Cost of Cloth Diapers – a Real Savings
There are a number of reasons for looking into alternatives to using disposable diapers, such as cloth diapers. But the two that are most striking are the financial benefits and the environmental benefits.
When initially researching cloth diapers, one may be shocked by the “sticker price” of quality cloth diapers. Each diaper may cost as much as $20.00 US. Each baby needs a minimum of 10 to 20 cloth diapers to prevent the need from too many loads of laundry per week. The initial cost can be as much as $400. However, that is the only material cost for three to four years because the cloth diapers are reusable and sizable for babies from 7 to 35 pounds.
So what is the cost advantage? Lets look at disposable diaper costs first:
An average baby uses about 8 disposable diapers per day at a cost of $0.30 per disposable diaper. At this rate, disposable diapers cost $875 per year. If you extend that cost over the average length of time a baby is in diapers, say 3 years, the total cost for disposable diapers is $2,625!
No let’s look at the cost of cloth diapers:
The cost for 20 sizable, reusable cloth diapers is, as mentioned above, $400. That’s pretty much it. But what about the additional cost of washing them? it costs about $1.50 per wash and you’ll do about 3 per week or less which calculates to $235 per year x 3 years = $705. So your total cost for cloth diapers over three years is $1105.
Compare the two options over three years:
Disposable diapers: $2,625
Cloth Diapers: $1,105
Cloth Diaper Savings: $1,520
Annual savings: $ 506
Saving $506 annually by using cloth diapers is only the beginning. There are serious environmental benefits as well.
* Over the course of the diapering phase, one baby will contribute between 8,000 and 10,000 disposable diapers to landfills.
* It takes 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose if left out in the open and exposed to sunlight and air; but in a landfill, because they are covered by other waste, they will never decompose.
* It is against the law to dispose of feces in landfills; however, this rule is ignored when it comes to disposable diapers. Disposable diapers containing fecal matter leak viruses such as polio and others into the groundwater supply instead of being properly treated at sewage treatment facilities.
* Dioxins produced by the chlorinated plastics used in disposable diapers, have been associated with liver disease, immune system depression, birth defects, cancer and genetic problems in laboratory animals.
Considering the cost of disposable diapers, the potential health hazards to babies and the environmental impact, many families can benefit from alternatives and help save the environment at the same time. The alternative of cloth diapers can save families money as well as help save the Earth.
About the Author
Dawn Michelle educates parents on cloth diapers and other natural, organic and Earth friendly baby products through Baby Sprout Naturals. She specializes in saving families money with healthy non-toxic alternatives. http://www.BabySproutNaturals.com
Disposable VS reusable diapers?
I’m not sure which to use.
I want to use reusable diapers but I dont know about the clean up? What does it entail?
And do they have biodegradable disposable diapers available?
I use reusable cloth nappies. I use a piece of chux cloth as a liner so most of the poop gets chucked out. We have a nappy bucket with a lid that we put water and nappy san in. Simply put the dirty nappy in the bucket to soak and wash them in the machine. I have about 48 nappies so it doesn’t matter if I don’t find time to wash them. I usually do a load every second day.
I don’t believe they ae any harder to use and they are much cheaper then disposable ones.
If you are worried about carying dirty nappies with you when your out you could use disposables for going out and reusables at home. They make scented nappy bags so even if you do have a dirty nappy with you, you can’t smell it.
Cloth Diaper’s Delight