Diapers are considered to be every baby’s necessity. While some parents think that using cloth diapers has been a thing in the past, the truth is, it isn’t.
Like anything else, cloth diapers have evolved from plain cloth to cute and fancy designs with multiple inserts you can choose from—each piece of cloth diaper with insert costing anywhere between $5 to $25.
With that price given above, how much money do you save with cloth diapers? Can you save money, or will it cost you even more?
Your savings will be next to zero on your first year of using cloth diapers with the computation given above. This is because you have to consider buying the cloth diapers, getting the right inserts, and stashing up to make sure that you have enough until you can do your next load of laundry.
In your second year, however, this is where the savings come in. You’ll be able to save anywhere between $600 to $800 per year!
Suppose your baby continues to use them on their year three until they are potty trained. In that case, you’ll see a considerable amount of savings from using cloth diapers alone.
Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers: Is It Worth Investing in Cloth?
According to Kate Miller-Wilson of LoveToKnow, a child needs around 7,000 disposable diapers from the moment they were born until they are entirely potty-trained. Suppose one disposable diaper costs $0.30 (some are even more expensive depending on the brand and where you live).
In that case, that’s about $2,400 worth of disposables!
Cloth diapers, on the other hand, have a little bit more investment initially.
Building a stash of 24 diapers for 2-3 days of use during their newborn stages, and may last for up to 1 week as soon as the child has stopped pooping three times a day, you have to spend around $300 initially on average, depending on the type of cloth diaper and inserts that you use.
That’s it – you get to use those 24 cloth nappies in rotation until the child is entirely potty trained.
Some parents even consider buying used nappies for their child to save even more money. Yes – there’s a community of moms and dads selling pre-loved cloth diapers, and you’ll be surprised at how big this thing is.
Some moms advocate using CDs, and social media made it difficult not to see these things.
If you have a second child, you even start to save some more because you don’t have to worry about the upfront costs anymore. It’s possible that you have to consider some wear and tear and replace either the shell or the insert, but that’s it.
You have a stash of diapers that you may consume and use for your second child without having to worry about all the monthly costs of buying diapers every time you run to pick up your groceries.
Things to Take Into Consideration When Using Cloth Diapers
Unlike disposable diapers, which you can wear, dispose of, and forget, cloth diapers have a learning curve. Since they’re reusable, you have to consider buying a detergent safe for your cloth diaper, a diaper pail, some wet bags, and a diaper pail liner.
While they won’t take a considerable chunk out from your budget, you have to remember that you’ll be spending time washing these nappies.
Aside from washing the diapers, you also have to “stuff” the diaper. To give you a brief overview, most cloth diapers are made up of an outer shell and some diaper stuffers.
These staffers are the cloth and absorbent parts of the nappy, while the shell holds the design, the locks, and keeps the stuffer inside the diaper in place. There’s the extra effort needed from your end to compensate for the substantial yearly savings you’ll get just by opting to use CDs rather than disposables.
While parents who use cloth diapers claim that they never have to run to the store to get a pack of diapers in the middle of the night, you have to remember that you have to load them in the laundry instead, make sure that you have a batch that is ready to use before your last piece of cloth diaper gets soiled.
Another thing to consider is that cloth diapers come in different types, along with various brands. The most common are hybrid-fitted cloth diapers and shell types.
They come in cute designs – but don’t be swayed by these fancy colors and impressive prints. It takes a little bit of research to find the right one based on your budget and your family’s needs.
Some cloth nappies require more maintenance than others, and you should take this into account if you’ve decided to take this course.
Can They Be Used Overnight?
Yes – some certain brands and designs are designed for overnight use and heavy wetters. You may have to take a look around in the market, check for reviews, but you’ll surely stumble upon a diaper or two that is perfect for heavy wetters.
Take note, though, that cloth diapers won’t last long compared to disposable diapers, and you may have to change your child often.
Other Benefits of Cloth Diapers
Besides helping you save money on your second year of using it, cloth diapers are also considered environment-friendly. Just remember that your child may consume around 8,000 pieces of disposables throughout their diaper-wearing phase.
By choosing cloth, you’re contributing 7,000 less disposable diapers from your household alone. Just imagine how much more you can save if every home with a child in your neighborhood has opted for cloth.
Next up – the designs! Moms go crazy about this. You’ll even be surprised to find moms who are trading some unopened ones because they wanted the print to be laid on the bum perfectly.
It sounds hilarious, but these things happen. Can you imagine these little bubbas crawling around with those cute little prints on their bum?
This is another fantastic advantage of cloth diapers – as you can go crazy with designs, patterns, and colors.
CDs are also easy on the skin, which makes a great advantage for children with sensitive skin. Because no gels or other chemicals are rubbing on their skin, cloth diapers make an excellent choice for parents with kids who have sensitive skin.
Just remember not to keep them soaked to avoid redness or rashes, just like you would with any disposable diaper.
Lastly, you may use it on your second or third child. Cloth diapers are extremely durable that can even last years, given proper detergents and washing conditions are met.
You have to use the right detergent, soak the soiled nappies properly to avoid stains. Ideally, you keep them dry under direct sunlight for best results.
If you don’t plan on having a second child, you may destash and sell your pre-loved nappies for other parents to take advantage of. You’ll be surprised by how many parents are looking for 2nd hand cloth diapers to help them save money on their initial investment.
In the first year, cloth diapers won’t save you anything – but you’ll start to see these savings go up on their second, third years, and so on. Cloth diapers can indeed save you money, ONLY IF you continue using them after their first year.
Otherwise, it may not be a good investment for your family. Consider other factors listed above, such as the time and effort needed to maintain a cloth-diaper-friendly family.