Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Cloth Diapering – My First Purchases – Part 1

on March 13, 2012

Let me begin by saying that I am still tentatively trying cloth diapering.  I didn’t think it wise to put all my eggs in one basket (Sorry for the cliché, but we do have chickens.) without more understanding of the products and processes involved.  Let me also say that cloth diapering is much easier than I imagined, and I’m finding it quite fun!

Those of you who know me or have followed my blog know I’m an engineer by training and a former college professor of operations and quality management.  With that analytical background, I thought about doing a break-even analysis to evaluate the potential savings.  I started using factor rating to compare various cloth diapering approaches and to compare them to disposables.  (This method lets you include qualitative factors such as “ICK!” or easy-for-others-to-change rather than just the costs.)  But, I finally decided if I continued to deliberate, our coming child would likely be going on 2 years old before I made up my mind.

My thought process – without my quantitative analysis – included these considerations:

  • I wanted to buy enough cloth diapering supplies to make it feel that doing a load of diaper laundry was worth it.  (e.g. I didn’t want to buy just 2 diapers and be washing them as a load of laundry alone every day or two.
  • I didn’t want to commit to one diapering system since, despite my research and questions, I still didn’t know what might work well for me/us.
  • I wanted to try the night-time solution Coleen (from Sweet Little Blessings) recommended (a fitted diaper with a wool cover).
  • I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to make a go of at least part-time cloth diapering.
  • I wasn’t sure on sizing for my toddler, and I wanted to have gender-neutral items since we don’t know Baby’s gender and since our toddler is starting to use the potty.
  • Our toddler goes through an average of 6 disposable diapers a day now at 21 months.  I wanted to purchase enough diapers to be able to diaper most of 2 days and then wash.
  • I wanted to try the “easy” cloth diapers, such as FuzziBunz or BumGenius, that my friends have had success with.
  • I also wanted to keep costs down, so I wanted to see if pre-folds may be a feasible option as well.

My order ended up being something like this:

  • 4 FuzzyBunz One-Size Elites (This may not be what you have pictured for a cloth diaper.)
  • 6 organic cotton pre-folds (Bummis)
  • 1 Whisper Wrap cover
  • 1 Thirsties cover
  • 1 fitted diaper (Bamboozle)
  • 1 wool cover

Within a day or two, I thought I had overlooked a few things.  Regular diaper creams can impact the absorbency of cloth diapers (from what I read), so I would need an alternative.  Also, an online video and friend’s testimony interested me in liners rather than a more expensive sprayer that attaches to the toilet.  I also figured I’d need a wet bag (place to put used diapers) for my diaper bag if I was using the cloth diapers on the go as well as a place to put the wet/soiled diapers at home.

My additional order included:

  • GroVia Magic Stick for a diaper cream
  • Flushable liners (toddler-sized)
  • A fabric diaper “pail” that hangs on the doorknob and unzips at the bottom (FuzziBunz)
  • A wet bag for the diaper bag that has a zipper to help contain odors
I also knew I needed some different laundry detergent and some lanolin for the wool.  I was able to find these supplies at a local grocery store easily.

In the next post, I’ll share a little about the process I’m using and how it is working for us as well as an evaluation of the products I’m trying (though remember, I’ve only been doing this a couple of weeks).

~Dana 

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2 responses to “Cloth Diapering – My First Purchases – Part 1

  1. so… how is the cloth diapering going? I’m loving the sunshine, because it means I can dry the diapers in the sun and I can do “sun-ing” on the inserts (naturally makes them smell much more fresh and is a natural stain remover!).

  2. Dana K says:

    My “trial” continues, but I am really enjoying cloth diapering. I’ll try to write up my evaluation and thoughts soon. One problem is my toddler seems to prefer disposables to the cloth. I just recently got my first clothesline, so I’m hoping I can try drying the diapers outdoors this week.

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