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Sunday, November 6, 2011

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Cloth Diapering From A Guy’s Perspective

So, a little about me: I am in the Navy and work on a submarine which means that I work a lot and am away from home a lot. My wife and I got pregnant with our first child just a few months after being married. She told me she wanted to breastfeed, which surprised me because I came from a family of formula feeders, but I simply said “ok, if that is what you want.” Also once I saw the price of formula I totally agreed.

However, back to cloth diapering I had a similar response when she brought up the cloth diapering subject. Basically she mentioned cloth diapering and I first imagined difficult to fold white pieces of fabric with safety pins, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Then she explained how they have snaps and they are adjustable and can grow with the baby. So of course I was still skeptical, but opened up a little.

Alright so we save a little money and have to deal with poo messes and washing, sounds like a headache. So then she told me about how initially all we have to do is throw the diapers in a wet bag and rinse them and wash them. Alright easy enough. So what happens when he starts pooing more than “breast-milk poo”? She said we just have to buy this diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet, and then we spray off the poo into the toilet and then throw the diaper into the diaper bag. Ok, that sounds easy enough also. Alright sounds good.

So how much is this going to cost us? Well about $400 to get started. The $400 starter pack included 18 diapers, 2 pail liners, 1 wet bag, detergent with a scoop, essential oil, cloth wipe solution, and 18 cloth wipes. Whoa, hold on, back the truck up. Here I thought we were saving money and now you need $400, forget it. So then I went to the store and looked at disposable diaper costs and looked up how many to expect to use in a day. I was even shopping at the NEX (Navy Exchange) and the price was still too high for comfort. So I crunched the numbers and that $400 for reusable diapers will get us farther than I expected. So I agreed to the cloth diapers.

I continued to crunch the numbers and when my son was 3 months old we had broke even with the cost of the cloth diapers. We are still using those cloth diapers and he is now almost 6 months old. So we have saved almost doubled what the cost of disposables would have been. We are saving a lot of money by cloth diapering, and the laundering work is really not that hard. We have a system where I throw them in the wash before work every few days, and then when my wife wakes up she finishes the diapers. Really not that much work and completely worth the work for the cash out.

Also, you need to remember that there are many brands and types of cloth diapers. Some types and brands cost more, but either way, you should save money. But remember to always look for reviews and see what other people have to say about it. I also think that the cloth diapers look much more comfortable, I would rather be in a cloth diaper if I were a baby. I will add that my son is a strong son of a gun, and if we had purchased the Velcro type diapers he would be naked all the time. He grabs at his diaper all the time, but can’t undo the snaps. Cloth wipes were a completely different situation and initially I was opposed and now I think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, but cloth wipes are the subject of a different blog.

So as you can tell I am a man that went from 100% opposed to cloth diapers to 100% supportive. There are so many different options there is something for everyone. Just find what is right for you, but whatever you do, give cloth diapering a chance. It is worth it, whether you want to be “green” or save money, cloth diapering is the way to go in my opinion.


Erlinda said...

Great article! My husband was skeptical at first also, but was sold when he crunched the numbers and figured out the savings was equivalent to a new flat screen TV. The laundry became easier also when we had established a routine. Now he's trying to convince his new daddy friends to make the switch.

Carolyn said...

It's funny how many men end up HUGE cloth diaper supporters! My hubby went along with my desire to CD but wasn't hugely into it or anything. A few months ago we had a barbeque, and I walked outside to hear him telling a male friend all about how much money we're saving by using cloth diapers, and how simple they are to use ;) The only thing cuter than a man with a baby, is a man with a baby discussing cloth diapers ;)

Doug Clayton said...

First of all thank you for serving! Second, it's great to read the accolades of another cloth diaper dad. If more people took the time to crunch the numbers like you did I think a lot more people would make the switch.

Jenney said...

Way to go dad! My husband thought I'd lost my mind at first. He's on board now (until I get really sick and then he sometimes sneaks in some sposies...but really we have 3 kids under 5 so I give him slack). We don't give our guys enough credit!