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October 10, 2007

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I'm not commenting to keep you from using cloth diapers. Not at all! But, where in the world did you get $336 a month for disposables? With sales and coupons (which are abundant), I don't pay more than $7-$8 at most for a pack of diapers (about 40-50 diapers a pack).

I also came over to share my astonishment at $336/month :-)

As a fellow cloth diaperer, I also am not trying to sway you, but I think you're still high on your estimate. The numbers you quoted would cost you $87/month. But I believe that is the highest amount you would EVER spend. You're using the most expensive brand diapers and quite a lot of them. I think that 8 per day would be a *generous* long-term average. You'll probably not change diapers in the middle of the night after the first few weeks, so 8/day is changing very frequently, more frequently than a lot of parents :-)

When my 1st baby was born, we LOVED the store-brand diapers (Target, Walmart). They worked BETTER for us than the more expensive brands. If I'm not smoking crack, I believe that the store brands averaged 10 - 15 cents per diaper, without coupons. Every baby's body fits better in different diapers though. For us it was the cheapies. For some people, it's the others.

Even using 12 diapers per day at 15 cents each, that would be $55 per month. Very Basic AIOs cost $15-$23 each, you need ~24 in each size, and you'll probably need 3 sizes. Using the above numbers, except using a long-term average of 8 diapers per day instead of 12, you come out even after 2.8 years. So in the long-run (>1 kid, late potty-training, resale value of cloth) you will come out ahead, but not by thousands of dollars.

Katie: At this point, I'd rather play it safe and overestimate. If we end up ditching cloth for disposables, it'd be easier on our budget to end up with more money in the bank than less!

I'm now confused as to whether or not this whole cloth diaper thing is even worth it. Ugh.

I can't believe Ryan is getting married so soon and then moving away so soon! Oh my gosh! Would she need pretty bedding to take with her or would she wait and buy that there? I just checked out the Macy's website and they have some pretty necklaces that are reasonably priced (some are way too $$$, but some are under $100) Could you get her a pretty heart or cross necklace? I don't know her style, so it's hard to choose. Is she in need of any luggage? Or travel items? Vera Bradley makes cute things!

Congrats to Ryan!

And have you considered Elimination Communication? Or do you think it's just as crazy as I do?

I don't know how much you want to spend on your sister, but does she have a digital camera? Or does everyone have a digital camera by now? Cause she'll want to take lots of pictures while she's in Europe.

Or a international calling card so she can call and coo at her new niece?

Or a German/English dictionary? Or a cd to learn to speak German? A travel book about Germany/Europe or a how-to-survive-on-an-army-base book?

I agree that it's definitely wise to overestimate for budgeting :-)

I chose cloth diapers partly to save money and partly because of the exciting chemicals in diapers. I think it's still worth it, even if you don't save much money. There are LOTS of reasons to use cloth.

Re: gift for your sis

I realize you don't have much time, but what about a small album of pictures from home, including family members, your parents' house, etc, with notes from friends and fam?

A German-English dictionary? A cookbook of traditional German dishes? Phone cards so she can call home?

Also, sexy lingerie doesn't take up much room in a suitcase. ;-)

What about something that they can take to Germany to remind them of home or something that they won't be able to get as easily over there? I don't know what the deal is in Germany, but I know when I was in Spain I was missing peanut butter like you wouldn't believe. And I was only there for 2 months. I know a big tub of peanut butter isn't the most traditional wedding gift, but it's the only example I can think of right now.

Or, okay, here is a better idea. One of my favorite wedding presents was an afghan that my grandma knitted for us. Now, I know you don't have tons of time to be knitting blankets, but what about a really nice snuggly blanket/quilt for them to cuddle up underneath while they watch romantic movies together?

Or maybe you should just go with Liz's ideas, because they are all way better than peanut butter.

How about luggage? I'm sure they'll be traveling alot once they're overseas, so it might be nice to get them a few pieces of luggage or some other sort of traveling bag. And depending on how much you want to spend, you can just get one piece or a few and let her add to it as she wishes.
Also, I lived in Germany for 4 years growing up and I can attest that you can really get anything there that you would get here in the states, thanks to the lovely PX.

Not to hijack the comments, but I've just started dealing with DAY 3 of the #1 reason you should use cloth - diaper blowouts. I've taken Baby M to work with me each day this week. And each day he has had MAJOR diaper blowouts necessitating total changes of clothes every time he has pooped. Just now, the blowout was in a perfectly dry diaper, so it's not because I'm not changing enough, nor is the diaper too loose (it was nearly tight enough to chop him in half, lol). I haven't done a scientific survey, but it seems that disposables are FAR more prone to blowouts than cloth. (Though cloth is more prone to wicking and leaking slowly.)

WOW your family is going through so many amazing changes! I CANNOT believe Ryan is getting married, I remember Sam talking about her and she was just a little girl. The pictures of you are beautiful -- pregnancy suits you very well!! I know I don't post a lot but I do read up on your life! I'm super happy for you and yours girl!

I second the idea of luggage -- you can also get nice sets at affordable prices from discount retailers like Lohmanns and TJMaxx. Large bag, garment bag & carry-on?

WRT, "are all the parts included in a pocket or other non-aio diaper?" It depends.

Most people who sell pocket diapers include stuff-ins. You might want a few extras or different kinds from those that are included; if you buy seconds, they may not be included.

For prefolds or fitteds and wraps, you buy them separately. That's because you need a lot more diapers than wraps.

I have a boatload of microfiber stuff-ins. If used-but-laundered doesn't give you the ookies, I'd be happy to send some your way.

I don't know nothing about birthin no babies or about getting hitched, but I would bet she would love something sentimental to take with her since she'll leave so much of "home" behind her when she goes. And of course, something practical like others have suggested.

Maybe a scrapbook or a special box with mementos. I always love those kinds of things. Or a jar full of pretty scraps of paper with your favorite memories with her. They are both economical and special.

I have a friend who was very precise in her calculations for the cost effectiveness of cloth diapers. I don't remember the kind of cloth diapers she uses (but they come in several bright colors and they have little snaps that make them adjustable so they fit for a long, long time, and then a velcro waist band thingy-they're actually very cool and diaper-like) but she said that her supply of cloth diapers cost the same as ten months worth of disposable diapers. So after ten months they start 'paying for themselves.'So I guess the only way that cloth diapers wouldn't save you money is if you potty trained your baby at ten months... which probably won't work. I'm sure non of this matters, I'm mostly rambling. In summary, I think using cloth diapers is excellent as long as you're willing. I think it's great that more people are starting to use them again.

I'm not talking you out of it...but really, I don't change Babboo more then 6-7 times a day. And I doubt I spend more then $30 a month on diapers. I'm just sayin.

Hooray for Ryan and Jason. As you know, I love weddings. LOVE them. And I love Germany. So this is good news for me. I wonder if you could get online and buy them a pass for the subway in Germany. Or maybe some credit for a plane ticket, so they can go away for a weekend. (We fly from Berlin to Paris for TWELVE DOLLARS! I kid you not.) That might be fun for them. Or a gift card to a major store in Berlin. (Will they be in Berlin?) I know KaDaVa is the only store that you can buy American food (like rootbeer and peanut butter. Ken loved it when he lived there.)

Congrats to your family. As we get older, those around us also get older and things change. It's fun to be in the middle of all of the changes.

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