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Calculate The Lifetime Value Of A Cloth Diaper

Calculate The Lifetime Value Of A Cloth Diaper

It's time for a math lesson. Sometimes it's hard to know the value of something without seeing it in black and white. Numbers never lie so let's get to it. This is how to determine how much you can personally save with cloth diapers regardless of where you live. 

Go to your local grocery store or wherever you buy disposable diapers and find out the cost of one disposable diaper by dividing the price of the box by the quantity of diapers in the package. That number is the price for one disposable diaper. 

For example, right now at my local grocery store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, one box of Huggies Size 1 Little Snugglers is $32.99 for a pack of 84 diapers. So each diaper is $0.39. 

Next pick a cloth diaper of your choice and divide it's price by the number of times you can use it. The average good quality cloth diaper like everything we carry here at Cloth Diaper Kids can be used 250 times or more. So, divide the price of that one cloth diaper by 250 and that number is what it costs to wear that cloth diaper one time.

For example, right now at our store, a Thirsties Natural One Size AIO diaper that fits from ~8-40lbs and is made with a waterproof outer and natural hemp/cotton inner is $36.49. So each time baby wears it will cost $0.15 to use.

One disposable = $0.39
On cloth diaper wear = $0.15

Are you seeing the MAGIC yet?!? 

The price per disposable is MORE than double the price of wearing a cloth diaper once. Even when you factor in the detergent/water/electricity of washing cloth diapers, it's still cheaper per wear to choose cloth. 

Now, let's explore further.  One baby will need about 6000 diaper changes in total. 

At $0.39 each for disposables that will cost you aprox. $2340.  This doesn't take into account the fact that as baby grows the price of a box of diapers goes up, while the quantity in it goes down.  So the price per diaper increases as baby ages, but let's keep it simple. 

Comparatively, with 24 Thirsties diapers shown in this example, you can diaper your baby for $875.76.

We can also consider the cost of purchasing disposable wipes repeatedly vs. about 30 cloth wipes that you can use over and over again. (How to use cloth wipes). But that's another topic. 

The beauty of cloth diapering is that you can adjust it to your needs. Part time or full time for whatever suits your family. 

This example used name brand disposable diapers and a more expensive all-in-one style cloth diaper for comparison and the math still works (even when you factor in the small cost of detergent/electricity for washing).

You can drop your costs even further by buying pre-loved diapers, using prefolds or flats with covers, watching for diaper sales, line drying when feasible and using cloth diapers on more than one child.

Don't let the upfront cost of cloth diapers deter you from the math. Numbers don't lie.

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