08 Jan Cloth diapering: Update
Remember back when I did a little mini-series on cloth diapering?
Well, we’ve past the one-year mark of using our cloth diapers, so I thought I’d post a little update.
We’re on the largest diaper setting now, which should last until he’s potty trained!
Back when we started, we had the diaper snapped all the way down.
It’s exciting to know that he’s growing!
We have some staining on the inserts.
The one on the left looks perfectly new.
Middle a little more stained.
Right is the most stained one we have.
Really not bad when you consider a year’s worth of poo!
We stuff the diaper with two inserts.
This has been a bit unpredictable.
Some mornings he wakes up damp around the leg openings,
some soaked at the top of his diaper, and some completely dry.
I’m trying to limit drinks right before bedtime,
but I haven’t quite figured out what the “trigger” is.
Thankfully, we have something like TWELVE pjs, so the extra pj laundry hasn’t been frustrating.
Speaking of laundry, this is the #1 difference between disposables and cloth (duh??). I’m currently doing diaper laundry every 3-4 days. There have been times when we’ve run out of diapers, particularly right now while I’m preggers…and tired! But the money it has saved us is incredible! Think of it this way: We can wash 18 diapers in our compact stackable washer (it’s tiny!). We don’t pay for water here, but even if we did, it couldn’t be more than $.50/load.
18 diapers. $.50. That’s not even $.03 per diaper. Even the best of couponers couldn’t get a deal like that!
(Or could you? I do know some pretty amazing couponers!)
**EDIT: So I thought I’d dig around to see what we’re paying for laundry. Here’s the breakdown I came up with:
Our compact washer has an 11 gallon capacity or 1.5cu. ft. (yeah, tiny!). We don’t pay for water, but I looked around and around the internet, and it looks like water ranges from $.0006/gal to $.008/gal. Okay, I’m no expert, and I didn’t exhaust the internet’s resources, but that’s what I gathered. Either way, that’s waaaay less than one PENNY per gallon. If I used the high end of those ranges, water would cost us $.09/load. I took the detergent we use and multiplied its number of loads by two, since cloth diapering uses 1/2 the amount of detergent. For electricity, you do have to use hot water for cloth diapers, which is where an expense will be seen. I’ve seen a range from $.09/load to $.20/load. Let’s use the high end again.
COST PER DIAPER: $.02/diaper (which means Amazing Amy wins with her coupons for price!)
But since our water’s free (for now), we pay $.29/load or $.01/diaper.
In the summer, I line dry everything. In the winter, I line dry the outers and use the dryer for the inserts (they just take too long to dry inside!). But they dry quickly (20-30 minutes) in the dryer on low heat. My brain’s dead on the calculations, so add a couple more pennies yourself.
We’re still happy with the decision–the pros outweigh the cons. It does take a bit more work, but I find it worth it…especially now while we’re saving for a house!