Ok people, let’s talk diapers.
How in the world do you decide what brand, what sizes, where do you get coupons, cloth vs. disposable, etc? I know baby is still 5 months away but we would really like to start stocking up on diapers now. You know, when we both still have full-time incomes coming in?
So let’s discuss…
Disposables – obviously these are very easy and convenient. You can buy them anywhere as you go along, its quick cleanup, and should we need daycare disposables are more widely accepted. Some argue they keep the leaks and rashes to a minimum while others claim cloth is the way to go for that. You have less laundry to do – unless they truly do cause more leaks and blowouts, then that point is arguable. The biggest downfalls are the impact on the environment and the cost.
Cloth – a little more work but definitely the eco friendly option here. Cloth diapers have come a long way and come in multiple colors and sizes and even have snaps or velcro closures instead of the dreaded diaper pins. The cleanup process is slightly more involved and you definitely have to do a few more loads of laundry each week. You will generally still use a few disposables anytime you go on a trip – especially if you don’t have access to laundry facilities. There are some that argue the natural cloth causes less rashes and the absorbent material prevents leaks and blowout. It is said that cloth diapers also help children potty train earlier. The biggest downfalls here are the upfront costs and the extra time and effort it can take.
I mentioned costs in the downfall category for both options. One is more expensive up front and the other is more expensive over the long run. I’ve read a couple cost comparisons here and here. One estimates the cost of disposables at around $1,100 for the first year and the cost of cloth around $750. The other site estimates the cost of disposables at about $1,250 for two years and cloth $400-730 depending on brand. I have a feeling the true costs would be somwhere in the middle depending on coupons, sales, and actual number of diapers needed per day. The biggest savings comes if you plan to have 2 or more kids because with cloth you already have all the diapers and you basically only pay for the extra water and energy costs from washing. That’s right, no more diaper costs after kid numero uno!
So all that being said, I still don’t know what we are going to do!
All you mommas out there – which option did you choose? Any advice for a first time momma?