Some of you are on the fence about cloth diapering. You’re interested in saving waste, you have no problem with the poop factor. But when it comes to spending $15-25 on a single diaper… well, that’s what has you holding your nose! I understand. But… what if someone came up to you and said, “I’ll give you $1,000 if you cloth diaper your baby.” Well, I bet you’d perk up at THAT wouldn’t you!? So… let me ask again, If I gave you $1,000, would you cloth diaper?
What’s in it for YOU if you cloth diaper?
Okay, full disclosure, I do not have $1,000 checks to hand out over here. But the fact is, cloth diapering is comparable in savings to someone handing you back $1,000 that you’d otherwise spend on disposable diapers!
I ran the numbers (not perfectly, are you surprised I didn’t create an Excel spreadsheet on this – yet!). I discovered the cost savings over two years of diapering one baby really add up! This cost analysis has been done elsewhere on the web, but I couldn’t find anything extremely recent, so I did my own to see the savings for myself!
Here’s the breakdown (all numbers approximate):
- 8 diapers / day x 365 days/year = 2,920 diapers/year
- 2,920 diapers annually x $.21 / diaper (Pampers brand at wholesale club) = $613 per year
- 3 wipes per change = 24 wipes/day x 365 days x $.02/wipe = $175 per year
- Diaper Genie = $40 – this is not needed for cloth diapering
- Diaper Genie inserts = $108 (each insert holds 180 diapers) – also not needed for cloth diapering
1 Year TOTAL = $788
2 Year TOTAL = $1576 (2010 costs)
- 20 Diapers / Inserts = $200-360 (depending on if you’re using covers/inserts or pockets; I am assuming a One-Size diaper for sake of argument; I calculated the cheapest diaper up to the most expensive $10-18 / each).
- 30 Cloth Wipes = $36
- 1 wet bag = $12
- 1 pail liner = $17
- Detergent = $32 (66 loads / box, washing every 2 days)
- Utilities cost per load = $.69 (I used a lot of online calculators and my gas, electric, water bills, but I’m not sure how accurate this number is – I tried to err on the side of higher cost for arguments sake).
1 Year TOTAL = $424-$596 (depending on type of diaper)
2 Year TOTAL = $582-$754 (only adding the cost of detergent and utilities)
So that’s $1,576 with disposables vs. $582 with cloth diapers – I believe I just saved you $994! Okay, it’s not $1,000 but it’s close!
Might I add the cost savings could increase if…:
- If you diaper longer than two years, add ~$1.35 / day in savings!
- If you use cloth diapering gear for more than one child (sometimes you’ll have to replace inserts, etc), you will practically DOUBLE your savings with each child!
- If you make your own cloth wipes, inserts, or diapers
- If you buy used cloth diapers from places like DiaperSwappers
- If you dry your diapers/inserts outside or on a drying rack, you save on utilities
So, there you have it:
Cloth diapering saves tons of plastic waste from going into a landfill.
Cloth diapering saves your baby’s skin from toxic products.
Cloth diapering IS super cute!
And… cloth diapering offers you a savings of nearly $1,000 over disposable diapers!
Have I convinced you yet!? I hope so! I cloth diapered 2 babies – and for a time, they were BOTH in cloth diapers, so I know all the ins and out. Please drop me a line if you have questions. Or visit one of these popular posts:
Your Cloth Diapering Questions Answered Here:
- Why Choose Cloth Diapers (if the above cost analysis didn’t convince you!)
- Cloth Diaper Rentals
- Using Cloth Diaper Wipes
- My favorite Cloth Diaper Brands
- Newborns and Cloth Diapers
- Potty Training in Cloth
- Questions about Cloth Training Pants
- Camping and Cloth Diapering
- Handwashing Cloth Diapers (Psst – you do NOT have to do this!)
Shop for Cloth Diapers!
Get your whole stash easily on Amazon! I’ve included all the basics here:
- Cloth Diapers (either all-in-ones or covers with inserts – you’ll need at least 25-30 sets)
- Wet Bag
- Diaper Pail Liner
- Cloth Wipes
- Diaper Sprayer for your Toilet
- Cloth Diaper Safe Laundry Detergent
These are some of my favorite products – but keep in mind that many specialty and handmade cloth diaper items can’t be found on Amazon! Visit your local cloth diaper shop or Etsy for some really amazing finds!
Elemental 3.0 All-in-One One-Size Cloth Diaper with Organic Cotton (My Sun)bumGenius Freetime All-in-One One-Size Snap Closure Cloth Diaper (Sierpinski)bumGenius Weekender Wet Bag – Holds 6 to 10 Diapers (Maggie)Thirsties Reusable Cloth Diaper Cover, Snap Closure, Blackbird Size 2 (18-40 Pound)Thirsties Duo Wrap Cloth Diaper Cover, Snap Closure, Stargazer Size Two (18-40 lbs)Thirsties Stay Dry Natural Duo All-in-Two Insert, Size One (6-18 lbs)bumGenius Reusable Diaper Pail Liner – 26 x 30 – Fits Most Pails (Moonbeam)Handheld Bidet Toilet Sprayer, Stainless SteelNatural Muslin Cotton Baby Wipes10 Pack Soft Terry Bath WashclothCharlie’s Soap Laundry Powder (100 Loads, 1 Pack)
Has anyone else done the math for cloth vs. disposable? If you can help me tweak this breakdown further to make it more accurate, please drop me a note in the comments section!
PIN THIS to think about while you consider cloth diapers!
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