We are big fans of cloth diapering here at Franklin Goose. We love helping people choose the right diaper system for their children. Sometimes cloth diapering can be overwhelming for parents and families, especially at the beginning.
There are a lot of reasons why parents choose to cloth diaper their children, but perhaps one of the most common is that it is an economical choice. Disposable diapers might seem cheaper, but are you really saving money?
Let’s say your baby will be in diapers for his first 3 years.
On average, a baby will need 12 diaper changes a day during the first 3 months, which means your child could have 1,092 diaper changes.
After about 3 months, the diaper changes significantly lessen to about 8 changes per day. For the next 2 years and 9 months, your child could have about 8,032 diaper changes.
Thus the total of 9,124 diaper changes for 3 years.
That’s a lot of diapers.
If your baby is 8 lbs. his first month, you could buy a Super Pack of Pampers Baby Dry Diapers in Size 1 for about $24.99 and get 128 diapers at $0.19 each. For 12 changes a day that first month (a total of 360 diapers), you will need to buy at least 3 boxes, totaling to $74.97.
Let’s say your baby fits a size one until halfway through his third month (75 days). For 2.5 months, your average of diaper changes would be 900. You would need to buy at least 7 Super Packs of Pampers Baby Dry Diapers at a total of $174.93. However, your baby isn’t going to make it easy for you to plan. You might buy an eighth box before realizing your child needs a bigger size, leaving you with unused diapers.
Because disposables come in packs and multiple sizes and can only be used once, you run the risk of over purchasing.
Cloth diapers look expensive up front. Depending on the diaper system you choose to use depends on the cost and amount of items you need, and this can turn people off cloth diapering. They might wonder how economical it actually can be.
Cloth diapering is economical because you are reusing your diapers. Because a disposable is disposable, you’re going to have to purchase more. A cloth diaper can be washed and reused.
So let’s look at an average cloth diaper stash. Let’s say you want to use a few different systems for one child, so you purchase
18 prefolds at $2.80 each ($50.40),
8 covers at $12.73 each ($101.84),
4 fitted diapers $15.72 each ($62.88),
4 all-in-one diapers (AIO) at $19.72 each ($78.88),
4 pocket diapers at $19.70 each ($78.80), and
5 inserts and doublers at $3.30 each ($16.50).
(Note that costs are averaged. For example, some fitted diapers run as low as $7.50 and as high as $29 depending on the brand and the materials used, i.e. organic cotton.)
This diaper stash would give you about 20 diapers, which is great if you want to wash every other day. So that’s 20 diapers at a total of $389.30 per child.
$389.30 for 20 diapers that you can use again and again and again and again.
Of course, with cloth diapers there are accessories available to purchase like Snappis to hold the prefolds closed, a wet bag to hold your soiled diapers until you can wash them, a diaper sprayer to help clean off waste before you dump them into the washing machine, and detergent. However, even with all of that, by the time your child is potty-trained you will spend $950 to $1,500 on cloth diapers, as opposed to an average of $2,500 on disposable diapers.
Plus, another great factor about cloth diapers is that they can be reused again for other children. If you choose to have more children and you’ve kept your cloth diapers in good condition, you will not need to spend as much on your second, third, fourth, etc., child’s diaper needs.
Think of it in terms of other ways you budget your life: you might spend a large sum of money once a week at the grocery store, plus time in the kitchen everyday preparing your meals, but would it be economical to take your family out to eat for every meal just because it’s less fuss for you? Probably not.
There are a lot of great reasons to choose cloth diapers over disposables – healthier choice, an environmentally friendly choice, a convenient choice, a fashionable choice, a traditional choice – but the numbers don’t lie. If you choose to cloth diaper your child, rest assure that it will be a great economical benefit for you and your family.
If you have any questions about cloth diapering, please feel free to contact us or stop by our store in Richmond, VA. All of our staff are educated on cloth diaper systems are able to help you. We also offer a Cloth Diapering 101 class once a month. (FG)