Using Cloth Diapers: How Much Will You Save?
The other day I posted about saving money on disposible diapers but now one our readers is going to show us how we can save with cloth diapers! Check out this great guest post from Becky:
I use cloth diapers. There. I said it. I am proud of the fact that my son’s bum is wrapped in soft cloth instead of scratchy plastic, but even more so, I’m proud of the fact that I have already saved my family hundreds of dollars. I was adding up what I have spent on cloth diapers (about $400) and adding up what I would have spent on disposable diapers during the first year of my kiddo’s life (about $600). I’ve saved about $300 so far in just the first year and I have probably about a year or more to go before he is potty trained.
Sure, there is some expense for increased water use to wash the diapers. My water bill is about $10 a month higher. Even so, I will have saved about $1000 for two years of diapering. That’s some major green!
I can picture the look on your face. I’ve seen it before. I know what you’re thinking. Cloth diapers are so last century. They’re icky. They’re too much work. I thought all of these things, too. And then I did some research.
Did you know you don’t have to use pins or rubber pants any more? There are all-in-one diapers and pocket diapers that are just as easy to deal with as disposable diapers. Did you know that there are diaper sprayers that attach to your toilet to get rid of the poop before it ever hits your washing machine? Did you know most diapers have snaps or hook & loop (think Velcro) closures, so no pins are needed?
Here is a break down of the different types of cloth diapers and the price ranges you can expect to see ranging from least expensive to most expensive. It is recommended that you purchase at least 12 diapers for newborns per day you want in between laundry. Older babies will not need quite as many. You should wash your diapers at least every 2-3 days.
Prefolds or flats and covers
This is the least expensive way to cloth diaper. For about $100 you can diaper a child with two dozen prefolds or flats and six or eight covers. One dozen prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers (www.greenmountaindiapers.com) are $28. These are sized, so you will need to get larger sizes as baby grows, but after you are finished with them, they make great clean rags! Add six Thirsties Duo Wraps for $12.25 each and you have only spent $101.50.
Pocket diapers have a pocket that can be “stuffed” with microfiber, bamboo, or hemp inserts. Once the pocket is stuffed, these diapers go on just like a disposable. These are great because the absorbency can be adjusted for babies who wet more. Pocket diapers range in price from about $5 to $18 depending on brand. The cheapest ones are made in China and work well, but are of a lesser quality than other brand such as bumGenius, Happy Heineys, or Thirsties. There are many different brands and each has its nuances. Most pocket diapers are one-size, which means they adjust to fit most babies from about 10 pounds to 30 or 35 pounds. These are a great option for getting the most use out of your diapers.
Hybrid and All-in-Two diapers
Hybrid/All-in-Two diapers are ones that have a soaker that tucks or snaps into a cover. Some of the most popular brands include gDiapers, Flips, and GroVia. The soaker can be removed and the cover can be reused unless wet or dirty. All of these also have a disposable insert option, which are great for vacations and any time when you will not have access to a washing machine. Hybrids and all-in-twos are little more on the expensive side. gDiapers are sized covers, but Flips and GroVia are one-size. gDiapers are about $18 per cover plus inserts. Flips are about $17 for one cover and one insert and extra inserts can be purchased separately. GroVia are more expensive at about $17 for a cover and about $18 for two snap-in organic cotton soakers.
These are the most like a disposable diaper and cost the most. All-in-ones are just that – all-in-one. There is nothing to stuff, no soakers to snap in. You just wrap the diaper around the baby, fasten and go. All-in-ones, such as the bumGenius Elemental organic diaper, cost upwards of $25 each.
There are other types of diapers as well, such as fitteds (not waterproof) that can be paired with fleece or wool covers. These are great for nighttime since the entire diaper is absorbent.
If you are new to cloth diapering, it is a good idea to try out a trial rental. This gives you the opportunity to try several different brands and types of diapers to see what works best for you and your baby. Trial packages are available from several online retailers, including Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique (www.sweetbottomsbaby.com).
Although there is a fairly large start-up cost, cloth diapering saves money in the long run. Oh, and they’re cute too.