How I Saved $400 Using Cloth Diapers

Saving more money is a good thing, but there is always a catch. Before our daughter was born, my husband suggested we invest in cloth diapers. We both strive to be as environmentally conscious as we can, but cloth diapers!?! No thanks.  I would have more than enough on my plate with a newborn, I did not need add more to my ‘to-do’ list. To which, my husband had a simple solution, he would manage the diaper laundry. I reluctantly agreed to try it out.

Hands down, it is one of the best decisions we have made. 

Not all Cloth Diapers are Made Equal.

Once we crossed the first hurdle of deciding on cloth diapers, the next was deciding on which brand of diapers to invest in, I quickly learned not all cloth diapers are equal. Some are pre-folded, some have outer shells, some with inserts and some without! After doing our research we knew we wanted Image of Cloth Diaper with Safari Printa diaper with a good quality shell, adjustable/one-size, and easily manageable.

We decided to use Fuzzibunz diapers because we liked the fun colorful patterns, the quality of the outer shell and the removal insert.  

The next decision was deciding on how many diapers to buy. We decided to buy 3 bundles, each bundle contains 6 diapers. Which meant washing diapers every 2-3 days. Our total investment was $250.00. Although steep, these diapers are good until baby girl reaches 36 months – in other words – until baby girl is potty trained. 

The average cost of disposable diapers is $800-$900 for baby’s first year. 

The Procedure.

Image of open cloth diaper shell and insert

After a diaper change, we take the used diaper, remove the insert and rinse both the shell and insert with a water sprayer.  The used diapers go into a wet-pail until laundry day. We keep two wet-pails one on each floor and a wet-bag for diapers when on-the-go.

The Challenges.

The first challenge we faced was the delay in using cloth diapers. The bundles we bought were for babies 3 – 36 months or 10 – 40 lb. Our little girl was just shy of 8 pounds when we brought her home, we waited until she was 10 pounds before introducing the cloth diapers. 

The next challenge we faced was nighttime diaper changes. Cloth diapers require frequent changes, compared to disposable diapers. This was fine during the day, but at night it was a non-starter. We initially tried doubling up the inserts, which lead to an uncomfortable baby and frequent night time changes, of baby and bed sheets. After doing some more research, we decided to use disposable diapers at night and cloth diapers during the day. 

We faced a similar dilemma when it came to traveling. The thought of traveling with a wet-bag full of used diapers in the middle of July in Florida was terrifying. Instead, we decided to stick with disposable diapers while traveling. 

The total we spent on disposable diapers to date is approximately $200.

So Far, So Good.

Although I was reluctant to try cloth diapers initially, I can honestly say I am a big advocate of cloth diapers now. Not only is it a big savings, roughly $400 for the first year, but it is easy to do and I feel better knowing I am having a positive impact on our environment. 


2 Responses to How I Saved $400 Using Cloth Diapers

  1. Theresa February 9, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    Question: have you factored in the utility costs associated with the extra laundry? Especially since cloth requires a pre-wash and an extra rinse. What about the soap? Can’t use detergent with cloth diapers. Need to use a gentle soap. Also, did you buy a wet bag? What about more expensive diaper creams? Can’t use Desitin with cloth. These extra costs often get left out of the equation. I have 3 kids and tried cloth for 6 months with my second. I spent a significant amount of time analyzing all these extra costs and found they added up quickly (had a spreadsheet and calculated utility costs based on my appliance user guide). The costs encouraged me to switch back to disposable. Also, I lived in MIA at the time and were under a water restriction. I felt guilty using water on the extra loads.

    • suketashah February 22, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

      I did not factor in the cost of laundry or soap because I use the same sensitive soap I use for the rest of my baby’s clothes, same thing with the extra rinse. I did buy a wet bag plus some extras. We use a diaper cream- Desitin, when we use disposable diapers but not with cloth. From what I have read/ experienced the cloth diapers are suppose to prevent disappear rashes.