Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Much Will I Really Save??

Back in January 2012, I published a blog post titled, Will I Really Save Money With Cloth?. Since then, I've had a lot of people ask me about the cost comparison when buying diapers with a service like Amazon's Subscribe & Save and Amazon Mom. Many moms have told me that they can save even more buying diapers that way than buying the generic store brands. So, I wanted to update my figures using the Amazon prices.

I also changed the way I figured the amount of diapers. Since most babies use less diapers between 12-24 months, I used a lower amount for the second year.

These figures are based on 10 diaper changes a day for the first 10 weeks and 6 diaper changes a day for the rest of the baby's first year (42 weeks). After the first year, I based our figures on 5 diaper changes a day. Remember, this is the minimum amount. If you've ever had a baby or toddler with a stomach bug, you know there will be days with many more diaper changes.

So, that's a total of at least 2,464 diaper changes the first year and 1,820 diaper changes the second year. Many children aren't potty trained by their 2nd birthday, so you might still have at least another 1,000 diaper/trainer changes before they are three. Keep in mind that trainers cost more and I haven't figured that into our costs. I've also included laundry costs for just cloth diapers, but I know we had a lot more blow outs (so more clothing washed) with disposable diapers than cloth diapers.

Don't forget about the wipes! I estimated about 6 wipes a day. Unless you're my husband, than you'll probably use at least 10 for each poopy diaper.

Even though I included wipes in the cost, I'm not including other accessories for disposable or cloth diapers, such as the Diaper Genie, wet bags, pail liners, diaper sprayer, etc.

The average cost of Pampers Swaddlers Diapers using Amazon Mom and Subscribe & Save was around 20 cents per diaper. The Sensitive wipes are around 3 cents per wipe. If your baby grows out of the Pampers Swaddlers, the Pampers Baby Dry diapers are a little more expensive and those are not included in these costs.
Cost of using Pampers Swaddlers for the first year: $492.80
Cost of using Pampers Swaddlers the second year: $364.00
Cost of using Pampers Sensitive Wipes for two years: $65.52
Total cost after two years: $922.32

But, what if your baby has really sensitive skin? Seventh Generation diapers were the only disposables that didn't make our son break out in a rash. The average cost of those using Amazon Mom and Subscribe & Save is around 25 cents a diaper (the cost is as high as 32 cents a diaper). The Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes are around 4 cents per wipe.

Cost of using Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers for the first year: $689.92
Cost of using Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers the second year: $455.00
Cost of using Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes for two years: $87.36 
Total cost after two years: $1232.28

And now for the cloth diapers:

You can generally expect to spend around $500 to start cloth diapering for enough cloth diapers to last 2-3 days (around 30 diapers).  If you stick with prefolds & covers, your costs will be a lot less. We used cloth wipes that I made myself with old t-shirts, receiving blankets and scraps of flannel. For a wipes solution, you can just use water. Yes, there is the cost of detergent & washing your diapers. The detergent we use costs around $15 and it lasts for at least 45 loads. That's around 33 cents every 2-3 days. If you have an HE machine, that cost is cut in half. Our water & energy bills combined maybe went up $5 but I'm also doing more regular laundry because I have a very messy little boy. :)
If you use cloth diapers longer than 2 years or for more than one child, you'll save even more! Disposable diaper costs will double each year and for each child. But, if you take good care of your cloth diapers, you can use them for multiple children over many years. The only extra costs you'll have with cloth diapers are the laundry costs. And, you can also resell used cloth diapers that are in good condition for around 50% of the retail price!

Enough Cloth Diapers to wash every 2-3 days: Approx $500
Cloth Wipes (use old t-shirts & receiving blankets with water) :$0
Laundry Costs for two years: Approx $100
Total for two years: $600

I made up some handy little charts that make it easier to compare the cost of disposable diapers to some of the more popular cloth diaper brands that we carry. Each cloth diaper cost includes enough for 30 diaper changes. 

*Quick note - Rumparooz OS Aplix diapers are on sale right now for $17.95, so a full stash of 30 would only cost you $538.50! 

Costs for one child over 2 years.
*Prefolds & Cover costs include 12 Covers and 30 Prefolds; GroVia Hybrid and Sweet Pea AI3 costs include 12 Shells and 30 Soaker Pads

Diaper costs for 2 children, each wearing diapers for 2 years.

If you want to compare the costs for other cloth diapers, or for multiple brands, try the calculator over at Diaper Pin. -


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