Wednesday, May 25, 2011

so why cloth?

ok, in all honestly, I'm nesting. Except we're moving. And living, weekdays, in my parents' attic. nursery for us and this is the best I can do.

But besides that, here's some reasons I am cloth obsessed:

1) Cost. Discussed previously. In short, I think we'll save upwards of $1500 (probably more like $2000+) with cloth diapers.
2) Waste.

That's a lot of diapers. Check out this link for some more detail. I know its biased blah blah blah, but you can't dispute that's a lot of plastic.
3) Freaky chemicals. Dry max and that gel stuff and the stuff that changes color when wet isn't exactly au-natural. And they smell funny.
4) Everything I read indicates babies in cloth are less prone to blow outs. I'm on board with something less likely to get poop all over my house.

All that said, we won't be purists - I'm sure we'll need disposables for airplanes and such, and we'll be using disposable wipes for poo at minimum.  We may even end up in disposable diapers for daycare, but that is a huge unknown (and point of stress that isn't addressable given our residence situation). But at least at home, we're going to try to be green & cheap about diapers!

Monday, May 23, 2011

getting ready...

I picked up a few weeks ago for a great deal - just a smidgen more than a 2011 single model on a clearance sale of last year's model at a small running store (thanks to a tip from an internetz friend).
have no fear, soon there will be a test run with stuffed animals.

My mamma-in-law came to visit last weekend and we made our first "real" purchases (e.g., for things we actually NEED).
infant seats, from C's grandfather. 
We also ordered our cribs - small footprint & small pricetag, but still convertibles (for the outside chance we get a house that can fit full sized beds in the kids' room) and super sturdy & pretty well reviewed. (We still need to get mattresses though, something I am trying not to obsess over)
And we got home (well, to our home-ish, at my parents) to this in the living room:

my mom found it at a consignment shop. aside from where you can see a piece is missing, it is IMMACULATE. like I don't think it was ever used.

It's now living on top of the massive car seat boxes in the living room. The stroller is next to our bed. Where the heck are you supposed to store this stuff (e.g. if you're living in an apartment or, say, your parents' attic?)?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

diapers, part B

One day there will be a follow up to this post, but no time soon (seeing as its a couple of months till our babies arrive to begin with!).

stash to date (missing our 72 prefolds, 4 S workhorse fitteds, and 2 flip covers)....the bottom 4 rows are the One-Size diapers & covers waiting for 12 lb babies!
As I alluded to in my previous post, we plan to transition to One Size diapers one the babies are big enough. If we end up liking fitteds, we might get a couple of extra of those (likely Thirsties Duos or some GMD workhourse sized ones to make it more economical).  Since its going to be a while until we know what works for us, I've built us a pretty diverse One Size stash - pockets from various brands (still need to pick up some Kawaii and maybe Happy Heinys, and I'm torn about Fuzzibunz due to the elastic adjustments), a couple of all-in-ones (still need a couple of Bum Genius Elementals and I'm interested in Bright Star Baby even though they're not one size....the size range looks huge!).  I've also gotten a few one-size covers (GroVia and Flip) that we can use with our infant prefolds tri-folded, which sounds like a compact option for being out-and-about with the babies. I think I will pick up a couple of GroVia soakers to try those out too.
ok, this was kind of a splurge, but adorable - and minky soft...

Do I sound like a crazy person?
Why am I diaper obsessed?
Because I can't build a nursery due to our living arrangement, and its all I can purchase/obsess over right now.

So...long story short, we already have about a dozen one size diapers (a mix of pockets & all in ones, and I'll probably get another 4-6 to round out my "wants" before the babies come) and 6 one-size covers. Its quite the diverse stash. I figure we can sell whatever we don't like and get more of what works for the babies (and us). I think in the end we'll end up with around 36 pocket/all in one diapers (ratio unknown), enough to wash every 2 days with babies using 9 diapers/day (a comfortable estimate for an infant, allowing us not to run out) plus those extra covers and some inserts (prefolds we have already, perhaps some bigger ones, branded inserts, and maybe a couple of the aforementioned fitteds).

So far we've I've spent $290 on one-size diapers. I estimate with the rest that we need (another 2 dozen + lets say a dozen inserts and a few fitteds, assuming we like the "hybrid" covers), we'll spend another $650 or so. I don't think $1000 is too bad for 2 years of diapers for twins (4mo-2.5 yrs), given that my conservative (e.g. cheap) calculations put the cost of disposables for 2 babies from 16 weeks to 2.5 years at about $2700 (plus the environmental impact of all that plastic - I've seen figured between 2 & 4 percent for disposable diapers as a percent of total landfill waste).

As an added bonus, there is a shocking good resale market for cloth diapers (I've bought all of our stash so far second hand or on sale) so we'll likely recoup a lot of the cost (plenty to cover our increased water bill, a constant theme of nay-sayers - seriously folks, watering our lawn a lot in the summer ups the bill by like $30/mo. You can't really think washing diapers uses NEARLY that much water, right??)

Are you bored yet? My wife sort of glazes over when I talk about diapers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

our first mother's day

(card made by one of our collegiate players, not weird trans-utero communication)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


In short, I'm a little obsessed.
We're having twins.
Babies are expensive. Well, not inherently, but when you factor in day care and swim lessons and our desire to not default on (mostly my) student loans, they are. So one of the ways we hope the save money (the the environment a little bit along the way) is with cloth diapers.

At 10-12 diapers/day for newborns, that's (using 12 diapers per day, since I'm sure we'll have our share of insta-soil issues) 168 diapers/week. Let's assume they fit into Newborn diapers for a month (4 weeks; we'll live in pregnancy counting for the sake of this argument). That's 672 diapers. I have heard Amazon is the queen of cheap diapers, especially under Subscribe & Save, but for this I'm going to use non-S&S figures as a way of averaging diapers bought online and in store.  So, a quick peek on Amazon at Pampers Swaddlers (I'll talk about our non-financial reasons for cloth another day) says that is $129 (really a little more, since you'll have part of a bag left). Now obviously, I have no idea how big our babies will be, but let's assume they move into size 1 around 4 week and wear those for 2 months (they're marked 8-15lbs) and spend weeks 12-16 in size 2.  I'll assume we've gotten better at poo catching and are down to 10 diapers/day/baby. So that's another 1680 diapers at about $0.21 each on Amazon, for $353 (ish). I'm not really sure how many diapers fit into a trash can, but I'm going to guess, given the size of a bag of dry, un-expanded-by-pee diapers, its a full 50 (40?) gallon can a week of plastic wrapped poop.

So for 4 months, that's (at least) $482 in disposable diapers for 16 weeks.

Here's our newborn stash (missing a wetbag & snappies, which I still need to get), built assuming we have average girl babies who hit 15 lbs about 5 months (babies start fitting into one size diapers around 10-12 lbs, but that's another post).  This should be all we need for the first 4 months (and some will likely fit a bit longer, helping us transition into the one-size diapers).

not pictured: 36 newborn prefolds, 36 small prefolds & 4 small workhorse fitteds (shipping from the Green Mountain Diapers seconds sale!)
left: 10 NB covers, 3 aio. middle: 2 thirsties fitteds, 4 Kissaluv 0s, 8 XS workhorse fitteds. middle 2: 4 small covers,  2 XS pockets. right: 2 S pockets, 2 S fuzzibunz 

Total Cost (a lot bought used or as seconds): $419 in diapers (and we need to get snappies, so add $10), plus $50 in wet bags which will last the life of diapering. Of course, this stash should be plenty to get us into  month 5, unless we have larger than average babies (pretty unlikely, given my wife's build and the fact they're multiples), so there is a clear cost savings before we even consider the likelihood of buying more expensive diapers (eg, not from amazon) or wasting diapers popping between brands for a good fit.

OK, I concede the cost savings is minimal for the newborn stage. AND we have a lot of diapers. I planned on a 2-3 day stash since, well, we're having twins. Its possible we might miss a laundry day. And I don't want to run out of diapers OR become annoyed.  I also sprung for a sort of high number of fitteds for the newborn stage, since we'll probably be sleep deprived and I think they'll be easier for overnights (plus more user-friendly for grandma).I only got a few for the 10-15 lbs stage since they'll be transitioning to our one-size stash at that point.

to be continued...