One of the largest expenses with a baby is the diaper costs. When we were expecting I heard many different things about how to save money on diaper and how expensive diapers were. Many people told me that cloth diapering is more expensive than disposables where others said disposables were more expensive. So what is the cheapest way diaper your child? Well, I did the math to find out for myself.
A package of Huggies diapers are $34.49 for 140 or about .25 cents per diaper
My friend who bought disposables said they were changing them about 12 times per day; this is about $3.00 per day. This works out to $93.00 per month or $1,116.00 per year.
If your child is potty trained by age 3 this will be approx $3,348.00 in diapers alone!
By contrast a Mother-Ease All In One Cloth Diaper (in my opinion the nicest cloth diapers on the market) costs $19.95. I bought 6 of these for a total of $99.75 (I bought when there was a promotion buy 5 get the 6th free. If you pay full price for all six it is $119.70) I found these to be so absorbent and leak-proof that we need only 5-6 per day. I also have a different diaper that I use at night (see below)
They come in three sizes
- Small 10-20 lbs
- Large 20-30 lbs
- X-large 35-45 lbs
If you need to buy all three sizes before your child potty trains the total cost would be $359.10
I also have two diapers that are only for nighttime use:
So at 4 months I have spent a total of $150.63 on cloth diapers and I will not need to buy the next sizes for at least another 2-4 months.
Had I been using disposables I would have already spent $372; so to date I have already saved $221.31.
By 6 months my savings will be $407.37
By age three my total costs will be $451.89 and my total savings will be $2896.11!
So then next argument I heard was that you spend more on water and electricity to wash diapers so I did some research on that topic as well. While there is no hard fast number because costs vary depending on where you live and how many diapers you wash at one time I found the highest estimate to be about $0.01 per diaper change so about $0.07 per day which is about $25.20 per year or a total cost of $75.60 by age three.
I still have a total savings of $2820.51 over a three year time period.
Furthermore, if cared for properly, cloth diapers can last through several children so each additional child’s diapers are pure savings.
I decided to do cloth diapers purely as a savings but I have found that Daniel is much happier with them. When he is in the nursery they sometimes put him in a disposable and he is very uncomfortable in them. He giggles happily as soon as I change him back into the cloth. I find that to be a good endorsement. Also, he has never had a diaper rash and I hear that children in cloth diapers potty train sooner, I look forward to finding out if that is true.