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Cloth diapers are a penny pincher’s best friend. Washing them is easy and they keep saving you money the longer you use them.
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If you are hesitant to try cloth diapers, then check out modern-day pocket diapers. These newly designed diapers snap on in seconds. You only need to buy one adjustable size. Adjustable snaps take up the slack and expand for bigger babies.
Consider that a newborn goes through approximately 9 diapers per day. At $.20 each that adds up to about $324 in the first six months. Simple cloth diapers would be paid for two times over. If choosing top-of-the-line pocket diapers you would only be weeks away from paying for the initial investment.
- Constant supply –pay once and never have to buy diapers again. If you have another child you can just reuse the diapers.
- Potty training is quicker with cloth diapers. This is due to the fact that they can feel when they’re wet.
- There is less diaper rash with cloth diapers resulting in a healthier skin.
- You don’t need to buy disposable diaper wipes if you use your own cloth wipes.
- There are no harsh chemicals used with cloth diapers.
- There’s more work involved when washing diapers.
- You need to buy a diaper pail or two to store dirty diapers between loads.
- There’s more initial upfront cost for cloth diapers.
Estimates average between 6 and 8 diapers per day per child. For 2.5 years in diapers this accumulates to between 5400 and 7200 diaper changes. Now you know why you’re so tired.
For disposable diapers bought in bulk, expect to pay about $.20 per diaper. This adds up to a total cost between $1095 and $1460 for the diaper years.
Now when we look at cloth diapers, we need to calculate the initial cost and the running costs. It won’t cost anymore than $450 to get set up with 20 and 24 pocket diapers. If you’re willing to use plain cloth diapers this figure drops like a rock. In this case all you need are a stack of cloth diapers and about 20 covers. This assumes you are going to wash every 2 to 3 days. A pack of 10 three-ply prefold diapers is only about $12. Covers are the expensive part here and range from $5 to $10 each when you buy in bulk. Total investment is only a $137
The following table summarizes the calculations:
|Pocket Diapers||Plain Clothe Diapers||Disposable (low use)||Disposables (high use)|
|Diaper Cost (ea)||$18.75||$6.85||$0.20||$0.20
|Total Diapers Used||24||20||5475||7300|
|Total Running Cost||$338||$338||$0||$0|
|Total Diaper Cost||$450||$137||$1095||$1460|
|Savings (low use)||$308||$621|
|Savings (high end)||$673||$986|
How hard is it to wash diapers?
We’ve done this for a couple years now and it is just no big deal. This secret is to handle the soiled messes right up front. Immediately after a diaper change, take a soiled diaper and gently shake it into the toilet. For normal movements there’s no need to rinse out the diaper. However, diarrhea diapers should be rinsed out briefly in the toilet before placing in the diaper bag.
It’s helpful to spray diapers with an enzyme solution to completely knock out most odors. This is done right as you put it into the diaper bag. You can order some enzymes solution here.
If using pocket diapers be sure to take out the liner before putting it in the diaper bag. Separating the liner from the pocket ensures that it’ll get clean. If using generic cloth diapers just toss them in the bag.
On wash day take the filled diaper bags and invert them directly into the washing machine. There’s no need to touch anything with your bare hands. You really need to invert the bag so that you can clean the inside. Add about quarter cup of Oxyclean or equivalent in the bottom of the machine. For heavily soiled diapers run a rinse cycle before you do the wash cycle. Pre-rinsing is unnecessary if the diapers are not excessively soiled. Just run on the sanitized function or extra heavy duty without pre-rinsing.
One thing to note it’s best to use additive free laundry detergent for anything that touches your baby’s skin.