Kids

Are Cloth Diapers Worth the Savings

There are actually two big concepts I focus on here at Momma’s Utopia. One of them is my budget and the other is my sanity. I strive to save money, without making things overly complicated. The questions is, where do cloth diapers fall on that spectrum?

Everyone knows that your can save money on cloth diapers. But, no one really knows if they are worth the extra effort. Where does your trade off stop?

How Much Do Cloth Diapers Save You?

If you compare the cheapest disposable diapers with the different kinds of cloth diapers, you get different savings for each one. As you can see, the less convenient they are, the more money you will save in the long run.

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Cost Comparison Table

Up & Up Disposable Diapers
Econobum Prefolds & Covers
Fitted Diapers & Covers
BumGenius One Size Pocket Diaper
BumGenius Freetime AIO
Initial Cost
$0
$146.86
$406.60
$502.60
$558.60
Average Monthly Detergent Costs
$0
$2.54
$2.54
$2.54
$2.54
Average Monthly Water/Electric/Trash Costs
$5
$13.38
$13.38
$13.38
$13.38
Average Monthly Diaper Cost
$29.58
$0
$0
$0
$0
Total Cost for 2 1/2 years
$1,037.36
$624.46
$884.22
$980.22
$1,036.22
Total Cost for 2 1/2 years with Hand Washing
$1,037.36
$223.06
482.80
$578.80
$634.80

*If you are curious to see all of the math behind this, you can check out these Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Cost Charts.

How Much Extra Work Are They?

If you are going to hand wash cloth diapers, it will take you some extra time and muscle. This means that you are going to have to plan a time to do it. If life gets too busy or overwhelming, chances are you will break down and throw them in the washer or buy disposables. (That’s what I did.)

Even if you are going to throw them in the washer from the start, you have to make sure you have portable storage for the used one. If you are like me, you could use a plastic grocery bag and just throw the dirty diapers in your diaper bag. But, it starts to get a little smelly when you forget that they are in there. Your best bet is to get those Arm & Hammer bags and empty your car/diaper bag every time you come home. (I never remembered.)

My Final Thought on the Cost/Stress Tradeoff

I tried cloth diapers with my daughter and I really couldn’t stick with it. I was using the Econobum prefolds with covers, and washing them in the bathtub by hand. My total savings would have been around $814 for 2.5 years. That’s $326 per year or $27 per month. I think that the time I spent washing diapers, and stressing that they weren’t going to be clean in time, could have been better spent finding really good deals on diapers to stock pile.

Unless you are doing the cloth thing to be kind to your environment, or for the style factor; I just don’t think they are worth it. They saved me money but made my life less simple too. It wasn’t worth the trade off for me. With baby number 2, we are going to be bargain hunting disposable diapers and stockpiling them before he or she arrives.

If I knew, I was going to have 2+ children before I had my first – I would have invested in a bunch of the all in one cloth diapers. They would give me the same convenience as regular diapers for the most part, and I could reuse them with each kid.

What do you think? Would you trade convenience for a maximum of $27 per month?

clothe diapers cost
(c) Can Stock Photo

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