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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cloth Diapers Don't Have To Be All Or Nothing

We have been a cloth diapering family for almost four years.  That doesn't mean that we don't get our share of disposable diapers, though - you can see some of Hannah's in the picture above.  What we do, which is working really well for us, is cloth diaper half time.

When we are at home, I try to keep both Hannah and Matthew in cloth diapers.  We have two dozen prefolds (the actual diaper part) and 6 covers in Matthew's size, so he almost never runs out before it's time to wash them.  We have two dozen prefolds in Hannah's size too, but with only 3 covers and a propensity for pooping, she goes through hers a lot faster.  (For those who don't know, you can reuse a cover with a new diaper insert when it's just wet, since you just wipe it off with the baby wipe and air dry, but the poop ones are messier and have to be thrown in the pail to wash.)

When we are out and about, we use disposable diapers.  It's just easier.  And at night? Disposables.  I could put in the effort to have a wet bag and cloth in the diaper bag, and figure out just how many extra layers Matthew needs at night to not leak (several), but it's just easier to do disposables sometimes. And that's okay.  It's a balance between the two that works for us.

I usually wash the diapers once or twice a week, depending on how often we've been home.  Even with the switch back to coin-operated laundry with this move, we're still only spending $2.50 on the equivalent of a standard jumbo package of diapers, which are normally around $9.00.  We use the cloth diapers often enough that they've more than paid for themselves in those savings.  I'm saving up my Swagbucks to get a few more small covers for Hannah so she doesn't get through them so fast, although she's almost to the point that she might fit into the middle size of diapers/covers that we have, which would be twice as many as the smalls.

Do we save money by cloth diapering half time? Yes.  Do we save sanity by using disposables sometimes? Absolutely.  Cloth diapers don't have to be all or nothing, but they're an awesome way to save money, protect the environment, and those little baby bums sure look cute!

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