We plan to use cloth diapers most of the time for NewBaby, as I did with my last two, but after 10 years since having a baby in the house, I am having to get all new ones. (Luckily, Jon is 100% on board with using cloth, despite the fact that many people say, "Your husband will never go for that!")

As I bemoan the expense of all new cloth diapers and covers, I got to wondering how much it costs these days to keep a baby in disposables. So that's my question: for those of you using disposables with your baby, how much do you spend?

(I would still use cloth even if it's more expensive, but I am just curious)


ErinOrtlund said...

You probably know this, but cloth is cheaper if you find diapers that can go from birth to toddler, even if you have to replace the wraps as they grow.

We love cloth around here!

Anonymous said...

If you look for sales,use coupons, and buy large packs you can get the "better" disposables for 25 cents per. By better I mean the better lines of Pampers and Huggies.

So it really depends on how often you change. Some people let them have several pees per diaper. Ugh.

We switched to cloth on our first. I really don't see how cloth is any "grosser" than disposables.

Fitzhugh Family said...

We use huggies and for a box of 96 I believe its 19.99 at walmart and we usually need a new box after a week and a half so maybe $100 a month or a littleless. I was always curious to use cloth but never looked into it now I wish I had! I hear that it helps them potty train faster too I don't know if that's a myth or not!

ErinOrtlund said...

It doesn't seem to have helped my DD potty train faster! Oh well, there are still a ton of advantages to cloth, and now I am using the same ones with DS, so it can save a ton of money.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sure your husband will use cloth. I'll be interested to hear what he's saying about cloth diapers after using them for a few weeks. I'll bet he'll be the one running out to get disposables and refusing to deal with the cloth ones. I wanted to use cloth but my husband wouldn't deal.

helen said...

I use the SeventhGeneration cotton diapers (from co-op or health food stores) and if I get them on sale they are costing about $8-10 for 54 (6-8 changes a day). The diapers are the one product in this line that are about the same cost as the "better" disposables (Huggies, etc) that have the gels. I am still considering using the cloth ones but I am not a very good online shopper and I didn't really know what I needed in the beginning. quickly.

katie allison granju said...

Helen- I can help you pick out, order and use cloth diapers you will like that are easy to use.

There is an initial investment to get good cloth diapers, but then no more buying throwaways, and they will look and feel much cuter on Tess's bum ;-)

Call me.

katie S. said...

I am trying to figure this out myself. Huggie disposables are about .25 cents each. I just saw that Whole Foods sells a more bio friendly disposable diaper.

I have been shopping the internet for something in between a disposable and a cloth diaper. Has anyone tried the inserts that you can flush down the toilet?


Now these are too expensive because they are actually more than diposables but I like the concept.

Anonymous said...

Factor in the plumbers' visits every time you flush a cloth one while trying to rinse it out.

Anonymous said...

Another cost to factor in is the cost of washing the cloth diapers. Water, energy to heat that water, and energy to dry-if you line dry.

Anonymous said...

should have said if you DON'T line dry

katie allison granju said...

I would use cloth even if the cost were not a factor.

I don't like sending tons of germ-laden, plastic garbage to the landfill.

Plus, aesthetically, I just think babies look sweeter and cuter with soft cotton on their bums instead of plastic and chemicals. It's definitely a personal preference.

Anonymous said...

If you want to keep peace in the family, don't ever leave one in the toilet to soak. It irritates the heck out of spouses and other children to go into the bathroom and find a floating diaper.

Stefaneener said...

I used cloth for the first three. Cost was cheaper than disposables, it wasn't any grosser -- you're still trying to get solid waste off a diaper whether you're going to wash or toss it afterwards -- and line drying plus a tumble in a dryer afterwards with no heat + a tennis shoe made them soft. I just didn't want to shell out the money to replace covers this time. They'd not lasted very well after three, or four kids -- my sister and I shared.

Husbands don't find diapers any more fun than wives, and cloth is just as easy. I carry less on outings without cloth, and have less to remember.

I also never ever soaked them. I found they washed just as clean if I rinsed in the toilet, threw in the diaper pail, then washed. A water-filled diaper pail was dangerous, heavy, and pointless.

If someone had given me diaper covers for this one, I'd have happily used them. I'm just so sick of leaking covers. Now she's almost potty training (just as early as everyone else) it seems pointless too.

Katie S. said...

I just found this site which is interesting:
It may be a good source.

Angel said...

We used tinytush one size diapers (www.tinytush.com) for the first 18 months of my son's life. They are awesome! Combined with Super Whisper Wraps, we hardly ever had a leak. We also use FuzziBunz (no leaks and my son is a heavy wetter!) and some WAHM cloth diapers from ebay (some leaks there).

GDiapers: I have heard they are hard on the plumbing and no more convenient than cloth diapers. Moms I know that have used both gdiapers and cloth diapers say it's more hassle than it's worth and have gone back to cloth.

Soaking diapers: Never had to do it! Not even once. No wet pail here either, just a waterproof bag on the back of the bathroom door washed every other day.

And for what it's worth, my husband hasn't made one complaint about cloth diapers in almost two years.

We use disposable, overnight pullups for night time b/c I haven't found a combo that doesn't leak for night time in cloth.

Amy said...

I'm considering cloth diapers...would love to see you post what to buy (as you mentioned you could help Helen with).

Amy said...

stefaneener said:

it wasn't any grosser -- you're still trying to get solid waste off a diaper whether you're going to wash or toss it afterwards

how so? if it's disposable you don't have to try to get the solid waste off--you just wrap it up and toss it. this is my number one qualm about cloth diapering...the idea of rinsing messy diapers in the toilet, etc, just sounds disgusting.

Brenda said...

Amy, Rinsing and swishing poopy diapers in the toilet IS disgusting. Which is why I've never done it. I've now cloth diapered 3 kids and never EVER rinsed (much less soaked) a poopy diaper. Ever. For the first 6-9 months or so, you don't have to do anything - it just washes out. There are flushable paper liners you use for those sticky transition months when they are eating solids but also still breastfeeding - you flush the paper, which caught all the poop, without having to touch anything. Then after that things get solid and things just roll into the potty. Flushing it is much less gross than rolling it up and storing it in my house!

Katie, since your children were wee ones, I think the best things to come along are the size-adjustable pocket diapers (called bumgenius or haute pockets). They're expensive to start with, but cheaper than two-piece multi sized diapers in the long run since you don't buy covers or different sizes. But if you're a purist, you may prefer the cotton with a separate cover like you've probably used before. But I for one highly recommend the one-size pockets. Fabulous things.

ErinOrtlund said...


In practice, yes, most parents do wrap up the waste and throw it with the diaper in the garbage. But technically you're not supposed to do that--perhaps even legally? Of course, if it is a law, very few follow it.

As for the qualms about cloth, you can buy disposable liners, which minimize the need to touch the mess. Breastfed poo can just be thrown in the washing machine. Later on, it will usually just come off the diaper easily if you shake it. Really, the contact issue is not much greater than with disposables IMO. I generally recommend getting a couple kinds and just trying it before springing for a whole set.

beth said...

I always love the supportive, encouraging, positive comments left by "anonymous".

Not all "anonymous's". But you all know the one, who knows who s/he is.

*eye roll*

Anonymous said...

I wasn't even aware of cloth diapers when I had my kid a coupla years ago. I'd be on board with the negative environmental effects, but it would've been difficult since we live in an apt. without a washer/ dryer. My time is already stretched doing/ hauling laundry in the stroller with my kid on my hip. I'm not sure that I could've done the cloth diaper thing given these circumstances. Still, I've spent hundreds, likely upwards of a thousand on diapers since my kid was born. That's a lot of money, and I don't have much.

Leslie said...

I've cloth-diapered five kids. I used to do the swishing and soaking thing but got too lazy. Here's what I do: if it will dump into the toilet I dump it. Then I throw it in the diaper pail. When the pail is full I put them all in the washer and run two prewashes on cold, then a soak and heavy duty wash on hot, then an extra rinse.

I also have to put in a plug for the ultra cheap way to do cloth. I buy trifold cloth diapers at Wal-Mart, or Kmart, or somewhere similar. They are $10/dozen. I buy plastic pants (about $5/half dozen). I use pins. I don't know why people freak about pins. That was what was normal to use for years.

Now my diapers will not last as long as the expensive ones will, but they last through at least two babies if you don't bleach them. If I could afford it I'd probably get for durable wraps, but then if I weren't lazy I would line-dry the plastic pants and they would last longer than they do.

Really, cloth diapering doesn't have to be an angsty big deal. IF you want to do it, just do it!

And, Katie, somewhere online there's a calculator that compares costs for disposables and cloth. If I can find the link I'll post it.

Leslie said...


That's a cost comparison calculator that lets you change values based on what you spend on diapers or plan to.

Denette said...

We started with sposies with my son and used them for the first three months. One big box would last a week and the boxes were about 20.00 a box and wipes would be 2-3 a container and we used 2 of those a week. We switched to cloth after the third month because he kept getting rashes that wouldn't go away and I had to be moved to cloth when I was a baby for the same reason. We played around with a bunch of different diapers so we spent more than we could/should have. I think it would cost about 200 for a good small stash (going the cheaper way) 400 for mediums and 500 for lrgs. I will probably use a combo of both sposies and cloth for the new baby once born because our family loves to buy diapers for us and the cost/time spent in newborn diapers. We never swish our diapers in the toilet or anything of the sort. Since he is a toddler now we shake out the poop in the toilet and then put the diaper in a wetbag in a pail. Do an extra rinse then wash and our diapers have always done fine. My husband much prefers cloth over disposables. We keep disposables in the house for travel or when nieces come to visit and he will always choose cloth over disposables. He says the smell of the chemicals in disposables gives him a headache. Mothering mag just did an artile two months ago about disposable vs cloth and I found it very interesting.


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if you have an opinion on ebay's recent ban on reselling cloth diapers. As a cd'ing mom who relies on being able to resell my dipes, I'm very frustrated by this new policy. Not to mention that I've been able to afford the initial investment of cloth diapering by buying used, often at ebay.