I’ve never looked back.

by Amanda Hearn · 36 comments

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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
Stripping Diapers
Ammonia?
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
Storing Diapers
Cloth Wipes
Night Time Diapering
No Stains – Line Drying
Selling Diapers
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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Mama Christina July 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I love this post :)

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Stef July 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I found your blog on an award site (the one where we were supposed to vote for our favorites) and I saved it, because my husband and I are always looking for ways to be more resourceful and "green", but also ways to save money and keep the health of our family as top priority.

Cloth diapers are something we'd like to try with our 4th baby (if we have one) but I know next to nothing about them, so I've been researching all your post on them :)
I always thought they were way more expensive than regular diapers, but I guess that would be with a diaper service?

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Stef July 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm

oh, I also meant to say, this was an awesome and helpful post -thanks!

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The Eco-Friendly Family - Amanda July 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Thanks ladies!

I looked up a couple of diaper services, one on the East Coast & one on the West Coast. The cost is def. much more like that of disposables and you won't get any of that back. One was around $2000 for 2.5 years the other was around $2,500 for 2.5 years. That also doesn't include purchasing a pail/liner/diaper covers that you like.

I think for a busy family a diaper service would be a good choice. It's going to run you about what disposables would and at least it's healthier for you, your baby and the environment.

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Amanda Hearn July 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Thanks ladies!

I looked up a couple of diaper services, one on the East Coast & one on the West Coast. The cost is def. much more like that of disposables and you won't get any of that back. One was around $2000 for 2.5 years the other was around $2,500 for 2.5 years. That also doesn't include purchasing a pail/liner/diaper covers that you like.

I think for a busy family a diaper service would be a good choice. It's going to run you about what disposables would and at least it's healthier for you, your baby and the environment.

Reply

Mama Campbell July 3, 2010 at 3:21 am

love this! I'm reposting in on fb for my friends to read! Thank you!

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Jess and the boys July 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Hi there! I'm your newest follower! :)

If you'd like, you can follow me back here:
http://giveawaysandlife.blogspot.com/

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Married2MrWright July 15, 2010 at 12:15 am

I love this! We've been CDing since our LO was 6 days old…we are old school with unbleached cotton prefolds and covers. We use a couple of pocket dipes with an added hemp insert for overnight. And organic bamboo fleece wipes. CDing is SO easy, economical, eco-friendly, and one of the best parenting decisions we've ever made. LO is nearly 6 months and we've started infant pottying…so we rarely change a poopy diaper anymore…it's AWESOME!

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miheekimkort.com November 15, 2010 at 1:36 am

thank you for this comprehensive resource!

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Maxwell Designs February 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Great post! I think the spreadsheet is a little biased but I loved your post! Thank you : )

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Amy March 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

This is a nice summary with great resources! I have been cloth diapering my son for his whole 16 months, and I absolutely love it. I am always looking for good information to share and to compare notes. Glad to have found your blog :-)

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Suprema Mamma September 9, 2011 at 12:46 am

Another thing to throw into your equation is the fact that MOST parents who use cloth ALSO use cloth wipes, therefore, not spending the $8/bag for those "disposable wipes". We're cloth diapering our 4th baby…never knew about cloth beforehand. With all of my other kids, I couldn't use wipies often because their bums would get irriatated, so we always had facecloths & water handy! We used to spend $8/bag every WEEK…$32/month, $384/year, $960/birth to potty training! WHAT?! CAHHHRRAAZZZYYYY!

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Teresa September 9, 2011 at 1:02 am

I was just going to point out about the cloth wipes. You can save even more money by using those (plus they work so much better than disposable wipes.) Also, babies that are in cloth ususally have less diaper rash and potty train sooner ;)

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Amanda @The Eco-Friendly Family September 9, 2011 at 1:29 am

Great point ladies! Thanks for mentioning it. I forgot how much wipes can cost. We love our cloth wipes.

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Amanda Hearn September 9, 2011 at 1:29 am

Great point ladies! Thanks for mentioning it. I forgot how much wipes can cost. We love our cloth wipes.

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WhitBoff October 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm

We just started CD last week…for the past month I've buried myself in blogs trying to prepare myself. This post just made me feel soooooo good about our switch! Thanks!

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Magie October 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I am a cloth diapering new mom and love it. It happens to be the budget breaker for how I get to be a stay at home mom. If we did disposables there would be no way I could be home and watch our daughter grow. Thank goodness for cloth!

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BobiThroneburg October 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I love cloth diapering and have used them for 4 months now with my son. But the last month or so I noticed the end of his penis was getting rubbed raw. My doctor said to try using cloth only in the day and then disposable at nights. That helped a little but his penis still looked irritated and would even bleed a little. So the doc then said to go to disposables all day and night, after 3 days straight, his penis looked a lot better. I am so bummed that I have to stop using cloth diapers! I felt so good about them.

Is anyone else in this situation? Thanks – any help or advice is needed.

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Anonymous June 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

My mom had a similar problem with me as a baby. She said it was worse with disposable though. Often she would lay me down on top of a prefold with a bare bottom. The doctor told her the air would help and it did. Idk if that will help but it’s an idea.

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ashley February 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’ve learned so much from these posts and will be cloth diapering our 3rd baby come May! I send a link to all of my friends asking about cloth diapers! :)

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Regan S February 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

My only regret about cloth diapering is waiting until my son was 6 months old. I wanted to while pregnant but was overwhelmed with the choices. Now whenever I do diaper laundry and look at the 15-18 diapers we used over the previous three days, I wonder how I could have ever justified buying disposables.

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Cynthia P February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

We just switched to cloth diapering on our THIRD child (bummer)! I love love cloth diapering, I love sharing about it. Hate the weird stare I get from moms, you know the ewwe face or “ok too much work for me” face? Wished CD was a majority not a minority. Such a difference and a contribution we could be making to the future of our children. Anyhow, thanks for your blog, your advocacy for going green!

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Tiffany C February 12, 2012 at 1:45 am

I love using cloth diapers! I feel so good about my baby wearing cloth, rather than disposables. No chemicals, costs less (don’t forget you can re-use them on future babies!), they don’t go in landfills, etc…Plus, you’re supposed to rinse the poo out of disposables before throwing them away, just most people don’t.

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Heidi Ochsner February 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I love this!! My only regret with using cloth diapers is that we didn’t use them with our oldest daughter.

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Blake Vossekuil February 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Ahh, this is SO helpful! I’m just getting started on cloth diapering and have not been able to find one website that’s truly helpful like this one is! Thank you!

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samantha clinton February 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm

we recently had to use disposables because we went on a trip, my husband went on and on about how much he HATED disposables and how he cant wait to go back to cloth :) i feel the exact same way

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Alicia February 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I’m brand new to cloth diapering and want to say thanks for all the good info! :)

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Tim April 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Cloth diapers are definitely becoming more popular now than 2 or 3 years ago. I own a store and regularly have people requesting them.

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Megan April 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Without you, I wouldn’ve used cloth!

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Elizabeth Parker February 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

We’re talking about switching to cloth. This article was very helpful for those wanting to know more information about them, like myself. At first, I was against them because frankly, the idea sounds disgusting at first, but then when you think about it, clothes, sheets, changing pad covers, they all get messed on and wet anyway, so what is so different between washing those and reusing them? Our youngest is 6 months and we are currently looking into options to switch, and it really helps that some of my friends have switched too and can offer ideas and such. :) They save money in the long run, AND help the environment. :)

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April G. February 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This is so great! I’m expecting my first and planning on cloth diapering. There is so much information out there it’s hard to know what to do. This post is really helpful. Thanks!

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Samantha Lippard May 14, 2013 at 5:38 am

I love this post! I always have people asking questions about cloth diapers and this info will help me answer their questions! Thank you so much!

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Kacie June 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm

This information has been so helpful, thank you! Do you have any information/resources for two in diapers?

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