Okay, so the age old question, are cloth diapers really cheaper? Because at around $23 each for fitted 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 and require about 7000 diaper changes. Besides the fact that kids diapered in cloth generally potty train faster because they can feel when they’re wet, we’ll use 7000 changes for arguments sake.
Now, multiply those 7000 diaper changes by the average cost of disposable diapers ($0.25 each in Canadian dollars) and you get $1750. This doesn’t include the cost of about 1500 wipes which is around $100 in total. So the grand total cost to use disposables for one child is at least $1850.
Keep in mind that this figure does not include the cost of gas for getting to and from the store to purchase diapers, nor does it include the cost of ‘pull-up’ type diapers that parents often use during the potty training phase which are quite a bit more expensive than $0.25 a diaper.
Now to use cloth diapers you are looking at between $23.95 and $25.95 each and we usually recommend at least 12 – 16 diapers, so let us use the highest numbers and take 16 diapers at $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 with one of the most expensive systems is $872.
Clearly $872 is less expensive than $1850 for disposables.
In fact, it’s $978 less expensive. And I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do with $978 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.
Now, if on the other hand, you are really cost conscious, then instead of using the more expensive pocket diapers like FuzziBunz, you could use a prefold and cover system like BUMMIS.
If you do that, your cost savings is even better. In this case you can diaper your baby for about $331 plus the cost of laundering ($430) for a total cost of $761. A $1089 savings.
And to sweeten the deal further, consider that the cost of cloth applies to only one child. What if you have more than one? Then you incur another $1850 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 and they retain their value very well. Thus you recoup some of your cost, making cloth diapers an even more obvious choice. Need we say more?
Want to calculate your personal cost-savings of cloth diapering without using averages? Want to compare your cost savings using a combination of disposables and cloth or experiment how to save even more by using pre-folds plus FuzziBunz? Then try this fantastic link: Cloth Diaper Cost Calculator