Thank You so much everyone for your replies! I've clearly got a lot of information to digest, and I'm sure I'll have more questions soon! Thank you for taking the time to type such detailed responses and share your diaper details with me!
Agreed it saves money. The big payoff comes if you have more than one kid so you get to reuse them.
I went the high end route - got the brand name pocket dipes. Used disposibles for first month then small size for a year, then large size (so two sets). My kids were too skinny for the small size at birth.
I think with the first kid I probably broke even compared to disposables - the cost of the diapers, the water, the detergent, etc. But with the second kid it was like getting free diapers!
Cloth is more work, though. I don't find it that bad, but it is more work.
Don't forget the resale value! Esp. with newborn dipes and with high-end name brands (like FuzziBunz, bumGenius, Happy Heiny, etc.), you can get as much as 75% of the original price when you resell through MDC or Craigslist. Makes them even more cost effective.
I did the trial from Jillian's Drawers and got an idea of what I wanted to use. I figured out that I preferred the pocket diapers for ease of use/wash. From there I bought a ton of fuzzi bunz xs because my kid was pretty little. She wore those up until 3.5 months. Now we are exclusively using the one size Kawaii pockets from luvyourbaby. I bought those around 8 weeks and added them to our fuzzi bunz stash.
They are super super cheap - like $6 a diaper. If you have an 8 lb kid you can start with the kawaii's and bypass the smaller ones.
I spent about $300 on fuzzibunz and so far $120 on Kawaiis. I will probably get more Kawaiis soon because I got used to having so many with the fuzzibunz in the mix and with working full time I only like to wash diapers about 2 or 3 times a week.
So, basically - if you have an 8 lb kid, $120 will get you set up with 20 Kawaiis and there is free shipping on orders over $75 I think. Much cheaper than disposables.
I know parents who have spent hundreds of dollars on cloth diapers, when finances aren't so much of a concern. It's VERY easy to spend money on diapers. But, you can also cloth diaper very cheaply!
When I had my YDS, I was getting $108/week. My partner at the time was making $10.50/hour and was a horrible spender, so I REALLY needed to save money. I registered for Kushies diapers at BRU, and was fortunate enough to get 2 packages and a couple of covers. My mom had some old diapers from when ODS was a baby, which she gave to me. My other diapers have all been bought secondhand, either from people I know or from consignment stores/sales. I have spent just over $120 on diapers themselves (including liners and covers), and YDS is 7.5 months old.
My other expenses have been flushable liners ($7 for 100, and I let the wet ones dry and reuse them as long as they aren't soiled), laundry detergent (just using a fairly gentle regular detergent, rather than a fancy CD-friendly one), some diaper pins (couple of bucks), and laundering ($3/load).
In the beginning, I was so poor, I handwashed my diapers at least once a day. It wasn't that bad. I washed them in the baby bath in my tub, with a plunger, and then hung them on the balcony to dry. It's definitely nicer being able to throw them in the machine now that I can afford to, but you do what you've gotta do!
I see lots of diapers that I would love to have. My diapers are all white, and definitely not fancy, but they work, and they definitely save me money!
Oh, and I was given quite a lot of disposable diapers at my baby shower, so I only needed to buy one small pack of diapers until my LO would fit into the smallest cloth diapers I had, at about 1 month old (maybe 3 weeks). It helps having a 10 lb. baby who grows quickly! lol
Mom to two amazing boys, C (July 2005) and D (May 2010)
Founder/leader of a Babywearing group, and loving it!
I will be honest it depends how you would normally buy diapers. I own a cloth diaper store and often get asked this. If you buy luvs at BJs for instance with coupons it would be cutting it close especially with the wet bags and sprayers etc. Also if you go cheap like the FLIP or econobum from bum genius you can get away with pretty cheap but other diapers run $25 a pop and if you go with sized diapers you will spend quite a bit. If you plan on using for more than one kid then absolutely! I so think that you will most likely save some money. Also go with a 1 size fits all or a 2 size fits all diaper. here are some reviews http://www.earthycrunchymama.com/category/reviews/cloth-diapering/. I also like thirsties duos. Rumparooz work best on tiny babies. Thirsties duos are good too. The Flip just came out with infant inserts which shoudl help them fit better on little babies. I think the flip insert with a thirsties cover would be great.
Go for the cloth! we are so glad we switched.
Cloth Diapering, Babywearing Mom to Cole, 3, and Max 6 months
I'm not a huge fan of one-size dipes, especially if you have small (and/or slow-growing) babies. They are just SO BULKY on the wee ones.
I personally don't find pocket dipes any easier than prefolds with covers, and with my more sensitive-skinned babies, these work better than FuzziBunz or other . . . what are they called? 2-in-1 . . . systems.
Dipe covers can be hard to buy until you know the build of your baby, IMO. My babies don't tend to have thick legs, so that factors into the type of AIO, pocket, or cover I decide to buy. My "Especially for Baby" covers have worked just as well as spendier covers out there. They may not last as long as other brands, but I've never been able to full-time CD, so it's less of an issue.
I recall looking at some cost analyses on-line last time around. Here are a couple of links for you, if you're interested. Basically, the more babies . . . the greater the savings to CD. BUT yes, your energy and water bills will be affected, and unless you have a huge stash (and don't mind letting dirty dipes "ferment" in a pail for a while) you'll be doing extra loads of laundry. Not an insurmountable task even for working parents. (Who am I kidding; I don't trust DH to wash the cloth dipes!!!)
http://www.diaperdecisions.com/pages/cost_of_cloth_diapers.php (claims about 22 cents per change if you use a combo of dipes)
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/03/17/cloth-diapering-a-real-world-analysis/ (claims about 42 cents per washed dipe in year 1; 28 cents overall)
And according to another blog, "Parent magazine worked out that the cost of disposable diapers for one child is 1,500 – 3,000 dollars depending on the brand and how long the kid needs them. Compare that to the cost of cloth, 700 – 1,900 dollars (including laundry costs), and again the clear winner in cloth."
Kimberly, mom & wife - about pregnancy and birth
DD 2004; 3 babies 2007-08; twin DDs 2009; DD 7/12/11 hospital VBAC after 2 cesareans!