This will show you a break down (approximate break down) of the costs of disposables and Cloth diapers. For Sposie Math one, I will make the following assumptions:
-You are a great shopper and buy well priced disposables that are $.25 a piece. Some disposable are as much as $.38 a piece, so keep in mind if you use name brands or have high taxes in your area, you pay more for each disposable.
-You decide to use mainly pockets to diaper. There are cheaper and other options. I will profile one of the more expensive way to cloth diaper now, and the cheapest way later.
-You change diapers 7 times a day. My daughter is three months old right now, and thats probably about right for us.
-You have a moderate to light wetter. A heavier wetter may need other inserts or another system, etc...
-You choose to go with a sized diaper.
OK, here we go.
7 disposables a day at .25=$1.75 a day in diapering
Lets say you bought a "stash" of brand new pocket diapers. They will run you roughly $17 a piece, and will include one standard insert. If you wash every other day, 15 will be enough.
15 diapers at $17 each= $255
Also, to diaper full time, you'll need a few things:
Pail Liner- $15.00 (you can use other, cheaper alternatives, but to buy one online...)
2 hemp inserts to use at nights- $6 each, so $12
You'll need to change 1128 diapers to "break even." Thats about 161 days, 5 and a half months.
May seem like a lot. Except when you are done with your size small stash- you can re-sell them. Lets say you get $12 a diaper when you re-sell (which is reasonable after one child, in EUC).
You'll get back $180. So, you've actually only spent $108 to diaper through the size small stage. Thats only 408 changes, so 58 days, less than 2 months.
So, for the cost of two months of disposables, you've diapered your child for 6 months (what I would say is average for a child to outgrow smalls. However- I've known 2 month old children who have zoomed through smalls- and 1 year old children still in smalls).
Now- because we've gone a sized route, and you've sold all your diapers- you have to do it again
Except you can re-use the pail liner and hemp. You will however, want to add some sort of sprayer to your home when your child starts on solid foods, so you can rinse your diaper (no touching toilet water). They cost about $40.
So for a medium stash,
15 x $17= $255 + $40 for the sprayer means you'll spend $295 for your medium stash.
Sell them again when you are done. You get back $180. You spent $115.
To break even in your medium stash, you'll need to change 460 diapers. 66 days, a little over two months.
Again "average" will be that your child is in mediums for a year. So you've just saved 10 months worth of disposables.
And now its time for larges. This time- you don't need anything special. Just the dipes.
So again, 15 x $17 = still $255 Sell them again for $180. You've spent $75.
300 changes, 43 days, a month and a half to break even.
Lets add that together. You've spent $298 to cloth diaper your average sized child (will be more if you have a large child who needs Ex-large- less if you have a small child who stays in mediums) until potty training.
I've just googled it- the first study to come up says 37mths is the "average" time to potty train. Thats a little over age 3, so lets just make it 36 months for the sake of my sanity.
7 diapers a day x 30 days a month x 36 months= 7,560 changes
Now wait a minute- what about the cost of utilities and soap?
I have cloth diapered from the beginning. However- I've been told by many mothers they noticed no change in their utility bills. So, I'm going to say the utilities go up $5 a month. I have used half a bottle of soap in my 3 months of diapering- so for 3 years, I'll say you need 6 bottles of soap. Soap costs me under $3 a bottle.
$5 x 36= $180
$3 x 6= $18
We'll add $198 to the $298 you've spent on diapers. So total, you've spent $496 to cloth diaper your child for three years.
So, you've now spent $.07 a change to cloth diaper.
7560 changes x $.25 a disposable= $1890 for three years (this does not count pull-up type diapers, which are more expensive)
You can cloth diaper for your child's three years in diapers for the same amount you spend on 6 1/2 months of disposables. Not counting wipes.
What if you decide to keep your diapers for your next child? In the example above, you've made back $540 with selling your diapers.
$496 + $540 = $1036 you've spent on diapers
$1036 / 7560 changes = $.13 a change for your first child only. Your second, and third, are free.
You've now cloth diapered for 108 months for the same price disposables would have cost for about 18 months. Thats 7 and a half years of free diapering.
Lets see what you'll save using a one size option.
15 x $17 = $255 still.
$255 / 7560 changes = $.03 a change.
You have now cloth diapered your first and second child for less than 5 months of disposables.