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An article in Advertising Age last week cited a correlation between falling disposable diaper sales and rising diaper rash cream sales to conclude that the economy is causing parents to change diapers less often. Many commenters disagree, stating that the falling sales of disposables could be caused by rising sales of cloth diapers, and rising sales of rash cream could be caused by advertising in that industry. Still, it’s interesting. What do you think? Would cash-strapped parents try to make diapers last longer between changes?

If you find yourself tempted, don’t bother. Here’s a better way to save money on diapers:

1. Use cloth diapers. Use the cheapest cloth diapering methods, and you can spend $500 or less total on all the diapers you’ll ever need from birth to potty training, for multiple babies. Compare that to $1500 per year with disposables, and you’ll realize the upfront cost is really not that much. And all you have to pay for after that is laundry.

2. Of course, practice elimination communication. Do it part-time, relax with it, have fun with it. Every diaper you save is one less diaper to wash.

3. Save on laundry-related bills by cutting down on your water and energy usage. Turn your hot water temperature down, convert your toilets to low-flush, get a high efficiency washer, and line-dry your diapers.

And if your baby gets a rash despite frequent changes with cloth diapers and occasional diaper-free time, don’t worry, and don’t switch back to disposables. Just email me. Tell me about the rash and about your diaper washing routine, and I will help you figure out the cause and how to fix it. No diaper cream necessary.