17 September 2012

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Part 1

I'm starting a little mini-series on our adventures in cloth diapering. A bit of irony I suppose -- I have never diapered anybody (or anybooty ha!) let alone used cloth diapers.

Kyle and I have been thinking a lot about diapers lately, and we feel strongly about going the cloth route.

Now if you're like some of my friends or family members, right about now you're turning up your nose and saying in a disgusted voice "umm, what??" 

I definitely know that cloth diapers are not for everyone, but between the environmental benefit and the financial benefit, we're thinking it's a great fit for our family.

Granted if Baby D gets here and cloth diapers are just the worst things ever, this will be a very, very short series. But I have a good feeling about this!

First, the "why."

We're on a tight budget in the Denlinger family and we're trying to find ways to make our money work for us. According to diaperpin.com, a family will save an average of $3,100 by using cloth diapers instead of disposables. Now lots went into her math (including cost of gas to buy diapers vs. cost of water to wash, etc.) so please click over and see how she came up with her numbers.

And this is just for one child! Saving a big chunk of change for baby #1 sounds like a great idea. Plus, when it's time for baby #2 (God willing), it's like free diaper times!

A downside of cloth diapering is that, unlike spreading out the cost of diapers throughout the many weeks pre-potty training, cloth diapering comes with a pretty hefty upfront cost. But once you're done, you're done! For our family, this makes sense.

The other huge concern (and reason for our choice) is the environment. It takes about 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill. Yikes. For us, we are exploring the cloth diaper option to keep as many diapers out of landfills as possible.

*Please know that this is 100% our opinion in how we came to this choice. I am not judging the use of disposables if that's what's best for your family and your baby (because that's the #1 most important thing). We will definitely have a stash of disposables on hand for the first few weeks, when baby is sick, etc. It just makes sense!*

For other reasons to cloth diaper: Univ. of Minnesota research study and about.com

Now the "what."

After much debate (and some tears because it was starting to stress me out), we have decided to go with Rump-A-Rooz. They are a pocket-style diaper that you stuff with liners. You wash the whole shebang with each dirty diaper.

If you're considering cloth diapers but have no clue where to start, don't fret. Neither did I!

- Do some research on the types and kinds of cloth diapers. There's about a billion, and although they all work in similar ways, there is probably one that's better for your family and your baby. I love this post from Simple Mom. The more moms I talk to, the more I'm realizing that most folks use a combination of types and kinds (daytime vs. nighttime, etc.).

- Take a class. We did and I've never felt better. We went to the All About Baby Boutique near our house -- they have great resources online as well.  We were able to see all the different types of diapers, touch and feel and figure them out, and ask all kinds of questions.

Funny story-- in the class I asked "so I take off a dirty diaper...well, what do I do with it?" Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. My husband was embarrassed. But I'm starting out a ground zero here people. I learned that cloth diapering is actually much easier than I thought. I do not want to spend my entire existence washing poopy diapers. Luckily I don't think that's the case at all.

- The Pistachio Project offers a great series on cloth diapering. I love her post on what you need to get started.

And the "now what."

Well, I guess we wait. We've added 24 diapers to our registry and will start picking up a few here and there until baby arrives.

Things on my cloth diapering to-do list:
- Get diapers and reusable wipes (what the heck, I'm going to be washing anyway).
- Buy/have hubby build diaper sprayer
- Do further research on approved laundry detergents and cleaning methods (I'm learning there's a billion ways to clean them and every website says something a little different about detergents. I'm going to do the best research I can and go from there, making adjustments as necessary).
- Learn how to diaper baby (maybe that should be #1)

Do you cloth diaper? I'd love to feature your expert advice, tips, and tricks.
Did you used to cloth diaper but didn't like it/it didn't work for your family/etc?
Feel free to email me at laura.c.denlinger @ gmail . com -- I'd love to feature you in upcoming posts!

photo credit


I'm so excited to have The Path Less Traveled Market as a sponsor! Elizabeth is such a sweetheart and creates some truly beautiful items. She features gorgeous vintage pieces as well. 

Pumpkin Paper Doily Garland -- I am so ready for fall!!

Elizabeth's items are perfect for making any event even more special -- from she features garlands, chair banners, confetti and more!

Connect with Elizabeth and The Path Less Traveled Market

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  1. Good for you guys! I admire your dedication to it!

  2. We tried cloth diapering, but it ende up not being or us. We bought dipped from Cootin Babies, and you can try them out for 30 days. It was really nie because there was little pressure. He leaked a LOT and I realized how much I didn't want to do all that laundry when I went back to work. If I'm ever stayIng home, I'd totally try it again. Also, our daycare provider really didn't want to deal with dirty cloth diapers. So all this to say that we are cloth diaper failures. With that said, I'm super lad we tried it. I hope you find the right system for you!!!


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