One of the biggest reasons people are not interested in cloth diapering is because of the startup costs. In fact, this was the reason it took me so long to get into cloth diapering. I knew that cloth diapering would save me money in the long run, but I was already spending $50 a month on disposable diapers and couldn't afford to spend the $500 or so it would cost to purchase 24 cloth diapers.
I have come up with a plan that will give you a stash of 12 t-shirt diapers with covers, 12 pocket diapers, and 3 all-in-one diapers, and will cost you an average of $48.98 a month (including the cost of disposables until you get switched over!). Sound good?
Okay, here’s the plan:
Ask around and collect 12 soft t-shirts for t-shirt diapers. You can use a toddler t-shirt for a newborn and an extra large adult t-shirt for a toddler. Use whatever size seems best. Also this month, purchase diaper pins, covers, and diaper detergent.
When you run out of cloth diapers, put a disposable on your baby (I started out using disposables at night and cloth during the day). Remember that this month will be the most difficult. You will have to wash every day, keep dirty diapers in plastic bags, and dunk the nasty diapers in the toilet (unless your baby is exclusively breastfed, then you can just toss it in the wash!). But remember, it’ll get easier!
12 T-Shirts: Free
Disposable diapers: $50
Diaper Covers: $27.80 (4 for $6.95 each)
Diaper Detergent: $11.95
Diaper Pins: $1.95
Total for first month: About $91
This month will be where things get a bit easier in your wash routine. Purchase a diaper pail liner or a wet bag and a diaper sprayer.
Diaper Pail Liner: $14.95
Diaper Sprayer: $32.99
Total for second month: About $47.94
This is the month you get to try pocket diapers! You’ll need to be patient a while longer, however, as the shipping may take around 30 days.
12 Sunbaby Diapers: $60
Total for third month: About $60
If you have stuck it out this far, you’ll probably need to invest in a larger container of detergent. Shop around, investigate, and pick out what suits your family the best.
Diaper Detergent: $34.95
Total for fourth month: About $34.95
These next two months are the fun months! This month pick out one fun diaper, any kind you’ve been wanting to try!
One Fun diaper: $20
Total for fifth month: About $20
Celebrate your cloth diapering journey by purchasing two fun diapers!
Two Fun Diapers: $40
Total for sixth month: About $40
Total Cost to transition to Cloth in 6 months: About $293.89 ($48.98 per month)
Total Cost to use disposable diapers for 6 months: About $300 ($50 per month)
(If you want to break it down even further, it costs about $1200 to use disposable diapers for 2 years, or $1800 to use disposables for 3 years. Your cloth diapers will last you much longer than that!)
What other concerns have prevented you or people you know from cloth diapering?