Donny challenged me to prove that cloth diapering was in fact less expensive than disposable diapers by JUST looking at the cost of the diapers.
I found that on average, babies are changed 7,000 times. Let’s assume the babies are potty trained by the age of 2. That equates to about 10 diapers per day.
If we purchased 24 cloth diapers, they would cost approximately $400. The average disposable diaper costs $0.25. Some are more, some less, but let’s just stick with that number. I tabulated the numbers and got this graph:
By only considering the cost of the diapers themselves, you would break even at 1,600 diaper changes, or 5.5 months, meaning that would be the time it takes for the cloth diapers to start becoming less expensive than the disposable diapers.
Of course, you can factor in water and electric bills of washing cloth diapers every other day, but that wouldn’t add much more time to your break even point. Add in another kid who uses the same cloth diapers and you’ve just increased your savings by… a LOT. We also use high efficiency appliances, so at least the cost is minimized.
After I showed him the math, he was on board. I’m pretty certain the kid won’t be potty trained before 5.5 months so the cost is inevitable. We plan to do a hybrid of cloth diapering and disposables. After all, we’re still fans of convenience and sometimes, I won’t feel like doing another load of laundry or teaching the parents to cloth diaper.
You’ll have to ask me how I like cloth diapering after I get blow-out poop on my hands. I might not be a fan then.