Does Cloth Diapering Really Save Money?
So, we all know having kids can be/get expensive. Depending on your family’s situation there can be daycare costs, formula costs, toys, clothes, and as always diapers. When I got pregnant with our first daughter I never had the cleaning the whole house nesting. I had couponing nesting. I remember sitting down one day 9 months pregnant trying to figure out if I had enough disposable diapers for my daughters first couple months. I didn’t. So, I figured I would just buy more. Easy Peasy right? Whelp my price shock of how much disposable diapers cost threw my couponing nesting into over drive. I was clipping coupons, price comparison shopping, running to stores when they had buy 2 get a gift card deal, and coupon apping the sh@#$@t out of any diaper brand listed on them. (My husband really wished I had gotten the scrub the house top to bottom nesting. Haha!) 10 months after my daughter was born I was still spending so much time trying to find the best disposable diaper deals. I was getting tired of it. Then my sister gave me some of the cloth diapers she used on her kids, and I was hooked. I used them for a week with success and decided to crunch the numbers. Below was the last disposable diaper price comparison I did. (Prices/amounts are averages)
Disposable Diapers: Cloth Diapers:
$50 a month x 36 months = $1,800 24 cloth diapers at $20 a piece = $480
At 10 months I had already purchased $500 worth of disposable diapers. If I purchased a cloth diaper stash for about $400 then I would break even price wise around 18 months. If my daughter doesn’t potty train till 3 years old then I would save around $900. I would save more if she potty trains after 3 years old.
If I have another child then I can continue to use my daughter’s cloth diaper stash, if she is potty trained, or purchase another diaper stash for my second child for another $400. Which in the long run would amount to between $1,200 to $1,800 in savings for diapers for the second child. So over all I could be looking at saving $2,100 to $2,700 if I cloth diapered my kids. PLUS, when I was done cloth diapering my kids, or it just didn’t work out for us, I could sell my cloth diaper stash and at least recoup 50% of what I spent on it. Donating is another good option because I could write off the cost on my taxes.
My Thoughts and Extras
My mind was blown. Doing this bare minimum quick break down in cost had me convinced. Of course, there are other factors you will have to think of when you do your own break down. Water, detergent, baby wipes, and any other accessories you will want to purchase for cloth diapering will need to be factored into your numbers. (Diaper sprayer, cloth wipes, liners, spray pal, etc.) For us we pay quarterly for water and, at max, pay $30 each quarter no matter how much water we use. For detergent I just switched my whole family over to the detergent I would be using for our cloth diapers. For awhile I used cloth wipes, but disposable baby wipes were easier for my husband so we switched back. We got a diaper sprayer which saved us money on diaper liners, but I do purchase, and use, diaper liners every once in a while.
While cloth diapering does save money it really only saves money if you keep a conservative stash. (I view a conservative stash around 24 diapers.) Haha! Which is hard, because a new cute must need print is coming out weekly it seems! BUT!!! Cloth diapering does more than save you money on just diapers. It also saves you money because you will experience less diaper blow outs. You know the blowouts that go up the back or out the legs staining your child’s onesie or clothes? With cloth diapers these blow outs are contained. Thus, saving you on having to go out and purchase more onesies or clothes. Cloth diapers also help with the environment.
Cloth diapers have been around and used for as long as people can remember, but disposable diapers are more recent having only started to popped up in the 1930/40’s. The problem with disposable diapers are that the materials take forever to decompose in landfills. If a disposable diaper is covered in a landfill, not exposed to the elements, it is said it can take up to 500 years for it to decompose. If exposed to the elements it is said disposable diapers can still take 10-20 years to decompose in a landfill. That’s a lot of trash sticking around for a very long time. Can you imagine? On the flip side cotton, if exposed to the elements or put into a composter, takes anywhere from 5 to 6 months to decompose. When researching your reasons for cloth diapering I highly recommend you spend some time looking into the different environmental impacts on both sides of the diaper coin.
So, to recap. Cloth diapering can save you money. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars, and cloth diaper multiple children with the same diaper stash. If you are not concerned with saving money, but want to reduce trash and help the environment, then cloth diapering is also for you. Either way you crack it you are saving by cloth diapering. 😊 Triple plus they are absolutely adorably cute and will cause you to take more pictures of your children. (Haha!)
Rachel is mom to two beautiful girls named Emillie and Sophia, and dog mom to 4 pups. She loves coffee, dreaming of long walks on the beach, going on cruises, and blogging. You can find her most days blogging about Motherhood, Travel, Toddlerhood, and everything in between at Pretty in Baby Food. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.