I started researching the cloth diaper world and found a lot of websites out there, all with different information. I wanted something simple to start out with. I found that BumGenius seemed to be the best and simplest form of cloth diaper for us to try. Before ordering any online, I did some research to see if there were any stores in my area that carried cloth diapers. I was in luck (there are about 2 stores) and went to check them out (If you are in the Louisville area these stores are Mama's Hip and Amazing Green Planet). I ended up purchasing one BumGenius (BG) and a Flip diaper. We tried them out when Benjamin was eight months old, the Flip didn't work for us (leaks), but the BG I loved! It was so simple to use and no leaks!
How Many Diapers?
I currently have 24 diapers for Benjamin and Meredith and wash them every other day. When we are out of the house, I use disposables because I would have to carry a suitcase to haul enough diapers and a wet bag (a waterproof bag to store dirty diapers in) for two (soon to be 3) babies! We also use disposables at night, since they are more absorbent than BG. There are other cloth diapers out there that work for overnight use. So generally we use 1 disposable a day for each baby, not bad!
Saving YOU Money!
You have to do what works for your family, some families can cloth diaper 100% of the time, some only on weekends. Yes, it can be a bit expensive to start up the cloth diapers, but in the long run (especially if you are having more babies) you quickly recoup the savings. The website, Diaper Pin does the math for you. According to the Diaper Pin, it costs roughly (because prices of disposables change) between $2,800 to $3,500 to diaper your child from newborn until they are potty trained (between 2 and 3 years of age). The start up cost for cloth diapers is roughly $300 (depending on the brand of diaper).
Going by the numbers provided by Diaper Pin, it would cost us $8,400 to $10,500 to use disposables on our three babies until they are potty trained. I have spent roughly $500 for cloth diapers that I have used on 2 babies and soon to be one more baby!
They each have enough diapers that I only have to wash them every other day. Here is what works for us using the BG diapers and our washer and dryer:
- Flush any solids....no need to further explain that!
- Put the diapers in the wash and turn on the washer to “rinse and spin” cycle. This takes about 25 minutes.
- Then add in 1 tablespoon of Cloth Diaper Detergent and turn washer to the normal setting. Depending on your washer you may be able to control different aspects of a setting. For example, when I set our washer on the normal setting I can also select the temperature and is I want an extra rinse cycle. So I set the temperature on a hot wash, cold rinse. And I always do an extra rinse just to make sure :)
Cloth Diaper Detergent
Always check with your brand of diapers before using any commercial laundry detergent. Some laundry detergent will build up and cause your diapers to leak. There are also laundry detergents that you can buy, such as Rockin' Green Detergent, Nelly's Laundry Soap, and many others. However, these do add up in price and in an effort to keep costs low, I found a recipe for detergent on The Eco-Friendly Family blog. I love this detergent, it gets the job done and is cheap!