Is Cloth Diapering Really Cheaper?

Okay, so the age old question, are cloth diapers really cheaper?   Because at around $23 each for pocket diapers it seems awfully expensive.  Granted it is a large initial investment, but it is in fact cheaper when you think long-term….

The average child will be in diapers for 2 ½ years.  Besides the fact that kids diapered in cloth generally potty train faster because they can feel when they’re wet, we’ll use the longer time span just for arguments sake. 

Now, using an average of 7 diaper changes per day that comes to 6387 total diaper changes, which is conservative considering that most newborns need between 8-10 changes per day.

Multiply that by the average cost of disposable diapers ($0.25each) and you get $1597.

This doesn’t include the cost of 1500 wipes which is about $100 in total.

So the grand total cost to use disposables for one child is about $1697.  Keep in mind that this figure does not include the cost of gas for getting to and from the store to purchase diapers.

Now to use cloth diapers you are looking at between $23.95 and $25.95 each and we usually recommend between 12 and 16 diapers, so let us use 16 diapers and $25 for our calculations.  16 diapers at $25 each gives you $400.  Note we don’t charge shipping on orders over $200 so there is no shipping cost to factor in.  Add to that the cost of reusable cloth wipes (2 packages of 10 totaling $42 and we get $442.  But what about the added cost of laundering them yourself you say?  Well, the cost of laundering your own diapers, including detergent, electricity, natural gas for heating the water, and depreciation for the washer and the dryer comes to about $430 so our grand total cost of cloth diapering is $872. 

Clearly $872 is less expensive than $1697 for disposables.  In fact, it’s $825 less expensive.  And I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do with $825 than give it to large multinational diaper companies for the privilege of putting diapers in landfills and bleach and chemicals next to my baby’s delicate skin.

Also, consider that these costs apply to only one child.  What if you have more than one?  Then you incur another $1697 for disposables, but $0 for cloth, because you already have the cloth diapers and they will generally stand up to use for more than one child. So the cost of cloth for subsequent children is only the cost of home laundering.

Finally, the re-sale value of used cloth diapers is quite high.  There are many websites dedicated to the re-sale of used cloth diapers or they can be sold through websites like kijiji and Craigslist.  Thus you recoup some of your cost, making cloth diapers an even more obvious choice. 

Need we say more?

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