Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 6: Its all about the Money

Dinosaur baby
I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!  

I convinced my husband to switch to cloth only after doing an extensive cost-benefit analysis.  Since I am in school full time (as in 60+ hours a week), we live on loans supplemented by hub's part time job.  A dollar spent today means a dollar plus interest we have to pay back down the road.  We were out to save as much as possible by cloth diapering, but I was only willing to go so far.  I stuck to the gDiaper system so we would have a disposable 'out'.  I conceded to make inserts since it would be cheaper than buying them, but I opted for high quality fabrics for the most absorbency.  We spent about $500 on more than enough cloth diapers to take our two babies from 2 months to potty-training.

For comparison, let me outline the cost of the items I've used in this challenge:

Items Prices
6 t-shirt flats $0
2 high quality home-made flats $12
2 snappis $8
1 One-size wool soaker $25
2 gDiapers $25
2 Fashionably Green Baby Extra Deep Liners $13
2 upcycled fleece covers $2
5 gal bucket $3
Lid $1
Plunger $5
Weatherstripping (to prevent back splash) $3
Sneaky boy in his night-night diaper

Y'all... do me a favor and don't tell my husband about this table.

To be completely fair, my current stash of inserts and covers is huge by comparison since I was cloth diapering two kids at once. If we assume all other things are equal and just compare the inserts, my current homemade flappers ran ~$2.14ea while the average on the flats I've been using is $1.50 -- not a huge difference per piece, but for someone on a budget, 65 cents can make or break a plan.


  1. That's the reason we started out with flannel receiving blankets as flats. I ended up ordering 24 birds-eye flats, and then got by with the minimum amount of covers. My whole stash cost under $100, and I had enough to get two children from birth to potty training. I've been blessed along the way the last year or so to inherit a bunch of pocket diapers from a friend. I've also been able to earn several diapers from writing reviews, and I've won a few, so now I have quite a few pocket diapers and use those almost exclusively. But my trusty flats still work great! But I do love my pockets, and I'm excited to use them again on Monday ;) ~Melissa

    1. Oh wow! Thanks for sharing. I couldn't bring myself to use our flannel receiving blankets because my mom made them and I love them for their intended use.

  2. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers dancing on my taskbar.