With babies come diapers--a lot of diapers! My mom raised all four of us mostly in cloth diapers and so the decision to use cloth for our baby was an easy one for me. With my husband I rarely put my foot down for any decision, as we make most decisions together, but with cloth diapers I did. And even while Dan was not excited about the idea at first, I knew that it was the best decision for our family. Using cloth is better for the environment, better for our baby's skin, better for potty training, and most importantly, better for our wallets! Cloth diapers can be SOOOO affordable!! In fact, after borrowing some of our stash from a friend and receiving the rest of what we needed as gifts, we have spent $0 on them. Yes, $0.00!! We have spent some money on disposables, as we used them for the first 2.5 weeks, we use them periodically when we are out and about, and we will use them exclusively when we travel, but we have not spent any money on our cloth diapers. Actually, using those disposables is what sold Dan on cloth diapers. The first time he bought diapers he was sold! Those things are expensive! And if you want ones without all the nasty chemicals and fragrances in them (which we do), they are even more expensive!
Now, I know that cloth diapers are not for everyone. When I hear of full-time working parents using cloth, I'm amazed! They take time. Not a ton of time, but they do take time, mostly in the form of laundry. And as for the "disgusting" factor, which I often see cross people's faces when I tell them we use cloth---it's really not bad. When a baby is exclusively breastfed, their poop is water soluble, so you just throw it all in the washing machine and it comes out clean and fresh! (This changes a bit once they are eating solid foods, but they are still not that bad.) They do take a bit longer to put on and it's a little more work to change them when you're out and about, but all of these things are minor, if you ask me, when compared to the advantages. (For those who are wondering, we are using Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper covers along with a few other borrowed brands and several different brands of prefold diapers.)
However, this post is not about cloth diapers. A lot of people use cloth and in some ways, they are even becoming the "in" thing. This post is about cloth wipes, since you can't change a diaper very well without wipes. Two of my cousins have made their own disposable wipes with paper towels and a wipes solution. They both liked their homemade wipes, but both eventually switched to using washcloths and a wipes solution instead. When you're already washing diapers, it makes little difference to wash washcloths along with them. So, I had decided awhile back to just go straight for the washcloths. I had registered for a few packs of baby washcloths on Amazon, but when we didn't receive them, I decided to just make my own. I bought a yard of terry cloth for about $6.00 and cut out 20 8" x 8" washcloths for our changing table and 6 4.5" x 4.5" washcloths for our diaper bag. I used my serger to finish the raw edges and they were done! I then made this wipes solution, which I keep in a spray bottle on the changing table and a small bottle in the diaper bag. When it's time to change a diaper, I spray a bit on a washcloth, wipe him down, and throw the soiled diaper and wipe into our diaper pail (or wet bag when we're out and about). It's so easy and I've found that the cloth wipes do a better job wiping that mustardy breastmilk poo off of those smooth little buns! One batch of that wipes solution recipe lasts us about a week and so it's also a very affordable option. (There are also some other good wipes solutions out there. My cousin uses one with coconut oil that works great as well!) It has been so wonderful to not have to add diapers and wipes to our monthly budget! It is one way to make raising a baby MUCH easier on the wallet.
How about you? Have you used cloth diapers or cloth wipes? Or do you have found other ways that make raising babies easier on the wallet?