I’ve always been a proponent of cloth diapers, but I know that most parents these days opt for disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are better for the environment because they are reusable, not only for one child, but for as many as 4 other children. Disposable diapers may seem more convenient, but diaper service is just as convenient and costs just about the same amount. You change the diaper and throw it in a pail. You get a new clean batch twice a week. Just as easy as disposable diapers.
Now what about buying and washing cloth diapers? Ewww!!! I don’t want to touch poop. Well surprise surprise, you are going to touch more much poop changing the diaper than you are going to washing it.
There are these not so new things called diaper liners. They are a tough, washable paper type of material. When you diaper your baby, you lay one on top of the diaper, then diaper the baby. No poop, then throw the whole diaper into the diaper pail. If there is poop, take the liner with the poop and flush it down the toilet. When you’re at the end of the diapers, take all of them throw them in the washer like any other load of clothes, put them in the dryer, and you start all over again. Oh, did I say how much cheaper they are?
You buy cloth diapers once, and you’re done. http://itsaparentparenting.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/diapers-150×200.jpg
Here’s the breakdown:
5 dozen diapers: $204.00
diaper wraps-4 each newborn, small, medium,large: $108
diaper doublers (increase absorbency at night) -(18) $29.85
Diaper pail: $22.95
Diaper pail liner: $16.50
Diaper pail deodorizer (package of 6):$3.95
Total expenditure for diapering 1-4 children: 406.10
To be fair, the cost of laundering needs to be included in the cost breakdown.
Laundry (based on 6,500 diaper changes, 24 changes/wash-load = 271 loads):
Detergent (@. 27/load x 271 loads) $73.17
diaper pail additive (8oz. of vinegar @ .15/load) $40.65;
water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal;
rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @$.0067 = .46/load) $124.66;
natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @$.0015 =.03/load) $8.13;
power to run dryer (5.76 kw/hr. for 1 hour., 5.7kwh @. 07 = .40/load) $108.40;
power to run washer (.76kwh @. 07 = .05/load) $13.55;
depreciation on washer and dryer (.16 for washer .09 for dryer = .25/load) $67.75
= $436 ($1.60/load).
$436 for laundry + $406 for cloth diapers and accessories diapers= $842.
Disposable Diaper Costs:
Disposable diapers get more expensive as they get larger, but the average cost is about $.35/diaper. Based on 6,500 changes (average 7 – 8/day), cost would be $2,275. for 2 ½ years. However, babies diapered in disposables tend to be changed less often than babies diapered in cloth. Based on an average of 5 – 6 changes/day, cost for 5,019 diapers would be $1,757. Cost of 1,500 disposable wipes would be about $100., making the totals $1,857 to $2,375. (average .37/change)
If you consider that it costs $1015.00-1533 more to use disposable diapers, that you don’t have to touch poop, and that with the 6 dozen diapers I figured on, you only need to wash diapers once a week (and how long does it take to throw a load of laundry into the washing machine then into the dryer that doesn’t need to be folded, why would you put 1500 diapers into a landfill and spend an extra $1000 to $1500 dollars? Oh and don’t forget the bonus…. if you have a second, third or fourth baby, everything is already paid for except for the diaper liners and laundering, so their diapers are virtually free.
I look forward to your comments…..