Why did you make a blog about cloth diapering when there’s already so many other ones out there?
I know this is going to be a question I’m going to get quite frequently.. right after “Why are you cloth diapering?” (But that’s for another time to answer.)
Here’s the thing. For the most part, I’m not really one to jump into things with a half baked plan or on a whim. Sometimes I have, but usually things work out. But when it comes to spending money, my husband and I don’t really play around. We are debt free -well, we have a mortgage, but other than that we have no debt- because we make good financial choices, we got a GREAT house in a GREAT neighborhood because we waited to ride the market out when prices were low, and we were able to get a good rate because of making good financial choices. We have a healthy relationship when it comes to spending money; we always ask each other before making any type of purchase to make sure it’s okay with the other one.. but even that’s a multi step process. If we have the money, we buy it, if we don’t have the money, then we hold off. Easy as that. We’re all about finding the best deals on things, but at the same time, we’re also about continuously finding more ways to save money without sacrificing time, quality or even quantity. We’re also both EXTREMELY analytical. Spreadsheets are our friend. We’ve sat down and used a spreadsheet and stared at it for over an hour before making a $50 purchase.. I kid you not. And let’s not go into how that time increases the more expensive the item in question gets…
We also try not to be wasteful either. I’ve been sewing since I was 9 years old by a machine, and by hand probably around 6 or 7. So instead of throwing stuff away because there’s a tear or a rip in it, I’ll try to mend it first. I’ve sewn buttons back onto shirts, I’ve mended seam splits.. well you get the idea.
Last May (2009), I had come across some article that discussed how much money diapering cost (can’t remember the source) and so on a whim, I decided to sit down and calculate how much we had spent on diapering. Zoe had been potty trained for over a year at that point, and Ruthie was still in diapers. I was alarmed to discover that between both girls, we had spent something in the range of $2,100 for both of them. I feel like I need to clarify something here.. Zoe was not potty trained until she was 3 years and 4 months old; I wish she had been trained sooner, but she was outwitting us. Eventually we figured out what worked and she was trained in less than 48 hours. Ruthie was trained at 2 years and 4 months and it took her a week. I was shocked. We literally threw over $2,000 in the trash! I feel bad enough when we buy food, and it spoils before we get around to eating it, and we have to throw away. Unfortunately, there’s no viable alternative for providing nourishment, but at least there is two different ways to diaper. At that point, I had decided NO MATTER WHAT I was going to get Jeff to say yes to cloth. I had posted on Facebook how much we had spent on diapering, and one of our relatives suggested to coupon to cut down on the cost, and I told her that I felt like couponing was a waste of time when I could just potty train my child, and that I was going to cloth diaper our third child. I guess I shouldn’t have insulted couponing, since she defriended me on facebook and removed me from her readers list on her blog… I still need to apologize to her for that. YIKES. (And yes, I’m still a skeptic on couponing, sorry)
After getting pregnant last year, I decided to aggressively research cloth diapering, and how much it would save. Most sites will typically tell you that you can save over $2,000 with cloth diapering per child, and I don’t doubt this, but in my head, I was going HOW? Especially when I BARELY went over that with TWO kids. I’m all for advertising the money savings, but really, that is highly unrealistic to me.
So, my goal with this blog is to help people accurately judge how much money they would save… as best as I can. There’s a ton of different diaper brands out there, all in different price ranges. Our preferred brand of disposables for example was the cheapest brand on the market that we could find, and we paid about 14 cents a diaper; however there are premium brands out there that would cost about 40 cents a diaper; that’s almost TRIPLE the price. The savings will greatly vary depending on two factors:
- What brand of Disposables you would probably use and
- What cloth diapers you would use.
With that said, I can only guess how most sites come to the conclusion of “savings over over $2,000 per child” they most likely take the most expensive brand of disposable diapers and compare it to the cheapest cloth diapers. Granted, there’s also more factors into the savings difference, such as local taxes, coupon usage and many more.
Even if the savings are marginal do I think it’s worth it? YES. I think all people across all economical situations should try it. Of course, if you do not have access to private laundry facilities, and the cost of washing a load of diapers will cost you more than buying disposables, then maybe it’s not for you. But it’s still worth investigating.
In addition to discussing cloth diapering on my site, I will probably also approach topics such as breastfeeding, natural parenting and just parenting in general… because eventually all of my kids will be potty trained.