A Modern Cloth Diapers versus Disposable Diapers Analysis – Which one comes out on top?
This has probably been done to death but I haven’t found anything that really laid it out practically and simply to understand, so I am doing a post (mostly for me).
- 8 Diapers used per day on average, therefore 2920 diaper changes per year on average (newborns use more then it tapers off)
- Using the same quality of cloth diapers versus disposables (e.g. biodegradable & unbleached disposables versus organic cotton)
- Taking into account diapering accessories required like soap, electricity, detergent etc
They’re cute but they sure do make a lot of waste.
2920 DIAPER CHANGES IN A YEAR
I should mention that wearing cloth diapers apparently makes children want to potty-train sooner. If that does not convince you to try cloth diapering over disposables, I do not know what will.
The grandchildren currently in my family wore diapers up until 3 years old…. so if you can imagine having to deal with THAT for 3 years, good luck.
(That fact alone was enough to convince me to use cloth diapers, never mind hippie environmental impact stuff or the savings!)
CLOTH DIAPERS (THE INITIAL YEAR)
|CLOTH DIAPERS (FIRST YEAR)||Per Item||Total Cost||ON taxes (13%)||NOTES|
|Biodegradable Liners (1)||$4.99||$149.70||$169.16||100% Biodegradable — You put these liners inside the diapers and only flush them if they’re soiled|
|Prefold Inserts (2)||$27.49||$164.94||$186.38||100% Organic Cotton Padding — Kind of like padding for a diaper|
|Diapers Covers (3)||$16.95||$84.75||$95.77||100% Organic Cotton Cover for the diaper|
|Diaper Wash Board||$25.00||$25.00||$28.25||We had to buy a wash board to pre-wash the diapers before putting them in the laundry|
|Diaper Pail||$10.00||$10.00||$11.30||Need to put dirty diapers somewhere!!|
|Diaper Carrying Bag||$40.00||$40.00||$45.20||Aquapac Scuba Diving Bag (to carry the soiled diapers when we are out)|
|Laundry Costs (4)||$3.00||$366.00||$366.00||$3 for a wash and a dry|
||$1.00||$24.00||$24.00||Assuming 2 boxes of baking soda used a month to deodorize stinky diapers|
|Savon de Marseilles Soap||$4.99||$59.88||$67.66||Assuming 1 Savon de Marseilles (soap) bar a month (we will be pre-cleaning before throwing it in the wash)|
|Soap Nuts (Detergent)||$25.99||$25.99||$29.37||1 bag of these soap nuts will last about 200 washes a year so I’m overestimating just in case|
|TOTAL||$1,023.09||FIRST YEAR / INITIAL COST|
(1) to (4) CALCULATIONS / NOTES:
- 100 in each pack assuming 8 changes a day x 365 days = 30 packs needed
- 6 prefolds in each pack, assuming we need 36 (3 days worth) = 6 packs needed
- 1 diaper cover costs $16.95, we bought 5 because we’re changing the prefolds more than the cover = 5 needed
- We’re in an apartment where it costs $3 for a wash and dry, wash every 3 days or 122 times a year
CLOTH DIAPERS (THE SUBSEQUENT YEARS)
|RECURRING YEARLY COSTS|
|Soap Nuts (Detergent)||$29.37|
This isn’t so bad after the initial cost of buying the cloth diapers and so on.
DISPOSABLE DIAPERS (COST PER YEAR)
|DISPOSABLE DIAPERS||Per Item||Total Cost||ON taxes (13%)||NOTES|
|7th Generation Diapers(40 come in a pack)||$19.99||$1,459.27||$1,648.98||These are unbleached, biodegradable and the top of the top when it comes to buying hippie diapers|
DISPOSABLES VERSUS CLOTH DIAPERS
Now for the good stuff!
I optimistically want at least 3 children.
|Child One (Year 1)||$1,648.98||$1,023.09||$(625.88)|
|Child One (Year 2)||$1,648.98||$656.19||$(992.78)|
|Child Two (Year 1)||$1,648.98||$656.19||$(992.78)|
|Child Two (Year 2)||$1,648.98||$656.19||$(992.78)|
|Child Three (Year 1)||$1,648.98||$656.19||$(992.78)|
|Child Three (Year 2)||$1,648.98||$656.19||$(992.78)|
Basically what this is telling me is that if I have 3 children I can save about $5600 over the next 6 years of diapering if I just use cloth diapers.
If you can’t find a use for $5600, I sure can.