A little over a year ago, I switched from cloth to full time disposables. It wasn't a decision I was thrilled about, but our cloth diapers were really nearly 2.5 years old. The elastic was stretched beyond usefulness, and the inserts were no longer doing their jobs. I was annoyed with their failure to last as long as I wanted (although they did last for a long time, I just had unreasonable expectations) and I was frustrated. Instead of replacing the cloth we had, I decided it would just be easy to by disposables. I wish I hadn't done that.
There was never a time when both of our kids were in cloth. When Kylar was born, I had been gifted a lot of disposables and I planned to do the same with Kylar that I did with Connor: use up the disposables then switch to full-time cloth.
However, the closer we got to running out of disposable diapers, the more I realized that I didn't have enough cloth for 2 little boys (a newborn and a toddler). I would have to do diaper laundry every single day and it's an all-day affair. I'd never have time for anything else and we'd never have clean clothes because I'd always be washing diapers. It just seemed insane and unreasonable to put myself through that. So I didn't. We kept Kylar in disposables and Connor in the cloth, thinking that Connor would potty train soon and then we'd switch Kylar to the cloth. That was around January of 2017. Connor didn't potty train until September 2017. Clearly my plan was a little off.
I ended up throwing away all of our cloth, after seemingly endless attempts to repair them. I hated doing it, but they simply weren't working anymore and nothing we did helped. By the summer of 2017, we were spending approx $160 a month of diapers. That is insane.
As I got further into my minimalist journey, I grew to really hate the disposables. I resented having to constantly buy more. I hated that we were essentially throwing away all this money every single month. When Mike took a vacation in the fall, we decided it was time to try the naked potty training method with Connor. He'd just turned 3. He was capable of making it to the bathroom, and even acknowledged in advance when he was about to pee, he just didn't want to stop playing to go. We were done with his day time diaper by the end of the week. He still sleeps in diapers right now, but we're working on that.
With Connor now potty trained (during the day), we were down to about $100 a month on diapers. Better, but still pretty bad. We limped on like that for another 6 months until this past March when I decided I'd had enough. $100 a month may not seem like a lot to some of you, but that's half my grocery budget! And I tend to grab diapers while at Aldi and pay cash, using my grocery money to buy diapers. I was maxing out my grocery budget halfway through the month. Every month! I couldn't take it anymore. This was getting out of hand and ridiculous.
Early March, I started consulting with moms in a couple of minimalist groups on Facebook, trying to determine the minimum number of diapers I could comfortably get by with and decent brands that are good quality but rather cheap. On average, most moms suggested between 15-20 diapers, washing every 2-4 days (depending on your kid and your laundry routine).
On our anniversary (Happy 8th year to us!) I bought a dozen ALVA Baby Pocket Diapers. They came in a couple of days later, I prepped and immediately felt a wave of relief. I'd just spent $60 on 12 diapers. That might seem ridiculous, but in the last 2 months, I've only had to buy one box of diapers, for Connor, for $15. At the end of March, I ordered one more 6-pack, and we are now happily functioning on 18 cloth diapers. We still have a small stash of disposables for Kylar, but they are mostly reserved for emergencies and when someone else is watching the kids.
By spending $90 once on 18 cloth diapers, I've cut our diaper costs from $100 a month to $15. I've been debating putting Connor in cloth too, but I think I'm ok with spending this last little bit on his diapers. A box of 80 diapers easily lasts 2 months with him.
So we're back with cloth. What does that look like?
Cloth diapers are impressively easy to do, once you get over the idea of dumping someone else's poop in the toilet. Seriously though, poop belongs in a toilet, not a fancy trash can/diaper genie. Flushing poop away is far more natural than putting it in the trash. Plus, if you have a fancy sprayer (like this one) then you barely have to mess with it at all.
There are a plethora of different styles and types of cloth diapers, but my favorite are pocket diapers. You stuff the inserts into the pocket created between the soft cloth that actually touches your babe's butt and the outer cute fabric and tada! Diaper is done and it's much easier to clean the poop off.
My cloth diaper laundry routine
It's actually pretty simple, thanks to my fancy washer, but it goes about like this:
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