Smartipants: Earth-friendly diapers for baby's booty on a budget

As a young Army wife and mother with a second baby on the way, Jessica Burman remembers looking for coins in the couch cushions because, "With 25-more cents, I could go to WalMart and buy diapers," she said.

As every family knows, it's a cost that adds up. The Real Diaper Association calculates that buying 6,000 disposable diapers (averaging .25 cents per diaper) for one child over a two-year period comes to a whopping $1,500. Burman estimates the figure is closer to $3,000 per child over a three-year period. That's a lot of searching around in the couch. Not to mention the fact that 92% of all disposable diapers used in the U.S. (27.4 billion per year) wind up in our landfills. It makes me wonder where that other 8% goes, but I digress.

Burman believed there had to be a better, cheaper way. She searched, "raising kids on a budget" online and discovered message boards discussing cloth diapers. In an interview with WalletPop, Burman admitted the old-fashioned idea wasn't immediately appealing. However, there are only so many cushions to overturn, "I thought, we can do anything we need to do, right?," said Burman. "We can do this."

"People were making their own diapers," said Burman of her research more than a decade ago, "using velcro on the sides to make them look more like the disposable kind" and layering a waterproof diaper cover over the top. "But it was not good enough," said Burman who found the velcro rough and irritating against baby's skin, and the diaper covers "crunchy."