In their first year of life, most babies will go through an average of 2,500-3,000 diapers. Depending on the brand you purchase, that can work out to an average of around $550 for the first year alone. Most babies don’t potty train after a year, either—and some are still in diapers well past their third birthdays!
For parents hoping to save a substantial amount of money on diapering their baby, cloth diapers are the obvious choice.
The Cost of Cloth
A quick glance at the cost of cloth diapers may leave many parents reeling from sticker shock. $20 for a single diaper? Many turn straight back to disposables.
However, a quick look at the numbers might convince you otherwise.
- An average stash of cloth diapers is about 30 diapers. At $20 a diaper, you’ll break even just after baby’s first birthday.
- There are cheaper options available! Expensive all-in-one diapers might run $20 a diaper, but prefolds and covers can be purchased for as little as $12-$15 each for the covers and around $3 each for the prefolds. With 5-8 covers and 30 inserts, you’ll pay less than $200 for a full stash of diapers.
- Cloth diapers can be reused for multiple babies, so if you’re planning to expand your family down the road, your savings multiplies along with it.
- Cloth diapers will never require a last-minute trip to the most expensive store in town because you’ve run out of diapers. You won’t have to throw away half a box of diapers because baby has outgrown them, either.
- Cloth diapers have amazing resale value. Depending on the brand and the market, you can sell them for half or more of what you paid for them new.
The Benefits of Cloth Diapers
Saving a little money isn’t the only benefit of cloth diapers. While many parents will admit that they fall in love with the fun array of prints and bright colors, there are plenty of hidden benefits to cloth diapers that many parents don’t realize at first.
- Your baby will be exposed to fewer chemicals than you’ll find in disposable diapers. These chemicals can cause an increase in the potential for asthma, allergies, and other serious health concerns.
- You’ll lessen your environmental impact: even with the need to wash cloth diapers, disposable diapers use 37% more water.
- Your baby will have fewer diaper rashes, which means a happier, more pleasant baby.
- Many cloth diapered babies potty train at an earlier age than their disposable-diapered peers.
- Cloth diapers are less likely to leak than disposable diapers. Many parents report that they have far fewer blowouts with cloth.
Is the Inconvenience Worth It?
Diving in to cloth diapering baby products often seems daunting. There are diapers to wash, dry, and stuff. There are family members who will need to be taught how to use cloth diapers. Your diaper bag will have to be a lot bigger to hold those huge, fluffy diapers. Is it really worth the potential inconvenience? For many families, cloth diapers are actually more convenient than disposables.
Consider this: you’ll never again have that terrifying moment when you reach into a diaper package and realize that you’ve pulled out the last one. You won’t have to go shopping when all you really want to do is stay at home, whether it’s because of a sick/cranky baby or a tired mommy. If a friend runs out of diapers while visiting with you, you’ll always have one on hand that’s just the right size.
There’s no feeling of panic when you’re at the end of your paycheck and not sure you have the extra money for diapers, either. You can choose to buy new diapers because you want to have more on hand or because you fall in love with a new color or print, but you don’t have to have them. That means you can save your money for more important things when finances are a little tight.
Sure, you have to throw in an extra load of laundry every few days; but since you’ll have fewer clothing changes for both you and baby because a disposable diaper failed to hold, you’ll quickly make up the difference. Not only that, you’ll discover that once you get into a routine, diaper laundry is one of the easiest loads of laundry you do in a week.
For many families, making the switch to cloth diapers is the obvious decision. It’s environmentally friendly and financially practical. Consider making the switch to cloth diapers for your family today.