Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cloth Diapers/Exposing the Myths (Part 3)

Myth- It costs a lot to cloth diaper a baby.
Fact: Cloth Diapering (CD) can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,100--which is still quite a bit less than the average spent on disposables. CDing can work for you no matter your budget.
The cost is variable and dependant upon your lifestyle and what you budget for it. Before going on about cost in great depth however, I just want to give you some motivating statistics.
Oooo. Statistics. FUN.
The average child is in diapers for 2 to 3 years. That comes up to 8,000-10,000 diaper changes per child. If using disposables, studies show most people typically spend between $2,100 (for 8,000 diapers) and $2,800 (10,000 diapers). This does not take into account how much money is spent on disposable wipes. As Christie brought up on her last comment, you save so much money using cloth wipes. You can either buy 12-18 washcloths, or cut your own out of flannel. This must save hundreds more, but I haven't done the exact math.
$2,800 is actually a low end statistic. Some studies show many more diapers are used and a lot more spent. Either way--That's a lot of Cash. Unlike cloth diapers, when those disposables are used, they are gone and in the trash.
You might be thinking at this point, "But it costs money to wash and take care of those cloth diapers!". Yes, it does cost money to launder them. About $1.25 each load--that includes detergent, energy and even wear and tear on your machine. You could save considerably more money by drying your diapers on a clothes line (an extra 5 minutes of your day).
Bottom line--if you choose to go with a very "Expensive" diaper layette, you would still only spend between $900-$1,100. That is $1,000+ cheaper than disposables and leaves plenty of room for energy/laundry costs.
(Also keep in mind that you don't need to buy all the different size diapers at once--unless you decide to go with the one-size diapers--which adjust in size--and save you a lot of money in the long run).
I have a combination of more expensive diapers and super cheap (yet great quality) prefolds and have spent maybe $300. I'm not joking. Plus, when all is said and done- I get to use these diapers for babies number 2, 3, etc. I might have to do minor repairs on them, or replace a few, but on the whole I get to diaper those kids for nearly FREE! I love free stuff. Or, if I was on my last baby, and diapers were still in decent shape, I could sell them and get some of my money back.
I will give all the detailed info about different brands and prices for the various diaper systems at the end of this series. But really, all you need to know right now is that it is super cheap.
Myth- It takes a long time to launder and care for Cloth Diapers.
Fact: It does take time--but most likely not much more than it would take to get in your car, drive to the store, purchase disposable diapers, and drive home.
I think you will be surprised at how little time it actually takes to CD your baby. I spend about 45 minutes a week preparing them for washing and folding--I pretty much just use it as my excuse to watch a recorded show on TV. I have to admit something--One of my favorite things in the world is to take a fresh batch of clean, warm diapers from the dryer--(yeah, I'm lazy and dry mine that way most of the time). I love to fold and place them in their bins. Really this is the only laundry I enjoy doing. Ever. Something about knowing soft cotton will be next to Mo's tush instead of scratchy paper products--makes me feel like I am doing my best as a Mom--despite all my other inadequacies--I can CD his Bum perfectly! Kinda corny--I know. But you'll see. It's addictive.
CLICK HERE for a fabulous diaper tutorial from my dear friend Beth
on how simple it is to take care of cloth diapers. I love her blog and am so glad she took the time to take beautiful pictures of what she does to CD.
Now, I know there are a bunch of you Cloth Diapering Mama's that have great thoughts to add.
Let's hear it!
Either comment or shoot me an email ( and I will include your words of wisdom in this series.
Part 1 HERE-Exposing the Myths (sanitation)
Part 2 HERE- Exposing the Myths (ease of use)
Part 3 HERE- Exposing the Myths (cost)
Part 4 HERE- Cloth Diaper Benefits (health, environment)
Part 5 HERE- More Benefits (potty training, and more)
Part 6 HERE -Basic info and terminology
Part 7 HERE- Building your cloth diaper stash
Part 8 HERE- Diaper Needs Questionnaire


Tanya Leigh said...

It's true, it's addicting. And considering the money we save, it's worth it! Beth gave a great tutorial, and you can always find great answers to almost any question on - I'm so excited to gear up for the next baby! I have lots more friends who are resources now!

Emily Ruth said...

Awesome Tanya! I will put that website as a link on my sidebar: )