Just last night I was talking to my husband about how much I love cloth diapers. I remember a time when we would buy disposables and spend $40 or so every other week. We always hated it. Then when our oldest daughter was about 6 months, we found out about cloth and made the switch.
It’s so great. Not only is it easy and great for the environment, but we are saving a boat load of money. Let’s pretend my youngest was in disposables for a second. 2.5 years @ $80/month = $2,400 in diapers that stink, don’t work well, leach chemicals on baby & will end up in a landfill. That seems awfully expensive!
Now, let’s say that same baby had one heck of a diaper stash. 36 all-in-one diapers like these. These are the most similar to disposables, super easy to use. For the sake of argument, I’m going to pick a spendy cloth diaper options. That would rack up to about $800. Let’s say that you also need newborn diapers (most one-size diapers won’t fit newborns). That tacks on another $500. So we’re at what? $1300? For the entire lifetime of these diapers. That’s a $1,100 savings so far. Yes, I said so far. It gets better. You can make back a lot of your investment. Yes, cloth diapers are sold used, a lot! I’m going to be on the low side and say that you’ll get 50% back. So now you’ve spent $650 and saved $1,750 and the world a whole lot of space. (Want to slash your diaper costs? You could get a very nice stash of prefolds and covers for under $300!)
So exactly how much space? I’m being generous in favor of disposables here for fairness. Let’s say that every baby is changed just about 6 times a day for a course of 2.5 years. I don’t know about you, but most babies I know are changed much more often than ever 4 hours and I know many kids over 2.5 that are not yet using the potty. I am also not including training pants (Pull Ups, etc.) in this example. So what’s that look like? I couldn’t find a good graphic, so I made one. You might want to click on it to get a better look. Each diaper stack is 25 diapers.
Consider also that these diapers aren’t used yet. Disposable diapers weigh many times their own weight when soiled, and are often wrapped in plastic (Diaper pail products, grocery bags, etc.)
If you don’t use cloth, I encourage you to consider it. They are easy to use, easy to care for and you will be eliminating harmful chemicals from both your baby and the Earth that will be home to your child and future generations.
You may even consider a hybrid diaper option to get you started. These systems generally consist over a reusable diaper cover and the option of either a disposable insert or cloth insert. It’s a great way to get your feet wet and give cloth a try.
Check out the posts below for some more broken down and in-depth information on the logistics of it all and answers to commonly asked questions.
To get you started, check out this Handy Printable Guide covering all of the bases. This is great for including with shower gifts or handing out to friends and family interested in cloth.
#ClothDiapers: The Good, The Bad – The Honest
Video Overview of Diaper Types
Overview of all Cloth Diapers
How Many Do I Need
Prepping Cloth Diapers
Washing Cloth Diapers
DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent
What To Do With Solids
Cloth Diapering a Newborn
Using Cloth at the Hospital
Prefold Tutorial – Pictures
Prefold Tutorial – Videos
All About Wool Covers
Washing and Lanolizing Wool
Night Time Diapering
No Stains – Line Drying
Snaps or Velcro?
Cloth Diaper Safe Rash Creams
Curling Velcro Tabs
No Sew T-Shirt Diapers
Want to know how the brand you’re considering stacks up? Check out this great Cloth Diaper Spreadsheet organized by the ladies on theBump’s cloth diaper board. There you can read reviews of all sorts of brands and even add reviews of the diapers you’ve tried!
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I’m happy to help :) You can use the contact page, or email me.