As a geek, a big part of my life revolves around not only loving geek culture, but spending a lot of money on it. As fellow geeks, I know you all looked up at the posters on the walls, or at the shelves of toys, or at the random knick-knacks all over your desk, nodding in agreement. So when I started to look at what it was going to cost me to diaper my little yoshi, I flipped out a little. How is a geek-mom supposed to buy toys, plushies, and cosplay costumes if I have to spend thousands of dollars on diapers?
So I decided to geek out for cloth diapers like I did for Harry Potter sub-culture, and started to look into this cloth diaper thing. Needless to say these aren’t my grandmother’s or even my mother’s cloth diapers. No pins or folding or weird, bulky plastic covers. Cloth diapers are a cute, economical, and environmentally friendly way to get your little yoshi from birth to potty training. However, there is a lot of information to sort through, so here are the facts simplified.
- Savings: On average, disposable diapers can cost up to, if not more than $2600 from birth to 2.5 years. Cloth diapering can be done between $400-$600 in that same time frame.
- Environmental: Disposable diapers take more than 500 years to decompose. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the chemicals used in disposable diapers that make them absorbent are the same chemicals used to absorb oil in oil spills. Also, we as a society don’t know the effects using these chemicals on our children, because the use of these chemicals and quantities has only been around for about 10 years.
- Health: While every baby butt is different, cloth diapering can help to prevent diaper rash because those sensitive bottoms aren’t exposed to chemicals for long periods of time.
Take that in and think about it for a moment…
Next, how do you get started? I recommend three stages for cloth diapering:
- Newborn diapers: I recommend getting these, as your little geek will be so tiny when he/she comes out, that the ones recommended for size 8-30 pounds are just too big. Newborn diapers are great for size 6-14 pounds. You will probably want about 24 total.
- 8-15 pounds: These diapers will get you through pretty well as they grow. You will probably want about 20-24 of these.
- 15-30 pounds: These should get you through until potty training. You will probably want about 16-20 of these.
Now how is that supposed to keep your spending down? Well, it depends on what diapers you get. Here is what I recommend to get you through the different phases:
- 10 Newborns Pockets (with Velcro): There is nothing worse then trying to fumble with snaps, folds, and contours when you are sleep deprived or trying to change the diaper in the dark.
- 14 Newborn Contours/Fitted with 4 diaper covers: These are easy to use, and hybrid system to the traditionally folding/snappi system. Additionally, this system should last you until about 15 pounds.
- 6 All-in-ones: These are diapers that should last you from 8-30 pounds. This requires no stuffing or anything; just snap them to the right size.
- 6 Pockets: These are diapers that should last you from 8-30 pounds. These ones require you to stuff the absorbent insert into the center.
- 12 Contours/Fitted One-Size with 2-4 covers: These work the same way as the Contours for Newborns, but will last you until 30 pounds.
While you probably won’t love paying a lot of money upfront for the cloth diaper system, if cared for properly, you will be able to use them through your little geek’s diaper years; and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to use them for your next geek! As soon as you decide to cloth diaper, you should start building up your “stash” or “fluff” (that’s what your cloth diaper collection is called). I built mine by buying a few every payday.
Your little geek’s butt deserves the best, but not at the expense of your cosplay budget. Hopefully, you can get past the idea of having to do more laundry and really consider cloth diapering. If anything, so you can get some of those geektastic cloth diapers.
To get a great breakdown about all of the different kinds of cloth diapers, go here: http://diaperwrecker.com/systems/