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My Econobum Challenge
December 15, 2010 6:00 am | by
Throughout my cloth diapering career our family has experienced circumstances and phases that have dictated our ability to use (or not to use) cloth diapers. There have been seasons of all cloth all the time, seasons of disposable dependence, and seasons of both (cloth at home and disposables on the go).

I read Jenn’s recent post about families struggling to buy disposable diapers and sometimes choosing between buying diapers and food. Providing Econobum to needy families is really exciting. It got me thinking. I know that using cloth diapers saves money. I know that an Econobum Full Kit costs less than $50. I know that Econobum is easy to use and wash. What I didn’t know was about the ease of transition for a family switching from disposables to Econobum. So, on Thanksgiving weekend I set out to compare the use of 1 Econobum Full Kit to our typical use of disposables during the busy Holiday season.

My husband works full time; I work full time from home and we have six awesome children. Our house is always bustling (read noisy and probably messy). Our extended family is large and active. Beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with New Years Day we spend weekends going from one celebration to the next. During the weekdays in between our house is in recovery mode.

I am now in the third week of my self-induced Econobum Challenge. I have added 2 Flip Stay Dry Inserts for overnight use because my son has very sensitive skin. I am washing a small load of cloth diapers every morning. I had anticipated that this might be a problem and leave me with no diapers if I got behind on laundry. But something quite the opposite has happened. The daily routine actually has left me victorious in the taming of the laundry volcano! Another unexpected positive has been the lack of diaper pail (or trash can) stink. Econobum has accompanied us on several all-day outings. I was even able to change a diaper on my lap in the front seat of the car while out Christmas shopping. I have been pleasantly surprised with the absorbency of the pre-fold and the cover has contained some serious power poopies.

So far, I would say that Econobum has stood up to the convenience factor of disposables. But alas, there are still a few weeks left in this delightfully busy Christmas season so we will see what I have to report nearer to the end of my Econobum Challenge.

How does your family handle diapering during busy, hectic, or stressful times?

About the Author

Bekah works from her home as a designer. She has six amazing children. Five of her children have worn or are wearing cloth diapers.



  • songbyrd19 said...
    December 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I also enjoy doing laundry, and while I initially planned on doing laundry once every three days, I’ve gotten in the habit of doing it every day or every other day, now that my little girl is ALMOST ONE and has really smelly, frequent poops. It’s nice to have a day or two of back-up diapers, because sometimes I go four days without laundry. I read the article about diapering in an emergency/almost-free, and tried the receiving blanket method. It’s my go-to back-up method, actually (youtube “happy anteater”). I’ll be sad to use disposables on our week-long trip out of town/the country, but after attempting to do a four-day weekend at the in-laws with cloth, and finding myself absolutely lost when working with high efficiency machines, or machines other than mine, I’m okay with the convenience factor of disposables.

  • joshua2415 said...
    December 24, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I only wish you had posted this sooner! I love challenges like this! I started on the 15th (when I read the post) and am loving it! My husband looks longingly at the pile of clean bG 3.0s in the diaper box, but I am gung-ho! I think I might give up all cloth diapers except Econobum for Lent, too! 🙂

  • Brendacthom said...
    December 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    We go disposable on trips so we don’t need to wash while on vacation. My problem when I get busy is usually not getting the diapers (mostly 3.0s) washed…but getting them stuffed and in their baskets. I end up grabbing from the laundry (clean) basket and I hate this:0) I will admit that I have been using disposables lately on days when my morning sickness is so bad I can’t stand to rinse a poopy cloth diaper. Sick or not, the poop rinse is still my absolute least favorite part.

  • The Wholesome Duchess said...
    December 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    We love our cloth diapers, and the only time we don’t use them is when we’re traveling long distances (across the country) We figure its more economical to pay for a bunch of disposables when we get there than pay to check an extra bag with diapers two ways on a plane. We use them all the time!

  • Steeler_Chic said...
    December 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Are you using them with a snappi, or just folding them in the cover? I’m just curious…I LOVE the econobum covers, but haven’t found the prefold love. We do however love BG’s and Flip =)

  • Michelle P said...
    December 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    It is a CRAZY transition!!! But in the end it is good!!! Good for us, our little ones.. the environment!!!! All we can do is our best!!!!

  • Hana Joy said...
    December 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Washing our diapers everyday has become a routine that I barely even think about now. Washing my diapers daily keeps the stink down and forces me to keep the mounds of baby laundry from getting too high. I wash my diapers once on cold, then add all my other baby laundry to the second wash of diapers on hot. This helps me get my diapers really clean and stay on top of the other laundry as well!

  • Sarah Watson said...
    December 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The last thing I want to do when things get busy is hunt for coupons, the lowest price, and go to the big box store with a grouchy baby for disposables.

  • Joan said...
    December 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Except on trips when we will be away from home for more than 2 days with no access to laundry facilities or no time to do the laundry, we don’t even think about using disposables. Even in cases where we have to resort to disposables, we only do so for the first part of our trip, and switch back to cloth when we have about 2 days left, then start the laundry shortly after we get home. And if we can, we use Flips with disposable inserts in those cases, and just wash the covers in a sink if the circumstances of the trip allow it, rather than standard disposable diapers.

    Cloth diapering has become so ingrained in our routine (and really is easy once we got the hang of it), it’s actually more difficult for us to use disposables because we have to figure out what size to buy and we’re constantly worried about getting a proper fit and whether there might be a blowout. We don’t have these problems with our beloved BG Elementals and Flips.

  • Anonymous said...
    December 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I was just thinking about this the other day. As I stand in front of a mom about to embark on the cloth diaper lifestyle at the Vancouver Cotton Babies Store, I think about my beginnings with cloth. My son is only 11 months old so expert I am most certainly not. However, I take pride in knowing that we have come a long way. When my son was small we were easily swayed by disposables and when there was a hiccup or we thought it would be easier we reverted right back to the sposies. We were disappointed in ourselves for being “weak” and always promised to work harder at getting cloth to fit in our lives. Now I am happy to say I have not seen a sposie in over 6 months and I feel that the cloth are just a part of life. However, cloth wipes are my new challange. As easy as it was for us to decide to go to cloth diapers we have had trouble transitioning to cloth wipes. I guess one battle at a time right.

  • Martina said...
    December 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Just like Anna, I LOVE doing laundry, so washing, hanging and stuffing/folding the cloth diapers/inserts is some sort of meditative down-time for me. Even my husband seems to enjoy doing the stuffing/folding part. We will go on a trip to Austria soon and using disposables for the flight entered our minds for a hot second but we quickly dismissed the though with “the baby probably won’t even like them.”
    Ultimately, since they should be washed every other day, we always have enough ready should we ever need to skip a day…

  • Carlie Madsen said...
    December 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Recently, my husband and I both had horrible colds (over Thanksgiving too). As I slowly watched our home fall to pieces as we recovered, the one chore we managed to keep up with was the cloth diapers. I preferred to do a load, then to venture out in the freezing cold to actually buy the diapers. Not that it even occurred to me to do that. That experience showed me how entrenched cloth diapers are in our routine now. Whenever friends are interested in trying them, I always tell them once you fall into a routine, you hardly even think about them.

  • Anna said...
    December 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I honestly think I am just so used to the cloth diaper routine that it doesn’t get sacrificed during busy times. House cleaning and cooking healthy meals?…that’s a different story.
    Cloth diapers are now so much a part of our day, it doesn’t seem any more work than disposables. My husband and I both work full-time outside of the home and it’s just a chore that I have taken on. We use disposables at night, but cloth at daycare and when out and about. It probably helps that I really LOVE to do laundry. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! I actually enjoy it, which makes it a lot easier than some of the other more hated chores 🙂