In the years since I created this business, three excuses have topped the list for why people don't want to cloth diaper. In a series of articles, I will take the time to address each of these issues for the true, cloth-diapering researcher who is still a bit skeptical.
I realize that everybody in the world will not begin cloth diapering tomorrow. We all make lifestyle choices based on the information we have available to us. My response to these comments is not meant to be deriding but rather to shed light in the darkness and show that there are two-sides to the same story.
This is often said by the parents of children who are nearly two. Making the choice now is more cost effective than ever. The average child at around age two will be using 6-7 diapers a day. Seriously, a parent can cloth diaper for the time period up to potty training at the cost of one month of disposable diapering.
Cloth diapering will also allow the child to become aware of peeing and may actually speed up the start of real potty training.
Using cloth training supplies also makes good economical sense. Pull-on style disposable diapers cost about $.40 each. Again, you can purchase cloth training pants for the cost of about one months worth of disposable training pants.
Once your child has actually reached the diaper-less stage you either can sell your diapering products and recoup nearly 50% of your original cost or you can save them and be ready to use with your next child. In fact, many parents with older toddlers choose a one-size diaper so that the next baby can use the diapers right from the beginning.
No matter when you start, choosing modern reusable cloth diapers make sense economically.
Today I will look at the comment, "I don't have time to be washing diaper laundry, I can't keep up with the laundry I already have."
This two part excuse requires a two part answer.
First regarding the phrase, "I can't keep up with the laundry I already have."
Diaper laundry is different. No sorting or pretreatment is required before going into the laundry. Once the diapers are clean no sorting, folding, and putting away is required. And don't even think of ironing them, regardless of what some studies report. The hardest parts, the most dreaded parts of laundry are absent.
When the diaper pail is full, you will find your washing machine amidst the piles of unsorted laundry; dump in your diapers and begin with a cold pre-rinse. (75 seconds down the stairs and back up)
Then you putter around straightening the living room and an hour later when you remember the laundry you run down add detergent and start a hot wash. (60 sec)
3 hours later when you are, "oh yah, I have diaper laundry" you can run back down stairs (your exercise for the day is increasing, good for you) and change the diapers from the washer into the dryer. At the same time, it will be easy to add a new load of clothing to the washer. (90 sec)
Late that night you are nearly out of diapers when you realize, "Hey, I have fresh clean diapers in the dryer." You run down with a basket. Unload the dryer; change the other laundry really fast.; and bring up a basket of fresh clean diapers all ready to go. (75 sec)
Using your diapers straight from the basket is totally acceptable. Of course, you can always choose a nice wicker basket or a modern canvas basket to match the look of the room you change diapers in.
Diapers are most often washed about 3 times a week.
Total time spent: 15 minutes
Bonus: Three other clean loads of laundry are complete.
Time saved: 5-10 minutes; dirty diapers do not have to be harvested from the modern slice 'em, dice 'em, weenie making diaper pails and toted to the garage. Less waste will need to be hauled to the curb each week.
Realize the times will vary depending on the location of the laundry facilities. Mine are all the way down stairs and require a bit of an aerobic exercise to get to.
Second the phrase, "I don't have time to be washing diaper laundry" actually begs the question, "How much time does it require to use disposable diapers?"
Lets evaluate this with an imaginary family who has just had their first sweet little baby of course it must be a girl, because they make really cute cloth diapers for little girls. Anyways, I digress.
The average disposable diaper costs about $.25 and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics you want at least 10 used diapers a day. This means 70 used diapers in one week. At $.25 each we have a total weekly cost of $17.50.
This same family makes $50,000 a year gross salary. After deductions and taxes calculated at 30% combined the hourly wage earned is $16.83 an hour.
Total time spent working to use Disposable Diapers: 62 minutes
Extra Time not accounted for: time necessary for purchasing disposable diapers and then toting them into the house.
Extra Cost not accounted for: extra cost for disposable wipes ($5.75 a week), diaper pail refills, diaper bag baggies, cost for diaper creams, and cost spent traveling to purchase disposable products