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Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers

by Ryan Guina

My wife and I discussed cloth and disposable diapers before we had our first child. We were both intrigued by the idea of using cloth diapers for several reasons – possible cost savings, environment, better for child, convenience of not having to run to the store a couple times per week. Of course, we had our doubts as well. How much would they cost? Would they leak? How much of a pain would it be to do laundry? etc.

So we did what we do for any other major purchase/decision. We researched it and talked to people we knew who had used cloth diapers. Let me tell you the first thing we found out: The cloth diapers manufactured today are not the kind of cloth diapers that were available when we were raised! We were concerned about having to fold the diapers around a squirming baby and fastening them with pins (not a fun sounding proposition). But cloth diapers made now may have many features that weren’t around just a few decades ago, they may have liners, plastic coverings, Velcro or button fasteners or a host of other features. In short, we were intrigued.

Benefits of using cloth diapers

Cloth diapers have the obvious advantage of being reusable. That is a great benefit for the environment, and saves you the hassle of going to the store in the middle of the night (though it doesn’t save you from the hassle of washing them, but more on that later). Cloth diapers can also be better for the baby because some disposable diapers have plastics or other chemicals which can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.

Durability of cloth diapers

Cloth diapers can be used dozens if not hundreds of times before they wear out. Our friends have used their set of cloth diapers through three children and they are still holding up fine. And durability leads directly to long term cost savings. Obviously using them for three children will more than cover the cost of the diapers, but they should pay for themselves relatively quickly even if you only have one child.

How much do cloth diapers cost?

Prices for cloth diapers vary, from a couple dollars each, to more than $15 each. But the quality and features also vary. We currently use a one-size-fits-all model made by BumGenius, which run about $17 each at Amazon (though they can be found cheaper sometimes). We also tried a couple other brands but preferred the BumGenius brand (some companies will send you a free or discounted sample to try).

The beauty of cloth diapers is that while the upfront cost is much higher, the ongoing cost is much lower. Once you purchase them you are only paying for laundry detergent and the energy to wash/dry them. [Note: I've also known people who have passed along cloth diapers to other family members or bought/sold them on Craigslist, bot h of which could be a cheaper option if you are willing to do either].

The cost of disposable diapers

Contrast that to disposable diapers, which must be purchased for each use (raise your hand if you’ve ever used 3 diapers to complete one change because your baby decided changing time meant going time). Prices for disposable diapers also vary, ranging anywhere from roughly $.10 each to over $.25 each. Babies will use anywhere from 6-10 diapers per day, putting your average cost at roughly $.60-$2.50 per day, or about $20 to $75 per month (depending on brand and number of diapers used). Figure roughly 2 years or more of diapers and you are looking at $480 – $1800 literally thrown away.

Which is cheaper – cloth or disposable

Again, the upfront costs of cloth diapers are high enough to scare many people away.

$17 for a diaper?! Get out of here – I’ll buy a pack of 80 Huggies Ultra Elite Super Stopper Biodegradable disposables with a pretty print pattern, thank you very much.

And you’ll buy another pack next week. And another the week after that… and guess what, it’s 10pm and you just used your last diaper. Off to the grocery store you go.

Or, you can use this diaper calculator from DiaperPin.com and run some numbers. Enter the per unit cloth diaper cost, how many you will purchase, and the cost of your preferred brand of disposable diapers. Run the calculator and it will return how long it will take to recoup your initial expense, then show you cost savings over the following months. In most cases it should take only a couple months before you come out ahead and you should save well into the hundreds of dollars by the time you anticipate no longer needing diapers (this may not ring true if you pay for a diaper cleaning service).

Tip: if you are still concerned about cost, then be sure to add them to your baby registry for your baby shower.

Washing and caring for cloth diapers

OK, I know what you’re thinking… Cloth? Gross! Sure. But no more than any other diapers. The key is to deal with them quickly and not to let them pile up. There are several diapers bins designed specifically for cloth diapers, or you can just rinse them out immediately after use, hang them to dry over the side of the tub, then wash them in a batch of other diapers. Use a double rinse cycle if it makes you feel better, then dry them in your clothes dryer or hang them to dry. It’s not too much of a hassle, really. (tip: fasten the velcro on each diaper before washing – it will make washing/drying much easier!). More info about caring for cloth diapers.

Which diapers are better – cloth or disposable?

After 6 months of parenting, I can tell you this: Cloth diapers are great. We have only had one or two instances of leakage, which is about the same as what we have had with disposables. But we don’t use them exclusively. We typically use cloth diapers throughout the day, then use disposables at night, and anytime we plan on being away from the house for an extended period of time – especially overnight trips. We have no desire to carry dirty diapers with us, and asking friends or relatives to use their washing machine to wash dirty diapers probably isn’t the most polite thing in the world. Which is better? I think they are both great and I encourage you to try cloth if you have young children. The cost and environmental benefits will make it worth your while. Then use disposable diapers for what they were intended for: a convenience.


Published or updated February 28, 2011.
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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle

I used a diaper service – I bought the covers & ‘rented’ enough of the old style per week – which were delivered then picked up and laundered and returned. Primarily because I am not a good launderer – I’d rather go through every item in my wardrobe then spend a full day doing wash than tackle it as the week goes by. You CAN’T do that with cloth diapers… The service cost $50 per month, but again, I did no diaper laundry, so the water/energy/time savings I feel made it worthwhile. Just another option that might help the squeamish who couldn’t face piles of messy diapers…

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2 Ryan

Thanks for sharing, Michelle.

I definitely understand not wanting to wash the dirty diapers yourself! We end up doing the diaper laundry pretty frequently, but we don’t mind too much. We didn’t look into a diaper cleaning service, so I didn’t do a full comparison of the costs of DIY laundering, diaper service or disposables. I’m sure the service is worth it in many instances. :-)

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3 Michelle

And though I’ve only the one child to compare, she was potty trained for daytime at just under 2 years – so we switched to night-time only diapering…I believe the adage that cloth diapering encourages earlier potty training, but ymmv.

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4 Mike

We never had the courage to try cloth since we thought it would be more hassle and gross. In retrospect, that sort of thing is “gross” no matter what you do, so maybe we should have given it a go since it sounds like it is a lot cheaper.

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5 Ryan

Well said, Mike. There’s nothing pretty about it! It’s worked well for us, and many people we know, so it may work for you too.

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6 Don@MoneyReasons

Wow, nice hybrid solution! Talk about the best of both world!

You might want to make sure your washing machine hot water gets hot…hmmm, I’m not even going to finish this thought. Based on all of your posting, I’m sure you have throughly researched this option.

Kudos to you!

“Go Green”!

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7 Squawkfox

I’m all about making better choices for the environment. My friends have used cloth diapers for years, and reuse the same diapers for the second child as well. Sounds pretty smart to me. ;)

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8 Ryan

It works well for us. We use the hybrid approach though, because sometimes convenience is more important. But they do make biodegradable disposable diapers, so all is not lost. :-)

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9 Liane

I used cloth diapers for both kids (they’re now teens), and my mom actually found velcro cloth diapers at a consignment shop for me – so no pins! Since I was a stay-at-home mom back then, it was super convenient for me to launder them and hang them out to air dry. Never had a problem with leaking or anything, and the times my kids did wear the disposable ones, they almost always had a rash. It’s a dirty job no matter which method is chosen!

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10 Ryan

Glad to hear it worked out well for you, Liane! I don’t know anyone who used cloth diapers who said they wish they would have used disposables. I guess that is testament enough!

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11 Jeri

We’ve used cloth for all 3 of our kids and are glad to have saved the money. Plus, we fit right in with everyone else in PNG who does the same. Once you get used to it, keeping up with the mess doesn’t seem so bad – just like anything you do. One of the best things about cloth diapers is that when they finally wear out, they make the very best cleaning rags!

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12 Wojciech Kulicki

As we get ready for the birth of our first baby this week or the next, this is a timely post.

Perhaps unfortunately, my perception of cloth diapers is that they are “gross.” This is, in part, due to stories from others, and to my blissfully ignorant understanding of how they work, etc.

But on your recommendation, I figured I had nothing to lose by reading this post and educating myself a little.

I think you did a fantastic job of covering the basics. It’s pretty obvious that cloth diapers win out on a cost-to-cost comparison, even if you decide to use a washing service.

I guess what remains to be seen are the actual logistics of caring for them. Like Michelle, we let our laundry linger a little too long.

The Bum Genius, by the way, looks kick-butt (no pun intended). If we go the cloth route, I’ll be all about that one. :)

Thanks again.

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13 Ryan

If you keep a fewer number of diapers, you force yourself to clean them more often, which doesn’t give them a chance to make the house smell. We typically rinse them after use, then hang them over the side of the tub until ready for a load of laundry. We’ve never had problems. I highly recommend trying both options (just purchase one or two cloth diapers to start). If you like them, buy more. If not, then you aren’t out much money.

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14 Nicki at Domestic Cents

Thanks so much for this post. I didn’t cloth diaper with my daughter because I didn’t even know anyone that used them. It’s great to have this information laid out for me!

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15 Ryan

Nicki, My wife and I may not have done it either if we hadn’t known anyone else who did it and explained it to us. I’m glad we started cloth diapers with our first child, as we didn’t really have a prejudice coming into it.

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16 FFB

We looked into cloth but couldn’t psych ourselves to do it. A major issue was the yuck factor. I suppose if you’re rinsing them out then it’s really not much worse then when you have a diaper blowout leading to an up the back leak. This could be something we still look into. Thanks for telling us your experience!

How does the once size fit all diaper actually fit your baby? Our little one is a little chub and went up the sizes pretty quickly (6 mos old and size 3). We’ve found that there are times when the sizes just don’t fit quite right leading to leaks.

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17 Ryan

The one size fits all has never been an issue with us. She has been using the same diapers since she was a newborn (she is currently 6 months and in a size 2), and she still has quite a bit of room to grow. The diapers have buttons on the outside, which you can use to adjust them for length. The legs have elastic that stretches to fit all sizes (from the reviews I read they don’t leave marks, even when the baby gets to the larger sizes). Overall, I’m very happy with the decision to use cloth diapers, though as I mentioned, we still use disposable for travel, and other occasions. Best of luck if you go with them! :-)

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18 nopinkhere

We use a similar hybrid solution. Cloth during the day and disposables at night and while out for long periods. We used to use a diaper service, but it went out of business. They left us with a goodly number of prefolds, so now I just have to wash them myself. One of the things I like about using cloth is that all the waste gets treated appropriately instead of just sitting wrapped in a bunch of plastic and gel. My first child potty trained at around 18 months and I just don’t know if that would have been likely if he’d been in disposables. Thanks for a good description of how you came to your choices!

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19 Dave

Another good tip that’s overlooked– use CLOTH WIPES. Just cut a receiving blanket or soft old t-shirt into squares and wet it before use. Benefits:
– Enviro-friendly
– Cheaper
– Better for baby (no chemicals)
– Helps getting ‘critical mass’ for filling a laundry load (of wipes and cloth diapers)

You may want to go hybrid here as well — disposable wipes for the big messes.

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20 Ryan

Great tip, Dave. We use a few old washcloths sometimes, but also use the hybrid approach – big messes and travel. ;-)

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21 Philippe

We are on our 2nd baby with the same batch of cloth diapers. They are kind of getting pretty worn out by now (2nd child is now 19 months old, the first one used them until almost 3 yo).

We have a diaper system made in two parts: one is the diaper itself, made out of cotton, with velcro strap to attach them, and elastics around the legs, to keep whatever is inside, inside (…); and an vinyl “cover” to go cover the cotton diaper, and make it leak proof. This has tight elastics around the legs and belly. With this system, i’d say we had around maybe less than 10 leakage issues, in almost 4 years of constant use…. Also, we have a very thin disposable liner that goes inside the diaper, and that catches anything “solid”., when we change a dirty diaper, that part does into the toilet, leaving us we more or less a simply wet piece of cotton that we dispose of in a small closed bin until its full enough for laudry. Sure it smells a little when we do laudry, but it’s that bad. We do not need to rinse them. We let our washing machine do that….

At first we were doing it even at night, but at some point we switch to paper diapers at night because taking care of a dirty diaper at 2am isn’t our thing…. Also we use paper when going out overnight or to places we know will not be convenient to carry a dirty diaper.

We also always use baby washcloths instead of disposable wipes. We find it really cleans A LOT better the little messes than disposable wipes…

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22 Ryan

Thanks for sharing, Philippe. We use disposable diapers at night for the same reason – it’s no fun dealing with them at 2am! ;-)

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23 Renee

Thanks for the info on cloth diapering! My son is 7 months old and we’ve been using disposible, but I really want to try it out. I’m debating about which cloth diaper to try out, but really like the idea of a cloth cover and then the plastic insert protecting it. May I ask which kind you use Philippe? I would like to try the kind you are using to see if it would work for my son. Thanks again for all the information! It’s been most helpful!

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24 Philippe

Renee,

This is a link to the website (and the diapers we bought) of the store we bought the diapers from. Since we live nearby, they really were a great help in selecting which one to choose.

We got a “starter kit”, that had diapers, covers, liners, pail, zippered bag for travel, and a bathing diaper fro something around 400$ at the time ( that was about 5 years ago).

I don’t know where you are, but I’m shure they would answer your questions, and tha you could get them delivered to you.

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25 Kristen

Before having my son I went through this entire debate of cloth vs disposable and in the end the savings really won the debate for me. We tried out several different cloth diapers and found FuzziBunz to be the best for us. Now a year later I absolutely love using cloth and have started to sell them locally as well.

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26 Chris W. Rea, BasicallyMoney.com

My wife and I used disposables for our daughter and we spent about CAD $1400 over two years. I shared my own data at http://moms4mom.com/questions/3329/what-can-i-expect-to-spend-monthly-on-disposable-diapers-and-what-do-did-you-spe … I just updated my answer there to link back to your post. This is some good data and will help other parents to decide what’s right for them. Thanks!

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27 Ryan

Chris, Thanks for sharing your data and my article with others. The more information, the easier it is to make an informed decision. :-)

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28 Karen

I have used Fuzzi Bunz since my son was born. He has had 2 diaper rashes, both when we traveled and used disposables. Our house doesn’t stink (other people actually comment on the lack of diaper smell, thinking our son is potty trained). We don’t rinse, we put the diapers in a covered trash pail, and wash every 3 days. Disposables seem very rough to me now in comparison to the fleece in the FBs. It has cost us $800 and we are going on 2 years. We passed our “smalls” to friends and 4 babies have used them so far. We will use the “mediums” til he is potty trained.

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29 Bagu

We have used cloth diapers on our daughter (now 18 mths) since she was 2 months old. Since she was born premature she was tiny and the already ordered cloth diapers did not fit her well. But, since she was 8 weeks old we have been using one size pocket diapers for her. Her day care has also adjusted well with cloth diapering. We tend to exclusively use cloth diapers even at night…we use the fleece overnight diapers by Dry Bees…they are wonderful and super absorbent while keeping the inner surface dry for babies bottom (little bulkier than regular cloth diapers). We do keep it flexible by using disposables at times while traveling long distances or overnight for the same reasons Ryan mentioned…but we try n stick to cloth diapering whenever possible…Go green.

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30 Gary

Yes, this sounds wonderful, but everything is abitrary to the composer (i.e., there is
no factual data backing the real cost of both). Yes, I know that disposable diapers are easy to calculate contingent upon the brand you use and how often you change the baby. Cloth diapers have many hidden cost (e.g., diaper covers, diaper fasteners, extra laundry soap, extra electricity/gas, extra water, possibly extra softener, etc.). With all the hidden cost calculated with inflating prices of energy over the next couple year plus all the parents time (i.e., can be easily calculated with thier current income), disposable diapers win.

Sorry, but I’m not sold.

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31 Scot

The real cost of cloth diapers is certainly something that can be calculated. Cost per load can be calculated here: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html
For our energy rates the total cost of a load of diapers (including a pre-wash and an extra rinse — basically one hot/cold cycle and one cold/cold cycle) is $1.39 including detergent, baking soda in pre-wash, vinegar in first rinse, water costs, and energy costs for both washing and drying. Assuming 25 diapers per load (we probably actually have more most loads) the cost per diaper is $0.055.

Disposables are about $0.20 each depending on the size (going off the prices I see for the big boxes at costco, so that should pretty much be rock-bottom price-wise). Assuming you use something like a diaper genie that adds an extra nickel each, and wipes are about 3 cents each, so the total rate on the low end for disposables is about $0.28.

The sum of every cent we’ve spent on cloth is $1061.44 (prefold diapers, covers, fasteners, pail liners, doublers, cloth wipes, wetbags…everything). We’ve got one more size of diapers (about $100) that we may not end up needing to buy if they potty train soon enough, so lets be conservative and say all told the supplies for cloth diapering will run $1,200. We didn’t put a whole lot of effort into saving on the supplies. There are certainly things that could be done to bring down costs to the $800 or even $500 range (if you want to use flats instead of prefolds).

The estimates I’ve seen for diapers per child are 5,000 to 7,500. Even on the low end, just one kid at 5,000 diapers would basically be a push for us ($1,400 disposable vs. $1,475 cloth). Say we have 3 kids at 6,000 diapers each and it’d be a $3,000 savings with cloth ($5,040 vs. $2,100 cloth). Increase the number of children or diapers per child and the savings continue to increase significantly.

There is little to no extra time required for cloth diapers, so that isn’t really a factor. Maybe a minute at each change, and a few minutes a week to start the loads, but it’s not like you sit there watching the washing machine run. It is also unlikely that the extra few minutes a week you might spend changing/washing cloth diapers are minutes that you would otherwise spend earning extra money, so it doesn’t make sense try to factor that in anyway.

In addition to all the financial reasons, I have found cloth to simply work better. We are reminded every time we go on a trip that requires us to forgo cloth and use disposables. This is most evident when it comes to poopy blow outs (or as we call it, that thing that only happens when we put our kid in disposables). This will vary some depending on your methods, but we use Snappis so there is cloth snug around his waist/lower back. If he even manages to get it past the cloth, the cover almost always catches it. The only (2) times that what would be a blow out in disposables has been any worse than a little spot on his shirt/onesie it has just been a signal that we’d waited too long to move up to the next size.

I think the main reasons more people don’t use cloth are just lack of information (a lot of people probably don’t even realize there is a choice) and the perception of a “yuck factor.” It’s not like you’re swimming in your kid’s poo when you use cloth, and it doesn’t take long to realize that raising kids (or even just raising a kid) is messy business. If cloth scares you because it seems yucky, you’re in for some terrifying years.

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32 karen

The hidden costs shouldn’t be such a big concern. Pocket diapers and all in ones don’t use covers or fasteners, they are part of the diaper. The ones that use those it isn’t a hidden cost, it is right up front. The water and extra gas/electricity are there, but fairly low. The recommendations for washing cloth diapers is 1 tablespoon of detergent, too much interferes with the absorbability of the stuffer as does softener. I researched it for my job, (I work in a hospital nursery) and the low estimates for a potty trained by 2 1/2 yrs child is save $2000 for the first child and subsequent children are diapered for free. Extra costs associated with the already staggering costs of disposables are diaper cream (70% of disposable diapered babies get diaper rash vs 6% of cloth diapered- research published by a disposable diaper manufacter) and parental time (calculated from their income) of running out to buy more diapers and taking out the trash, for some buying a “diaper genie” and the inserts those require. Cloth easily wins.

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33 thuy

I use bumGenius diapers too! The all-in-ones are very well designed. My son is 18 months old now and has been wearing cloth since he was 6 weeks old. My little family has done the hybrid thing too- cloth 80% of the time and disposables 20%. Disposables are for traveling, except when we see family. They think it’s so cute to see the little guy running around in those brightly colored diapers.

Diaper doublers work great for the overnight issues. We bought 24 diapers + 24 doublers and 2 wet bags (for transporting dirty ones from daycare) for $500. That’s it. No diaper ointments, no diaper covers, no diaper fasteners. Our water & electricity bills went up more from washing multiple loads of baby clothes, burp cloths and bibs, than from cloth diapers.

For wipes and disposable diapers, we buy from Sam’s Club. If you’re going to buy disposables, may as well get them for cheaper and buy them in bulk.

As far as the gross factor, my husband was all for using them. So long as I was responsible for washing them. He still takes his turn changing diapers, and I wash all the laundry anyway, so it works out fine for us.

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34 Jennifer

Thanks for the informative article – we’re actually first time parents that have JUST stocked up on our cloth diaper arsenal -we’ve decided to go the pre-fold route because it’s significantly cheaper – you didn’t mention it in your article, but for those interested, you’re basically taking a large cloth – folding it into thirds, and placing it inside a cover. The little one is still baking away and due any day..and since the detergent hasn’t seem to have made it’s way to our home yet ( Charlie’s Soap ) I’m not sure that we’ll be starting on the cloth diapers right away as prepping the diapers is a labor intensive process in the beginning.

I’m glad that you were able to do the research and take the leap..I feel like the benefit to the environment is going to be unparalleled..sometimes even those diapers that say that they’re biodegradable will have a hard time breaking down because they need sunlight in order to do so..which they will not get at a landfill.

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35 Jamie

My husband and I are expecting our first child in late summer of this year. After reading the majority of comments posted on this topic to date and those on other websites, I am SOLD on the hybrid diaper solution. If we are using cloth diapers during the day and disposable diapers for night time and travel, how many cloth diapers should we purchase up front? I would say I expect to do at least one load of laundry every 1-2 days so they won’t pile up too much.
Any recommendation is much appreciated!

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36 Ryan

Jamie, you can’t go wrong by having a good 10-12 diapers (around 5-6 cloth diapers per day would be normal, if you were expecting to go the hybrid route). Then buy more if you need more.

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37 karen

We had 20 pocket diapers and did cloth exclusively. We did laundry every 3 days when he was little, now he only wears a diaper for his nap and at night so we are doing laundry every 10 days.

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38 Cristine

It seems to me like Ryan, the original author, is spending more time than necessary “handling” the dirty diapers. Babies that are breastfed only do not need to have their diapers rinsed prior to being put in a dry diaper pail and the washing machine can handle whatever is in them until babes start solid foods. And once they start solids, then poops are more solid and can for the most part just wiped off enough with a piece of toilet paper and you can buy a cheap toilet sprayer attachment at that point if needed, then just put them in a good diaper pail slightly wet. As long as you do a load of diaper wash a couple times a week, all should be well. There should be virtually no odor for breastmilk poo, solids Von be a different story but having a washable diaper pail liner that you throw in with the diapers each wash helps!

Also, we don’t use any baking soda, vinegar or “special” ingredients when washing our diapers and they cone out clean and fresh smelling. Just do a cold pre-wash, then a hot wash with a double rinse and then dry. We use Arm and Hammer Essentials Free ’cause you need an unscented, simple detergent that rinses clean and comes out completely, but that’s it!

During the day we use organic cotton prefolds with a fleece liner and cover and at night one bum genius diaper with 2 inserts and a liner to catch any poo (our son typically doesn’t poop at night, he is 3 mos old). We also use our cloth diapers for all day trips, since our diaper bag has a plastic compartment. We onlyanticipate using disposables for trips requiring plane flights and being away from home for days.

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39 bianca floyd

i think that the disposable diaper is better then a cloth diaper

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40 Anne

My interest in cloth diapers started near the arrival of our 4th child. Now in hindsight, I wish I’d known about them with the first 3. My husband thought I was crazy to consider switching, thinking it was all pins and complicated folding. Yes, the upfront cost can seem daunting, but wisely shopping and resisting the urge to buy huge numbers of incredibly cute patterns can save a great deal of money.

In the 2+ years we have been using cloth, now on 2 children, we have spent under $500 to purchase 6 dozen prefolds, 16 waterproof covers, and 34 assorted pocket style diapers. Included in this total are cloth diapering amenities such as 2 large wet bags and a sprayer attachment for the toilet to quickly rinse off poopy diapers. The only ongoing cost as been detergent – we opt to pay about $15 for 90 loads of a cloth diaper specific detergent, but there are many brands including commonly found commercial detergents that can also be used. We wash every 2 to 3 days.

It is definitely easier and much less “gross” than expected. I appreciate that this article is from a father’s point of view, as it is often fathers who resist the switch to cloth. Also, as you noted choosing cloth versus disposibles doesn’t have to be all or nothing, using disposibles sometimes can still be an option. I’ll definitely have to share this.

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41 Ryan

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Anne. After trying both, I definitely understand the pros and cons of both options, and I recommend everyone try both options to see which works best for their situation!

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42 Amilee

I cloth diaper, savings have been extreme. I have only spent 209 on all diapers\reusable supplies.so diapers,pail,swim diapers. I was gifted or won 230 worth of diapers\supplies(wetbag,ect). Our on going cost would be water\electricity\detergent. Seeing as we either use my moms he washer to wash 20ish diapers or I hand wash in the tub I say we spend only 2 maybe 3 dollars a load on water(probally more like 2) we line dry so its not like the drying is costing me anything. And Rockin Green detergant I bought will last me 6 months(plus I won a bag so a year for 22 dollar bundle of soap,scoop,and pail freshner. We WILL be useing our cloth for future babies and then will sell and give away. I have had 1 blowout do to MY error of snaping at the wrong size. For sposies(which we used off and on till we built up a stash big enough for full time) we had blowouts almost everytime! Thankfully breastfed poop can be sunned out of cloths. So our cloth is more than cheaper than sposies.

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43 unsure

I’ve been resurching trying to figure out if cloth diapers are really c/e, I’m a single mom on a bugget. I know i’ve spent around $408.00 on disposables last year. I have cloth dippers, but I live in town where I pay for water+eletricty. I see lots of ppl posting ruff estaments about disosables, but can any one give me a ruff est. on there cost of useing cloth diapers over a year?

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44 Leighanne

Has anyone used the gDiaper? I am considering the reusable diaper option. I see the benefit fiscally, however I need direction in purchasing diapers. It is an expensive one time purchase so I want to get it right. I haven’t found any reviews on the gDiaper.

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45 Budgie

When I was researching diapering options for my first baby, this post helped convince me that cloth diapering was the way to. Now, nearly a year later, my son has done really well in his cloth diapers. I use disposables when he has a rash (Can’t use diaper rash cream with cloth, can ruin them), and I hate them. Disposables on my son leak horribly, especially at night.

I would say to anyone who is on the fence about this: Value the input from those who have actually cloth diapered their babies. People who have never used cloth on their kids who say, “Ew, why would you ever use those?” can’t really give an informed opinion. Everything thought I was nuts to go through the “hassle” of cloth diapers, but they’re really not as bad as everyone would have you think. Everyone being those who never used them.

Thanks, Ryan, for this post!

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46 Courtney

I am 20 and about to have a baby. I was wondering should I use Cloth diapers or disposable diapers? Oh and this is my first!

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47 Ryan Guina

Congratulations, Courtney. Many pediatricians and parents recommend cloth diapers because they can be less irritating to skin than disposable diapers. Over the long run, cloth diapers are also cheaper, especially if you are able to use them again on another child. But there is maintenance involved. You may find it a good idea to buy a few cloth diapers and try them to see if it is something you wish to continue. Then make your decision based on your experience. Best of luck!

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