This post is part of the 5th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, an education and awareness campaign designed to highlight the benefits of using cloth diapers even in less than ideal financial circumstances.
Today, if I was really with it, I would present you with a photo of the collected items I’m using to diaper Jude this week.
Instead, because I am decidedly not that with it, you’ll just see this:
The beauty of this challenge– and what keeps it so approachable for those without $400 to invest in a two-day’s supply of pocket diapers– is it’s simplicity. When I finally get around to a full photo, you’ll see what I mean. Until then, here’s the scoop on what I chose as a stash, why, and what it would cost to get started with the same supplies.
While there are cheaper options (flour sack towels, receiving blankets, and t-shirts are popular), I decided to go with Green Mountain Diapers’ Birdseye Flats. Having never used flats before, I felt more comfortable going the traditional route; I’m also a huge fan of the quality of GMD products (their prefolds and workhorse fitteds are my favorites) so I knew that investing once would pay off for the entire diapering season with Jude. Eighteen flats was $36. (To compare, an 18 pack of the most popular pocket diapers on the market is around $300.)
I prefer to use wool, but for this challenge I went with PUL. Why? Wool can be very economical– if you knit or sew, soakers and wraps can be made from scratch or with upcycled materials for just the cost of supplies. But, looking back to my own early years of parenting, I not only didn’t possess those skills … I had no margin for learning, either. That would have meant purchasing at least 4 wool soakers at probably $35+/each– not something I could have easily done! So PUL would have most certainly been my primary option. As it was, prior to Jude’s arrival, I was gifted with a variety of used PUL covers with plenty of life left in them, so I didn’t have to invest in anything new. If I had, the cost breakdown would have looked like this:
3 Prorap diaper covers at $7.99/each
1 Baby Beehinds cover at $7.82
1 Thirsties cover at $12
Total for covers: $43.79
One snappi $4.35
One set diaper pins (FREE with GMD order)
24 flannel wipes (handmade, cost is materials estimate) $3
All told, that brings the stash total to $87.14. While my covers are sized and will need to be replaced as Jude grows, for just a bit more, one-sized PUL covers would make this a stash that could be used from birth to potty training. And while that’s still a lot for a family struggling to keep the lights on to lay out at one time, with some careful budgeting I think Christopher and I could have managed that back in 1997– and spent a whole lot less time eating grits and agonizing over putting gas in the car.