Category Archives: Saving Money

Cloth Diapers can save you a bundle. Find out how.

Bet Your Bottom Dollar :: Cost Savings with Cloth Diapers

Let’s face it – caring for our babies can get expensive fast! But  cloth diapering is one way to save major bucks.

Most babies go through more than 7,200 diaper changes in the first three years of their lives. This adds up to an average of nearly $3,300 in an mid-range disposable diapers over those three years. If you use other diapering systems, specialty disposables, or a cloth diaper service, that amount can easily be even more.

However, if you choose to purchase your own cloth diapers and launder at home, the average cost for three years ranges between $900 – $1,500 – for a savings of about $2,000-2,500!

And if you use your diapers for more than one child, the savings multiply three- or four-fold.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers for different systems:

For a mid-range disposable, considering the addition of wipes and accessories for each age range:

0-3 months = $478.80
3-6 months = $320.40
6-30 months = $1929.60
30-36 months = $561.60 (toilet training)

TOTAL of 7200 diaper changes for 3 years = $3290.40

For various cloth diapering options:

Most Economical Set (Prefolds) + Covers + Snappis + Accessories = $393.48
One Size Pocket Diaper (bumGenius) Set + Accessories = $773.62
A perennital favourite and easy to use Diaper Diaper Set (Fuzzi Bunz) + Accessories = $941.35

Beyond paying for the diapers and accessories themselves, the average cost of laundering your diapers every two days, including the cost of running your washer and dryer and buying detergent, is $3.42 per week over those three years. Sixty-one percent of that cost is dryer usage, so if you line dry when you can, your savings will certainly add up!

A great way to start to build your collection of cloth diapers is to create a gift registry and let your friends and family know.  And let the practical, useful gift giving begin!

Visit New & Green for a detailed cost comparison of different diapering systems.  See what makes sense to you!

No Washer, No Problem :: Washing Cloth Diapers without Insuite Laundry

For many urbanites, apartment dwelling involves a shared laundry room, coin operated machines, and designated time slots for using the washers and dryers. Can families really still manage cloth diapering in these circumstances? The answer is a resounding “yes, oh YES!”

Dealing with cloth diapers outside of one’s own suite may seem like a nuisance, not to mention expensive when you’re shelling out coins in hand. In reality, it’s quite easy and the cost is usually comparable, if not less, than paying for the extra energy usage on your monthly utility bill.

Here are four tips for using cloth when you don’t have insuite laundry:

Choose cloth diapers that unfold or come apart to wash easily and dry quickly. Pockets, prefolds and flats are great options for this. If you use fitteds or all-in-one’s, choose ones that have multiple, separated layers for ease of washing and drying.

Sign up for time slots or make your schedule to allow you to wash every two or three days. If you can’t get three slots a week, try to sign up for two slots that are 3 ½ days apart, such as a Monday evening and a Friday morning.

Consider line drying. Since most laundry-room machines are coin operated, line drying will certainly save you $$$. If you’ve got the room either in your suite or in your building’s laundry room, give it go. Inexpensive drying racks can be found at Ikea or any hardware store or mass merchandiser.

Do a short cold wash cycle first or choose your own rinse. The fact that many coin-op machines can’t do an isolated rinse cycle adds unwanted cost and time to the washing process. If you prefer to avoid this cost, consider two cheaper and faster ways of rinsing your diapers (and of course, as always, it is preferable that you knocked off all solids into the toilet at the time you changed the diaper!):

In the diaper pail – Place the diaper pail in a large laundry sink or bathtub. Fill with cold water and swish with a stick. Pour out as much water as you can, then dump all the contents into the washer and start your normal hot wash. This method requires a strong back, but try it with the ever popular Planet Wise Pail liners and keep the diaper contained while washing to ensure you never have to touch the dirty diapers!

In a laundry sink – Dump the dirty diapers from your pail into a large laundry sink, fill with cold water, and agitate them with a stick or with your hands. Drain the water from the sink, pressing on the diapers as the water empties. Toss the diapers directly from the sink into the washer and wash on hot with detergent. Presto change-o, you’re done!

With a bit of planning and some considerations about how to save even more money with cloth diapers, laundering in a shared laundry or a coin-op laundry is definitely do-able.

Are you are a “no in-suite cloth diapering family”?  What is your best strategy for making it work for your family?

Potty-1, Diaper-0

bummitrainingpantBummis Potty Pants are an excellent tool in active toilet training.  Like any new skill, children need teaching, guidance and repetition to master it.  Using smart  tools to help with achieving success will make toilet training a more positive and enjoyable experience.

Here is a bit about the trainers and some tips and ideas for using and washing them:

  • Bummis Potty Pants are not meant to replace diapers; they are simply intended to provide an “underwear” experience for the child with the bonus of having some absorbency built in along with a waterproof outer layer.  These trainers will hold one to two toddler pees if needed.
  • Bummis Potty Pants feature one layer of long loop cotton terry and one layer of microfiber.  The advantage to this is that your toddler will receive immediate feedback when he/she begins to pee.  The wetness is a means in which to restore and/or reinforce the association between the feeling and process of peeing with the goal of eventually being able to recognize the feeling of needing to pee with the knowledge of what to do when you have this feeling.
  • Bummis Potty Pants have a waterproof outer layer; the same fabric that is used with their industry gold standard diaper covers.
  • Bummis Potty Pants are stretchy and trim for skinny minis to chunky monkeys.  Toddlers will have a greater success if the trainers are not too tight and they are able to pull them down and up without too much strength and motor planning.
  • Before use, for optimal performance, the trainers should be washed inside out 3-5 times on hot with a additive-free (no extras) detergent.  This will help the cotton become absorbent by stripping the natural oils from the fabric and plumping up the fibres.

    Eco-friendly additive-free detergents we carry include:

  • Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent
  • GroVia Tiny Bubbles
  • Allen’s Naturally Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Laundry Tarts

    Washing routine – for wet and soiled trainers, run a cold soak/rinse cycle followed by a hot wash with an approved detergent.  If using a conventional detergent, reduce the amount recommended by half.  Dry in dryer or line dry.  Recommend washing inside out for best results and faster drying time.  For wet only trainers, you can skip the rinse cycle.

And lastly, some general info on toilet training.  There are a couple of threads of commonality woven throughout today’s common philosophies:

  • The process of helping your child to learn how to eliminate in the toilet needs to be a positive experience; your child should never be pressured into using the toilet
  • A parent’s job is to observe their child’s behavioural cues to determine if there are any consistent cues related to when the child wets or has a poop in their diaper
  • A parent must provide opportunities to try and use the potty/toilet at appropriate times
  • A child is often more successful with learning to use the potty when he becomes aware of the association of peeing and becoming wet.

Bummis Potty Pants are one essential piece of “equipment” that you’ll need to assist your child in this transition.  Training pants signal a change from “what babies wear” to “what big kids wear” and also give parents and children easier access/ability to get clothing/underwear off to quickly use the potty.

Enjoy the process.  Remember every child is different and it can feel tricky at times but in the end, well worth the effort when your child learns that she has mastered using the toilet!

New Trends in Cloth Diapering

There seems to be some trends emerging in cloth diapering these days.  And it’s making me smile.  Why?  Well really we are coming back to basics, back to what we know works all with the conveninece and technology of today’s textiles.

What is emerging as the top priorities?

  1. Organic and natural textiles next to baby’s skin.  Parents are simply getting bowled over by toxicity in toys (have you seen all the recalls coming out these days) and frankly our heads are starting to spin with all the info about what is safe to feed our children, what is safe to wash our children…and it goes on.  And for that reason, parents are opting for what they know is safe – certified organic.
  2. Ease of use.  This one never falls off the top three list.  Plain and simple.  We all need more of that in our lives.
  3. Easy to wash and fast to dry. With energy use also a consideration, families want diapers that are fast to dry.

Where does this leave us?  Well the trend is moving us towards a diapering system with a reliable, velcro closure cover and an organic cotton absorbent diaper that is easy to fold and lay inside the cover.  A combo that will always win out for absorbency and meeting that top three list.

Amongst our favourite solutions in this category is a Canadian made diaper cover and an organic cotton diaper.

Introducing the Bummis SuperBrite and the Organic Cotton Prefold!  With over 20 years in the diaper cover industry, Bummis is a tried and true design.  The prefolds are soft, absorbent, easy to wash and fast to dry as they open up and become flat in the dryer.  No trying to dry through layers and layers and layers of absorbency!

With the new preemie size prefold and newborn size cover, you have a perfect combo that is easy, organic, Canadian made and will fit your brand new baby!

Have a look – starting at $1.67 per {organic} diaper, you really can’t go wrong!

bummis organic prefoldsSuperBrite Green 400