When my youngest was about six month's old, my husband and I decided we were probably maybe most likely not having any more kids so there was no reason to hang on to all of our baby stuff. So as my little guy grew out of each phase of babyhood, I thrifted, Craigslisted, and Freecycled the clothes, shoes, bottles, toys, mobile, bedding, bouncy seat, and exersaucer that had gotten me through three babies, and then I stored the rest in a box in my attic.
You know what's in that box? The treasured baby possessions that I just couldn't bear to part with?
- the outfit all three of my boys were christened in
- the Moby wrap I got for my last baby that sparked a Moby wrap fad among my friends
- two sizes of Fuzzibunz diapers and Thirsties wraps
Cloth vs. disposables is one of those never-dying green arguments, and you can find studies to support whatever side you're on. For the record, I'm a fan of cloth, but I'm not diehard cloth for two reasons:
- There are enough reasons to feel stressed out and guilty as a parent without having to worry about what's on your baby's butt.
- We're not full time cloth users - we use cloth during the day and disposables at night.
How much can you save by using cloth?
I sat down last night and did some math, and according to my calculations, here's the breakdown:
A disposable-diapered baby goes through appproximately 5,715 diapers in three years.
- If you're a Huggies fan, you would spend roughly $1,285 on diapers over three years.
- If you used the Target brand, you would spend roughly $971 on diapers over three years.
- If you chose Seventh Generation, you would spend roughly $1,657 over three years.
- If you used only Fuzzibunz Perfect Size pocket diapers, you would spend roughly $1,242 on three sizes of diapers.
- If you went with Fuzzibunz One Size diapers, you would spend roughly $684 on diapers.
- If you chose Chinese prefolds with Thirsties wraps, you would spend roughly $282.
- If you used organic prefolds with Thirsties wraps, you would spend roughly $333,
- If you went with Chinese prefolds with wool soakers, you would spend roughly $354.
- If you chose organic prefolds with wool soakers, you would spend roughly $405.
These prices are rough estimates, and in the the cost of cloth, I haven't included the extra water, energy, and detergent you would use to wash the diapers. On the other hand, I also haven't included the fact that most cloth diapered kids potty train much earlier than kids in disposables or the cost of the Pull Ups many of my friends have had their children sleep in for a year or two after potty training. I've never once bought a package of Pull Ups, and I've potty trained two boys.
I also didn't include that cloth diapers last and last and last. I've used mine on three kids, and they could easily last a couple more kids. And our old Chinese prefolds make the best cleaning rags.
My husband and I didn't go the cheapest cloth diapering route, we started using cloth halfway through having babies, and we still use some disposables. And yet, we've still managed to save a lot of money by choosing cloth. So while the jury is still out on whether or not cloth diapers are the greenest option, they are definitely the cheapest green option.