How much do cloth diapers cost, 2014 edition

I went to Peapods yesterday to check out what they had for cloth diapers and to make a new video on the cost of cloth diapers.  Check it out!

If you hadn’t seen it previously, I offered up tips last month on how to save on cloth diapers.

You can find more information on the newborn diaper rental at Peapods here.

Support local businesses! Shop at Peapods and check out the classes at BabyLove!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

How to save money on cloth diapers

Save Money Cloth Diapers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make no mistake:  The cost of putting diapers of any kind on a baby is an expensive proposition. Most estimates of how much parents spend on disposable diapers and wipes in one year are in the $750-$1000 range.  Even if you purchase 24 of the most expensive one-sized cloth diapers you can find, you’ll still come out ahead once you consider that most kids in the US potty train around age 3.  However, lots of parents see the initial cost of diapers and have a bit of sticker shock. There are ways to save on cloth diapers– some better than others.  Here’s what I usually suggest:

  • Find a place that resells used diapers- Locally, there are a few places that buy used diapers for resale.  The three that I know of are Peapods in St. Paul, Bellies to Babies in Richfield, and All Things Diapers in Blaine.  Look carefully at the diapers before you buy, though. Make sure the hook and loop fasteners are in decent shape.  Make sure the elastic isn’t shot.  And while a little staining is fine, diapers that are very discolored might have buildup that will make your diapers leak. 
  • Check Craigslist-Again, though, make sure you carefully inspect the diapers before purchase. Find out what kind of detergent they used to wash the diapers (the wrong kind can cause the nasty buildup I mentioned above).
  • Check out online swapping forums- The one that I know of and used when I was looking to buy cloth diapers for my son was Diaper Swappers. They’ve FINALLY updated their website, so it’s a little easier to use than it used to be. However, since you’re dealing with people you can’t meet face to face, buyer beware.
  • Make your own- From time to time, this national fabric chain will offer cloth diaper classes.  There are lots of websites that offer both supplies and instructions for sewing your own diapers.  You can also make t-shirts into diapers.
  • Crowdsource your stash- Finally, my last tip is not as much to get used diapers, but rather to ask for cloth diapers as shower gifts. One diaper can make the perfect present for a friend or co-worker, and family members might want to purchase half a dozen of them for you. Update: It turns out you can register for those diapers that you want at Peapods. Check out the details here.

And, as always, if you find cloth diapers overwhelming and confusing, remember that I offer a Cloth Diaper and Babywearing combination class for only $25.  You can check out the schedule and register here.

Those are my tips.  Have other ideas?  Share in the comment section below!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

2013 Holiday Cloth Diaper Drive Wrap-up

The 2013/14 Holiday Cloth Diaper Drive was a huge success!

The donations have been sorted and counted, and here’s the final total (give or take):
Prefolds: 300+
Covers: 106
Pocket Diapers: 88
Contour Diapers: 3
Fitted Diapers: 47
All In One Diapers: 55
Wipes: 53
Wet Bags: 12
Snappies: 5
Wool Covers: 4
Lots of liners
One Diaper Sprayer

Below is a letter from Renee, the local coordinator.  I would also like to thank Dan and Millie at Peapods, Crystal at Bellies to Babies, Dr. Parno at Parno Family Chiropractic, Sharewear in Prior Lake, for their help and Peter at Do Good Diapers for his donations!

-Veronica, Owner and Educator, Babylove

On behalf of the St. Paul Share the Love site, thank you for your diaper donations! Because of your generosity, we will be able to assist numerous families in the twin cities who are forced to choose between diapers and other essentials, such as food, utilities, housing and childcare. This program relies solely on local donations from the community, and we are grateful for the support!

We would also like to thank BabyLove for their ongoing support. At times it has been difficult to get a new program like Share the Love off the ground and running, and we have really appreciated the support you have provided us. We look forward to continuing that relationship!

If you are interested in learning more about the program, or becoming involved with our site, please email sharethelove@cottonbabies.com. In addition, if you know of a family currently participating in WIC who would be interested in a diaper grant, please encourage them to apply online at http://www.cottonbabies.com/cblovelocations.php. The program provides a set of diapers (15 diaper changes) for each child under the age of 3 at no cost. Volunteers with the St. Paul site are also available to answer cloth diaper questions and work with recipients on any diaper-related issues that may arise.

Once again, thank you for your support!

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Cloth Diaper Drive Update

Hey! I just wanted to have an update on the cloth diaper drive. Check it out. It’s short and I’m talking really fast.

Like I say in the video: WE NEED MORE DONATIONS! If you’re out and about, here again are the donation locations:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every donation!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Introducing BabyLove Memberships

BabyLove Memberships

We know that more and more families are trusting us for all of their prenatal education, postpartum support, and ongoing education as their babies grow.  To help these families save money, we created memberships with 3 different levels to serve various goals and needs.

Membership Levels

Silver-$400: Unlimited BabyLove* classes for one year, up to two car seat checks

In one year you could take:

  • Evening Lamaze Series
  • Labor Skills Workshop
  • Birth Communication Workshop
  • Cloth Diapering/ Babywearing Combo Class
  • Early Potty Training
  • Baby Care: The First Year
  • 6 Dancing For Birth series

With the two car seat checks included, the package could easily be valued at $715.  That’s a HUGE Savings!

TOTAL:  $715, Potential savings of $315

Gold-$500: Unlimited BabyLove* classes for one year, up to two car seat checks, and four hours of in home lactation support

This package includes everything above, with the same huge cost savings, but included an additional 4 hours of in home lactation support, which has a $140 value.

TOTAL: $855, Potential Savings of $355

Platinum-$950: Unlimited BabyLove* classes for one year, up to two car seat checks, four hours of in home lactation support, and BabyLove doula services

Our prices for doula services range from $650-$750.  Not only will you get all of the awesome classes you want to take with us, but you will also get two experienced doulas for the birth of your child.

TOTAL: $1605, Potential savings of $655

Right now, in order to purchase these packages, just give us a call or send us an email and we will enroll you as a member.  You will have the ability to sign up for all of the classes you desire for a one year period via our registration system without needing to pay.  We are happy to answer any questions you might have!
*BabyLove classes do not include classes taught by outside educators, such as Calm Birth®, Small Talk Infant Sign, and specialty workshops

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

5 Items to Avoid on Your Baby Registry

what to avoid on baby registry

I’ve been getting lots and lots of questions lately on if I had good resources about registries,  and you know what?  I don’t.  The truth is, there are millions, if not billions, spent on advertising to new parents.  What do you actually need? Well, a car seat is a must (though you don’t need to buy an infant-only car seat with a handle. A convertible car seat works just fine too).  Your baby needs a safe place to sleep.  Clothes are good.  And diapers?  Well, you might want to check out how much diapers cost before you decide if you’ll go cloth versus disposables.  There are some things, though, that shouldn’t go on your registry, period.

1) A Boppy

Why you should avoid it: Originally marketed as a way to elevate baby while playing on the floor, it quickly seemed like it was a necessity for breastfeeding moms.  Truth be told, it leaves a huge gap by moms’ stomachs, it isn’t high enough to bring baby all the way up to breast, and it’s better for baby to be at a 45 degree angle (or more) when feeding.  Would you be able to drink while lying on your side? Nope. So don’t make your baby do that, either.

A better choice: Instead of a nursing pillow, add some lactation support to your wish list.  Have friends or family members buy you some prepaid time with a lactation pro in your home that you can call for help.  It’ll be way better than a pillow, I promise.

2) Crib Bumpers

Why you should avoid it: Well, for one, the AAP has warned against using them for many years now.  They are a SIDS risk.  The  city of Chicago made it illegal to sell them. Older babies can use them as a step and can fall out of their cribs. I’ve never quite understood what we thought they were going to do, anyway.  I mean, it’s not like your baby is going to get a running start and crack his or her head on the inside of the crib rails, will he?  Nope.

A better choice: Have people buy you some gift cards for restaurants that offer take out or that deliver.  That way when the pre-made meals run out, of if you just can’t handle having one more lasagna, you have a way to feed yourself.

3) Sleep positioners

Why you should avoid it: Originally touted as a way to prevent SIDS, the AAP expressly warned against using them in their updated guidelines from 2011.  Though, honestly, since that happened, I don’t see them much on store shelves anymore.  Still, some mom might tell you that you have to have one…but you don’t.

A better choice:  How about asking for gift cards for a grocery store that delivers?  Doesn’t that sound nice? Heck, I would like them even now.

4) Wipes Warmer

Why you should avoid it: Two words: fires and infections.  Wipe warmers have been known to overheat and start on fire.  And even if that extreme scenario doesn’t play out, the warm, wet environment is a hotbed of germs and can lead to infections.

A better choice: Let’s see….in the middle of the night, some Netflix streaming might be really nice.  Throw a gift subscription on your list.

5) A Baby Bjorn (the classic model)

Why you should avoid it: Any baby carrier that places all of baby’s weight on his or her crotch can case bruising, numbness, tingling, and even hip dysplasia.  Think about it…would you want to hang in that position for hours on end? Probably not.

A better choice: Let’s see: a wrap carrier, a ring sling, a mei tai, a soft structured carrier….anything that has your baby sitting in the carrier, not dangling.  Unsure about your options? Well, we have a class to help!

As I was pulling out our old, icky wipe warmer (Yep, I make mistakes, too.  We used that wipe warmer until my 10 day old son ended up in the ER with a UTI.), I found an old white noise machine.  And while I didn’t list it above, you DO want a noise machine.  Trust me.  When that first thunderstorm hits and your baby sleeps through it?  You’ll thank me.

Simplicity is key.  Also, you’ll be glad to eliminate the clutter in your home.

Warmly,

Veronica

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Buying Baby Items at Garage Sales

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Image credit: Mark Turnauckas via Flickr (used under Creative Commons)

Update 5/15/14: This is from last year, and I’ve already seen more used car seats that I would like to see. Why, people?!??!? 

One other disturbing trend I’ve found out about is that some kids’ consignment sales are claiming that the used car seats that they sell are “certified” to be safe. There is no such legitimate designation. PLEASE don’t think that those seats are a good choice. OK. So read on:

Now that the sun is out, the snow is mostly melted, temps are rising, it’s finally time for garage sale season.  Garage sales are a great way to save money on items for you baby or child, for sure!  There are some things you should keep in mind when out shopping to make sure that you’re saving money, not wasting it.

  • Don’t buy car seats at garage sales- I don’t know what else to say.  It’s pretty straightforward.  This is the ONE absolutely, completely necessary baby item you’ll need, but also the most critical to your child’s life.  Save money on everything else, but not this.
  • Make sure the item you’re buying wasn’t recalled- When you are out and about, it’s impossible to keep in mind all of the strollers, high chairs, and other baby items that have been recalled over the years.  There are a couple of ways to check on the status of an item if you have your smart phone with you.  Recall.gov keeps track of every recall issued.  They have a mobile app that you can download (though it looks like it’s only for Android phones), but they also have a mobile site that you can access easily on the go. Find more info on their website.
  • Be realistic on your ability to properly clean a product- I’ve been a mom for almost 8 years, and some things are just really hard to clean.  If it’s fabric, make sure that you can remove it completely, otherwise you’re just stuck spot-treating any dirt.  And plastic seems like it would be easy to clean, but some things have too many corners to clean. If it’s totally grungy, just pass on it.
  • Avoid drop-side cribs- Drop side cribs have (mostly) been illegal to sell or resell for a little while.  If they have been repaired and the drop side is in a locked, fixed position, then they are fine (because the recall has been fixed). Again, check out the info above to make sure the recall has been repaired.
  • Avoid stains- Is this obvious? Maybe.  I’ve seen so many pins, been told so many things to try on stubborn stains, but the truth is, baby stains are hard to get out.  There will be more onesies. Pass on stained clothes, no matter how cute.
  • Make sure the cloth diapers will work- Before buying used cloth diapers, ask if they used diaper cream, what kind of detergent they used, and, perhaps most importantly, why they stopped using them.  If their baby just grew out of them, that’s fine.  But if they stopped using them because the diapers leaked, you might want to pass.  You can try stripping the diapers, but that’s not guaranteed to work.

Happy spring and enjoy the garage sale hunt!

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.