Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cloth Diapers: The Economical Way

There are a variety of reasons why parents choose to use cloth diapers.  One of the biggest reasons, and one of the biggest benefits, is the money that can be saved.  But maybe you want to use cloth diapers, and you can’t afford to jump in with a full stash of pocket diapers.  What are your other options?

There are a couple of economical options to use cloth diapers and maximize the savings by using less expensive diapers.

Choose Prefolds and Covers

I started cloth diapering with six FuzziBunz (all baby gifts) and a lot of Unbleached Indian prefold smallprefolds.  Prefolds are usually around $2 each.  You could get a full stash of 24 prefolds for just $48!  You will need to use diaper covers with prefolds, so let’s factor in the cost of the cover. 

The Flip one size diaper cover is a great choice.  It will grow with your baby and fit from 8-35 pounds.  At diaper changes, just wipe the inside of the cover and reuse it over a clean diaper (unless of course the cover is soiled…then replace it with a clean one).  We recommend that you have 6-8 covers, depending on the age of your baby.  Smaller babies need their diaper changed more often, and have more potential of soiling the cover.  You want to have enough on hand to compensate.

Let’s add the cost of 6 Flip diaper covers.  At $13.95 each, that would come to $83.70.  So theoretically you could start diapering your baby for the grand total of $131.70!  Depending on the size of your baby, you may need to purchase some larger prefolds down the road.

Choose a Hybrid System

This is similar to the prefolds and covers system, except that you are FlipSDSingle400x400using inserts designed for your covers.  The Flip diaper cover has two great inserts – a Stay Dry Insert, and an Organic Cotton Insert.  By purchasing a Flip Day Pack (2 covers, 6 inserts) you can save even more.  Because you are reusing the covers at diaper changes, you need to purchase less of them, and therefore the cost of your complete stash is less.

Let’s look at the cost of the Flip diapering system.  If you purchase three Day Packs, you would have 6 Flip Covers and 18 Stay Dry Inserts.  You could purchase an additional six inserts to complete your stash of 24 inserts.  Or, if your baby is smaller, you may just want to purchase 4 Day Packs so that you have more covers available.

3 Day Packs (Stay Dry): $49.95 each, total of $149.85
6 Additional Stay Dry Inserts: $4.95 each, total $29.70
Grand Total: $179.55

With the Flip system there is no need to purchase additional sizes, as the cover is a one size cover.  $179.55 would diaper your baby from birth to potty training!

Consider the Price of Disposable Diapers

I know…$200 bucks at once still seems like a lot of money, especially since one reason to use cloth diapers is to save money.  So let’s consider the cost of disposable diapers.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to computing this cost!  What brand you choose, where you shop, whether or not you use coupons, how often your child wets, how often you change your child, and at what age your child starts potty training all affect your total cost of disposable diapers.

I priced diapers on Amazon, because I know a lot of people who use Amazon to get volume discounts and free shipping.  I averaged the prices of the various sizes of Pampers.  If you purchase the economy package the average is 20 cents per diaper.

  • Let’s figure 12 diapers per day for the first 3 months.
    90 days x 12 diapers per day x 20 cents per diaper =
    $216 (or $72 per month)
  • Let’s figure 10 diapers per day for the next 3 months.
    90 days x 10 diapers per day x 20 cents per diaper =
    $180 (or $60 per month)
  • Let’s figure 8 diapers per day until age two (I’m being generous…most kids I know don’t potty train until age three!)
    18 months (540 days) x 8 diapers x 20 cents per diapers = $864 (or $48 per month)

That’s a grand total of $1260…that you are literally throwing in the trash!  Wouldn’t it be better to spend around $200 to use cloth diapers?  You would save about $1,000.  You would be creating less waste.  You would be putting soft and natural materials next to your baby’s skin rather than plastic and chemicals.

Choose cloth diapers – if you do it the economical way you will save a lot of money!

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