When I talk about being a cloth diaper circle leader and teaching 101 workshops to friends with older children in diapers or disposable training pants, I often hear something like “Well it’s too late for us now, maybe if I have another kid…” It’s for those parents that I wanted to crunch some numbers for and let you know how you can still save quite a bit of money.
I started with the cost of one of the most popular pocket diapers on the market, BumGenius, and went from there. You can buy one pocket diaper for $17. (If this turns you off right away, make sure to note that many retailers offer great sales. Some give discounts for buying more than 3 and many retailers offer larger price breaks if you buy in bundles.) I priced out a 186 count box of disposables (on sale) for $45 which averages out to about .25 cents per disposable diaper. Using those numbers, each cloth diaper you buy will be equal to the cost of 68 disposable diapers. So even if you only have a few months in diapers left, buying just one cloth diaper will save you about $5.50 if you use it every day and wash it every night. If you buy just 5 cloth diapers and use all 5 every day and wash them daily, you will save $27.50 in just 3 months. If your little one has just 6 months left in cloth and you buy 5 cloth diapers (enough to cloth diaper part time) you will save a whopping $140! If you buy a full (toddler) stash of 12 pocket diapers for $17 each, wash every day and a half, and use only those cloth diapers, you will save $336 over 6 months!!!!
Have I just blown your mind? Because even though I KNOW there is a lot of money to be saved in cloth diapers, those numbers still look pretty awesome to me! Oh, wait, I forgot about resell value. Make sure to tack on the fact that if you only use your diapers for 6 months (and don’t completely terrorize them by disregarding all washing instructions) your diapers will be in excellent condition. You can resell them online through many sites, through a consignment store, or save money on a baby shower gift by gifting them to another mom who will surely underestimate the money saving power of the gift you handed down to her.
“Janice,” you say, “my kid is in disposable training pants and cloth diapers are no longer an option for us, how can I save money?” The lease expensive disposable trainer I found was $36 for 100. A high quality cloth trainer (that absorbs similar to disposable trainer) will cost anywhere from $19 – $35. But you have to know what you get for that price. The $19 trainer is a GroVia trainer (see the link in my side bar). If it gets soiled you need to change and wash it just like you would change a disposable trainer. I think this trainer is a great night time option. The $35 trainer is a Flip trainer. It comes with one cover (that is wipeable and reusable if it gets soiled with urine) and 5 inserts to absorb 5 accidents. If you get one Flip trainer and two GroVia trainers (for nap and night time) it will cost you $73. If you buy anything over two (100 count) disposable trainers you have made your money back. Cloth trainers also take the pressure off of potty learning. I’m not worried about when my kids finally gain control of their bladder while sleeping because I don’t have to buy any more training pants!
If your child is only in disposable training pants for night time and you buy 2 GroVia trainers and wash every other day, you will make your money back on anything over the cost of one box of disposable trainers. Your child will train faster because they will feel the wetness of their accidents without the mess. Can you say win, win? How much you save will depend on how much potty learning your child has left to do!
Cost savings is hardly the only reason to use cloth diapers and trainers but the purpose of this post is to let you know that it is hardly ever too late to save money by switching to cloth. If you wait until your child only has 3 months in diapers, you can still save $65 by switching exclusively to cloth (12, $17 cloth diapers). That means you are still saving money – even when factoring in the fact that you need to wash them and should buy cloth diaper safe detergent. My advice? Make the switch now! The sooner you switch, the more money you will save!
(This is a repost from 3/16/12)
When I got pregnant with twins, I started looking into an alternative to disposable diapers. When they were newborn, I changed my little ones up to 12 times a day and now, at 18 months, I change them around 7-8 times a day, EACH. The US alone sells between 18 and 23 BILLION disposable diapers every year. The thought of making my own landfill over the first approximately 2 1/2 years of my two babies lives alone made me ill. I wanted to make you aware that there are options and alternatives! Please know that I am in no way judging the billion moms out there who are using disposables. Most of us go with the flow and use the products that the majority of the population uses.
Options! There’s a Hybrid diaper? I thought hybrids were a car..
Yes, a hybrid diaper is one that can be used in a washable, reusable outer shell. This “insert” or diaper is disposable and some are even flushable! The two hybrid diapers I have experience with are gDiapers and GroVia.
gDiapers have a cloth outer shell with Velcro closures toward the back (so baby has less chance to take them off!). The shell also has a breathable plastic liner that snaps in. You place either a disposable/flushable insert or a cloth insert into this plastic liner. I have had great experience with both inserts. (Note: I do find that it is necessary to make sure the plastic liner is tucked into the highest leg crease to prevent leakage) We used the disposable inserts for our babies first 6 months and then gDiapers came out with a cloth insert, called gCloth. Suddenly, cloth didn’t seem so daunting. I was already washing covers… gCloth inserts are a top layer of fleece with a hemp backing. The fleece leaves baby feeling dryer than any other cloth I have found. So, now we use the gCloth inserts on top of a seperate organic Gerber prefold insert. This “doubling” ensures that I can wait 2-2 1/2 hours between diaper changes without leaks. We still use the disposable inserts when we travel. It’s much less bulky to travel with the disposable inserts than the cloth. gDiapers has a great article on cloth vs. disposables vs. hybrid. Read all about it at: www.gdiapers.com/happy-planet/great-debate
GroVia are wonderful diaper covers as well. Their cloth inserts, which are organic cotton, do not have a fleece top layer so I prefer to use only the outer shell. My gCloth inserts (with the Gerber prefold under) fit just wonderfully in these, which makes for a nice compatibility. The GroVia covers are quick drying (you must hang them dry) and come with a choice of snaps or Velcro closures. They are lined with a water resistant layer, which keeps wetness on the inside. GroVia has many different types of diapers. For more info to to: www.gro-via.com.
So, getting down to business. Cost.
As a baseline for our comparison, you can get 228 size 3 Huggies disposables at Costco.com for $50. The gDiaper shells come individually or in kits. You can save a bit and get 6 “pants” with a case of inserts for about $100 or $16.99 each. gDiapers “pants” come in newborn, small, medium & large, so you have to buy the pants as baby grows. GroVia outer shells are a one size adjustable pant. You can get 6 outer shells and 150 disposable inserts for $125 at Costco.com. Additionally, you can buy 128 GroVia disposable inserts from Costco.com for $60. You can get 160 small disposable/flushable gDiaper inserts for $52 (free shipping from Diapers.com or when auto shipped from gDiapers.com). Yes, you pay more to save the environment by going with a hybrid disposable diaper. The real money savings is, however, in going cloth. Imagine not paying for diapers every month! The gDiaper cloth inserts are $30 for a pack of 6 and come in small and med/large. The Gerber organic prefolds that I use as a doubler under the gCloth are $12 for a 6 pack at Babies R Us. So, you have a greater up front cost, when buying diaper covers and cloth inserts, but then you’re done!
With two babies I bought 6 packs (for a total of 36) of the gCloth and the Gerber prefolds each. We use the GroVia and gDiaper pants both to keep from creating any pressure points from constant wear. I like having 10 outer shells per baby. You can make do with less, but I like to have one ready in the diaper bag, and I stuff diapers for an entire day at one time.
There are an outrageous number of options for cloth diapers and a few for hybrid diapers. These were just my favorite – so far!
Next Blog – My day to day use and cleaning of Cloth Diapers
See a picture of the diapers mentioned in the last post below.