Cloth vs. Disposable? — The Bump
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Cloth vs. Disposable?

I know it's slightly early for me to be thinking about diapers. But I'm a planner. I keep hearing about local (Beaverton/Portland) cloth diaper services and I was wondering if anyone had used them? I know it's better for the environment, and I've heard that the cost is about the same as disposable.

 Any thoughts?

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Re: Cloth vs. Disposable?

  • I'm no expert...but from what I've heard, cloth is only cheaper and better for the environment if you wash them yourself.  Everyone that I know that uses cloth likes the Bum Genius diapers.

    If you use a service(like Tidee Didee), it's just as expensive as disposables, and the fumes, etc are not good for the environment.

    Check out The Eco-Friendly Family board, they are full of info!

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  • I use bum genius and love them. Super easy. I don't use a diaper service though. It's so easy to wash them myself and much cheaper. They are kinda bulky though.
  • I have known several people who used Tidee Didee and were very, very happy with the service. But pp are right that diaper service isn't cheap. Their rates are on their website, but if memory serves me right, I think it was $20/wk when I looked into it, which is $80 month. I actually don't know what people spend on disposables per month, so I can't say how it compares.

    But we use and wash our own cloth diapers. I don't spend anywhere near $80/mo averaging out our money spent on diapers over two years and estimating the increase in our water and heating bills. When I did the numbers a while ago, I think it was about $35/mo.

    As for environmental issues, you'd have to talk to Tidee Didee about what they do. But I know that the Tidee Didee (I think in San Francisco) that was on Dirty Jobs washed theirs something like 14 times. They likely bleached a lot of those loads too. That's a LOT of water. I rinse, wash/rinse, and rinse. We only heat the wash, the rest is cold water. We do bleach - but just once a month. I'm 100% confident that our method of using cloth diapers is better for the environment. I'm guessing that a service would still probably be a little better because it's easier to clean water than deal with pollutants resulting from the production and transport of disposables and the extremely large amount of waste in landfills. But it's not as good as doing it yourself.

    The other thing to consider is that with services, your only option are prefolds. Not that there's anything wrong with prefolds - we used them exlusively for a couple of months - but there are many other options out there.

    If you feel like a service is the only way you can do cloth, by all means, do it. But I strongly recommend looking into doing it yourself. Lurk on the Eco-Friendly Family and Diapering boards for a start. Jillian's Drawers has a good information page, too. FYI, We used Kissaluv fitted diapers when DD was a newborn, then Green Mountain prefolds, and then Bum Genius One-size Organic All-In-Ones. The BG AIOs are just like using disposables and they will last your child until potty training. We really like them. You can see them at Mother Natures in SE.

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  • We also use BumGenius and love them.  I thought that washing at home would be difficult, but have found it to be kind of fun.  Things might change when she starts eating solids.  We also tried prefolds and covers, but didn't care for them at all.  They were a pain to use and we had lots of problems with leaks.  I've never had any leaks at all with BumGenius, even overnight.  
  • no that DS is older, we spend around $40 a month on disposables. for a cost reference for you.
  • definitely consider washing them yourselves, as long as you have your own washer/dryer. I know it is a sticking point for a lot of people, but seriously, once you try it, you realize it is so easy!

    mother natures is a good local resource for diapers, so is babyworks. 

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