Are Cloth Diapers Cheaper Than Disposable?
A major question that has been asked in my household is are cloth diapers cheaper than disposable because we will be having another bundle of joy in our household soon! So, we wanted to know what the truth is.
Really, the major question is how you plan on taking care of those diapers. If you are planning on cleaning them yourself, then cloth will be cheaper, but if you go with a service, you may actually spend more than disposable diapers.
However, there are many other things to consider when asking are cloth diapers cheaper than disposable? There is a great article from LibertyvillePatch that addresses this question:
One huge expense right off the bat is, you guessed it, diapers. Americans spend approximately $7 billion on diapers each year. Diapers (the disposable kind), on average, can cost upward of $2,500. That is not small change, particularly if you have more than one child, which will double or triple those numbers. Take into account that the average child probably will go through 7,500 diapers until fully potty trained.
Looking at those numbers, you would think that most parents would be going the cloth diaper route — for cost savings alone! Cloth diapers are one-tenth the cost of disposable, anywhere from $400 to $1,400 depending on whether they are pre-fold or fitted. The cost upfront may be more, but in the long run (especially if you have two or more children), it’s cheaper to go cloth.
The article continues in the “are cloth diapers cheaper than disposable” debate by talking about the possible intangibles.
Gross factor: Cloth diapers often get a bum (ha!) rap since they are “washable” and dealing with poopy diapers is bad enough — but then to have to wash it too? From what I’ve read, it’s not as bad as you would think — and most parents who choose cloth over diaper have found the benefits outweigh the negatives. Diaper services are available and can cost anywhere from $50 to $80 per month. Some parents even use both types — cloth diapers during the day and disposable at night or on trips.
Safety: Disposable diapers often contain trace amounts of chemicals and toxins and airborne irritants due to the materials used. A gel-like substance, called sodium polyacrylate, which helps with absorbency (fewer leaks) has been linked to allergic reactions and toxic shock. Just something to take into consideration.
Environment: One issue is whether or not cloth diapers have less environmental impact than their counterparts. We’ve all heard how landfills are full of disposable (non-biodegradable) diapers – approximately 18 billion are thrown away each year. Cloth diapers do require water and energy to wash, but they still come out slightly ahead of disposables in terms of which is “greener.”
From my perspective just looking at cost savings, cloth wins — but there are many variables and you need to decide what is right for you and your baby! Whatever you decide, cloth or disposable, do your research, comparison shop and use those coupons!
So, you have to ask yourself whether these issues win out. Are cloth diapers cheaper than disposable? They may be, but you still have to consider all of the issues, especially the “gross factor” when considering to go cloth. So will I? haven’t decided yet, but this is a great list of things to consider first.