We've been doing the cloth diaper thing since late May, so about 4 months. In that time I've been really pleased with them. We've had zero blowouts and only a handful of leaky diapers (most of which were a result of user error and were not the diaper's fault). Charlotte has had only a very small diaper rash, a very few number of times. They're cute, they're highly functional, they make me feel like a hippie. But, are we saving money?
Here's what I've spent so far:
$395 = Twenty-four Bum Genius 3.0 cloth diapers with snaps
$12 = Two 10 packs of baby washcloths, for use as wipes.
$10 = Diaper Pail. Really, it's a flip top lidded plastic kitchen trash can. I got it at Target.
$30 = Two Diaper Pail Liners that Maggie told me to buy and they are AWESOME.
$2 = Spray Bottle. I got it at Walmart. It's just an empty spray bottle from the cleaning products aisle.
$11.49 = California Baby Diaper Area Wash. I can dilute this to make about six spray bottles worth. I just bought so I'm not sure what I think of it. Before, I was just using water with some Cetaphil in it.
$34.95 = Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer. It's really $44.95 but for first-time customers at Diapers.com you get $10 off. I just bought this since she's only started solids in the past week.
TOTAL CLOTH DIAPER INVESTMENT: $503.43
I figure we would have spent about $20/week on disposable diapers and wipes, maybe a little bit less. This is about what we spent on Claire. I know I can probably get them cheaper if I price shop and do that crazy coupon thing but I seriously do not have that in me. I know myself and I know I would buy it all at Walmart.
After 21 weeks of cloth diapering (where we're at now) we would have spent about $420 in the diaper aisle in the same period of time. We're pretty close to breaking even (though I haven't factored in the cost of water/energy to wash them) and she'll be wearing these for another year, probably more. If I stop buying diapers here and don't invest any more in STUFF, we'll totally come out ahead. WAAAAAAY ahead. Even if I have to buy another wet bag or pail liner or whatever we'll win the financial game by a long stretch. (Two years of disposables at $20/week is a little more than $2,000. I spent less on Claire's diapering towards the end but...lazy math. Just take it at face value.)
I am kind of surprised that I haven't bought any more diapers than my original stash of 24. There are SO MANY kinds and colors and patterns, but honestly I've been really happy with the ones we have and, well, if it ain't broke don't fix it. There are other things I'd rather spend my money on.
I get a lot of comments and questions about them from my friends and relatives. My relatives (mostly people with grown children) are kind of surprised to see how far cloth diapers have come in 20 or 30 years. They remember using prefolds and plastic pants and pins. My friends are shocked that they don't smell or I don't find the laundry disgusting. But, really, it's a cinch. I have zero complaints. They wash easily (one cold cycle, one hot cycle, extra rinse), they aren't a pain to keep up with, they don't smell. They are easy to change on the go and on weekends away and they're just kind of invisible to me at this point, which is how I know they're a good fit for our lifestyle. It's one of those things where I can't believe everyone doesn't do this. I mean, do people KNOW how awesome they are? Why is this a secret!?
Charlotte started eating solid food last week so we're entering a new phase for cloth diapers: the part where I have to rinse off solid poops before washing (breastfed baby stool is water soluble and I just put the whole diaper in the washing machine, no rinsing). I bought a diaper sprayer and everyone assures me that's key to making it easier/less yucky. But, for serious, I have two kids. I have touched poop. I will probably touch more poop before they grow up and become financially independent adults. I don't LIKE it, but...it's just one of those things a parent has to do sometimes. It remains to be seen how easy/painless this continues to be, but I have no reason to think it will get awful to the point that I will quit cloth diapers.
So, that's it. We like them.