I cloth diapered my son for most of his babyhood. I tried to cloth diaper my second child, but because of circumstances in our apartment building and because she was sick so often (the poor baby had chicken pox at 3.5 months old!), cloth diapers just did not work for us then.
Now that two are in diapers, I decided to experiment in the month of August with using cloth diapers. Here are the results:
We never 100% cloth diapered. We still used paper diapers for naps, nighttime and outings away from the house. We averaged 8 paper and 13 cloth diapers a day.
When we paper diaper exclusively, we use an average of 18 diapers a day.
I have been trying to buy paper diapers when CVS has their buy one get one 50% off sale, so I will use that price as my average. Two boxes of diapers costs $23.98 during the sale and have a total of 104 diapers at a price of .23 cents each.
We only cloth diapered for 20 days in August because we were out of town on vacation for 10 days.
What was the cost for cloth?
I had to wash the cloth diapers an average of every three days at a cost of $2.oo ($2.00 for two wash cycles). I had to wash them 7 times this month, so the cost was $14.00.
I also used liners that cost $8.00 per 100. However, if these do not get soiled, I wash them with the diapers and reuse them. About 20 of these were soiled, so my cost was $1.60.
We also used 8 paper diapers a day at .23 each for a total of 1.84 a day, or $36.80.
Our grand total was $52.40.
What is the cost for paper?
If we use paper diapers exclusively, our cost per day is $4.14, or $82.80 over 20 days.
The Hourly Wage
Time wise, I spent 15 minutes treating and rinsing the cloth diapers per load and 15 minutes hanging them up to air dry. Over 20 days, that equals 3.5 hours. Since we saved $30.40 using cloth diapers, my hourly wage was $8.68.
It is true that cloth diapering costs us $30 less a month. However, my husband never did get onboard with cloth diapering; in fact after this experiment, he is even more resistant.
My nearly two year old daughter was less than pleased with the cloth diapers and much to my chagrin frequently undid her diaper cover and diaper. She does not do this with paper diapers. She also cried, “No” sometimes when I tried to cloth diaper her. As she is not used to cloth, I don’t think she liked the wet feel.
Bottom line, we are going back to paper for now. In the winter when we have less money, we may go back to cloth.
I found this post interesting. I haven't ever tried the cloth diapers with my kids. I've been through lots of diapers with 5 kids over the past 13 years. My youngest is finally potty trained – hooray! During the last year I've been able to find a jumbo pack of huggies or pampers for $6 or less (at Walgreens or Rite-aid with coupons). Good luck!
Congratulations! I will be celebrating too when my girls are out of diapers!
My husband has never really been on board with cloth diapering either. 😉 Though I think it's mostly because it sort of intimidates him…they're so much easier than he realizes, but I guess all those snaps and inserts and pins and the variety of covers and the pails and the washing method…it must just get to him. LOL
out of curiosity what kind of disposables are you using? I can find Huggies at Target for around 17 cents a diaper using coupons. We have used the huggies snug and dry with both our girls and loved them! Fortunately the 3.5 year old only wears pullups at night so it's only the 18 month old now in diapers. How old is your little one? With Huggies we never used 18 diapers a day unless they were newborn. Good luck!
Holly–I use either CVS, Walgreens or Huggies diapers, whichever I can get on sale. My girls are 22 months and 4 months. One reason we go through so many diapers is that the older girl has trouble going to the bathroom (no.2), so there are lots of little soils when the diaper itself is not wet. (Don't know if that makes sense, but I am trying to put it delicately :))
Amanda L Grossman says
Wow…18 diapers a day!!! I had no idea how expensive kids are:). I enjoyed your cost analysis!