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: FuzziBunz.com. 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 :)