When my husband and I were expecting our first daughter, we found an advertisement for a local diaper service. We compared the costs of buying and washing our own cloth diapers, hiring the diaper service, and using disposable diapers. Because we lived in an apartment with a Laundromat, the diaper service was actually the cheapest option. Here is some more information for you to consider in diapering your baby.
How a Cloth Diaper Service Works
The diaper service provided us with 80-100 cotton, snap-closure cloth diapers per week (newborns use more diapers than older babies, so the diaper service adjusted the number of diapers as needed). We paid a small, one-time rental fee for three or four rubber cloth diaper covers (which could simply be rinsed in sink and reused). We bought our own diaper pail. The diaper service also provided other cloth diaper supplies as needed.
Every week, the diaper service picked up the bag of dirty diapers and dropped off a bag of clean diapers. Arrangements could be made for pickups/drop-offs if we weren’t home. When our daughter grew out of one size of diapers or diaper covers, we simply notified the diaper service and they sent us the next size up.
Diaper Service is Economically and Environmentally Friendly
My husband and I chose to use the diaper service mainly as a matter of budget. The cost of paying the diaper service for two years of diapers was about half that of buying two years of disposable diapers.
Using reusable cloth diapers from a diaper service is also more environmentally friendly than using disposable diapers. Disposable diapers are estimated to take from 300-500 years to decompose. Up to half the household waste of a family with a baby will be the baby’s diapers. The manufacture of disposable diapers requires huge amounts of wood, petroleum, and chemical resources.
Many diaper services are now using water-saving wash methods when cleaning diapers. When researching diaper services, ask about their laundering processes. Because cloth diapers are themselves more environmentally friendly, most cloth diaper services are also environmentally conscious of how they clean the diapers. Heat and silver can be used to sanitize cloth diapers, rather than chlorine and other chemicals.
Finding a Cloth Diaper Service Near You
We found out about our diaper service through a brochure at the hospital. Look for brochures at health clinics or advertisements in local parenting magazines. You could also ask other moms in your area. Or simply google “diaper service” along with your city name.
My husband and I used our diaper service for six months and discontinued use only because we moved to an area where we couldn’t get diaper service. We found it amusing that my parents had done the same cost-comparisons twenty-five years before, when I was born, and reached the same conclusions we did—they also used a diaper service.