Costs of Disposable Diapers vs Cloth Diapers

ananbaby sportsDo cloth diapers really save you money? Here is my experience with them so far. P.S. This is a blog about cloth wipes as well.

So, I used to use ONLY disposable diapers. I have a Munchkin diaper pail and let me tell you… I had no idea how many diapers we were going to be going through. I mean, I did the math. I knew the number. People warned me.

What I didn’t know is how heavy the bags would be, how many there would be in each bag, and how many bags we would throw out each week. It was ridiculous! I only have one child. I can’t imagine how many diapers there are in the landfill from the millions of babies in the world. And these diaper companies are really getting their money. For those of you who throw your diapers away in the trash can, trust me on this: you don’t see the entirety of how many you use, even when you see them disappearing so rapidly. Seeing them all together was a big slap on the forehead!

Now-a-days, cloth diapers are more innovative that Grandma’s days. No more pins! Unless you want to use the pins, of course. There are many types of diapers. One of the best ways to learn more about them is through YouTube and asking on forums, then Googling the brands. I have done my research, though I have only actually tried one brand. My son is only 3 1/2 months old and just started using these cloth diapers, so we’re getting there. I will review more about them later.

After many hours of research, the best I found was Best Bottoms Diapers. So let me take a moment to explain the awesome features of this diaper.

best bottom

The cover or “shell” is adjustable with snaps. You can make the diaper longer/shorter as well as tighten the diaper’s width (how you would do with the tabs on disposables. You can get them with snaps for the tabs as I mentioned, or velcro. They come in many different colors and prints.

NO prefolding! The inserts are fairly thin yet absorbent. They actually snap into the inside so that they stay in place (awesome feature!) There are some other cloth diapers where the inserts snap on the inside, but this one was the only one that I found that snaps in the front AND back, and not just the back. There are different size inserts for different size babies, but the shells (which are the more expensive part) are adjustable to fit babies of pretty much all sizes.

best bottom 2

I could go on and on about this diaper. And for those of you who like organic, it also comes in hemp/organic cotton. To check out the diapers more, visit this site: http://www.bestbottomdiapers.com. You can buy them there or at  http://www.nickisdiapers.com, which have awesome deals all the time. Also, I found a great YouTube video with a review about the Best Bottom diapers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQcbG5t_xsY . The package deal comes with 3 shells (covers) and 9 inserts. This is enough, really, for maybe one day’s use. It is about $84. WOW! That’s a lot of money! Now, hold up… #1- there are cheaper diapers out there. #2- have you priced disposable diapers? #3- they’re reusable. Let’s see you do that with your disposables! I don’t think so. We’ll get to that more in a minute. If you really want to commit, for $410, you can get the whole set! It’s 9 shells, 18 inserts and 3 overnight inserts.

Did I get the Best Bottom diapers? No. Why? Well… look at the name of this blog. I’m one broke mom. I plan on getting some when  have a large lump sum, but I needed something cheaper to start with. Then as I don’t buy disposables, I can save that money for the brand I want.

So I went with plan B- Econobum. Thank you Walmart. Econobum, from what I’ve been able to tell, is great. It’s not as good as Best Bottoms I’m sure, but it suffices for now until I can afford Best Bottoms. They are adjustable like the Best Bottoms but they do not come with inserts. Rather, they come with prefolds. I will post another blog later with more details on prefolds. So the question I’m sure you’re asking… what’s the damage? I personally got my starter pack for about $40 on rollback. The regular price is about $55. There are 3 covers and 12 diapers in the starter kit. Big difference from Best Bottom, but my son looks like he has a HUGE bum. :-) Baby steps… baby steps…

cloth diapers 28

So do you REALLY save on cloth diapers. My answer… ABSOLUTELY!!!

Let me just say this one little statistic. Over 25 BILLION (not million) disposable diapers are sent to the landfill every year. Yeah…

Okay, so here goes.

Cloth diapers:

Let’s say you want to wash every 4-5 days.

For Econobum, a very inexpensive brand, you will need about 3 sets. This will give you 9 covers and 36 diapers. The cost to you:

$165

For Best Bottom, a more expensive brand, you will need 2 complete sets. This will give you 18 covers, 36 inserts, and 6 overnight inserts. (Notice there are twice as many covers, so that means you don’t have to use them as much between diapers). The cost to you:

$820

Disposable diapers:

A baby goes through on average 10 diapers a day. Sometimes, a baby goes through 8 a day, sometimes even up to 15. But from my own experience, they go through 10. That’s 7300 diapers in 2 years, or about 82 boxes of diapers.

My favorite cheap-o brands are Luvs and White Cloud. I can’t stand the Parent’s Choice, which is a little cheaper, but some moms like them. So I’m going to go with White Cloud as my example here. A box is $16. The cost to you:

$1,312

Don’t like the cheap-o brands? Huggies are $18. The cost to you:

$1,476

For one of the most expensive brands (if not the most expensive)- Pampers, you will pay $25 a box. The cost to you:

$2,050

So all together you can save:

$492 – $1,885 for 2 years

($492 is Best Bottom vs White Cloud and $1,885 is Econobum vs Pampers)

Wipes:

Okay, Carrie, so if you save so much on cloth diapers, what about these wipes you were talking about?

For every diaper (7300) you use on average of 3 wipes. Sometimes it takes 1, sometimes 5. It depends, really, on how good you are at it. That’s 21,900 wipes. Yeah…

It would cost more if you bought them by the pack, but lets just assume you buy them in bulk.

A decent cheap brand is Walmart’s Parent’s Choice brand. They’re $12 for 700 wipes. 21,900 is about 31 boxes. The cost to you:

  $372

Let’s go with Huggies and Pampers again for the more expensive brands.

Huggies is $12 also, but only has 600 wipes. That’s 37 boxes. The cost to you:

$444

Pampers is $11 for 504 wipes. That’s 43 boxes. The cost to you:

$473

Cloth wipes

If you’re washing diapers every 4-5 days, you’ll need one wipe per diaper (now and then maybe 2). It’s safe to assume you’ll need about 50 wipes. I usually use washcloths, but you can get some that are actually called wipes. Either one will work, but the washcloths are cheaper.

Carter’s Child of Mine is a fairly durable brand and affordable as well. I will be honest and say that I’m not 100% sure about the price of these wipes, but I am estimating around $8 for 6. You’ll need about 8 sets. The cost to you:

 $64

Another brand that is pretty good (and cheaper) is Gerber. They’re $6 for 10. You’ll need 5 sets. The cost to you:

 $30

Some brands can really run up there in prices, but are specifically designed for the use of wiping your baby’s bum. They come in flannel cotton, hemp and I’m pretty sure you can even get them in Egyptian cotton. One brand that I found that is supposed to be pretty good is Doopsy hemp wipes. They are $14 for 10. You’ll need 5 sets. The cost to you:

 $70

So all together you can save:

$302 – $443 for 2 years

($302 is Pampers vs Gerber  and $443 is Parents Choice vs Doopsy)

SO let’s look at it all together. If you use cloth diapers AND cloth wipes you save:

$492 – $1,885 for diapers

$302 – $443 for for wipes

for a grand total of

$794 – $1442 for 2 years of diapering!

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