or pocket (diapers that you stuff with an insert) diapers, and would run from the idea of prefolds and covers. AIO diapers give you the ease of putting diapers on and tossing them in a diaper pail almost like a disposable diaper. I figured this would be how my husband would want to diaper. We both started googling and watching YouTube videos to learn as much as we could. We quickly realized that prefolds and covers  are not that bad, and they are SO MUCH CHEAPER.   

Here is how we started out with cloth diapering a newborn:

Total Spent: $221.38

 Additional Purchases to continue cloth diapering into toddlerhood:

Over time we found out there were some more things we needed. Also, along the way I’ve learned of things to add to our diaper stash that works best for our childcare situation and lifestyle. 

Total Spent: $419.37

Night Time Diapers – As our daughter got older and slept longer we needed some more absorbent options 

 Total Spent: $90.00

Grand Total Spent: $730.75 

Keep in mind there are some items on this list that we would have bought regardless of cloth diapering (diaper pail). Some items on this list are nice to have (extra wet bags), but not a necessity. We hope to have another baby, and then we will use these cloth diapering supples AGAIN and make our investment extra valuable. 

Have any questions? I definitely plan to share more about how we do things, and I will periscope a few times about cloth too. Be sure to follow me on periscope (hebrewdaw), and know that I’m happy to serve as a resource to anyone who may want to cloth diaper. 

Please note there are some affiliate links in this post. Have no fear, they won’t hurt you if click on them, but I may receive a little financial benefit from your purchase. This means that the funds from your purchase go towards growing this blog and providing better content for you and all the other HebrewDawn readers. As always, I only link to products I trust and use!

Suburban Hippie: Children are Expensive!

I remember being so excited about expecting our first child, but then it hit me. Raising this child is going to be REALLY expensive! At this point in the game, the added expense of health insurance hadn’t sunk in. I was thinking about the impending cost of childcare, clothing, diapers, and feeding. I quickly came to the conclusion that I needed to find a way to cut costs. Enter in becoming a suburban hippie. By my definition, a suburban hippie is one who resides in the suburbs (though they may prefer living in the city) chooses to do some or all of the following cloth diaper, breastfeed, baby led wean, recycle, prefer locally grown produce, use cloth napkins/towels over disposables, and the like.  I’ll explain further some of the reasons we have gone this route. 

How did we end up in the suburbs? We found it was time to move from our old house (that’s a story for another day) which was a cute little 2 bedroom with one bathroom home that was just over 1300 square feet.  For two people it was okay, but not great when both residents need the bathroom facilities, would like to watch different TV shows, or listen to different types of music. So when we were house hunting, we quickly learned we needed to pick a part of town first. We loved the idea of living in the city, but recognized that not all Richmond Public Schools are created equal, and would need to budget for private school.  We also recognized that Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico County Public Schools are really good, so it seemed a little silly to PAY for private schools.  I can share later on the house hunting adventures, but for now let’s end with we landed in the suburbs (we do love where we ended up, but may end up in the city we love later)!

Why did you choose to cloth diaper? I detailed that on my blog a couple weeks ago here, but let me add that I knew diapers were a baby necessity. No matter what, babies do not come out of the womb potty trained, and it takes times (some more than others) before it happens. I knew that I needed to begin thinking about a way to make this more affordable. Thankfully I had a couple of friends who had done it before, so it didn’t seem like such a crazy idea. Plus my friend K had this great resource she put together and shared with another friend and I. It really helped me figure out where to begin on my search for the perfect cloth diapering system, and tips to share with other new to cloth friends. Have no fear everyone, I’m working on a resource of my own to share with you too!

Why did you choose to breastfeed? I’ll start with asking you a question before answering. Have you looked at the price of formula? Formula start around $25 or more a can, so I knew that that  was one thing I did NOT want to add to my baby expense list. I’m sure that many of us have heard how great it is for your baby and for you to breastfeed, so I feel like I don’t need to even get on that soapbox. So yes I knew breastfeeding would be VERY healthy for my baby, but I also saw dollar signs for something that could be completely free. So free was much better in my book if I could successfully breastfeed, as I know that this isn’t possible for everyone.

Why did you choose to do baby led weaning? This was something I read about in the past, had thought I should look into more. The idea had fallen off my radar, so my husband and I were looking into making our own baby food. So we would know that our child was eating something healthy, no strange added ingredients, and much cheaper. But then my dad and stepmom’s friend gave me her copy of the book Baby Led Weaning and share how she started it with her second of three kids. It all just made so much more sense. Babies don’t need anything but breastmilk or formula for the first year, do not need anything other than formula or breastmilk before 6 months old, and they don’t need rice cereal. I’ll share more later about our experience with baby led weaning, but I’ll end with that I HIGHLY recommend considering this.

Why recycle and use cloth napkins/towels? Growing up many of us have been taught the importance of the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. It’s not always the easiest or most convenient habit to get into, but it’s really worth it. We only have one planet, so we really need to handle it with care. First R is for us to work on reducing how much we have in our homes. We are still working on this personally, and I’m sure all share about this in the future. Once you’ve reduced, you should work on the second R: reuse. We do this by using cloth napkins almost exclusively for meals (even when we have large groups over), hand towels, and limit our use of paper towels. Typically we will by only a six pack paper towels and this will last us a year or so. I have noticed that our paper towel use only spikes when we have folks over that are not accustomed to this. Now that you’ve got in the hang of the first two Rs, it’s time to add in the final R: recycle. Like many people, we implemented the third r last, but we are trying to be better about all three. Whatever we can do to help care for our planet and home is worth it. I’ll share more later about our cloth napkins, towels, and how we keep up with the extra laundry. I’ll end with this, we save plenty of money by using cloth napkins and towels, which adds up with all the other expenses.

What’s the big deal with local produce? For starters, it tastes so much better and often times it’s cheaper! When we have time to make it our local produce stand and farmers’ market we save the most, but that doesn’t always happen. By shopping locally, you help your local economy. By putting money into their pockets, they try to look out for you and keep their costs down so that you can keep more money in your pocket.

So yes, we have made some choices along the way that are not for everyone. In looking back, I honestly don’t regret the choices we’ve made. They have been good for our daughter, beneficial for our wallets, good for us, for our community and good for the planet. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


Why Would You Use Cloth Diaper?

This isn’t an uncommon question or wondering when people hear about folks using cloth diapers. It’s not uncommon for people to think it’s difficult and nasty to use cloth. It’s not uncommon for people to think that using disposable diapers are so much easier than cloth diapers. I’m here to tell you that there are a lot of reasons to use cloth diapers.

 1.  Cloth diapers are cheaper than disposables. Let’s look at the cost of disposables first.  Let’s say you use Huggies or Target’s up & up brand diapers, which average out to $0.17 each.  For the number of diapers used per day let’s say 10 diapers, because over the first several months you go through about 12 diapers a day, and progressively get down to 8 diapers.  Most children in disposables don’t potty train until they are  2.5 or 3 years old, so we’ll go with 2.75 years of diapers (kids in cloth supposedly potty training earlier).  That’s a total of $2,326.88 spent on 13,687 diapers  over 3.75 years.  My favorite All-In-One (AIO) diaper (I’ll explain types of diapers another day) is the Blueberry One Size Simplex which retails for $28.95. Since you need at least 12 diapers per day in the early months, it’s good to have 24 diapers for a total of $694.8.  To go all in with cloth diapering, you’ll also need a few other things like  2 diaper pail liners $33, 2 wet bags for on the go $44, 30 cloth wipes $27, and a wipe warmer for $25, all bringing your total $823.80 on cloth diaper supplies.  I don’t include the cost of wipe solution, laundry detergent, or water for doing the laundry, because I have seen that much of an increased cost for us.

2.  Cloth diapers aren’t as smelly and gross as disposables.  Having cared for many children in diapers over the years, I honestly believe my cloth diaper pail smells a whole lot LESS than a disposable diaper pail.  Pee diapers don’t smell any worse with cloth, and I’d venture to say not a bad.  There’s something in the absorption crystals of many disposables that create an off-putting scent.  Poopy diapers get rinsed into the toilet, so the smell is gone and not lingering until the diaper pail is emptied.  

3.  Poopy diapers aren’t that bad to clean with cloth.  We have a diaper sprayer attached to our toilet, so I don’t really have to get my hands dirty.  I also know some parents will wear rubber kitchen gloves, so their hands never touch anything to get dirty. Poopy diapers have had no negative effects on my washing machine.  Reason being is that they are rinsed into the toilet before going into the washing machine, get an intial rinse cyle, plus a full clean cycle, which all ensures my diapers and washing machine are fully clean when done.

4.  Cloth diapers are better for the environment. It is estimated that it takes about 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill. Now, this is just an estimate, because disposables haven’t been around that long and no one has lived 500 years to observe the decomposition of disposable diapers. Cloth diapers generally have great re-sale value, making them great in the realm of the second of the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and aren’t clogging up landfills.

5.  Cloth diapers are so cute! I will say that the Honest Company has stepped up the cute factor of disposable diapers, and I have used them from time to time.  But the variety of patters with cloth diapers is sooooo great!  When my daughter was a newborn she had the cutest diaper with monkeys and owls.  Now she has a cover with these adorable whales, an AIO with pretty flowers, and elephants.  The best part of all is that these diapers are cute, and we get to use them over and over again.  

I initially had us begin cloth diapering to save money, as I wanted as many ways as possible to make having a child not super expensive. I also had us use cloth because my husband and I were allergic to disposable diapers and had a feeling that our daughter would be too. In the end it turn out that my guess was correct, and she is sensitive to most every brand of disposables.  Now that we’ve used cloth diapers for two years, I’m so glad that we have chosen to use cloth.  It’s not that difficult, it’s saved us a lot of money, and it has been good for the environment.

Soon I’ll write a post about what we have tried when it comes to cloth diapers, what we’ve liked, what we haven’t liked, and how we’ve made cloth diapering work for us.  If you have questions, feel free to ask and I’ll answer as best I can.  

Have you considered using cloth diapers?