Monday, September 5, 2011

modern cloth diapering and the cost.

I get a LOT, and I mean A LOT of looks when I explain to people that we cloth diaper. Most people are truly perplexed. Not to throw them under the bus, but our own family was the worst. They did not understand why I would spend $100 on diapers. Even after I explained MULTIPLE times about how expensive disposables are.

1 pack of name brand diapers are $10 or more. This particular pack of 32 lasts a couple weeks. The math is astounding! The only plus of disposables is that the smaller your baby, the more diapers you get in a pack. Those of us with giant babies don't get the luxury of coasting by in small diapers. Believe me, we tried it. I don't recommend it.

Lets break it down:

9 diapers a day x 1 month = 252 diapers a month = 3,024 diapers a year

6 diapers a day x 1 month = 168 diapers a month = 2,016 diapers a year

Most brand name diapers are about $0.12 a piece on a GOOD day!

3,024 x $0.12 = $362.88 a year
2,016 x $0.12 = $241.92 a year

Now I know most of your are thinking thats not too bad, I'd rather just spend the money and get on with my life.

Remember this is the price of diapers on SALE! I just checked major chain store prices and the price per diaper is $0.17 per diaper with a price cut. This is a 56 pack of size 1's
A 34 pack of size 4's are $0.28 per diaper

Now lets do the REAL break down:

Newborn: 40 diapers @ $0.24 x 12 per day x 7 days x 4 weeks = $80.64
Size 1: 56 diapers @ $0.17 x 10 per day x 7 days x 4 weeks = $47.60
Size 2: 48 diapers @ $0.19 x 9 per day x 7 days x 8 weeks = $95.76
Size 3: 40 diapers @ $0.23 x 8 per day x 7 days x 24 weeks = $309.12
Size 4: 34 diapers @ $0.28 x 8 per day x 7 days x 12 weeks = $188.16
Size 5: 30 diapers @ $0.32 x 7 per day x 7 days x 52 weeks = $815.36
Size 6: 26 diapers @ $0.37 x 6 per day x 7 days x 52 weeks = $808.08 OR
trainers: 40 @ $0.40 x 6 per day x 7 days x 52 weeks = $873.60

Over three years:

You will spend an "average" of $2410.44

That alone should make you cry a little, I did. No not really, but I was disgusted!

(you can say you will potty train your kids in 2 years but that is not the average length of diapering years) mine chose not to potty train till he was 4 :) there is nothing you can do about it! There are only three things a kid can truly control in his life: eating, sleeping, bathroom control.

If there was a number 1 reason that I switched to cloth, it was because of the cost.

The cost of a single cloth diaper seems like a lot with the first glance. One diaper can cost anywhere between $5 and $40 some dollars. That is a huge gap. It boils down to personal preference and what is easiest for your family. We prefer pocket diapers for day use and covers for night use. Those run $5-$20 some dollars each.

If you do laundry every other day, which I prefer no matter how many diapers I've used, you will need 14-25 diapers. Or 25 prefolds and 3-6 covers. Conservatively.

25 diapers x $15 each = $375

25 prefolds x $4 each = $100 Plus 6 covers x $15 each = $90 =$190 for all

This is do-able. If you are on a restricted budget like we are, paying that much all at once can be too much. I highly recommend buying second hand. Cloth diapers retain their value long after their use and years of life. I bought a wonderful pack that we used for a solid 3 months exclusively, for $100 on craigslist. This is with the one diaper I won, as well as 6 my cousin gave to us preloved. This is a stash of 19 diapers and three covers.

I do laundry every other day, like I said, regardless. Diapers get stinky when they sit. Having a bigger stash would make no difference. The only time when having a bigger stash is nice is when you may need extra for travel, emergencies, etc.

If you do laundry less often you will need more diapers, Simple as that. This summer I got kidney stones, luckily I was still able to do laundry, but there were several occasions when my hubs had to ask me to put the diapers together. The nice thing about cloth is that you never truly run out!


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