Guest Blogger: Jenn from Earthy Crunchy Diaper: Is it Really Cheaper? The True Costs of Cloth Diapering

One reason, people choose cloth is that it can save them money, but with the high upfront costs is it actually cheaper?  In the long term will you actually save the thousands of dollars that people claim.  In short - Yes, you will save money in the long run, but probably not thousands unless you reuse your diapers on more than one baby.  Being a skeptic I did the numbers out myself.  All of my numbers are based on average baby sizes, and average diaper usage over 2.5 years.  What you will see is that the costs for both cloth and disposable diapers vary.

Disposable Diaper Costs

Disposable diaper costs include the cost of a Diaper Genie, Diaper Genie Refills and Disposable Wipes. The numbers are based on buying 1 weeks worth of diapers at a time.  We did not look at more eco-friendly bands of disposables. The costs ranged from $1435 (Walmart Brand Diapers) to $1920 (Pampers bought at Walmart) for 2.5 years of diapering.

Cloth Diaper Costs

Cloth Diaper costs are based on purchasing 24 diapers, 2 wet bags, 2 pail liners, 36 cloth wipes, a diaper sprayer, and cloth specific detergent. The costs ranged from $505 (Earthy Crunchy Mama Newborn diaper rental + the Flip) to $1,690+ (Earthy Crunchy Mama Newborn Rental + IttiBitti All-In-One Perfect Fits).  Though the costs of cloth diapers can get much higher depending on which diapers you purchase.

Cost Summary:     

Cloth Diapers: Low End  $505, High End  $1,690

Disposable Diapers: Low End $1,435, High End $1,920

Now the final cost many families want to know about are the added water and electrical costs for doing diapers laundry.  The water used to wash diapers is roughly equivalent to a potty trained child using the toilet.  I haven’t seen an increase in our electric bill since starting with cloth diapers.

I also want to note that the savings you see in using cloth diapers will be even more so for each additional child you use them on and if you take good care of them, you can resell them and make up part of your investment!  You sure can’t say that about disposables! To read a more detailed post check out our site or email me at!