Does cloth diapering make financial sense? Some say it’s too expensive. Some say it’s a frugal alternative to disposable diapers.
Today, I want to talk about cost comparison – disposable versus cloth diapers. This is a hot topic, and has been covered incredibly well, I think. Therefore, I do not want to be redundant, but I want to share our experience.
So without further ado, let’s get started crunching the numbers.
The average number of diapers a baby goes through in a day will depend on the age of the baby. Newborns can use anywhere from 8-10 diapers (sometimes double that) a day, whereas an older baby might only use 4-6.
In our case, Samuel probably goes through 6-10 diapers a day. It depends.
For our example, let’s go with the low number of 6.
6 diapers x 30 days = 180 diapers a month
A case of Size 3 Luvs Diapers* (with 234 diapers using Subscribe & Save) costs – $32.29. This is $0.13 a diaper, which is pretty cheap.
*Luvs are the only diapers Samuel can use
Disposable wipes (probably use at least 1-3 per diaper change), which is approximately 200 wipes a month
Wipes cost (bought in bulk) = About $0.03 per wipe at 200 per month, that’s another $6 monthly.
Total disposable diapering monthly cost: $29.40 approximately (higher for a baby under 3-4 months old)
(This total does not include the use of other products like a Diaper Genie and its refills, etc.)
Now, let’s look at the numbers for cloth diapers.
I have an assortment of 30 one-size pocket diapers, along with inserts, that I got off Craigslist. The brands include Kawaii, BumGenius, and Fuzzibunz. Each diaper has at least 1 insert, but most have 2. We have a roll of disposable liners, as well as a hanging laundry bag.
My total paid for my one-size pocket diapers (which is more than you need) & laundry bag = $135.00
I use baby wash cloths (found on clearance) for baby wipes with a spray bottle of baby wash (that I make myself). This cost approximately $10 (and I think that’s high).
These diapers & baby wipes will carry each baby we have from the time they are 8-10lbs to potty training. You really only need about 15-18 diapers, but since I got such an incredible deal, I have 30. I only use about 18 of them regularly, and this allows me to do laundry every other day.
Let’s say we have Samuel potty trained in 24 months.
The average monthly cost of cloth diapers for us is $6.04.
To note, we will most likely have to replace the hook & loop system on our diapers as time goes on. However, we can get this done for free or at a minimal cost at the very most; thus, not adding much, if any, additional cost for us.
Also, we will be able to use these diapers for at least 2 children. This means our $6.04 can be divided in half making our monthly cost $3.02!
I would say this is quite the savings! Cloth diapering just makes sense for us.
To be fair, not everyone can get great deals on used cloth diapers (but now you know it’s possible). I stalked Craigslist waiting for cloth diapers to be sold. I wouldn’t even consider the diapers if they were not a brand I was looking for, or were higher than $4-5 a diaper. There were two sellers that met these expectations.
The numbers I see floating around blogosphere for the average cloth diaper expense ranges from $14 to $22 dollars a month – still far cheaper than disposables.
As I stated in a previous post, cloth diapering is what you make it. The cost savings for us is significant enough to make it work. For you, it may not be.
Next, we’ll talk about what kinds of cloth diapers I have used and what I use now.