Image: money laundering, by Karen Barefoot on freeimages
Here's an excerpt from Alternatives in Diapering:

Following are sample calculations.
Practices, supplies and utilities cast vary.
You can insert your own current costs for a personalized total.

6,500 diaper changes over 2.5 years represents an average of 7-8 changes/day (10-11 for newborns, 5-6 for 2-year olds.)

Laundry (based on 6,500 diaper changes), 24 diaper changes/washload = 271 loads:

detergent (@ 27 cents/load x 271 loads) $73.17;

diaper pail additive (200ml of vinegar @ 15 cents/load) $40.65;

water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal; rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @ $.0067 = 46 cents/load) $124.66;

natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @ $.0015 = 3 cents/load) $8.13;

power to run dryer (5.76 kw/hr. for 1 hr., 5.76kwh @ 7 cents = 40 cents/load) $108.40;

power to run washer (.76 kwh@ 7 cents = 5 cents/load) $13.55;

depreciation on washer and dryer (16 cents for washer + 9 cents for dryer = 25 cents/load [a] ) $67.75 = $436 ($1.60/load). [b]

To calculate labour costs for home laundering, allow at least 40 hours
over 2.5 years. [c]

[a] A $600 washer is estimated to last a family of 4 for 12 years.
Based on 6 loads/wk x 624 wks., a washer will wash 3,744 loads before having to be replaced.
$600 / 3,744 loads = 16 cents/load.
Dryer is estimated to last 15 years and dry 4,680 loads.
$400 / 4,680 loads = 8.5 cents/load.

[b] Laundromat: detergent $73.17, vinegar $40.65, flushing $29.05 = $142.87 + washing ($1.25 x 271 loads = $338.75) + drying ($1.00 x 271) = $752.62.

[c] 8-10 minutes per load x 271 loads = 40 hours.
Time test assumed:
10 washer and dryer in the basement;
20 no-fold diapers left in basket until used (i.e. no folding or stacking); and 3) exclusion time when washer or dryer runs unattended.

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Photo Credit: Money Laundering,
by Karen Barefoot on FreeImages
Some Rights Reserved

Image: washing laundry in India, by alheyse on Photobucket
I've been meaning to post to you my letter which ran in the New York Times Sunday August 1.

It was a response to a June 27 article Taking Children to Exotic Places which told parents to use disposable diapers when traveling.

I would be happy to discuss diapering issues further with anyone who is traveling soon to India! -- Sujata

To the Editor:
I spent 3 months traveling with my baby daughter in India, and I have one tip that is contrary to Martha Stevenson Olson's advice: forget disposable diapers for travel and use cloth diapers instead.

Disposables, especially those with plastic exteriors, are too hot for warm countries.

They cause diaper rash, and public health problems in developing countries without good trash collection and landfills.

It's also inconvenient to have to keep looking for poorly made disposables at twice the United States price.

I brought my cloth diapers to India, and this turned out to be a wonderful convenience.

I never ran out, and they were washed daily for a minimal charge at all hotels and resorts.

While staying in a private home in Calcutta, I contacted an agency that provided a cheerful young woman to wash baby laundry and do nanny duty -- for just $1.50 a day.

I bet similar excellent help is available in other countries.

Thanks to Sujata for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Photo Credit: Washing laundry in India,
by Alheyse on Photobucket
All Rights Reserved

I rinse my diapers in cider vinegar!

I was using white vinegar, then I heard apple cider vinegar makes diapers much softer.

I switched to the apple cider vinegar, and was absolutely amazed at how much softer my baby diapers were!

BIG difference!

My sister (who cloth diapered 3 kids) said, doesn't everyone use apple cider vinegar?

Thanks to Ann for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Reusable Large Pail Liner Bag for Cloth Diapers or Laundry
Someone gave me a great idea for a diaper pail liner a while back... I use an old pillowcase!

I have used it for 3 months with great success.

I now have two pillowcases in use.

I wash diapers every other day, and I throw the pillow case right in with the diapers, and then put the other one on the diaper pail.

I was having a difficult time finding a nylon bag that I could throw in with the dipes, that the colour wouldn't run.

This works great, and I didn't have to spend any money!

Thanks to Dana for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Sometimes she finds a baby wipe and just starts cleaning, by Jason Lander (eyeliam) on Flickr
I have a simpler recipe that we really like to use:

1 cup water
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
8 drops tea tree oil

That is it!

I mix it all together, dump it over my cloth wipes, and wala!

I'm done!

Thanks to Tiffany for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Photo credit: Sometimes she finds a baby wipe and just starts cleaning
by Jason Lander (eyeliam) on Flickr
Some rights reserved

Image: Summer Infant Ultra Plush Change Pad Cover
I borrowed a change table from a relative that had had MAJOR splits in it.

I used duct tape over the splits, then I bought a cover -- it is a stretchy terry one that works great -- at Walmart for about $5.00.

I also have some from Kooshies that is super soft flannel -- that I bought at Toys r Us -- they sometimes have sales on all Kooshies stuff. These were about $10.00 .

Image: 4Pcs Bed Sheet Holder, Luxsego Fasteners Suspenders Gripper, Adjustable and Elastic Straps Clips for Various Bed Sheets, Mattress Cover, Sofa Cushion, Hospital Beds, Inflatable Bedspixel

After using them for a while -- I realized that I could achieve the same thing with receiving blankets and those elastic clip thingy's that you use to keep sheets in place.

Anyway - I love the covers -- the baby never has to touch cold plastic and they are super easy to keep clean - just throw in wash!

Thanks to Lisa for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Photo Credit: Summer Infant on
Al Rights Reserved

Image: Singer 1512 Beginners Sewing Kit, 130 pieces - contains all the basics for sewers and non-sewers alike
I don't have my sewing machine yet (my husband's dad used to fix them for a living, so he's cleaning it up still), but I decided to practice my hand-sewing.

I'm using the two yellow receiving blankets I got, and cut them up. I'm making wipes out of some, and then making doublers out of others.

For the wipes, I'm folding over edges and ironing them like that, then running stitch across the top.

For the doublers, I'm doing two layers of flannelette and one layer of terrycloth, sewing it like a pocket, then inverting them and sewing closed.

Seems to work OK so far.

My daughter is not a really heavy wetter, she rarely wets at night, and she won't nurse/play until she's changed anyhow.

So it is more for practice than anything else.

Thanks to Rachel for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Photo credit: Singer on
All Rights Reserved

Image: StarPack Kids Sandwich Cutter Set of 4 - Sandwich and Bread Crust Cutters in 4 Cute Shapes
This tip is probably for bigger kids than babies, but I thought you might find it a good one.

When you make a sandwich for your child, use a cookie cutter to cut a shape in the center.

Cut the surrounding bread from the cut-out shape to the edge, to create a puzzle.

Scramble up the pieces before serving, and tell your child to put the puzzle back together again.

Adds fun to lunchtime... and might even help get those picky eaters to eat more!

Thanks to Susan for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Picture Credit: Amazon
All Rights Reserved

Image: Playing with her blocks, by Matthew Routley on FlickrBaby toys are expensive and unnecessary most of the time. The Unclutterer blog has a couple of great articles on baby toys...

Paint brush and water: paint the sidewalk or fence with a paintbrush and small bucket of water.

Your little one could easily spend a half an hour painting and there is no mess to clean up.

Laundry time: Little ones love to help with sorting laundry. Match up all the socks!

Their comments section produced lots more great ideas:
Finger painting with pudding, play with dried rice, treasure hunts, pots and pans, cardboard boxes, shaving cream and corn meal, toilet paper tubes, A shovel, a hose and a pile of dirt, sheets, and so much more.

Part 1: Unclutterer: Baby toy alternatives

Part 2: Baby toy alternatives (part 2)

Photo Credit: Playing with her blocks,
by Matthew Routley on Flickr

Some rights reserved

Popular Posts