Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Scoop on the Poop

I've been noticing something strange lately and that is I have a current obsession. No, it's not the latest movie, TV show, or book, and it isn't Facebook either. It's.....


It started out with the scare that we didn't have any diapers yet and only 8 weeks until the baby got here. The last essential babies (and parents, really) cannot go without, the necessity for incontinence, probably the most important item that somehow made it to the end of our list! I had taken a glance at diaper prices many times in the past few months, noting how some brands and sizes had more diapers for the dime (dollars...). I had thought to myself,

"wow, 84 diapers for only $18?! Not bad."

Then, last week came and I started actually calculating,

"84 diapers... $18... that more than $0.20 per diaper... newborns go through 8-10 diapers a day... 84 diapers will only last me a week if I'm lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

That's pretty much how my thoughts went. SO, I started calculating prices and seeing how little I could pay for different brands. Calculating, researching, calculating, searching for manufacturer coupons of any brand.. This research went on for a little while. Then one day, I collected a bunch of CVS $10 off $20 coupons from the apartment recycling bin, along with some Huggies coupons and CVS brand coupons, and we hit up the local grand opening of a CVS store (I mentioned these trips in my previous post). I managed to by mostly Huggies diapers plus 2 CVS brand diapers, a total of 238 diapers for less than $30 ($27 something). I was pretty proud of myself because that's about $0.11-0.12/diaper, or hair less than $5/package with tax. So I came home all happy that I had so many diapers and saved so much money. Then it dawned on me again.

"238 diapers... that will be a months supply if I'm lucky. Oh crap. Let's see, let's see, quick math... $30 x 12 months equals $360 in a year. That's not bad! Wait, babies wear diapers until almost 2 years usually. Ok, so double that... $720. How many CVS grand openings will there be in a 2 year span?! Ahhh... more like $1000 in 2 years if I continue to obsess with stocking up and finding coupons left and right."

Don't get me wrong, coupon and bargain hunting are fun for me, but there are so many things to consider such as, what if all my efforts to buy Huggies in this last trip totally failed because the babe is super sensitive to that brand? What if CVS diapers gives him a terrible rash? Well, of course I would try another brand, but that totally defeats my bargain hunting if I have to quickly buy some diapers. The point is, I really don't want to do all this trial/error money spending when already Carl and I are on a tight budget. So I concluded with all my fretting that a more economical route would be cloth diapers.

(...crickets chirping, uncomfortable silence...)

No, this is not a joke, yes, I am truly serious. I have always been a very eco friendly/tree hugger/animal lover kind of person, but this time, it's all about the money. I promise! I'm always happy if I don't contribute more to our landfills, but comparing costs, this is the way to go. In the beginning of the pregnancy, I looked into cloth diapers and said, "no way, jose! I'd rather pay $10 and get 40 diapers than almost $20 and get 1." It's true, each cloth diaper costs between $15-20 (unless you go with what our moms and grandmas diapered many of us with... that's waaaaaaay cheaper), so I'm looking at spending almost $200 on 10-12 diapers or so. But here's the cool thing- they make them one-size with adjustable buttons to fit 7-35 lbs! Don't believe me? Check this out: I really like this brand a lot and it helped that I talked to my friend, Stephanie, who diapers her baby with cloth diapers too.

It seems to come down to one thing for many people and that's "what about the poop? You'll have to actually scrape it off and touch it!" My answer,

"Um, I just graduated from nursing school and spent the last 4 semesters scraping code browns (poop explosions) from strangers' bottoms, old people I have never met before that shift at the hospital. I think I would much rather deal with my own baby's poop than an elderly stranger."

So, once I build up a hefty collection of cloth diapers, about 20-24, spend about $300 for the two years for one child and maybe add an extra $100 for when the next one comes, I think I'm fairly pleased that I'll be saving thousands of dollars over the next couple of diapering years to come! In a perfect world, diapers would be free. Forget that, babies would poop and pee in toilets as soon as they are born and I would never even have to fret about diaper costs, but being young and expecting parents, I'm willing to wash diapers every 1-2 days if that means I'm saving some dough. That way, my family can live comfortably in many other aspects, such as going on a fun trip, visiting grandparents, enjoying fresh foods, taking dance lessons or being on a tee-ball league. I know many kids don't get that opportunity growing up, but I did and I am forever grateful that my mom clipped coupons and made clothes for my sister and me so that we could afford some of those things. Not saying you can't make a memory without spending money, but it sure was fun to travel coast to coast and making friends at dance class :)


  1. I don't think you're crazy at all for wanting to use cloth diapers! It will mean more work for you in terms of having to wash them but it is safer in terms of allergies and such. Way to go on all of your coupon clippings too! My mom is the coupon queen and I am so jealous that there aren't many coupon clipping opportunities in Alaska. Your sweet baby boy will be here so soon!

  2. I looked into those too! My sister in law let me try one out but Cooper was so small and the diaper was extremely bulky on him. I decided to wait until they fit him better. I know a few people who absolutely love them! If you end up doing it be sure to let me know what you think.

  3. Katy, your mom IS the coupon queen! I bet you're working your way to Queen status though :) I can't believe I only have less than 7 weeks!!!!!

    Kelsey, I will definitely let you know how it goes- we probably will make a slow transition as we get more diapers, but I think I will be full-time cloth diapering when the baby is at least 6 weeks old (when my diaper stash runs out :) I read that the one-size diaper is pretty bulky, especially on newborns, but that doesn't bug me too much- I'll probably get a few fitted and mostly one-size diapers and call it good.

  4. Yay! Please don't hate me if you turn out to hate them!! ;) But they really are great! I don't want to worry you, but as far as disposable diapers go, I have only had problems with huggies! She has exploded out of them every single time, go with pampers. :) Excited to see you guys and the baby in August!

  5. oh and I had another thought, when you decide to start buying, i'll give you the # of my connection in Idaho. She will give em to ya for $17 each with no tax and no shipping! :)

  6. You know, the more I research disposable diapers, the more I hear poor Huggies reviews!!! Hopefully they're ok to use just a little bit at a time... I definitely don't mind bulkiness and I'm sure the baby won't care either :) He'll probably think the extra cushion is amazing. haha! $17 is a super deal! I've been shopping around online and have seen them for about $17 here and there with coupons at least, but if it's $17 for only one diaper, that's amazing!

  7. Tracey, I think it depends on where you will be living, if you plan to wash them yourself. In one apaprtment complex we lived in, the washers did not reach a high enough temperature (even on hot) to properly santitize the diapers and they basically put up wanted signs all over the complex trying to find out who was contaminating all our washers. : (
    We used Pampers only too. If stuff runs out of the bargain brands, they're really not a bargain. : P

  8. Ew, that is yucky! We always find apartments with washer/dryer units included in the actual apartment, so hopefully we won't have that problem! Fortunately Utah and Idaho rent is much, much, much cheaper than somewhere like CA and it's possible to find places to rent for less than $650/mo including utilities!