One idea behind the cloth diaper trial is to take home several different types and brands of diapers and give each the good old college try. We were given 12 diapers, each different styles and brands, and within a few weeks BJ and I had a pretty solid idea of which ones we liked and which ones ranked right down at the bottom. As our month came to a close, one thing was clear: we loved cloth diapering and had every intention of making this initial investment. Our motivation is primarily monetary, and we figured that these cloth diapers, which cost roughly $20 apiece, will end up paying for themselves before George is officially out of diapers (I plan to begin the potty training process with George between age 22-24 months; Silas was potty-trained just after his second birthday and I know we could have started sooner). Add into the equation that we would be tickled to have a third child, and then it all seems like a definite no-brainer. We would need to buy some additional cloth diapers with a third child since younger babies require more diapers in a day than older babies do, but all in all the cost savings would be substantial.
Three days into the cloth diaper trial, BJ and I quickly realized the futility of trying to use disposable wipes within this process. Using reusable wipes made SO much more sense, it seemed! Take a wet diaper, for instance; I would drop the wet diaper into the dry-bag (a completely adorable dry-bag that hangs on his closet door), use a single disposable wipe to clean him up, and then what? I would have to walk all the way to the trash can and throw away this single dirty wipe. And poopy wipes were a different thing altogether because those smelly things couldn't just be thrown into the trash. They required a plastic sack, which seemed downright wasteful. Wouldn't it be so much easier to just have a cloth wipe that goes right into the dry-bag with the wet or dirty diaper? I'm already doing a load of laundry anyway, so what are a few wipes extra? Then, we realized, aha! They sell these things too! We purchased two types of cloth wipes, one of which is flannel and one which is soft cotton, in packages of 10 at a cost of just under $11. We also bought a bottle of Apple Cheeks cleansing spray, which smells delicious and sprays right onto his bum as part of the clean-up process, and voila! Now I don't have to buy disposable wipes anymore! If you've ever seen the spoof Galaxy Quest, please imagine with me Alan Rickman rolling his eyes and muttering, "What a savings." Savings indeed!
Extra bonus: the diapers are adorable. My little boy is the cutest little muffin running around in these! Our favorite brands were Tots Bots, which has a fleece-feeling interior, and Bum Genius Freetimes. Both kinds are considered all-in-ones, which means they don't have additional snap-in pieces or require any kind of construction after washings. We bought gender-neutral colors and a few patterns too; I simply couldn't resist the London theme Tots Bots!
Tots Bots on the inside...
...and the outside. (You can choose velcro or snaps; we chose some of both.)
The cloth wipes
This is one of our night-time diapers, a little thicker with extra-absorbency. The terry-cloth part is what touches his skin, and the polka-dot part is the cover.
So, do I think this is more work? Yes, a little bit, but the workload is NOT a ton more substantial now that we have the hang of it. I really like the idea of saving money and helping out the planet in the meantime. I bet that we have filled a veritable dumpster of disposable diapers between Silas and George, and that's just gross. I honestly do get a little more poop on my hands through this process, but that really doesn't bother me. Water and soap take care of things like that. And speaking of water and soap, I compared our water and electricity bills and found essentially no difference between one month ago, one year ago, and now. This month, for instance, our water bill went up 41 cents. When I looked at the same month from a year ago, it was down $1.50 though. So far, no changes there, but I will update if I start seeing a difference. And as far as soap, we use Tide Free and Clear, which is safe for the diapers. Lastly, George is not having any skin aversions to the cloth diapers.
Oh! And our house doesn't smell. I guess some people get worried about their house smelling. Just zip up the dry-bag and I can't imagine a problem!
All in all, a great move for our household. Have I left anything out?