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I have been married for 6 years now, stay at home with my two wonderful boys (2 1/2 and 5 mo). I also watch 5 other children in their home part time. I cloth diaper both of my boys, using hand knit, by me, wool covers and prefolds. I try and make a lot of our food from scratch and hopelessly fail at keeping house, but I try.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Intro to the Cost of Diapering Series

Welcome to my first Frugal Friday! Part of my mission in business is to provide you an affordable way to raise your kids. As a maker of lovely woolies, my mission statement for The Sleepy Sheep is: Providing you a way to affordably diaper your baby in comfort and style! And I mean it! That's why my prices are low and my items are cute ;) In real life though, I want you to be able to provide the best for your family while staying afloat financially. So I will do my best at providing you the information to do that here on Frugal Fridays. What's first? Well, read on my friend.

I have been thinking about the cost of diapering over the last several months. There is more than a financial cost, regardless of the system you use to diaper your child. With disposables you have to make sure you always have them on hand, if you run out (with as spacey as I am, that would happen at least once a month) you have to make a special trip to the store. You have to take the time do the fancy pail thing (I found the diaper genie to be a little complicated and hard to deal with working in day cares and helping friends out). With cloth you have to make sure you always have a few clean ones on hand (so pretty much the same as making sure you're always stocked up on 'sposies) and do the laundry. It really doesn't take any more time or effort to actually change a baby depending on what style of cloth you use.

** I would like to point out that I am not a 'sposie basher as some die hard cloth users are. I may want to cloth diaper my babies for various reasons, but there are various reasons to use disposables as well. It is a valid system, regardless of cost, waste and what they're made of. I have used sposies on my children, and while I cringe every time I put one on them, I do not have anything against them or die hard sposie users. Thank you **

Here is a general outline that may change at my choosing for various reasons.
  1. Disposables since it is the most widely used system
  2. Various re-usable accessories needed for cloth diapers, including cloth wipes, wet bags (in place of garbage bags or pails used for sposies) wipe solution etc. This will set the stage and numbers to add to each consecutive cloth diapering system. I will also include an optional price of using cloth training pants instead of just going strait to underwear.
  3. All in Ones and All in Twos because they are the most expensive and most similar to sposie use. They are also seen as the easiest form of cloth by many.
  4. Pocket Diapers because they are the next most expensive and similar to sposies as well
  5. Covers. This will set the stage for the various systems requiring an absorbent cloth diaper and a waterproof cover. This will include PUL covers, Vinyl pants, and of course, all things wool ;)
  6. Fitteds are the most expensive absorbent, cover-less diaper.
  7. Prefolds are next in line, being a mainstream 'cheap' option for cloth diapering
  8. Flats, also the least expensive but less used than prefolds. Flats are also considered to be too complicated for most.
  9. Making your own diapers and or covers
  10. The cost of Laundering diapers. This will be complicated to do and will require some real math and experimenting. In fact it may become a mini series within this larger series. What I have planned is to test drive using disposables for a month and keep tabs on our water bill. This will even require me to 'log' water usage that is variable or out of the ordinary. Then I will do the same using cloth, again logging out of the ordinary water usage and things that vary like how much we water the yard and garden. This may not even work out, but if I decide to start I will blog on it week by week so you can see my progress and that I am doing it. This way if the cost of laundering actually makes the cost of using cloth more than the cost of using disposables I can't back out and not share ;) Hopefully that will ensure skeptical readers that I am being honest. I"ll even copy my water bill and post it here, after blurring some personal information.
  11. A summary, giving you a short and sweet, to the point comparison from the various diapering systems.
At the beginning of each post I will give a short summary of the system, giving you any pertinent information. I will also give you my opinions on the various systems of diapering.

If you have any suggestions, see anything I"m missing or otherwise have some thing to add, please do!! You might notice, if you're keen on such things, that I have not touched on EC or Elimination Communication. At this point, I don't plan to include that in this series. I may post a separate blog on EC in the future, but at this point I am pretty clueless. If you EC your child(ren) and would like to be a guest blogger, please email me at thesleepysheep [dot] reckling [at] gmail [dot] com.

Check out this awesome blog post on the same subject as my series ;)

Happy Frugal Friday!

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