For the past 15 years disposable diapers reigned supreme at our house. With baby #1 I attempted cloth, but that was when cloth diapers still needed pins and huge rubber pants. Times have changed and so have cloth diapers. I have no idea how many disposable diapers I have used over the years, but I am sure the number is impressive.
Now as we await baby #7 thoughts of cloth diapers enter my mind. As I sat in the church nursery a few months back I was impressed with the new moms and their fancy cloth diapers. They actually looked easy to use, and the moms raved about them. Cloth diapers are better for the environment, some argue they are better for baby, but are they cheaper?
Thankfully I didn’t need to come up with a fancy math equation to figure it out. A very smart dad at our church had already crunched the numbers.
According to his very detailed spreadsheet you break even with cloth diapers at 8.5 months. This sounds like a great deal for me since my kids seem to be in diapers forever! Obviously the initial expense is higher with cloth, but the second year of your child’s life is basically free when it comes to diapering.
You can view the cost break down by downloading this Diaper Cleaning Cost Chart. This is an excel file. If you cannot open it, I have copied it onto the screen.