Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Myth of Expensive Cloth Diapers part 2

Spend your money on what shows. If you have $2500 to spend on cloth diapers, go for it. I talked about in the last post why I don't think that that is a waste. But most of us don't have that kind of money.

The majority of the fanciest diapers on the market today are what are called fitted diapers. They snap or velcro on like a disposable diaper, but they don't have a waterproof layer. So you spend $28 on what is a really gorgeous diaper, and then you put a cover on it. Only mom or dad sees it. It's job is to be absorbent, that's it.

So here's my philosophy of diapers. Choose what you put on the inside (the absorbent part) for what it FEELS like, and splurge on what will show.

A lot of people do this by using wool covers. Wool is natural, breathable, and can be dyed, knitted, and crocheted into the craziest pants you've ever seen. It also has to be hand washed. That alone is not bad, and don't hear me saying here that wool is a bad option at all, but using knit or crocheted wool pants as a diaper cover is just not for us. I'll post another day about wool interlock, but in general this is not a convenient option for a lot of people.

Most people need to use something with a PUL waterproof layer that can be easily laundered, and used again and again- something that can survive jumps in a mud puddle, sliding down the concrete stairs, running through the weeds- something that looks like a diaper.

So why, when people are spending as much as $45 on elaborate fitted diapers, are 99.99% of the PUL covers on the market something utilitarian, with white edge binding, bulges from poor fit, snap down adjustable rises, and basically ugly and boring?

Why don't we spend out money on something that shows? That's what Diaper Circus is here for.

We make fabulously soft, trim, and absorbent diapers. They fold in easy peasy, and then you put them in a cover that is a riot of color.

I am very picky about the fabric selection for our covers. If it is only cute because they are a baby, it will not make the cut around here. And as far as custom goes, the sky is the limit. Those hand dyed fitted diapers in the last post are beautiful, but what if that was on the outside? I will hand dye your bamboo velour or jersey, for rich vibrant solids, or a rainbow, and then we can add a pocket, or ruffles, or a monogram, or Alabama Chanin style appliqué.

I want your baby to be wearing something really special!

Remember when everything a baby wore or slept with was lovingly hand made by family and friends? Most of us don't have the time or skill to do that any more, but we can share the work with one another. There is an enormous network of work at home moms, who can make just about anything you dream up for your baby. Doesn't your baby deserve the best? And you can do it for less than you would be spending on trash.

Cost of Diapers, A Second Look OR The Myth of Expensive Cloth Diapers part 1

A while back there was a thread on called "the prettiest diaper you've ever seen", or something to that effect. There were dozens of opinions on what makes a cute diaper, but one particular post got a lot of attention.

A mama had had 24 diaper cuts dyed in custom colorways by talented textile dyer, Tickety Bu. The smallest of Tickety Bu's items range from $14-20, so I'm guessing that she would normally charge $10-12 for a diaper cut without any sewing done to it. Then the mama had these cuts sewn into fitted diapers. Now, a lot of WAHMs are charging around $28 for this type of fitted, but even if she chose someone on the cheaper end of the spectrum that is about $18 each. Both of these artisans may have given her a volume discount, but we are probably talking about $670 dollars on a diaper stash, and she still needs to cover these with something waterproof, and they are sized, so she probably needs two more sets. I'm guessing that someone who orders this fancy of a diaper is covering it with wool, not some tacky mass produced PUL cover by bummis or thirsties, so that is like $40 each for 4-6 covers per size. Overall you are looking at $2500 birth to potty cloth diapering stash.

When I first did this math, I am coming from the perspective that you can build an adequate diaper stash for a tenth of this, much less if you are on a budget, can sew, buy used, etc. Don't people use cloth diapers to save money?

But, think about it. The average family will spend that much or more on disposables for one child. At the very least she is breaking even, only her money is going to moms, to artists, allowing them to stay home with their kids. Her child is wearing the best of the best, and every piece was given hours of care, and attention to every detail. Aside from that, she can use these for multiple children, she will probably get half of her money back selling them used, and they will probably never end up in a landfill.

With accurate averages I can show you that cloth will save you around $2000 per child, but it really doesn't have to to be worth it.