A’Dell’s post about cloth diapering has me on the fence again. I am so interested in cloth diapering - mainly because I hate generating trash – but the biggest thing holding me back is that I love looking for/doing diaper “deals.” Last week I got a box of 176 size 4 Pampers Baby Dry diapers for $2.44 on Amazon. Obviously, a deal like that doesn’t come around every month, but if you stay on top of it (and don’t mind stealing magazines with coupons from the OB and/or Pediatrician’s office) you can do it about every 3-4 months. Plus, since my OB’s office gets like 40 copies each of Baby Talk/American Baby and encourages you to take them, I’ve been able to do that particular deal THREE TIMES this coupon cycle. (I can only do that while pregnant, because the pediatrician’s office is much stingier with the magazines.) With just the coupons from my magazine subscriptions, I generally get a nearly free box of diapers (the biggest box I can find) about 3-4 times a year. (Amazon still gets their money’s worth out of me, though. I buy everything from them refuse to shop anywhere else online.)
Even before the wonderfulness that is Amazon diaper coupons came about, I did regular diaper couponing (at Target, Walgreens, etc) and any time I could get diapers for 10-12 cents each I stocked up. We had such a big stockpile when the first nearly-free Amazon diaper deal came out I used it to buy a combo box of newborn/size 1 Swaddlers (half the diapers are newborn, half are size 1). I wasn’t even pregnant. I just figured we didn’t need any more size 3s and how can you go wrong with 220 diapers for $4? If, God forbid, we were never able to have another child, I could be the generous person who gave a $45 box of diapers to someone as a shower gift.
All of that is to say: I currently have 5 months’ worth of diapers for Meg (including 2 boxes of overnight diapers) and 4 months’ worth for the new baby. If the Amazon deals keep coming a few times a year, I’ll pay next-to-nothing to diaper the new baby.
But, for arguments sake, let’s say the Amazon deals end. If I go back to a stock up price of 12 cents a diaper (although I often got them for 10 cents) and the baby will be using roughly 7 diapers a day when the current stash runs out, that’s 84 cents a day, which is about $25/month. If cloth diapering costs roughly $500 to start, it would take 20 months to break even on just the diapers/wet bags (not including the detergent and water to wash them). Plus, I already have 4 months’ worth of nearly-free disposables and it’s likely I’ll get at least a few more. Money-wise, it just wouldn’t save much to cloth diaper unless we have a third child (which we might).
On the other hand, I SO want to try cloth. It just sounds BETTER (and cuter). For all the reasons A’Dell listed (except money). Especially before the baby starts solids, because poop explosions are majorly annoying. But I’d be a maniac about getting my money’s worth out of cloth and I think that’d be hard to do. I wouldn't be using them all the time since if I can get a $2-4 box of disposables I’m going to, so we’d still use disposables at daycare/when out and about. I just can’t go from my current diaper investment of $10 every few months to even a few cloth diapers at $20 each. I’ve read Maureen’s cloth diaper manifesto about 10 times and every time I finish it, I nearly go buy a whole bunch of cloth diapers, but I just can’t pull the trigger.
I do think I’ll buy a few Thirsties covers to use over the disposables when the new baby is in the poop explosion stage (as suggested by Tara in the comments on A’Dell’s post). Also, I have one cloth diaper I bought on e-Bay a while ago, but have never used. I don’t even remember what kind it is. If I remember right it’s a rather girly, but you can bet I’ll at least TRY it on the little boy. Plus, I want some prefolds for burp cloths and I just might end up trying them as diapers under the Thirsties covers…so it’s likely I’ll just trickle into the cloth diaper thing.
P.S. I secretly want a diaper sprayer. I already dump the poop from disposables into the toilet because it cuts WAY down on the diaper pail smell. The difference is amazing, people, TRY IT. Most of the time it rolls off the diaper, but sometimes I have to dunk and swish and I wish I had a sprayer…
P.P.S. If one more cloth diapering post talks about how you’re supposed not supposed to throw poop in the trash even in disposables, I’m going to scream. I know you think nobody actually puts the poop in the toilet with disposables, but I do.