Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What a Bum(mer)

Our crib came in this week and I was super psyched about getting it set up. It's Charles' first big daddy-to-be task and I was armed with my camera to document the whole thing. We opened the gigantic box, started unloading all of the parts, and that's when we came across this:

That lovely beauty mark is not only on one of the main, large side's also on the top. I could totally deal if it was on the bottom of the crib and it would never be seen again. But it's pretty much front and center and not only does it look bad, but it creates a jagged, unfinished edge that our little boy would inevitably be in contact with at some point. No can doosville, babydoll. 5 super cool points to you if you watch that show.

So I'll be calling customer support today to see what can be done about the damaged goods and in the meantime waiting impatiently to get the thing put together.

In other news, look what else came in the mail this week:

Diapers! Yep, we crazy kids are going the cloth route. My insane idea entirely, of course, but my husband being the wonderful man he is didn't even blink when I told him "so I was thinking..."

But these aren't your grandmother's cloth diapers. Gone are the days of the plain white cloth rag that you tediously pinned and sent off to a diaper service. These days cloth diapers are offered by a huge number of different companies, come in a crazy assortment of colors and patterns, and - most importantly - are much more intuitive. These diapers, for instance, have a series of snaps that allow the diaper to "graduate" with the growth of the baby, essentially lasting until they move onto big-boy/girl underwear. Here's a diagram on the package:

I love their "How To Use" method!
1. Adjust Size
2. Put on Baby

Those cheeky buggers... hey I'm allowed one butt joke in this post.

I did a lot of research before buying these diapers and heard really good things about the Bum Genius brand. They offer a bunch of different types and in the end we opted for the Elemental One-Size All-in-Ones made with organic cotton. I like these because they have the graduated snaps instead of velcro (which should last longer after so many washes), I <3 organic, and mostly because they're all-in-ones, which means no stuffing inserts's all one unit.

The cleanest they'll ever be....
So why cloth? I'll admit, the thought never crossed my mind before I got married/pregnant. I'm not exactly someone who's "one with nature" in the hygiene department. I need running water, a clean toilet, and a good amount of soap. (Yeah, and I'm having a boy...) So while the thought of getting more up close and personal to my little man's business doesn't exactly excite me, these three main things are what sold me.
  1. Cost - this is a biggie. Diapers may not seem expensive when you're buying them one box at a time, but they certainly do add up. estimates that disposable diapers cost about $72/month, or $864/year. Assuming three years of diaper use, the total cost for one child comes out to $2592 (obviously this is just an estimate). Our set of 12 cloth diapers cost $265 (there are cheaper options). We'll probably be buying another 6 so we don't end up running out and having to run to the store to supplement with disposable, which at $135 brings our total cost to $400. Steep upfront cost? You bet. But even with the cost of doing an extra load of laundry every other day, we still come out ahead. The same website estimates roughly $19/month for washing cloth diapers (I think that's a little steep but we'll go with it), which is $228/year. Again, assuming three years of diaper use & wash, the total cost is $684 + the $400 upfront for a grand total of  $1084. That's a savings of $1500...just for the first kid! Since cloth diapers can be reused, each child after the first will only have the maintenance cost associated with washing the diapers since we'll already own the hardware. Pretty sweet if you ask me.
  2. Convenience - Boxes of diapers are big and bulky. And I'm lazy. We don't even buy soda during our weekly grocery trips mainly because I don't want to haul them up to our apartment. Also because part of me is convinced Charles is going to get diabetes/lose all of his teeth if he keeps downing Coke the way he does. But mostly the lazy thing. I'd much rather do an extra load of laundry every other day than buy a huge box to lug home every month. We also live in an apartment with a dumpster down the road, so any time we can lessen the amount of trash we generate means the longer we can put off taking out the trash.
  3. The Environment - I don't usually make a habit of hugging trees, but I am conscious about the waste and energy I generate. It probably comes from my education in architecture. Either way, I try to recycle as much as possible, turn off lights when we're not using them, and limit our water use. So far our bills have been nicely reflective of this (as well as our bank accounts!). The thought of throwing out 8-12 diapers a day gives me great pause. 8-12 diapers a day becomes 56-84 diapers a week, 224-336 per month, and 2688-4032 per year. It will make me feel better knowing that we're keeping them out of the landfill. 
I've also heard that using cloth reduces the frequency of diaper rash and other irritations and that it's just overall less harsh on that sweet baby skin. With all this having been said, I don't think less of anyone who uses disposable diapers - I think it's purely a personal choice and this just happens to be my jam. Maybe I'll post a (much shorter) update in 6 months and we'll see if I'm still singing their praises!

What are your thoughts on cloth vs disposable? Also have you ever been excited to get a new piece of furniture only to find out it was damaged?


  1. Arg! That dent made me sooo mad... I feel your pain! Hope the next part comes in alright!

    I keep going back and forth with the disposable vs. washable diapers right now...I know the washable type are more wallet & environmentally friendly, I guess I just hate to think about washing out the poopy ones, I should get over it though :)

    1. I know, the thought of a poopy diaper that I can't just toss in the trash definitely made me stop and evaluate whether I was crazy! The thing that helped me decide was finding out about a diaper sprayer. It attaches to the toilet and you just spray the "mess" into the bowl, flush, and then you're left with a slightly less gross diaper to toss into the wash :)I'll let you know how it goes...I could be regretting this in a couple of months!

  2. any updates now that you are a few months in??