Cloth Diapering, 3 Years In

When I was pregnant with Abbie, I mostly went with the flow. I figured I’d try different ways of doing things and if it didn’t work, I’d just try something else. Most of it I was pretty flexible on, but there was one thing I researched the heck out of and wanted to work out more than anything else – cloth diapering.

Cloth_Diapering_3_Year_Update

We’re now at about three years of cloth diapering, and I thought it was time to write an update of sorts. When I initially looked into cloth, blogs were a huge source of information for me. Honestly, they were part of the reason I was so excited to do cloth diapering in the first place – the benefits were amazing according to everything I was reading. Another thing I remember is seeing a lot of information about getting started, but not a ton on how they held up. So today I thought I’d share how ours have held up.

Our cloth diaper stash includes:

First off, the diapers. We went with the Bumgenius pockets because I liked how easy they were, and how similar they are to disposables – I wanted to make things as easy as possible on our daycare provider. It was a blessing she was fine with cloth in the first place, so making it easier was high on my list. Abbie started wearing cloth at about a month old, and I’m happy to say the diapers have really held up. We have had to fix up just a few things due to normal wear and tear. This summer, at about 2.5 years of use, my mother-in-law (thank goodness she can sew) replaced the leg elastic in all the diapers. They had started to leak and I noticed they were really stretched out, so that was our first fix. The second was replacing all the microfiber inserts. Once we did both of those, the leaks pretty much stopped, unless Abbie goes too long between a change. Our diapers are a bit stained, but I think that’s only because I haven’t ever sunned them.

Cloth_Diapering_Update

Next up, the pail liners, which we just replaced last month – that means they went over 2.5 years without leaking. The hemp inserts have started to show wear, but are still going strong for the most part. With potty training around the corner, they’re not something I’m going to invest in now, but probably will replace whenever another little one comes along. Our wipes are still in good shape too – some are a little thin but that’s to be expected. They’re fairly cheap, so they’re easy to replace. We wash both the diapers and wipes every 4-5 days, depending how many diapers Abbie goes through. For a long time, we used Rockin’ Green, but I now make my own detergent using Molly’s recipe, and that works great – plus I use it for everything else too! 

Next up, the pail liners, which we just replaced last month – that means they went over 2.5 years without leaking. The hemp inserts have started to show wear, but are still going strong for the most part. With potty training around the corner, they’re not something I’m going to invest in now, but probably will replace whenever another little one comes along. Our wipes are still in good shape too – some are a little thin but that’s to be expected. They’re fairly cheap, so they’re easy to replace. The wet bags are probably in the best shape of all – they zip securely, have a waterproof liner, and are just all-around awesome.

Cloth_Diapering_Update

One of the things I loved when researching were the price analyses, so I’ve put one together for you. I did round up just to make things easier, math wise.

Total: $941- Let’s round it up to $950.

It sounds like a big investment, but this is the part where I get excited. Because that $950? Divide it by three years and it’s only $317. Divide that again by 52 weeks, and you get $6.09. Divide it again by 7 and it’s $.87. Pretty amazing. You couldn’t do that with disposable diapers!

Of course, there are a few other things it’s hard to list – the water for an extra 2 loads of laundry every week, the detergent when I was still buying it (and the supplies to make the one I use now), and the elastics we replaced, but that’s negligible to me. That $950 I’ve invested was worth every penny.

Did you consider cloth diapers?

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Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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14 Responses

  1. My sister is currently on cloth diaper. We were a bit taken back at first, but the more I look at it, the more it makes sense.

    We don’t have any kids of our own yet, but now cloth diapering is definitely going to be part of the conversation! Great post!

    1. Thank you! And yes, the math makes it make SO much sense… plus there’s the fact that they’re still in pretty good shape and I’ll likely be able to use them for future kids! The hardest part of it as a working mom was finding a daycare that would take them, which I thankfully did!

      If you have any questions when you get to the conversation, feel free to reach out – happy to help!

  2. Ok you couldn’t have written this post at a better time. We used cloth with Scarlett about 80% of the time (I never did over night, I just didn’t mind using sposies for that).

    Anyway… I use GroVia hybrids mostly and a few BG freetimes but I want to add some pockets this time for Bodhi. The BG 4.0’s were on sale yesterday and I almost bought them but wanted to hear how someone that used them liked them first hand so YAY! 🙂

    I LOVE cloth diapering, Scarlett never had a bum rash or a blowout and I 100% contribute that to cloth. Bodhi is just getting over a bad yeast rash so I’mw waiting for that to clear to switch him to cloth (I don’t want it getting in my diapers!) and I’m sure he will be rocking pink and purple hand me down diapers. Poor kid 😉

    1. Yay! And yes, I’ve seen that the 4.0s are on sale, probably because they came out with the 5.0s.

      And I HATE yeast. It always comes back! I think we did get a little bit in our diapers because Abbie does have it flare up now and again. My diaper balm does help with that and I get it to clear, but I do think once Abbie’s potty trained I’ll be stripping my diapers before we have #2… just in case. I don’t want to do it now because it’s just so much of a process, and we’re SO close to potty training!

      1. Oh totally! I’ve always been told to take a break from cloth if baby has a yeast rash because it’s a bitch to get out of diapers. I plan on stripping all of my diapers today before using them on Bodhi!

        I purchased the 4.0 and one of the 5.0’s after reading this 🙂 I’ll let you know what I think! PS have you ever had to strip your diapers? What process do you use?

        1. Oh good! I am curious about the 5.0s and how different they are…. if our next one is a boy I’ll have to get some more boy colors!

          And I haven’t stripped them ever – I’ve read how much work it is and I just don’t have the patience while she’s still in them. I have a friend in TX that’s done it so I was going to ask her, but if you find a good process I’m all ears!

  3. We have cloth diapered on and off over the past 2 years and it is well worth the initial output! I recommend everyone that is expecting to check out his option. It’s not your grandma’s cloth diapers anymore.

    1. Definitely not those terrible ones they used to use! I love the pockets because they make it SO easy. I know there’s cheaper ways, but this way worked great for us and we’ll do it again!

  4. You go girl! That’s pretty amazing. I had considered using cloth diapers, but my hubby was not on board at all. Which surprised me because he’s Mr. Financial Guy, so I figured money wise he’d be all over it, but he said he just couldn’t imagine using them. I told him about friend’s who use them and he said no. Damn man! But I think they are so great!

    1. They are! So you want to know what convinced Chris? People saying we couldn’t do it and we wouldn’t stick to it. He wanted to show them we could… And now I’m sure they’ve spent way more on diapers than we have!

  5. Thanks Jess! I read your blog on cloth diapers a year and a half ago, and it was the sole reason I actually considered cloth. I now hate to use disposables and even insist on packing all our fluff supplies when we go on trips.

    Thank you so much for being so transparent through your parenting journey!

  6. Love this post! We use the same ones and we’re a little over two years in and starting to notice the stretchy leg elastics but not sure how to fix it. She’s been leaking through them more, too. If number two is a boy, we’ll need a few more boy colors but I’m wondering if we should also replace the inserts, too. We also use disposable at night now because I think being wet for 12 hours was bothering her but it’s been fine. Do you ever strip them? We have a few times but not sure it helps. And hoping potty training is around the corner for us, too!

    1. There’s a lot of tutorials online on how to do it if you can sew… I can’t, but luckily my MIL can! You have to turn them inside out, then cut the stitches on each end. You thread a new elastic through and sew it in! I haven’t ever stripped mine – waiting for her to potty train so I can do that whole process without worrying!

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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