I Can’t Afford Cloth Diapers

Baby counting money

When money is tight, it can be tough to squeeze out enough for diapers. We have a few tips to help you save money on diapers.

Consider these factors to save yourself money:

  • whether you choose cloth or disposable diapers;
  • which style of cloth diapers you choose; and
  • what to do if even the least expensive cloth diapers are too much for your budget.

Which diapers will save you the most money? The first choice most parents make is cloth or disposable diapers. Cloth diapers win the math every time.

Compare the cost of cloth diapers with disposable diapers over 5,220 diaper changes. (See our “Baby on a Budget” article to see how we came up with that number.)

Total diaper cost

  • $1,200 Disposable Diapers @ $.23/each (major brands)
  • $679 Disposable Diapers @ $.13/each (low-end brands)

Even a high-end option like one-size, all-in-one cloth diapers plus newborn size is less expensive than disposables for one child. If you need to cut the budget, you still have more inexpesive cloth diaper options.

  • $600 Cloth All-in-one (AIO) Diapers plus Newborn
  • $240 Cloth One-size AIO Diapers
  • $231 Cloth prefolds with sized covers
  • $177 Cloth prefolds with one-size covers

The problem, of course, is that you need to come up with that money all at once rather than $20-30 at a time. If you put away $12 per week starting in your 5th month of pregnancy, you will be able to buy a complete cloth diaper supply in your final month of pregnancy. All done!

Which style of cloth diapers is least expensive? If you are limiting your budget even within cloth diapers, there is actually one best choice: prefolds.

Budget choice: prefolds with one-size covers

We carry several choices of prefold and flat diapers. We like the Bummis Beautiful Basic Starter Package and the Bummis Newborn Cloth Diaper Package. Both are currently on special, so you save even more. (These are sized packages, meaning you need new diaper covers as your baby grows. To save more, buy prefolds separately with one-size diaper covers. These adjust as your baby grows.)

Bummis Beautiful Basic cloth diaper package

What if even cloth diapers cost too much? Volunteers across North America build local cloth diaper banks for low-income families.

If even a prefold package on special is too big an expense for your family, talk to us at bynature.ca about free or very low cost diaper options. If you are in the Simcoe County / Georgian Bay area, stop by the byature.ca store and fill out a diaper bank application. Outside that area, drop us a note, and we’ll help you find a cloth diaper bank in your area, if one is available.

How can you save a lot of money cloth diapering? For more tips, see the Real Diaper Association low-income cloth diapers tip sheet. They give details on starting small, upcycling, buying used, keeping wash simple, and, of course, diaper banks.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we’re responding to common comments by our customers, like “I don’t have time for cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

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I Don’t Have Time for Cloth Diapers

All-in-one cloth diaper from Tots Bots

Are you sure you don’t have time to use cloth diapers? If you choose to use cloth diapers, you can use time-saving strategies and no-fold diapers to fit into your busy schedule. Your choices make a big difference.

Consider these factors to save yourself time:

  • which style of diapers you choose;
  • how many diapers to have on hand, which leads to
  • how often to wash diapers; and
  • simple cleaning habits.

Which style of diapers will save you time? If time is your limiting factor, choose a diaper that doesn’t require stuffing or folding.

Perfect choice: All-in-one diaper

At bynature.ca we carry several brands of all-in-one cloth diapers (or AIO diapers, as many call them), like the Tots Bots Easy Fit one-size diaper

All-in-one one-size diaper

To save time, have more diapers on hand. That means you won’t need to wash as often. There are drawbacks to this approach, though.

  • Money. You will need to invest more money up front to buy more diapers, if you wash less often.
  • Clean Diapers. Your diapers will be easier to clean if they don’t sit dirty as long.

Doing more small loads of cloth diaper laundry will save you money in the long run because you won’t need to buy as many diapers, and the diapers won’t suffer damage from sitting too long in waste.

Save time AND money with simple habits. Every morning, before you get busy with your day, start a load of laundry. Every other day, make that diaper laundry.

That means you need enough diapers for 3 days—two days between washes and one day to get the laundry done. For a newborn, you will need 35-40 diapers for this method. For an older baby, you will need 25-30 diapers. For a toddler who is nearing potty learning, you will need 18-20 diapers.

Save more money by washing more often, at least during the newborn months when you will be changing diapers more often.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we are answering some of those common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diapering basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

We want to answer YOUR questions. Tell us your cloth diaper questions in the comments below.

The Best Natural Lubricant – Yes!

Yes organic lubricant

 

As children take more of your time, don’t let that keep you from taking care of yourself. Women are happier when they maintain a healthy sex life.

Which brings up another issue. If you are ridding your life of toxic, non-natural substances, what do you do about personal care products like lubricant? The most popular product in stores includes parabens (estrogen mimics), glycerine (skin irritant and Candida nutrient), and glycols (cell wall disruptor). You have a choice, though; you can avoid these.

That’s why we carry Yes organic lubricant.

Organic Personal Lubricant

Ingredients are important to us. We care about eco-friendly ingredients, and we avoid allergens and irritants. Yes is hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

No distracting perfumes. No chemicals masking your own signs of desire. Just a velvety, sensuous feel to add to your body’s own lubrication.

Choose Water- or Oil-based Natural Lube

Which formula is for you?

  • Water-based Yes gives realistic lubrication that helps with dryness or discomfort. Water-based is compatible with condoms.
  • Oil-based Yes is a strong, long-lasting alternative to chemical lubricants. The sweet almond oil and cocoa better is so gentle that oil-based Yes is suitable as an intimate massage oil.

Yes lubricant are made from organic plant extracts.

Ingredients in Water-based Yes Lubricant
Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera), Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Guar gum), Ceratonia siliqua (Locust bean gum), Linum usitatissiumum (Flax extract), Pehnoxyethaol, Potassium sorbate, Xanthan gum, Citric acid.

Ingredients in oil-based Yes Lubricant
Prunus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Helianthus annus (Sunflower) seed oil, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Cera alba (Bees wax), Natural tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Safe Lubricant When You Are Trying to Conceive

Yes Baby lubricant kit safe for conception

Healthy conception can mean managing vaginal pH. The Yes Baby kit gives you the lubricants you need through an ovulation cycle: sperm-friendly lubricant for your most fertile period, vagina-friendly lubricant to restore pH after the most fertile period, ovulation tests, and simple, illustrated instructions.

Both formulations of Yes lubricant are safe for use during pregnancy.

We carry travel-size Yes lubricant.

Ethical Company

We like UK-based The Yes Yes Company, as well. They are committed to ethical trade, no animal testing, organic and sustainable sourcing, and profound purity. They are our kind of people.

Self Care: Sleep Matters

Mother sleeping

 

You keep your family functional through your strength, your health, your happiness and mood, and your focus. The one most important thing you can do to take care of yourself, the one thing that all other self care builds on, is getting enough sleep. Putting on your own oxygen mask first starts with sleep.

It’s so simple!

Sort of. Tough for a young mother but simple in theory.

You probably remember when it was easy to stay up all night and keep going the next day. That was before you had responsibilities for others, children to care for, and a long list of tasks you just have to get done every day. If you go without sleep now, you don’t feel your best the next day. A study of doctors showed that, when fatigued, their performance was comparable to having 3-4 cocktails.

Lack of sleep leaves you impaired with slower reaction times. This does not help your family. Beyond the immediate effects of impaired judgment, lack of sleep triggers health effects: lower immunity, metabolism changes (weight gain), and even more serious disease. This is just the beginning.

Abusing your body by doing without sleep will have a long-term impact. I write from experience. I know getting enough sleep is a very difficult thing for the mother of a young child, but it has both short- and long-term impact on your own health and on everyone around you. Right now you are bridging from your youth to your middle age, and the choices you make for your health make a difference for your present and your future.

Sleep does matter. You must take care of yourself.

Your Sleep Routine

Create routines that protect your sleep. In order to help your baby sleep with love and compassion, you need routines that signal to everyone that it is time to wind down and let go for the day. If you have figured this out for your baby, you already have an idea how developing a routine works. Your routines involve more than just you, of course. Especially if you are co-sleeping, you need to create routines that work for your entire family.

Start with what is working. When have you found that you slept really well recently? What did you do the day before or the evening before that great night’s sleep? How did you wake up? Can you replicate that?

Tweak your routine over time, but don’t assume it will all work out on its own. You need to protect your sleep time. If you can’t handle everything in the time your have available, ask for help.

How much sleep do you need? Every person is slightly different, but the general rules apply. Most adults need 8 hours sleep per night.

Self Care Means Love & Compassion for Yourself

Approach your own needs with love and compassion—as you would for your children or spouse. That doesn’t mean lining up excuses and accepting every one. Loving yourself means understanding your deeper needs and focusing there rather than on the superficial. Loving yourself means not prioritizing your needs below those of everyone else.

Finding a way to meet the needs of all family members can be difficult. You will undoubtedly come up short, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying.

Understand that taking care of yourself matters. Getting enough sleep matters.

Sleep well.

For more details on the effects of lack of sleep, read “Sleep for Health.”

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Alternatives to Candy on Valentine’s Day

Candy for Valentines Day

Has your child been asked to contribute candy to a Valentine’s Day party? We can turn this into an positive opportunity. Let’s think of this as taking a treat—a treat of any kind—rather than approaching negatively as NOT taking candy. You can just quietly send a fun treat that happens not to be food.

Crayons
Kids love crayons. Give them out in the original shape, or you could make a craft of it and use a candy mold to shape melted crayons into hearts. Our Soy Rocks Party Box gives you 64 colorful crayons to give out.

Lip Gloss
Make lip gloss. It’s easy and exciting for kids to make lip balm in many flavors and colors. Don’t call it “gloss” and you might get boys interested as well.

Bouncy Balls
A ball is a small gift that won’t cost you a lot but will get used a lot.

Pencils
A common non-candy gift for children is a fun pencil. They come in great variety (including our tree-free pencils), they are easy to decorate and personalize, and kids will use them.

Wooden Toys
We often find situations where kids might want to give small gifts, and we don’t want to create more plastic clutter of throwaway gifts. We want to give eco-friendly gifts that children will actually use. That is why we created a loot bag section in our Green Celebrations department. We have a couple of tiny toys that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts: mini wooden kaleidoscopes and wooden pop tops.

Friendship Bracelets
An older child can use cotton embroidery floss to create friendship bracelets. To make it a Valentine, add a small tag with a message.

Wooden Yo-Yo
For a special friend, a red wooden yo-yo is great gift that will be played with for a long time.

The Recurring Candy Issue

Yes, it’s nice to take a positive approach. I can be tiring to think, “Great. Another holiday, another opportunity to explain why we don’t give out candy.” Sure, we don’t have to focus on explaining. We can just nudge expectations away from sugary treats to other treats.

The issue will continue to come up, though. If you want to deal with Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and all of the candy holidays all at once, if you are tired of navigating the candy and food issues, help your school or district develop policies that will make it easier not just to manage allergies but to meet nutrition goals.

A lot of schools have no-food or no-candy policies for celebrations. This makes it a lot easier for schools to manage food allergies and sensitivities. Sell them on the benefits for the school, and they might be willing to work with you.

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