The Down-Low on Doody

By Melissa Kids are expensive and we all like to save money, right? What if I told you that you could save upwards of $1000 per child with an upfront investment of just over $300 and a couple loads of laundry per week?

My friends thought I was crazy when we decided to use cloth, but cloth diapering these days is really easy! Now diapering my third child, I've long since crossed the line from "diapering for economy" to "diapering as a fashion statement" -- coordinating shirts and shoes to whatever cloth is on my baby's bum.

Cloth diapers are great for many reasons. They lessen the garbage sent to landfills, dramatically decrease the chemicals in contact with our babies' skin, and can save you a lot of money! Cloth can also reduce the incidence of diaper rash and encourage early toilet training.

Getting started is easy with prefolds and wraps. Prefolds are flat diapers "prefolded" to be thicker in the middle. Wraps are waterproof covers with velcro or snap closures. You need one wrap for every six prefolds. To use a prefold, fold it in thirds, place it inside the wrap, then fasten the wrap. Covers only need to be washed when dirty, otherwise lay them to dry for use at a later change.

When changing soiled diapers, shake any solids (aka "poo") into the toilet. They can then be stored in a waterproof bag until wash day. Bags work better than buckets because they can be washed right along with the diapers -- empty the bag into the washer, then drop it in too! It's best to wash every few days.

A basic diaper package:

2 dozen prefolds (7lb-20lb): $66 1.5 dozen prefolds (20lb+): $75 5 velcro wraps (6lb-18lb): $75 4 velcro wraps (18lb-40lb): $60 2 waterproof storage bags:  $30

Grand total: $306!

Melissa is mom to 3 busy boys, ages 8, 6, and 4mos. When not enthusiastically advocating the use of cloth diapers, babywearing, and the concept of "parenting through natural consequences",  she can be found blogging to maintain her sanity at refashionista and Urban Hippy.