Friday, February 27, 2015

How I Got Cloth Diapers "Hubby Approved"

While I was pregnant I came up with this *crazy* idea that I wanted our little baby to be diapered in cloth. The only factor I still had to consider was my generally sane husband's reaction. How do I convince him that cloth diapering was not outdated or wacky, and would actually be the best decision for our new family?

I researched. I read. I reviewed all the options. When I finally felt confident that I had all the info I needed, I sprung the idea on Joe.

I'm a firm believer of positivity so I hit him full force with all of the benefits first.
1. Best for baby.
2. Best for the environment. 
3. Best for our pocketbook. 
While all of these factors influenced my decision, I knew the latter would be the one to get his attention. Hook, line and sinker.

You'd do anything to protect your baby, right? We avoid certain foods and beverages when we're pregnant. We baby proof. We wash their clothes in special detergent. But then we put chemicals right against baby's most delicate spots. Have you awoken to your sweet baby in a bloated diaper with gel leaking at the seams? I don't know about you, but that surely isn't natural. Manufactures explain that these harmful chemicals (dioxin and sodium polyacrylate in particular) are in such small concentrations that there is nothing to fret over but why risk it at all?
image via El Brooklyn Taco

Did you know that one baby will contribute at least a ton of waste to the landfill from disposable diapers alone? Those diapers can last for hundreds of years. My children's children's children will be born before the diapers I wore as a baby have fully decomposed. Wow. Diapers have definitely come a long way in the last three decades but they are far from being waste-less.

On the other hand, when using cloth you have virtually no waste. Everything gets washed and goes right back on your baby's bum the next day. While there are plenty of options for disposable liners and inserts, most are compostable, biodegradable and/or flushable.

If you or your significant other are anything like my husband, the financial aspect will speak volumes.  The cost of diapering a child is extraordinary. When using disposables, you can expect to pay between $1500 and $2000 by the time they are potty trained (and more if you use deluxe brands or your child isn't potty trained at two years old). You are throwing away money every time you trash a dirty diaper. It's quite the contrary with cloth. If you use one-size diapers as we do, the same diaper your newborn wears can be worn by his 2 year old sibling - or used by the same child until they are potty trained. Oh and did I mention they have a ridiculous resale value? Don't believe me? There are entire buy/sell/trade groups dedicated to this purpose on Facebook. Search cloth diaper on ebay or Craigslist and I'll guarantee you'll be surprised by the amount that USED diapers are sold for. Try selling a used disposable - something tells me you won't have much success.

image via Squawk Fox

Despite all of those factors, I was also completely honest about the only three drawbacks I could identify:
1. Water and energy usage.
2. The initial investment.
3. Extra {poopy} laundry.
Afterall, this was a decision that we both had to be onboard with and he needed to see a full picture.

The biggest criticism of cloth is the overconsumption of water and electricity. A lot of people worry about the amount  used to launder the diapers. However, these extra loads of laundry will account for no more than 5% of your family's water use each year. Based on our water bill, that's $0.67 per week (three loads of diapers).  As for the cost of the electricity, our HE machine estimates that for 8 loads of laundry per week, our cost to run the machine for the year is less than $13. Lest we forget that disposables use water, too.

image via GroVia

Cloth diapers are not cheap but  there are options for every budget. In my experience, you get what you pay for so I'd suggest going high quality rather than the 'china cheapy' route. Our initial investment was around $400 and we have a complete stash for 3-4 days of changes: 16 pocket diapers, 3 all in ones, 6 covers, about 3 dozen prefolds/inserts and three wetbags. Without a doubt, that's very expensive but again, consider the low-end price tag of $1500 that comes with disposables. I should mention that while our investment was a moderate one, our favorite retailer (CottonBabies) offers a budget friendly option called Econobums. They claim you can diaper a baby in cloth from birth to potty for less than $100!

Sure, poopy diapers are more than a little gross but no more gross than washing an outfit with a blowout. I use inexpensive fleece liners on top of my cloth diapers to make cleanup easy so if the diaper is really that bad I could always just trash the liner. I have yet to get to that point. A lot of people are grossed out by how dirty the diapers will become. With a good wash routine, your diapers will look and smell like new at every single change. I'll share my laundering routine later this week!

The decision... 
After all my fact-finding and persuasive-speech-writing, you know what my husbands major concern was? That his little boy would be pricked by a safety pin... Oh, just imagine his surprise when our first diaper arrived. Needless to say, he was onboard and we haven't looked back since.

Once you make the decision to switch to cloth, these are the diapers that our family swears by! And be sure to grab my cloth diaper laundry routine because you'll need to wash those bad boys, too.

Until March 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EST), enter our Free Fluff Cloth Diaper Giveaway for your chance to win a 4.0 diaper or Flip diaper cover.

If you're interested in attending, MommyCon is offering Spool and Spoon readers $5 off of general admission tickets (not valid on VIP or pre-sale tickets).

March 28 - Atlanta
April 18 - Minneapolis
May 23 - Orlando (tickets available after Feb 28)
August 22 - Washington DC (tickets available after Feb 28)
September 19 - Columbus (tickets available after Mar 15)
November 14 - Newport Beach (tickets available after Mar 15)
November 21 - Seattle (tickets available after Mar 15)

Visit and select the date of your choice. During checkout use code SPOOLSPOON15 for a discounted ticket price of $35! If you have a group of 20 or more (think church groups, neighborhood play group, MOMS/MOPS, etc.), let me know before purchasing as I can provide you a code to get your group tickets at $32 a piece.

If you've been to previous MommyCon events, shoot me an email! I'd love to hear about your experience!


  1. Great article! Do you mind if I share some of your content on my blog as well? I just started diapering and I want to teach people why I think they should do it to

    1. Hi Loriann! Please include a link back to Spool and Spoon for any original content but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do share! Together, we can #makeclothmainstream!

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