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Cloth diapering was always something that really intimidated me because it just didn’t seem easy. With a disposable diaper, it was just one item that you open, toss on a baby, close it up and move on. But with a cloth diaper, it was all these different parts like the diaper, inserts, liners and enzyme spray. And then it was the whole what do “I do with them when they get dirty?” question. My mind just wasn’t wrapping around the whole concept.

When we were expecting our child, I began considering cloth diapering. I’m not sure what got me thinking about it again, but I can tell you the two biggest reasons for solidifying my decision to do it was the financial aspect and the environmental aspect.

Aside from the obvious environmental aspect and how much we’re not throwing away because of cloth diapers, the financial saving benefits far exceeded what I could have imagined.

What you spend on disposable diapers

I did the math.

  • If you go through 8 disposable diapers a day like a typical toddler does, that’s 2,920 diapers a year at an average cost of $700.80 ($0.24/diaper)
  • If you use 9 diapers a day, that’s 3,285 diapers a year at a cost of $788.40.
  • 10 diapers a day will cost you $876 per year for a total of 3,650 diapers.
  • 11 diapers a day, which is the average a newborn uses, is 4,015 diapers a year at a cost of $963.60.
  • Finally, 12 diapers a day is 4,380 diapers a year at a cost of $1,051.20.
  • That is a yearly total average of $876 if you use between 8 and 12 disposable diapers a day.

That is per child!

So how much do you save cloth diapering?

  • I got a total of 4 brands of cloth diapers because we were unsure of what brand would suit our baby best.
  • The cloth diapers that I got were an average of $6.36 per diaper.
  • Each pack we bought was a pack of 6, and we bought 7 packs.
  • We spent a total of $266.93.
  • Tip: include packs of cloth diapers in your baby registry and spend even less!
  • As long as you have a big rotation of diapers, they’ll last longer. So let’s just average 2 years.
    • Diaper rotations are very important because if you have a small amount of diapers, you’re going to wash them more frequently, thus increasing the wear-and-tear on them. You want a large rotation so that you don’t wear them down as much. We got 42 diapers. And most packs came with extra inserts just in case!
  • We’re saving $1,485.07 in those two years in diaper-spend alone!

With cloth diapers, I throw the washed inserts in a dryer load with towels and line dry the diapers.

The way I see it, it’s not just saving us money, but it’s saving my postpartum butt many (many many) trips to the store every year to get diapers last minute. And that’s something I can get behind!