Is Cloth Diapering Really Cheaper?

I never thought I would be one of those moms who cloth diaper and feed their babies 100% organic foods and only play with developmental toys and any other stereotype we give moms based on their choices these days. Yet here I am about to share with you my main reason for cloth diapering. The main reason I cloth diaper is the cost. It’s so much cheaper than disposables and a lot more fun! I love picking out which print I want to put her in and its great for the environment too!

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts showing how cloth diapering isn’t truly cheaper than disposable diapers and others saying you save THOUSANDS by using cloth diapers instead. There are so many variables when it comes to this. It depends on:
  1. How much you spend on your diapers
  2. How you take care of them
  3. Multiple Children
I buy Alva Baby cloth diapers straight from China and I pay about $6 a diaper. It depends on if you get prints or solids and if you buy 1 or 20 (or even 50 or 100!) I thought to myself that any cheap diaper wouldn’t work and I’d waste my money so even though people gave these diapers great reviews I still went out and bought a Bum Genius diaper before Grace was born.
These diapers cost $30 each. EACH! And so I decided to forget pocket diapers and go with prefolds and covers. My initial order of diapers I spent $257.
To be honest this was enough to diaper her until potty training. I might have to replace some covers, but it could easily work under $300.
I decided after diaper for a week that I preferred pocket diapers (my one Bum Genius diaper was my favourite) and while I couldn’t afford Bum Genius I could afford Alva and so I placed for order for those and got 20 for $140. They come with inserts and when she outgrew the absorbency (which was quickly after I started)
So altogether I spent $398.25. Let’s say $400 for easy math sake. I started cloth diapers at around 6-8 months.
As for laundry I didn’t take on any additional costs because I wash my clothes at the laundromat. I did go from 2 loads a week to 3 loads a week because of the diapers, but I decided to hang my clothes to dry instead of spending the $2 on a dryer. I use that same $2 for drying to wash my diapers so my washing budget stayed the same. I did have to buy a clothes drying rack though. It came to $32.88 after tax.
Total Cloth Diapering Costs: $431.13
The disposables I used before that were Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Swaddlers Overnights. I ordered from Amazon and I always bought the jumbo size to save money so I would spend $33.70 a box after tax. A box would last me a month. (I would make it last the month lol)
I was gifted a Diaper Genie from my wonderful sister and so I only had to buy the inserts. Those diapers had a stink I couldn’t believe! I would use one pack of 3 every other month. While I understand you don’t have to use these or the brand name, I’m showing you how the cost is a benefit to ME and what I did. It came to $24.61 after tax
I can’t see the future so I can’t say when she will potty training or outgrow diaper sizes, but I would be using Pampers Cruisers if I were still using disposables and that would cost about the same so I’ll just multiply the monthly cost from when I started cloth diapers until 2 years old.
Monthly Disposable Diaper Costs: $46.00 x 18 months = $828
So from 6 months old until 2 years old I’ll be saving $396.87!
But wait, THERE’S more!
I’ll be honest and say I don’t take care of my diapers the way that I should. I’ve seen people make it last 2-3 children, but I wouldn’t want to use them that long anyway. I’d get tired of the prints and I’ll want to buy at least a few new ones for future children. With that being said what I bought could last multiple children if I tried, but I’m not going to try.
The diaper covers and pocket diapers I don’t plan on using on my future children. If they are still doing their job I will use them, but I’m not planning it financially. All the inserts and prefolds I have will last through all of my children.
Which leads me to my final point of multiple children. I will cloth diaper my 2nd child from “birth”. I put birth in quotation marks because family and friends love to gift diapers. I will use those first and when those are done I won’t be purchasing any disposables. Disposable diapers alone for the first two years will cost around $80 for the first month, $60 for the second to sixth month, then $35 a month until potty training at 2 years old. This will be about $1010
Since I already have inserts and prefolds for my cloth diapers, I’ll only new a few new diaper covers and pocket diapers. Diaper covers I’ll get maybe 3 or 4 and pocket diapers I’ll get about 20. To cloth diaper baby #2 (and #3) will only cost me $137.54!
Do you cloth diaper? Have you tried before? What are your thoughts on how much it really costs to cloth diaper?
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