Is it really cheaper-in the long run? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With my first two kids, (8 yrs ago) my mom talked me out of cloth diapering. I wanted to try it, but she warned me against it.

Now, in her defense, her experience of cloth diapering was a lot different than it is today.

She lived in the middle of nowhere, had to rely on well water that often froze in the winter, and had no washer, and a clothesline for drying.

She said that she was washing diapers all day-and it basically was the worst experience ever.

They didn't have a lot of money then though, and couldn't afford disposable.

 

With this next one though, I'm seriously considering cloth. Not even for the $$saving aspect as much as I hate that disposable diapers are so hard on babies' bums, full of chemicals, and will sit in a landfill.

 

Based on these things alone, I'm wanting to cloth diaper. An added perk would be saving money.

After adding it all up though, i'm wondering how much one would really save?

 

I can get a week's supply of infant disposable diapers here for about $16 canadian. Considering that today's cloth diapers seem to be anywhere from $15-$30 a piece, how does that save money? (I'm not talking about the simple flat foldable diapers that were around when I was a baby, but the fitted, snappy, velcro ones etc.)

Especially when you need 12 a day in the beginning? And then have to get new ones when they grow?

 

Ok, i'm totally green to cloth diapering, so maybe i'm missing something?


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#2 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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I am DEFINITELY not an expert.  My first babe is still cooking.  

 

However, I will say that I have been able to find some VERY reasonably priced used diapers on e Bay and Facebook.

 

For his nb stage, we have a mixture of prefolds, covers and a few AIOs for fun.  I think with a lot of hunting, you can find some less than the going rate.

 

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#3 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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How many weeks will that babe be in dipes though (and i suggest you check the prices, they get more expensive and fewer dipes/pk as they get bigger)?

Assume 2.5 yrs in dipes x 52 weeks/yr= that's 130 wks. And 2.5 yrs is actually young for a baby in sposies to PL.

So, 130 wks, and say the dipe you picked costs $16/each. Will you go through 130 of them? Doubt it. Say you buy 24 sm, 20 Med and 18 Lg (2 days worth per size). That's 62 weeks worth of sposies. You've just cut the bill in half.

If you then use those same dipes on a subsequent babe, you've gone from 1/2 to 1/4.

Of course, you could go w 3 dozen OS dipes that cost $24 each, and that's 54 weeks of sposies. Even if you add in the cost of a diaper sprayer, that's another couple weeks worth, some doublers might be another few weeks, and you still come out ahead (I deliberately didnt add the cost of pails and wet bags, which you'd need either way).

That also does not account for buying used or reselling - that's buying new. Nor does it account for the possibility of making your own.

Now, that's not to say that you can't lose money on them. If you want to go longer between washings, buy a more expensive brand, or you get into collecting, that adds up fast.

There was a recent thread on how much we've spent on our stashes, you can check that out to see the vast difference in dollar amounts.

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#4 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Oh, and your prices on CDs are actually middle of the road. If you shop around, they can be anywhere from $10-$45/each.

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#5 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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 From experience I know it cost me a bit over $40 a month to sposie diaper thats for store brand diapersso nothing hugely expensive and averaging 7 dialy diapers (it be musch more at first and less in the end) but being fair...

 If my kid fully trained at 30 months (2.5 years) that is $1,200 I would have spent at least $440 by now... My NB stash ran me a bit over $300 and I t didn't NEED to... I sold that off when used and got back around $160 my current stash which I've used since my DD was around 3 months old cost me about $260 

$260- $160=$100

I also invested in around $100 worth of acessories

and I'd say I'll still spend around another $100 in cover upgradse and a few acessories and such along the way..

the diapers I have in theory will take my DD to PT and I still have an AIO stash in XL and cloth trainers from my first stored...

So for roughly $300/$400 (If I splurge a bit) I will cloth diaper my current DD.. I have a combo of prefolds covers and pockets in my stash.

 

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#6 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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I'm able to find steals on sposies, but it would still add up if I used them all the time (I use one overnight).  But, yes, you can really save money, especially, as someone mentioned above, if you use them for more than one baby.  I think if you keep the savings in mind as a reason for why you're cloth diapering, it will remain important to you.  You can even keep a spreadsheet of how much you're spending on them and maybe that will help you feel like it's the right choice (aside from the environmental reasons)?  Also, check out places like Diaperswappers for used diapers if that type of thing doesn't bother you.  Some people also sell only washed or brand new items, too.

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#7 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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If your LO is in diapers for 2.5 years (though, some kids don't PL until they're 3 or so, especially in sposies), you'll spend $2080 (assuming that even the bigger sized diapers are $16/week.

 

This is what I spend to diaper my LOs:

A newborn diaper rental:  $75 after my deposit was returned

4 Thirstie Duo covers size 1: $52

4 Thirstie Duo covers size 2: $52

One Large wool cover:  $30

26 Tiny Tush one size fitted diapers (my absolute favorite!) $290

Two pail liners:  $24

 

That's $523 dollars.  You could even splurge on some other diapers, cute covers, a few more wool covers (I use them for nighttime) etc. and you would still be WAY under 1/2 the price of sposies. 


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#8 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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In my opinion, you don't save money on the newborn diapers.  Most newborns outgrow them so fast that it's cheaper to do disposables because you won't get enough wear out of them before the baby goes up a size, unless you're having more than one child use them.  Or you buy used and sell them.  Or some other cost saving plan, like prefolds and cheap covers.  I feel like the main reason to use newborn dipes would be because they are soft and more natural than disposables, and don't go to the landfill. 

 

Once the baby fits in one-size dipes, you can often use the same diapers until potty training or close to it.  When you are reusing the same diapers for 2 years+, that's where the savings come in. 


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#9 of 22 Old 02-11-2011, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane View Post

In my opinion, you don't save money on the newborn diapers.  Most newborns outgrow them so fast that it's cheaper to do disposables because you won't get enough wear out of them before the baby goes up a size, unless you're having more than one child use them.  Or you buy used and sell them.  Or some other cost saving plan, like prefolds and cheap covers.  I feel like the main reason to use newborn dipes would be because they are soft and more natural than disposables, and don't go to the landfill. 

 

Once the baby fits in one-size dipes, you can often use the same diapers until potty training or close to it.  When you are reusing the same diapers for 2 years+, that's where the savings come in. 


I didn't start cloth until later with my DD, and I think for the first two months when she was in newborn sized sposies we spent about $135 or so. I think I've spent about $130 on my newborn stash for my upcoming babe, so it is about breaking even, and mostly prefolds, but after that I'll be saving quite a bit. 


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#10 of 22 Old 02-12-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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I paid $200 for my diapers, total.  These went through two children.  I decided to go with Wonderoos at the time, because they were adjustable from birth to potty training.  I bought 10 diapers.  I did laundry every day in the beginning, but it tapered down over time.  I also occasionally supplemented with disposables if we were going away for the weekend or out for a long day trip and what-not.  Not always - as I got braver with the cloth I abandoned disposables all-together.  For my second child, he didn't wear disposables after the first month or two.  I liked to supplement with disposables in the beginning simply because of the hectic nature of having a newborn, and the sheer amount of diapers they went through in that first little bit.  I didn't want to be a slave to my washing machine.  Had I bought even 5 or 6 diapers more, I probably could have gotten away with laundry every other day right off the bat.

 

That said, my advice is to look for a brand that grows with your baby.  The diapers are slightly more expensive for the initial investment, but well worth the money you will save in the long run in not having to upgrade your diapers 2 or 3 times.  And if you get a good quality diaper, they can be used for subsequent children or even (I believe, not sure if things have changed since I got rid of my stash) resold after you're done with them. 

 

Oh, and to be honest, I paid zero for diapers for my children.  They were the only item I "registered" for, so that was covered. =)

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#11 of 22 Old 02-12-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane View Post

In my opinion, you don't save money on the newborn diapers.  Most newborns outgrow them so fast that it's cheaper to do disposables because you won't get enough wear out of them before the baby goes up a size, unless you're having more than one child use them.  Or you buy used and sell them.  Or some other cost saving plan, like prefolds and cheap covers.  I feel like the main reason to use newborn dipes would be because they are soft and more natural than disposables, and don't go to the landfill. 

 

Once the baby fits in one-size dipes, you can often use the same diapers until potty training or close to it.  When you are reusing the same diapers for 2 years+, that's where the savings come in. 


Yes, this.

 

I put together a spreadsheet before DS was born to figure out the cost savings for cloth, and in the newborn stage, you break more or less even if you buy new fitted (which in my opinion are the best option for a newborn). HOWEVER if you can score a used stash of newborn fitteds, you can be ahead. And then after that it gets much cheaper. I managed to get a stash of newborn and small Mother-Ease Sandys, and they were marvelous. I think I still more or less broke even but I'm still happier DS is primarily in cloth.

 

If you DO decide to buy diapers with the thought of using them on more than one child, do be careful with covers and PUL pockets - I wrecked about half my stash buy putting them in the dryer  - wrecked the elastic and the PUL developed holes. The fitteds/prefolds were perfect though.


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#12 of 22 Old 02-12-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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I am also new to cloth diapering, but not to disposable diapering. We will be using a diaper laundering service, which will still make it cheaper than buying disposables. We live in an apartment and don't have our own washer/dryer, or we would wash our own.

 

We spent over $2500 from birth to potty training with disposables. It will cost us less than $900 for the first year of the diaper laundering service (and they provide the prefold inserts, hemp doublers, and newborn covers in this fee, as you are mainly paying for the rental of these items). We are only planning on using the service for the first year and then we will wash our own....and we still come out ahead versus disposables.

 

I have purchased 4 Kawaii one size covers (4.50 a piece), 2 Flip one size covers (13.95 a piece) which all have snaps and we will be able to use them until he is potty trained and God willing with any future children we are blessed with. We will buy probably 10 more covers (will try different brands) and some inserts and doublers when we quit the diapering service.

 

So you really do save money with cloth diapering.

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#13 of 22 Old 02-12-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Ive spent $300 so far.  i have most of my large stash built up.  so I have a total of 70 pockets (mostly fuzzibunz) and a soaker.  yeah it's way affordable in the long run.  I average $4pppd for the dipes and spent $20 on the soaker.  It's not just an economical thing for me (haven't seen any increase in the water bill) it's very important for me to not use sposies as I really care about the environmental impact I am making.  I also use other paperless products and recycle everything I can.


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#14 of 22 Old 02-12-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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i have a combination of different diapers mostly from cottonbabies, i just ordered some sunbaby diapers with doubles for about 6.50a diaper, one sized that I've heard good things about. my new baby didn't quite fit my dipes for the first two weeks so we went through 2 packs of disposables before she fit in cloth. now cottonbabies has newborn flip inserts that would work and are not expensive. i'd recommend getting those and some flips. the organic and staydry inserts are both good but the stay dry inserts work better on a small baby. then you could get a pocket diaper if you don't want only prefolds. the new bumgenius 4s come with snaps and would be good. they have a one year warranty and the customer service is great. the sunbaby diapers are cheaper but you give up the warranty. if your kids tend to grow fast you might have to buy larger diapers but for the majority of the time a one size would work. sorry for rambling lol i'm sick right now.  do think its more cost effective and convenient to do cloth as well as better for our children. and the diaper sprayer is a life saver lol


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#15 of 22 Old 02-12-2011, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone-this is a lot of information. I think i'm overwhelmed by all the different brands, styles etc. Luckily, there is a cloth diapering store right across the street that i'll be able to turn to for some advice.

Both of my boys potty trained at 12-15 months, so based on *that* they wouldn't be used super long. Then again, every kid really is different from the next.

I'm also not sure that we'll have another after this, we haven't really decided.

Either way, we will cloth diaper. Not cloth diapering for NB though seems to be a possibility. I'll see what they're going to cost me, and what system we go with.

I might try some EC with this one, so we'll see!

Thank you!


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#16 of 22 Old 02-13-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrabelle View Post

Thanks everyone-this is a lot of information. I think i'm overwhelmed by all the different brands, styles etc. Luckily, there is a cloth diapering store right across the street that i'll be able to turn to for some advice.

Both of my boys potty trained at 12-15 months, so based on *that* they wouldn't be used super long. Then again, every kid really is different from the next.

I'm also not sure that we'll have another after this, we haven't really decided.

Either way, we will cloth diaper. Not cloth diapering for NB though seems to be a possibility. I'll see what they're going to cost me, and what system we go with.

I might try some EC with this one, so we'll see!

Thank you!


I have two things to recommend to you:

For diapering in the newborn stage, consider a rental:

http://www.nellsnaturalbaby.com/Newborn-Cloth-Diaper-Rental_p_15.html

It will still be cheaper than sposies.  You will have to buy covers, but if you get a one-size cover (grows with your baby) or a Thirsties duo (grows with baby, but need two sizes to go from birth to potty training).

 

Also, if you want to try a bit of everything, you can use a diaper trial:

http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=886295

 

The only thing I really don't like about these is that they seem to favor pocket diapers (not my favorite) and don't have a lot of fitteds to try out. But still it could give you a chance to test-drive the cloth. :)


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#17 of 22 Old 02-13-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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You can go expensive on cloth, or you can be more budget friendly and still have a great time with it (like me!). I have probably paid no more than $500 for our cloth so far (DS is 21 mo, all his small diapers are in great shape for #2 coming). I used prefolds, love them, and have PUL covers (we like Thirsties best).

 

Someone just commented to me that her anal cousin calculated everything, water usage, etc and cloth diapering still comes out ahead on cost. Now, buying nice fitteds or all in ones and the higher end where you need a big stash to have a good supply, that would whittle away some of the savings. But, there are so many other ways to do it if you are sensitive to cost as I am.

 

It is SO easy to be overwhelmed with the choices. You could start with prefolds and covers, and then for the next size, try a couple different varieties. Using prefolds is a very functional, easily washed, low cost option.


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#18 of 22 Old 02-14-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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I bought a pack of 6 thirsties covers and 24 pre-folds for $160 from sogreenbaby.com, which including shipping. I'm going to figure about 12 a cover, which is about $72. Which means my 24 prefolds cost $88 or $4/each. Oh and they came with 2 snappis. I got 2 more for the larger diapers from a friend for free.

 

They lasted until he was 15 pounds. I could reuse them for a second child if I were to have one, but my DD is 8, so hopefully I resell them, but using them on several children costs less.

 

I bought 4 bummis and 18 prefolds for an older child for $175. They cost a bit more per diaper, but he'll wear them longer because 15-30 lbs is a lot slower growth.

 

Plus there is garbage savings. Especially when you need 12 a day in the beginning. And also I've never had a diaper blow out with my cloth diapers, I had them the few times I used disposables.

 

If you buy the fancier diapers, the cost does go up. My best friend uses fuzzibuns but for $20+/diaper they will go newborn to 35 pounds, so while the initial investment is more, it doesn't equal out over a diaper's lifetime and she also is diaper sharing with her sister and using them on a second baby ...

 

Not factoring in laundry costs (water is included in our rent costs so I can't factor in extra costs here- I've gone through 2 boxes of laundry soap in 10 months), my cost per month is 33/month if I stopped using them right now.

 

In the long run it is cheaper, but in the short if you are short on cash it may not be worth it. (All costs are Canadian dollars).


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#19 of 22 Old 02-25-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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I saved on my newborn stash, but then I did basic prefolds and some quality covers and then sold them when I was done with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane View Post

In my opinion, you don't save money on the newborn diapers.  Most newborns outgrow them so fast that it's cheaper to do disposables because you won't get enough wear out of them before the baby goes up a size, unless you're having more than one child use them.  Or you buy used and sell them.  Or some other cost saving plan, like prefolds and cheap covers.  I feel like the main reason to use newborn dipes would be because they are soft and more natural than disposables, and don't go to the landfill. 

 

Once the baby fits in one-size dipes, you can often use the same diapers until potty training or close to it.  When you are reusing the same diapers for 2 years+, that's where the savings come in. 



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#20 of 22 Old 03-01-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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I live in Ontario too and have a 2 1/2 month old. We bought all our diapers at Sears. We bought the plain, foldable square diapers and just fold them in half three times to make rectangular diaper liners. They cost less to dry (we have pay laundry in our apt building) as I can dry all of them in one load, and they also hang dry very quickly, compared to the pre-folds my mom used to have for my little sisters. We bought 3 dozen, and they come in packages of 6 for $16... so that's $96, and we bought 8 pairs of velcro plastics pants for $8 each. They are all Kushies brand which are made in Canada! We also bought a diaper sprayer from a specialty shop for $60.

So that's a total of $220, plus of course, extra the laundry expense for 1-2 loads a week.

 

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#21 of 22 Old 03-25-2011, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend of mine just gave me a ton of prefolds, about 40 (they look pretty small, like a newborn/smal size) and about 50 kushie flats. (they're 27x27-flannellette sort of material). I think I can use these like a prefold in some covers...would that work?

I also bought some used motherease "sandies" on kijiji (12 for $45-which sounded like a pretty good deal) she threw in some covers too.

So now, (well, for now anyway) I think I only need some covers?

 

If you were using flats and prefolds, how many do you think you'd need for a 2-3 day rotation? I'm thinking 12 a day might do...and have some disposables on hand for night time/backup.


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#22 of 22 Old 03-25-2011, 11:30 PM
 
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With anewborn, I think the typical advice is that 24 is the barest minimum, and 36 is really much more realistic to wash every other da

yFor older kids, I hear about a lot of people using 18 pockets just fine. 


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