Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cloth Diapers With Prepping in Mind

So Many Kinds of cloth diapers!!  -- Click the link to see images of the options!

With  baby #5, due sometime at the end of July or beginning of August, I decided to return to cloth diapering.  I did this for three reasons:
  1. cost- I just do not have an extra $20 a month to spend on diapers any more.
  2. ease- there have been many "technological advancements" in cloth diapering recently that make it much easier.
  3. prepping- unlike disposables, cloth diapers are infinitely reusable and take up little space.


Way back when I was pregnant with baby #1 we compared all the options, and did the math for investing in a set of diapers. We priced new inserts and covers ranging in sizes from newborn to toddler, and it all came up to about $350 (this was in the olden days before Craigslist). Then we looked at estimates for purchasing disposables for 2 years and it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 also. We went with ease and familiarity- disposables. Too late, somewhere down the road, we realized that the initial cost of cloth diapers got halved with each additional child.  Now, including this child, our per-child cost for diapering would have been $70. Oh well.

I briefly used cloth diapers with kid #3, for about a year. I was seriously strapped for cash and it was time to go buy diapers. I was buying about a box a month, 60 or 70 disposables, for about $17, if I remember.  I looked at the 20 dollar bill in my hand. I decided to get a few fabric diaper covers and a 12-pack of prefold Gerber inserts and see how impossible cloth diapering was. 

- used diaper cover, $6 each (x2 = $12)
- new Gerber prefolds, 12ct ($12)

(I wanted to let you know that I bought one more cover the next month. Then I successfully cloth diapered my daughter for a year using three covers and 12 inserts. You don't need a huge amount to succeed.) 

Nowadays with Craigslist and children's resale shops, not to mention ebay, the initial investment can be very slight. In addition, you can get covers in the next size up as your child grows, not at the beginning.

Already, just by announcing to people that we are doing cloth diapering, and by putting some on our baby registry, we are inheriting oodles of supplies from cloth diapering "veterans" who also give advice and encouragement on using them!

2. EASE:

As I see it, there have been 3 advancements that make cloth diapering so much easier than when people had to diaper this way- wetbags, snappis
and disposable liners. Wetbags are lined, waterproof zipper bags that make carrying the wet/dirty diapers home to wash much easier.

 Snappi- instead of clumsy and pointy pins

Disposable (poop-catching) liner, makes washing easier


 The volume of a single cloth diaper is usually larger than a single disposable diaper. However, the sheer storage space needed to store enough disposables for a single child until it's time for potty training is huge. I inherited a huge assortment of cloth diapers covers recently that all fit into a reusable grocery bag. I need to purchase prefold absorbent liners, which should fill another reusable grocery bag, and then I should be ready to go. 

As far as prepping goes, a waterproof cover and absorbent prefold inside is the method of choice. You don't need to wash the cover each time, and the separate prefolds dry much more quickly than other, all-in-one options out there.

Waterproof cover- Velcro closure
Waterproof cover- Adjustable snap closures (hung upside down)
prefold diapers that fit inside either of the above covers

You may be intimidated by the look of that snap cover- don't be. It is adjustable not only around the waist, but also the rise- the snaps sort of floating there snap together to make the diaper shorter up/down. Here's a picture of two identical snap diaper covers, on the right snapped to the biggest setting, the other to the smallest.

If you have children in diapers or plan to, and you're a prepper, I would strongly encourage you to invest in cloth diapering. If you have grandkids in your group who are currently diapered in disposables,
I would strongly encourage you to invest in cloth diapering. If you have women of child bearing age in your group, I would strongly encourage you to invest in cloth diapering.

Here is a blog that is really informative and excited about cloth diapering: The Awesome Cloth Diaper Blog.

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