Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wool over my eyes

Have you ever heard that using cloth diapers saves money?  I'm sure it's often true.  Certainly, buying a small selection of cloth diapers, which you can wash and reuse a seemingly infinite number of times, should cost significantly less than constantly buying disposables.  Even though most cloth is size specific, and must be replaced with a larger size as the child grows, the savings should still be con considerable.  In most cases I'm sure it is considerable.  Unless you start using longies.

Longies are knitted or crocheted woolen pants that are used in place of a diaper cover.  That is, you put the child in an absorbant (usually cotton) diaper, then put the longies over top of this.  Because longies are treated with lanolin, they keep moisture in while still allowing air to flow in and heat to flow out.  Brilliant, right?  And though they tend to be a bit expensive ($60-80 is the average price, in my experience), you really only need two or three of them, as they can go weeks between washings due to the amazing properties of wool.

But as you descend deeper into the world of longies, you begin to see that you have entered a clever trap.  A cute, colorful, time and money consuming trap.  Longies are just the start, the gateway drug, if you will.  Next come shorties (for summer), soakers (for nights), skirties (for the girly-girls), interlock pants (for the track suit look), and even frilly little knitted capri pants.  You realize that each of these items (for the sake of brevity I will continue to use "longies" for all) comes in an endless variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns.  There are recycled longies, made out of old adult sweaters.  There are longies with stripes, landscapes, symbols, animals, flowers, and even faces on their behinds.  You can even get longies that look like tights.  Longies can cost anywhere from $5 for a recycled pair, to close to $300 for a very popular and intricate design.  Even buying used, as I always do, it would not be difficult to drop $400 or more in single day on just a few pairs of longies.

So, as you might have guessed, I've been doing a little shopping.  N is growing out of his current stock of covers, and I'm making the switch almost entirely to wool.  Even buying used and mostly recycled, I have already spent $140 on longies and shorties.  For a frugal (to be charitable) soul like me, that's quite a hit, but I have two shorties, three longies, and a night cover coming my way.  Hooray for fluffy mail!  As addictions go, I suppose this one isn't a bad one to have.  Now if only I could stop window shopping for baby carriers...

I don't mean to discourage anyone from trying cloth diapers, of from using wool covers.  Cloth truly is an expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be.  I only want to warn those of you who might be contemplating cloth, that this is an addiction you might never cure yourself of!  In any case, I highly recommend that every mama (or daddy) thinking of starting up with cloth register over at Diaper Swappers.  Cloth diapering mamas treat their cloth like gold, so it's easy to buy used, but nearly pristine, cloth and accessories of all sorts there.

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