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parenting

Money, Parenting

Are Cloth Wipes Cheaper Than Disposable?

January 29, 2016

OK, admit it.

Some of y’all thought we were crazies when we wrote about our cloth diapering venture.

But today I am putting the final nail in the coffin for you because I am going to share why we also make our own cloth wipes. I swear we aren’t turning into Colorado hippies despite how with each passing year we get more and more crunchy…hmmm.

You are also going to get a taste of just how nerdy we are with all our calculations, equations, and measurements. I’ll be honest, we primarily cloth to save money. Sure there are other reasons in there but if it wasn’t going to save us moolah, we probs wouldn’t be doing it. Same goes for cloth wipes. It had to be economical for us to consider it.

Making the leap into cloth wipes sort of happened on accident in the beginning. I bought lots of barely used cloth diapers on Cragslist for a hella good deal from a lady who was so utterly sleep deprived (she had a sleep trainer at her house when I stopped by) that she threw in a bunch of extra baby stuff, cloth wipes being one of them. Then another friend saw we were cloth wiping early on and passed along some she didn’t plan on using. We invested $0 into cloth wipes so it was a no-brainer to try them out.

Eventually we ended up doing some traveling and had to buy disposable diapers and wipes and all I can say is OUCH!!! It was really pricey compared to the virtual nothing we were used to spending on cloth. That got me thinking…I should sit down and figure out in a concrete way just HOW much we’re saving with cloth diapers and wipes.

So today I bring you our cloth wipe geeky cost-savings calculations.

Let’s start with what I use to make wipes: Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap from Costco, Kirkland brand coconut oil, Bumkins flannel cloth wipes, and boiling water.

wipesstuff

Now lets take a peek at the cost breakdown is per batch of wipes.

Dr. Bronner’s  Peppermint Soap

This costs $9.79 at Costco. It’s a 40 ounce bottle, which converted is 1183 ml per bottle. We use approximately 1 tbsp (15 ml) of soap per batch. Doing the math, we can get about 79 batches of wipes per bottle. Taking the total cost of $9.79 divided by 79 batches leave us with a grand total of 12.4 cents per batch.

Kirkland Coconut Oil

The oil costs $25.99 for two tubs. Each tub is 1200 grams. We use approximately 1 tbsp (14 grams) per batch. Doing the math, we can get about 85 batches per tub, multiplied by two comes to 170 batches for the set. Taking the total cost of $25.99 divided by 170 batches comes to 15.3 cents per batch.

Bumkins Flannel Cloth Wipes.

These were given to me FREE so really, I don’t need to calculate this in but for the sake of other’s we will pretend we purchased them. The wipes cost $9.79 per pack of twelve. I feel that four packs, or 48 wipes, would be what is needed. The cost of four packs of wipes comes to $37.72, or 78.6 cents per wipe. That seems high per wipe but we will demonstrate the amount of mileage you can get from this inital invesment later.

Boiling Water

The amount of money used on this a few times a month is negligible and not even worth doing math over. This won’t be what makes or breaks cloth wipes for you.

Total Cost

When you add together the cost of the above items, your first batch of 48 wipes will cost you 79.2 cents per wipe. That’s really expensive compared to store bought, but again, we see the savings over the long haul as the wipe cost disappears and cost gets spread out over time.

Subsequent batches (now that the hard cost of wipes is out of the equation) cost 27.7 cents to create a batch, or .58 cents per wipe from that point forward.

Assuming you make two batches of wipes per week, in two years’ time you spend $95.62 total.

Getting a Comparison.

Just for fun, let’s compare this cloth wipe system to Costco’s Kirkland brand pack of 900 baby wipes, which sell for $19.99 or 2.2 cents per wipe…which is a great deal in the ‘sposie wipe world unless you strictly coupon or use some form of reward points.

Let’s also assume, that you use 96 wipes a week to keep the numbers the same. (Which is VERY CONSERVATIVE since disposable wipes tend to disappear MUCH quicker than cloth!) That means the box would last you 2.3 months before you would have to purchase more.

The 11 packs of  9,900 Costco wipes costs $219.89 over the course of 2 years.

The difference saves $124.27 over a two year period…which only increases the longer your kiddo is in diapers. At three years, the difference would be $215.25! Then if you happen to have more than one kiddo the cost savings continue to grow!

Conclusions

No, that amount of money isn’t anywhere close to what you save on cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers…but it’s something! Again, our estimations were very conservative since in our experience cloth wipes are not used anywhere near as fast as disposable wipes…so in reality the savings are likely larger.

A final note: Cloth wipes also just make life easier when you’re already cloth diapering because you can just toss them all in the wet bag together opposed to throwing just the diaper in the wet bag AND then taking the dirty gross wipes to a trash can where they stink things up since they aren’t wrapped up in a disposable diaper. The reverse would be true if you use disposable diapers…what a pain then to have to wash cloth wipes without having to wash the diapers!

A final final note: This post above made me realize we may or may not have a Costco addiction. EEP!

Parenting

4 Reasons We Love Baby Led Weaning

September 3, 2015

Imagine you lived long long ago, as a cave woman.

You also had a little cave baby who recently began to show an interest in food in addition to the wonderful and exclusive breastmilk you had supplied up to that point.

So what would you do?

Drive down to Target, wander down aisle three, and grab the pureed cave baby food in neatly stacked jars and pouches?

No. You did not do that.

What you did was give your baby real food. And that, my friends, is at the heart of Baby Led Weaning (BLW).

Here in this post I want to discuss what BLW is, how to know if your baby is ready for it, and 4 reasons we LOVE it for our family.

baby led weaning

 

First things first, let’s clarify what we mean by “weaning” so as not to scare you prematurely.

Many people think of weaning as the end of breastfeeding (or formula if you use it), but in actuality, weaning simply refers to the beginning of the introduction of foods beyond milk. So when baby has her first taste of solid food, the weaning process has begun.The World Health Organization recommends that babies are breastfed up to two years and beyond. Josie and I are still going strong nearly 10 months into our breastfeeding journey and we have no plans to stop anytime soon despite the fact that she eats real food.

So, What Is Baby Led Weaning?

It is simply allowing the baby to eat table food on his own timetable and of his own volition. It doesn’t involve spoon-feeding pureed homemade foods into his mouth (there are exceptions like yogurt and oatmeal…at least until they learn how to use a spoon), and it doesn’t involve weirdly colored mixtures in a jar from a store. It is intentionally respectful to his personhood and his choices.

It goes a little something like this:

Make dinner. Serve the family. Place a bit on baby’s tray. Watch him explore and enjoy. If he likes, he will eat it. If not, he won’t. The end.

4 Reasons We Love Baby Led Weaning

1. Simple McSimpleson

Guess what I don’t have time for?

Buying baby food.

Puree-ing my own baby food.

Meal-time battles over getting baby to eat baby food.

Finally getting to eat my (now cold) meal when baby has finished said baby food.

In BLW, the baby explores and feeds himself while you eat your own food. You simply prepare the meal you were going to eat anyway, but place some of that food on the baby’s tray and let them have at it.

Sure, this can get messy, but that is why bibs and wash clothes exist. Oh and if you want the lazy man’s clean up, try getting a dog.

2. Helps build appreciate for a wide variety of textures, shapes, colors, and tastes.

One of the reasons we chose BLW in the beginning was because we don’t want to battle a picky eater down the road. Baby Led Weaning exposes the baby to lots of diversity and texture early on, creating less pickiness in the long run.

Josie’s first meal was lox and capers. She LOVED it and we want to encourage a bold and varied palate. Ain’t nobody got time to make Mac N Cheese everyday.

BLW also allows baby to decide when he is full, helping him develop a healthy sense of satiety.

Many studies have actually found that forcing a child to finish their plate no matter what can contribute to over-eating habits later in life, from not being allowed to develop and listen to their own sense of when they’ve had enough.

3. It Keeps Us Healthy

Jonathan and I prefer to follow the raw food philosophy of eating food in its natural form as much as possible, without adulteration or factory processing.

Key word there is….prefer.

We don’t always do it and there are times when we are tempted to eat something super unhealthy. By doing BLW, it gaurantees that at least SOMETHING at every meal will be healthful. Our goal is for the entire meal to be healthy for all but sometimes we just need to clog our arteries or send our insulin levels through the roof…but at least we serve veggies for Josie on the side now! 🙂

4. Promotes Hand-Eye Coordination and Chewing

Babies who are allowed to practice baby-led weaning are likely to more easily develop hand-eye coordination, and be able to be self-sufficient in feeding fairly quickly.

Josie was given her first taste of food on Mother’s Day, which happened to be the date she turned 6 months old. Sure, that first attempt she grabbed food and attempted to get it into her mouth but missed and put it in her eye. But within a week or two she had the technique down. She’s an old pro at pinching/sweeping up food and getting it into her mouth. Soon enough she will be using her own spoon and fork to feed herself at mealtimes.

Babies who do BLW aslo learn how to chew BEFORE they learn how to swallow. When they are given purees it’s the opposite, which is why babies only given purees are actually more likely to choke. I know many are afraid of choking in BLW but really there is a HUGE distinction between choking and gagging.

In babies the gagging reflex is triggered very far forward on the tongue vs in adults where the gag response is triggered near the back of the tongue. So if baby takes a bite that is too large to swallow, they will gag and work it out. The chunk of food ends up being spit out and baby learns to take smaller bites in time. You should stay calm if the baby begins to gag, turn red, or get watery eyes. They will work it out. Now, if baby doesn’t make ANY sound or turns blue, then you need to perform basic first aid measures to remove the blockage.

Tips and Tricks
  • Never leave a baby unattended with food.
  • Read the book “Baby Led Weaning” or take a class before getting started.
  • Join the FB Group for Baby Led Weaning to ask questions and get support.
  • Embrace the mess. Baby playing with food and exploring it helps build a positive relationship with eating later in life.
  • All babies have different appetites. Some will eat a lot straight away (Josie) and others will just play for months before eating.
  • Avoid choking hazards, like nuts and seeds. Oh, and no honey until after a year.
  • There is no need to cut food into tiny little portions. Babies grabbing chunks of food like a chicken leg or a whole strawberry and gumming off pieces is half the fun.
  • It’s recommended that Baby Lead Weaning wait until baby can sit up on their own, express an interest in food, be able to feed themselves, and be at least 6 months in age.

So what are you waiting for?

Set the table (and throw some chunks on baby’s highchair tray) and let the fun begin!

Marriage, Mission, Money

New Here? Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves

January 9, 2015

Today Amanda guest posted on The Dave Ramsey Blog.

We’d be totally fooling you if I didn’t tell you that we are SO FREAKING PUMPED about this!!! We are basically giddy school girls jumping up and down, thrilled at this opportunity. We are happy to share the story about our path to financial peace and honored to have it available to Dave’s readers.

Many of you are probably visiting us here at True Good & Beautiful for the very first time today.

Welcome!

We want to take a minute and share with you who we are and how you can join us more regularly if you like what you see on Dave’s blog.

Here at True Good & Beautiful, we write about couple different topics:

  • Money

We are Dave Ramsey lovers. Whatever he says goes in this house! In this section you can read the longer version of our journey to financial peace as well as how we used Dave’s principles in the home buying process.

  • Mission

We are also in love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and His Church. We are missionaries with FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students. In this section you can read about our missionary adventures in addition to how we are trying to live as Christian disciples in the modern world.

  • Marriage

What can we say, we love the vocation of Holy Matrimony and are thankful for the gift it is from above. In this section you can read about our love story and the ways in which we intentionally work on growing our relationship as the months and years go by.

  • More

There are a few other topics we write about here at True Good & Beautiful – Infertility, Adoption, Parenting, and Intentional Living.

Despite writing about a variety of subjects, everything we post stems back to truth, goodness, and beauty. We believe that anything that relates to these core transcendentals is worth writing about, since they link our earthly reality with heavenly realty. Our tagline – thrive in what matters most is our ultimate purpose here.

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