Sunday, July 19, 2009

Changes for the laundry

...and some changes for Josiah and ultimately for our budget! Although I'm having a hard time believing it myself, we have, indeed, switched back to cloth diapers.

Now when I say I've "switched back", I mean that from the time Daniel, our first son, was born until he was around a year old, we used wraps and cotton cloth diapers and a diaper service. (And we had leaks and a giant big diaper bottom on our tiny baby- those things I didn't like.) Having someone else do your laundry is nice. But at the time, disposables seemed more convenient for us. Oh and we were moving to our first house and expecting our second son, Michael, as well. So we stopped with the cloth and I hadn't really looked back until about a month ago. A friend of mine wrote about her search for some good baby products and suddenly, cloth diapering became the "answer" to our current budget puzzle.

The Budget Puzzle is probably familiar to many of you with little diapered people. It goes like this:
*Plan to spend X amount for groceries twice a month.
*Plan to adhere to this amount down to the cent so as to be wise with our finances.
*Realize that with three children in some kind of disposable diaper product, a large chunk of X amount will go towards those diapers each payday.
*Try to stagger the purchasing of C@stco sized diaper/pullup boxes so that we are only buying one of them at a time.

Well, this hasn't always worked out. That's why it's a puzzle, see? And it has made it difficult to stay within our grocery budget each payday. But I did some research, worked some numbers and decided that by owning and washing our own diapers, we would save money. (I know that lots of people know this already.)

When I started to look at the different types of diapering systems out there, I got a little bogged down with the details. What's an AIO? Why do I want a pocket in my diaper anyway? Can I really handle the laundry aspect?

Bob and I talked about it. I spoke with my sister-in-law about her experiences cloth diapering her two little boys and was really encouraged. It really sounded do-able.

So this is what we ended up with:

4 applecheeks diaper wraps- chosen for their comfort, durability, presence of snaps rather than velcro, and the fact that they only come in 2 sizes rather than several... Josiah wears Size 2. I use them as a wrap, not as a pocket diaper, at this point because that way, I can use the same wrap for most of the day and only change the insert, unless the whole thing is messy after a large Number 2 incident.

4 Hemp Babies little weeds hemp diaper inserts- chosen for their ability to absorb well, for their size and weight and because they are cheaper than the applecheeks hemp inserts

1 applecheeks bamboo diaper insert- chosen for night time use (along with a Hemp Babies little weeds as a doubler) because it is super absorbent

12 Tiny Tush cloth washcloths

All of this cost around $70 and we ordered most of it from this website. (I spoke with the woman who runs the website and also owns a diapering boutique in the U.S. and she was really helpful when it came time to figure out what might work for us. I chatted away with her on the phone, pumping her for all kinds of diaper advice.)

We have about 15 cotton diapers left over from Daniel's cloth diaper days so we use those during the day. I'm hoping to replace them slowly with something made of hemp or bamboo because they are much thinner and just plain absorb more liquid than cotton.

Right now, I am storing the soiled diapers and wraps in a plastic garbage sack until I'm ready to wash them. I'm hoping to get a special applecheeks bag made for this purpose at some point. I don't really want to have a diaper pail but the garbage sack isn't the best solution. Any one out there use something that works great for them?

The laundry end of things seems to be going well. I do a diaper load about every other day, hanging the clean diapers, wipes and wraps on the line outside to dry. Actually, I really enjoy this part.

So there we are. All the information that's been tossing around inside my head about diapers intermixed with the sunny evening pictures of my not so willing diaper model.


Our Four Kids said...

You go girl! I do indeed understand the "puzzle." We are in it a bit as well!

amy said...

Oh cool Rebecca! Love it!
Josiah looks adorable in the red diaper.
Your garden looks amazing and lush.
Will you use the dryer during rainy season?
I liked reading what you've bought and how you like it.
Will you use cloth right away with baby number five or wait until she/he is older?
Can't wait to see you!

Gigi said...

Nice job Rebecca. Once we have a bit-o-cash I am interested in those bamboo and hemp diapers you talked about.