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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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how to save on diapers

How to Save on Diapers

“Having a baby costs so much money!”

How many times have you heard this statement? Some may answer that a newborn baby needs very little aside from loving parents. But some of the simplest necessities cost the most: diapers, clothing, a car seat, and food. Join us over the next few weeks as we share some ideas for saving money on baby basics.

First my diaper story… many of you know that I have twins.  Thankfully they are 5 and out of diapers but my two year old is not there yet.  For the twins I attempted cloth diapers out of sheer desperation and then I lost my mind (seriously).  We weren’t couponing at the time so I did the next best thing always buying house brands.  They did great but we spent a ton of money.  The cheapest house brand I liked was still around $7.50 a pack and we could go through a pack a day!  Currently though my two year old has it great.  With coupons and store sales we usually end up with free diapers or at most paying less than $5 per pack for name brand diapers.

1. Choose cloth diapers

It may seem old fashioned or even gross to some, but when you start doing the research you will find that choosing cloth is by far the best way to save on diapering. The average family spends anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 to diaper one child to age three, depending on how good they are at finding the most economical disposable. This price doesn’t include disposable wipes (which are sometimes almost as much as the diapers), a special diaper pail, all those little plastic baggies to minimize smell, etc. Multiply these numbers by three (or more), and we’re talking about nearly $5,000-$10,000!

Families who choose cloth diapers (even the most expensive all-in-ones) rarely spend over $500 on diapers and associated gear. Even when you add in the cost of laundering, the total doesn’t come close to the amount spent on disposables. Don’t forget that quality cloth diapers can last a family through several children. To further reduce start-up costs, you might even consider buying gently used diapers (check Ebay or Craigslist) or making your own if you have the talent. Once you have the diapers, you can save on laundering by letting your diapers line dry, which also helps them to smell fresh and remove stains.

Finally, many choose to cloth diaper because they feel it is a superior product that is more comfortable for their child or because of the environmental impact. Don’t forget, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use disposables for convenience on occasion.

Simple Mom has a comprehensive guide to cloth diapering in her archives.

2. Use Coupons!

If you have done the research and have decided cloth diapering is not for you and your baby, there are still ways to save. There are some amazing deals on disposables at drugstores and grocery stores.   Many of grabbed Huggies for $2.99 a pack at Harris Teeter a couple of weeks ago, or Pampers for $3.49 at CVS.  Look out for those rock bottom prices and stock up, even before baby is born. Make sure to sign up for newsletters from your favorite (or all) brands as they will often send you coupons through the mail or email.

I will not detail the drugstore systems in this post, but if you are new to Southern Savers, check out our Getting Started Guides.

3. Bulk or House Brand ??

I know several moms who swear by Walmart diapers, and several more who use their membership at a wholesale club (i.e. BJ’s, Sam’s, or Costco) to save on diapers. Still, I know others who use only the top brands because of a bad experience with store brands be it leaks, blowouts, rashes, or just overall quality. Some even go so far as to say that the top brands help to stretch your dollar even more because they don’t fill up as fast as cheaper brands, and therefore you use less diapers overall.  In my opinion, it is more advantageous to spend a few minutes clipping coupons and buying Huggies and Pampers at rock bottom prices.   Here’s a math breakdown to help you see this better:

Pampers Cruisers Size 3 – 204 ct:

Current Sam’s Club Price: $37.98   (This equals 6 jumbo size packages.)

Pampers jumbo packs a few weeks ago at CVS after coupons and ECB were $3.49 each.  (Buy 6 = $20.94)

For the same amount of diapers you save $17 to buy them in smaller sized packages with coupons for each package.

Again, just my opinion, but I think that buying house brand or wholesale is best saved for those times when your stash runs low, or you’re out of town, and you just have to buy diapers now! Especially since one must include the cost of a wholesale membership in the cost of wholesale diapers. However, there is one bulk source that could be useful – diapers.com. They are constantly running deals for free shipping, offering $10 off for new customers, giving special codes, and offering rewards.  Plus you can mail them coupons and they will apply them to your account!!

4. Take advantage of reward systems

You aren’t going to save enough to pay for your child’s first semester of college, but every little bit counts right? You can earn anything from gift cards (some for more diapers), toys, baby gear, or photo albums. You can find codes on manufacturer’s products, but there are also general codes to be found on the internet (here or right here on Southern Savers).

Check out Pampers’s Gifts to Grow program and Huggies Enjoy the Ride program.

5. Ask for them!

Crazy thing – people love to buy stuff for a new baby! If you are expecting your first baby, don’t forget to include diapers (all sizes) and gift cards on your registry. When a relative or friend calls and asks “Do you need anything? We’d love to come visit!” Say, “Sure! You can stop by and bring us a pack of diapers.” If you are a veteran momma who already has all the gear and clothing, ask your friends and family to throw you a diaper shower instead. Also babies grow fast, leaving their mommas with a surplus of diapers that are too small or cloth diapers that are no longer being used. If you have a friend (or two or three) with older children, ask her to save you her extras or gently used cloth diapers. Even your church nursery might have unused diapers lying around. One of the many joys of motherhood is the community that comes with it, so don’t be afraid to lean on your fellow frugal mommas.

Resource to check out:

See more on buying frugal for baby:

Buying Frugal for Baby: Food

Buying Frugal for Baby: Gear

 

    • Anonymous

      How ironic is it that we were running low on diapers and I thought, “I’ve got to get on southernsavers to see where the best deal is this week!” I did the diaper.com thing last month and have plenty left for one of my sons. However, we still have 2 that wear pull-ups at night (bed-wetting issues) and a new baby on the way. I need all the help I can get!

    • Anonymous

      We just started Cloth Diapers and you wouldn’t believe the money I have already saved! I wash in ALL free and clear (which I got for $1.50 with coupons!) I got a bunch from Hyenacart.com . They have a used store called “Spots corner” and thats where you can find some good deals, not to mention all the WAHM stores with new diapers :):). I have almost all my stash complete and I have spent MAYBE $150. I got some inserts from Dollar General too. Just get some microfiber clothes from the auto section and you have some great inserts for your pockets, or even a little extra for your others over night :)

    • Leangela

      Another wonderful thing about cloth diapers is their resale value. You can quite often resale your used cloth diapers at 50% or more of what you paid for them. Diaperswappers is a great website for selling diapers and for mommas looking to purchase cloth for less than retail. Also, the best part about cloth is the very little (if any) added expense when baby #2 comes along since you will already have a stash from the first! :-)

      • msbwg

        We sold all our small and medium FuzziBunz when my son outgrew them and made enough money to buy a new washing machine(our old one was very old and cheap) and pay for part of the set of one size Happy Heinys we bought. We also use cloth wipes which saves a lot of money!

        • lorelei207

          ok seriously? if you peed and pooped in your underwear, would you sell it to someone else to wear?? that is disgusting. why would you think that it is ok for your child 2 be wearing someone elses peed and pooped on cloths? I would never allow my kids to do that. i'm sorry, but I feel that is completely unsanitary no matter how many times they have been cleaned. I wouldn't do that for myself, so why would I make my BABY do that. I just don't get it.

          • VanessaCook

            Thank you!!! So glad I am not the only one who feels this way! I think the whole idea is disgusting! We are currently potty training our two year old and if he has an accident those underwear are washed in a seperate load in hot water with bleach!

            • jessica

              but do you throw them away? If you are just washing them and then put your son in them again, what is the difference between that and using cloth diapers?

            • Sue

              Vanessa's 2 year old is potty training. It is a common practice for those sufficiently advanced in their potty training to wear normal underwear. This gives the child a feeling of confidence and “big kidness.” Wearing underwear in potty training also helps kids recognize that going in their pants is yucky. They don't like the feeling, so they have more motivation to use the toilet.

            • leahAB

              I think the point is : if its not disgusting to put the previously soiled, but now cleaned underwear back on her son, why is it disgusting to do the same with a cloth diaper?

            • Lucy

              Because the cleaned underwear comes from her own son, and cloth diaper from somebody elses :) I think its a personal choice whether to buy used diapers or not.

            • jen

              exactly! thank you.

            • VanessaCook

              The differnce is “supposedly” the only way to save is with cloth diapers, but I am saving NO money using real underwear versus pullups…only helping my child train quicker. I wash them in bleach, in there own load-every day, and dry in the drier. This costs about the same as pullups! (And I still think it is nasty…if his accident is too bad- we through them away!)

            • jennifer

              I agree with you on this. I just read last week that washing machines on hot water do not kill everything. It was talking about kitchen towels that you use to wipe counters that have had raw meat or towels that have been in the sink exposed to raw meat, eggs and so on. This made me think about kids underwear also. You would have to bleach them to try to kill everything!

            • LoveReignsHere

              Had to jump in here. Mine are all out of diapers now, but I'd still use disposable again. Just me. My SIL used cloth on her second. Anyway, as to the cleaning methods. If you add 1/3 cup apple cidar vinegar to any wash load you will kill “stuff”! ACV is one of the most wonderful things! Check it out on the web see what it can do. It avg. $3-4 for a gal. at the grocery. Cheep!! Ok steping down now.

            • leahAB

              Disposables are generally washed separate from other clothing and properly cleaned as well. :)

              Good thing you happened to be born within the past 60 years because all of mankind until then have practiced the “disgusting” idea of reusable diapering. And even now in the majority of the world, the practice still prevails. It is generally the West, and predominately the US, that prefer to throw plastic diapers full of human waste into a huge, ever growing pile, cover it up with dirt and pretend it is all gone. Out of sight, out of mind. I'm surprised we haven't gone to disposable clothing for babies yet – it's pretty gross to re-wear something you've spit up on or (heaven forbid) your diaper has leaked on!

            • VanessaCook

              We have gone to other disposables…disposable bibs for the nasty spit up problems!

            • leahAB

              Seriously? We really are the most wasteful country in the world. Our great-grandparents would be amazed at what we consider to be too nasty to be washed and reused.

              Really, I think it is fine if anyone chooses to use disposables (I use them some myself). It is just a little irksome to hear about how cloth diapering is gross. :)

          • quarleywoman

            Hope you never have to go to the hospital. Hospital sheets are peed on and pooped on by many adults. Tossed in the wash and reused. That does not count how many times they are bled on, vomited on, and had puss from draining wounds accidentally smeared on them. Disinfect works wonders. (The rest of the story.)

            • jessica

              exactly! Hospital sheets are peed and pooped on, hotel sheets are peed on and get other bodily fluids on them, heck- a speculum for your yearly annual “women's” exam has been used on others…the list goes on and on!

            • NAM

              But how does the harsh disinfectant affect the environment? Did you ever think of that?

            • Mom2Ryley

              Well, NAM, unfortunately the hospitals HAVE to use those disinfectats. Would you rather them not? That would lead to lots of dieseases being spread etc. Did you ever think of that?

              Look, there are some situtation where certain things can't be helped. As far as disenfectants go, I choose to let that slide. I'm all for recycling, and doing my best not to pollute the earth, but some of you need a reality check. Not everyone can afford to go out and buy $200-$300 in cloth diapers at once. So, the more affordable $9.99 pack of LUVS is more doable. Or what about this: disposable diapers do not leak as much as cloth diapers (as long as you change them often enough). So if your baby wears disposables, you probably will not have to change her entire outfit (not to mention the sheets in her crib or your bed) quite so often. All of that leads to more washing on top of the washing you alread do of the cloth diapers. I know that it could save you in the long run, but like I said…most people don't have the funds to get started in the first place. You people, the couponers, of all people, should understand that. There are many of us who HAVE to coupon to get by, where as, there are many of you who do it mearly for the thrill of getting a good deal.

            • Lucy

              Ha ha ha. Yea, I work(ed) in a hospital and know how it is. But hospitals wash their sheets in extremely hot water and they also disinfect the sheets very well. I think it's a personal choice, for me, I don't think I would like to use somebody else's cloth diapers :)

          • leahAB

            Have you ever bought or been given used clothing for your children? Hate to break it to you, but there has probably been a little poo or pee on some of that in the past. :)

            • Jill

              Yes, but being soaked in urine and finkel matter is a rare occasion for clothes. It is the intended use for cloth diapers.

            • leahAB

              The point is – when properly cleaned, its just not that big a deal! We come in contact with fecal matter daily (heck, 10-15% of the population has it on their hands – gross!) so lets handle it appropriately, in the most sanitary manner, and not pretend that throwing it into the landfill to sit for hundreds of years is somehow cleaner than disposing of the waste in the toilet and washing the diaper with detergent and antibacterial cleaners.

              btw, I don't have a problem with using disposables, just with the pretension that cloth is somehow backward and disgusting.

            • Shelly

              Sorry, I just had to LOL @ 'finkel' matter. Thanks so much for the laugh! As a somewhat 'older' mom who cloth-diapered both of my kids (now 20 & 18) I find this whole argument so silly. What on Earth has happened to you younger mothers that you are so grossed out by everything?

            • Lucy

              I'm 23 and a mom of 2, and I can't say that I'm disgusted by everything. I've been given used clothes that was probably peed and pooed on. But just the idea of a used cloth diaper is disgusting to me. I've been given used kids clothes but never used kids underwear :) This argument really is silly, it's a personal choice for all.

    • msbwg

      We've been using Happy Heinys and Fuzzi Bunz pocket cloth diapers for my son since he was 6 weeks old(before that he was too small to fit into the sizes we had). He's now 18 months old and I've never regretted our decision. They're easy to wash and we've never had any problems. My husband even complains about using disposables while we're traveling.

    • Anonymous

      Here’s a thought for the cloth diaper brigade…
      Save MORE $$ by using HOMEMADE detergent! That’s right. I have several friends who use it and say it’s better than store bought! I am in the process of making my first batch. All the ingredients and instructions are in the following link as well as dish detergent for the dishwasher (not hand wash)…
      For those of you who need laundry soap for sensitive skin, you can substitute the Felz-Naptha soap with a bar of Ivory soap or Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Bath Bar.

      http://blog.stonecafecreations.com/site/node/313
      http://diynatural.com/simple-effective-jabs-homemade-dishwasher-detergent-rinse-agent/

      You may need to use more than the recipe calls for for hard water.

    • kathi

      I used exclusively cloth for my first child (we were very broke and I realized back then that I could purchase 2 doz diapers and covers for the same price as 3 months worth of disposables). We were in a better place financially w/ the second and w/ couponing I found I could afford disposables BUT at that point I realized there were times we preferred cloth. Point being, if you can possibly swing it, it is not a bad idea to try some of each and then decide which or if you want both depending on your intended activity!

    • Snowski824

      This couldn't have come at a better time. I am 8 weeks pregnant and have been talking to lots of people trying to decide between cloth or if I can make it work with disposables and coupons. Thank you for this post! I look forward to the others!!!

      • Tracy

        check out gDiapers as well. http://www.gDiapers.com – we had to switch to disposable due to our type of septic system but I’d still use them if I could! LOVE the product!!!!! Nice blend between disposable and cloth – they are flushable, compostable (only the wet ones) and the company just came out with cloth inserts.

    • Tracy

      gDiapers are also a great hybrid of disposable/cloth. They are a flushable diaper. You can even compost the wet ones. We initially used them (and used disposable when out and about cuz that was just easier for us). But when we moved to our new home a few years back I screwed up and forgot to use them for awhile BEFORE we pumped our septic tank to see if our septic could handle them. So I played it safe and haven’t used them. But they are septic safe – the company does say “know thy septic system” though.

      But I do LOVE the product!! If you don’t want disposable but don’t want to deal with cloth, they are a great inbetween. They often have great deals and they currently have added a cloth insert option which is awesome!!!

      http://www.gDiapers.com

      Happy babying…

    • kaliryan

      I used both cloth and disposible. I used the cloth when we were at home and I used the disposible at bedtime and on outings.
      It worked out great. Cloth diapers are a lot better than the use to be because they have the fashionable ones with the velcro. So they are easy to use.

      • tapp

        Same here– when my teens were babies I used both; whatever I needed to make my life easier.
        But I have kept some of the cloth diapers for use as polishing rags. No lint for the mirrors!
        Just another paper product to save from landfills…. Pitch 'em when they get too dirty or shredded to use anymore.

    • Kelly

      I have a 10 month old and a 2 year old, and I have never tried cloth diapers, but I do know that this website has cut my diaper and wipes costs at least in half, probably closer to 75% (I'm not even going to mention the butchering it did on my grocery bill)! For any of you who aren't going the cloth route, couponing is the way to go for disposables- I NEVER have to buy store brand anymore since I stock up so well when namebrands go on sale and I can combine coupons! In fact, I just got back from CVS where I got a pack of Pampers Easy Ups and a box of Huggies wipes for $1.73 with $1 ECB for next time :) Thank you Jenny!

    • Struck

      Thank you, thank you for this post Jenny! I am a big supporter of cloth diapers, even if they are used in conjunction with disposables. We spent around $200 for the adjustable size diapers, which our son wore for 2 years. We would buy a pack of disposables about every month or so and that's it! Not only is it frugal, it's so much better for the environment, diapers take some 500 years to decompose! That's a long time! And going through 8-10 of those a day? Whew! AND, they are healthy for baby. A soft piece of cloth against a baby bottom is cleaner and healtheir than a factory made piece of plastic. It's a win, win, win! Thanks again for all you do!

      • RECollins

        I couldn't agree with you more! My son is 16 and I used cloth diapers too when he was a baby. I could not have afforded disposable and wouldn't have bought them anyway because it makes me sick to throw all of that into a landfill. I washed twice a week and didn't even see a difference in my utility bills. He never had rash issues like so many other babies because the cloth was so much gentler on his tush than chemicals and absorption agents in disposable diapers.

    • Jbush27

      We used cloth while at home and disposable at night and while out and thanks to getting the name brand diapers so cheap all the time, we never really spent much on diapers. Even the cloth diapers didn't cost me much. I got the old fashioned kind that you use the pins and the rubber pants. It's definitely not for everyone but I didn't find it all that bad and I did it more for being green than saving money.

    • Steph

      I absolutely love Luvs diapers for my 5 month old. I buy them on the military base which saves me a ton of money (about $11 for a jumbo pack of 76). A few weeks ago I sent an email to Luvs.com asking for some additional coupons. They sent me a bunch of $5 off a jumbo pack coupons which brings the cost from .15c per diaper to .08c a diaper. I am definately going to keep asking for coupons.

      • Lucy

        Wow, $5 are nice coupons! when I contacted them, I've only gotten $2/1 any size pack, so I bought some at Walmart (they were a little over $5, that means $3 after the coupon). But I will certainly contact them again for some good coupons $$$

    • lainibug

      I was so excited to see your suggestion about cloth! We use about 95% cloth… which means we can also get the few disposables we use via the BEST deals. As long as you stick to the basics, you can save an estimated $1200 with cloth in the first two years with your first child. That includes the cost of washing, and that's before you resell or use for future children. There is a ton of information on cloth diapers on the web. I encourage it; we get many fewer leaks with them as well!

    • Megan

      There are actually 160 diapers that come in the size 3 box from Sam's.. 204 diapers come in the swaddlers size and I *think* size 1 and 1-2.

    • frugalista

      I'm on my third child in the medium fuzzi bunz that I paid $300 for 5 years ago. I use disposables at night and for odds and ends, but when the budget is lean, it is great to have the cloth. They STILL look great and I plan to sell them when I'm done. THEY are a fabulous investment. (Don't try cloth with a newborn though. You'll give up before they are really an equally easy viable alternative.)

      • Snowski824

        Just wondering…at what age are they not considered newborns anymore?

        • frugalista

          Well, just when you aren't changing them every other minute–maybe about 3 months? Or when you have gotten caught up on sleep enough to not worry about throwing the cloth diaper into the trash or rinsing out poop in the middle of the night–stuff like that. In general, I still use disposables at night though. Basically, I use cloth and disposable about 50/50 and figure that is saves me about half what I would spend on diapers. If you want to go to cloth exclusively, I think 3 or 4 months is a good time to start.

          • Anonymous

            What worked well for us with cloth (used from ~4 months on with our first and totally cloth with the last two) was to use prefolds for the newborns and then use the prefolds as stuffers for my Fuzzi Bunz (bought seconds at http://fuzzibunzseconds.net which cam without inserts). We finished with diapers a few months ago and I sold my diaper stash and got back a big chunk of my investment. A rough guestimate on diapers was about $1000 for all three girls.

        • kathi

          I declared mine “not newborns” when we used up the last of the newborn dipes the hospital sent us home w/. Obviously if you homebirth that is a useless marker.

        • leahAB

          We start when the cord falls off and you don't have to worry about the diaper covering it.

      • I have to disagree about cd'ing a newborn. My dd was born at over 8 and a half pounds and my son was 9lb + and we cd'ed both of them from birth. :)

    • laura

      Great to see a post on cloth! We have loved them and have absolutely no regrets. Just wanted to mention, though, that it is currently against ebay's rules to sell used diapers. (New ones can be listed, though.)

      • annakauzlarich

        I was wondering if anyone was going to add this, glad you did! You can't sell used cloth diapers on ebay. Its a pain and they should change it but craigslist and diaperswappers are great sites :).

    • hollybug1009

      One item I want to point out, the environmental impact of cloth diapering is not as great as one would think. You would need to purchase organic cotton diapers, use lower washing temperatures and solely line dry to have a smaller environmental impact. The impact would be only slightly lower than disposable diapers. To me, the disposable diapers are the way to go since it is so much easier! Huggies is the best brand out there, in my experience!

      • Jenni

        I'm no “mean greenie”, but I don't see how you can reason that there is little difference in environmental impact between disposable and cloth. I know that my 3 kids alone have put thousands of pounds of disposable diapers in a landfill somewhere. Had we been cloth diapering, we would have used more water and energy, but when it comes to sending non-biodegradable trash to the landfill, there is a big difference.

      • Mandie

        Hmm not sure about that, according to a 2003 study published by Women’s Environmental Network, disposable diapers are the third largest consumer item in landfills and make up about 4 % of all solid waste. No one knows exactly how long it takes for the average disposable diaper to decompose, but it has been estimated at anywhere from 250 to 500 years, based on this alone it is a very good reason to use cloth diapers.
        I would like to address your other points. One you can wash your cloth dipe in cold water, sure hot water may be better, but cold will do the job. Second you can buy organic diapers and it's not hard to find them online. They may be a little higher in price than non organic but still cheaper in the long run. Finally exclusively line drying does not mean they have to be hung out side, you can hang them in your bathroom, laundry room, porch etc. Line drying is not something new and was done for thousands of years before dryers were invented ;) Btw, if someone wants a more soft dipe they line dry them then toss them in the dryer for a couple of minutes without the heater on.
        It's really a toss up. Disposable diapers end up in a land fill taking up precious space. On the other hand cloth diapers use a lot of water while cleaning them. I chose to use cloth to lessen the impact in landfills which I feel is more enviromentally harsh. To each his own. :) I'm bashing folks for using sposies just giving a look at the other side.

      • Struck

        There is a huge difference. I bought 15 cloth diapers, that are now sitting in a closet for the next baby. No they are not organic but they are not sitting in a landfill for 500 years. I don't think washing 15 diapers on hot water every other day is as destructive to the environment as a bag of chemically-packed diapers in the trash every other day. That's like saying using paper plates is better for the environment becuase you don't have to wash them.

      • courtney_80

        not only do paper/disposable dipes fill up landfills, they also require a large amount of water and energy to create. the water used to make disposables is then full of chemicals and other things. the impact of using cloth is not “slighty lower” – it is actually quite significant. studies show that the average child using disposable dipes contributes at least 2 tons of waste into landfills. this waste is full of human waste, which is not supposed to be in landfills. even if you choose to use disposable, you should always dump and flush any solid waste.

      • jessica

        Where is your research to back this up? Everything you state is untrue. Additionally, many people cloth diaper because they don't want their babies exposed to all the chemicals in disposable diapers. I don't have any kids, and cloth diapering always seemed kinda gross to me, but recently I read a lot of research on this subject and when learning about the chemicals babies were exposed to in the disposable diapers, I decided that I would cloth diaper my future children. I would not cloth diaper for the environmental impact alone (although it is VERY significant, I'm not a hard-core environmentalist and therefore that alone is not enough to change my mind), the chemical impact of what I would be exposing a child's body to was enough to change my mind!

        • Laura

          Interesting how “research” can vary. I have found in my studies that most diapers are just as good if not better for baby behinds than cloth. To say there are chemicals in diapers is correct, but displays a lack of understanding of chemistry and the physical sciences. Everything is a “chemical.” You and I are full of them. They chemicals in diapers do no more harm than the chemicals in cloth diapers, or the chemicals on your hand for that matter.

          If you want to use cloth diapers, I commend you for it, but don't let the “chemicals” in diapers play a factor in your decision. I recognize that there is much I don't know but as a product health and safety proffesional with a degree in chemistry, I believe I have a bit more insight into this matter than most.

          • Lucy

            I agree. Plus the chemicals they use are aloe and some other “natural” ingredients. Personally, neither me nor any of my friends with kids (that makes some 20+ babies) never had a problem with chemicals in diapers. It is very rare that a baby is allergic to a type of disposable diaper.

          • jen

            To say I have a “lack of understanding of chemistry and the physical sciences” is a joke. As an engineering physicist with 3 degrees and a 3.9 GPA for each of them, I know a little something about chemistry and physical sciences and find your comment highly insulting. I had not looked into the effects of disposable diapers in detail until recently because of the fact that I do not have children. While, yes, we are full of chemicals, we are not full of the toxic chemicals found in disposable diapers. Your argument that because we are full of chemicals and therefore chemicals are not harmful, is absurd. It is clear to anyone in the sciences field (or most everyday people) that some chemicals are harmful, and others are not.

            To educate you a bit, here goes:
            Babies in disposables are more likely to get diaper rash, due to the plastic in disposables preventing the circulation of air and trapping in the ammonia. One toxic chemical used in diapers is dioxin. It comes from the bleaching process. Sodium polyacrylate is the clear gel found in diapers that makes them super-absorbent. Sodium polyacrylate was BANNED from being used in tampons in 1985 because it was deemed to be unsafe, yet it is still being used in diapers. Tributylin is another toxin found in diapers which the World Health Organization actually lists as one of the “most toxic substances in use in consumer products in the world today.” Tributylin is used to kill or prevent the growth of bacteria. Scientific studies have also linked the perfumes and toxic substances found in disposables to the increase of asthma in today's society. Several animal studies have found that animals who were exposed to disposable diapers straight out of the package suffered symptoms similar to an asthma attack, as well as eye, nose, and throat irritation.

            To say that the effect of highly toxic materials being used against a babies skin for 3 years would have no effect on them is like saying you would let someone rub arsenic (rat poison) on your baby's skin every day for 3 years and it wouldn't affect him since it wasn't swallowed. That's ridiculous.

            What are the dangerous chemicals found in cloth diapers that you speak of? I have found no such harmful chemicals in my studying of cloth diapers.

            • Laura

              Jen

              I apologize for offending you. They way you flung out the word “chemical” reminded me of the way most laymans use the term. I appreciate the education. I have no doubt that you are smarter than me (I'm serious). What is important to look at is the quantity of toxins and aborbsion methods. Everything is toxic in high enough doses. if the toxin is not in a high enough dose it is not toxic.

              Classic Example: In the 1980s, there was great concern that the pesticides sprayed on apples were creating toxic apple juice. It turned out that the toxin was getting in the juice. However, there is actually a natually occuring toxin in the apples that has a LD50 (dose sufficient to kill a person 50% of the time) 1/10 of that of the pesticide. This means that the apple juice its self is actually 10 times as toxic as the pesticide. Of course anyone who tried to poison themselves this way would first die of water poisoning long before they came close to getting a sufficient dose of either toxin.

              I do not doubt that said toxins are in diapers, but just the fact that they are there says nothing about whether or not there are sufficient quantities to be harmful.

              The asthma srudies mentioned may have a point though.

            • jen

              Laura,

              Thanks for the apology. I am sorry if I offended you in return- and I apologize if I did. I completely agree with you that a toxin in a low dose is often not toxic (and may not result in any effects at all). What I find to be problematic regarding disposable diapers is that there has been seemingly VERY little research done regarding the effects of the toxins in the diapers on the baby. We don't really know exactly what effects these chemicals are causing (or could potentially cause) in our children. With your background, we both know that many, many products have been widely used for some time before determining exactly what negative effects they have on the general population. The animal studies regarding asthma and nose/throat irritation are some of the first and only studies I have seen regarding disposable diapers, and they did indeed find that the diapers cause nose, throat, and eye irritation in animals, as well as asthma attacks in some. It will likely be some time before we know all the effects of disposable diapers, and that is why I would hesitate to use them if it were me.

          • jen

            if you are REALLY a “Health and Safety Proffesional” with a degree in chemistry, wouldn't you at least be able to spell your job title? “Proffesional” is actually spelled “Professional.”

            Don't be fooled by someone trying to represent themselves as someone they are not just to further their own agenda.

      • Danielle

        If you're going to compare environmental impact, you also need to remember that EVERY single disposable diaper is produced in a factory somewhere, which uses energy. And then they are transported to the store, and it takes energy to transport them. Cloth diapers also need to be produced and transported, but since you are reusing them you are cutting down on the amount that is produced as well as the gas required to transport them.

        And cloth is biodegradeable. Disposable diapers… not so much.

        • Lucy

          I've read that disposable diapers account for 5% of all the non-biodegradeable trash in landfills. 5% doesn't look like a big number, but just think about how many other things are non-biodegradeable. and 5% of these are diapers!

      • leahAB

        Although contrary to our highly consumptive culture, reusing things is almost always better for our planet than consuming and throwing away. Seriously, do we even know how long it will take a disposable to break down in the landfill? And yet we will just keep throwing them in there and filling it up? Not to mention all the chemicals leeching into the soil.

      • lauren0918

        You make a good point about energy efficiency and its impact. This is something I never considered before. I went with disposable on both of my kids though just for the convenience and I have learned with my second child how to coupon and use ECB's and I have cut my diapering costs with my second child dramatically over the first child's expense. And yes, Huggies is the best to me as well. Often times they have the best coupons and you can find the best deals for that brand!

    • Tracy

      Can't beat BJ's – they let you use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon. Most often I get almost $6 off a box – usually always only paying around 15 cents per diaper for Pampers

      • Jenni

        BJ's -can- be beat, and sometimes by a LOT, it just a matter of if you have the time and willingness to do it.

        Jenny mentioned even better Pampers deals than .15 cents a diaper in her article, but I paid 14 cents per diaper for Huggies just last week (I got 4 jumbos in all, for 3.99 each) At Walgreens and Rite Aid, and that was BEFORE counting the store $/$$ coupons I was able to use at Rite Aid, which means I got them for FAR less than 14 cents a diaper:

        Breakdown: I purchased two jumbos originally 8.99 each, plus one 3.49 Kotex (that is free after SCR). Total came to 21.47. I used a $5/$20 coupon for Rite Aid first, then 2 Huggies store coupons for $2 off, and two $3 manu Huggies coups, a $1 Kotex manu coup. After the Kotex rebate, I'll have paid 1.98 for all three items in the end! That equals .99 cents for each Huggies Jumbo, plus free Kotex! That means each diaper cost .04 cents a diaper! And it wasn't hard to do at all, really. And I didn't have to pay a store membership, nor (for me) drive 30 minutes to get to the nearest “club”. You can save so much money, that you'll find you never desire to visit the clubs anymore. (I used to love Sam's Club, personally. Since getting into couponing, I canceled our membership, and haven't missed it at all for over 2 years now.)

        • Jenni

          I probably should have mentioned that I have to buy size 6. If I were buying smaller sizes the amount per diaper would be a LOT lower.

      • guest

        Yes, you can beat BJ's. I never pay more than $0.05 per diaper – that's for a pack of size 5's for my oldest child, it's much much cheaper for the size 1's my newborn is in b/c I stock up whenever I can get diapers for $1.00 per pack and there are more diapers in a pack of size 1's than there are in a pack of size 5's. I'd like to see someone manage to pay $0.05 per diaper at BJ's. I've never heard of it being done, except when someone has a coupon for a free pack of diapers, which is not often and requires no strategy.

    • Lucy

      Recently, I have also found that buying brand name diapers Pampers and Huggies and using coupons and other promotions is actually cheaper than the store brand. I also love the Enjoy the Ride program that Huggies has. With the number of diapers I buy, I was able to order 2 toys already, absolutely free, from that reward system. If I absolutely need diapers and don't have time to go to CVS or don't have coupons, I go to Walmart. They have the best store brand diapers – Parent's Choice. I have compared a lot of store brand, and these are by far the best. But yea, I love Pampers the best – so soft and comfy! If I had more time and energy, I would use cloth… but for now, disposables are just fine for me!

    • Lucy

      Ok, I do have some questions about cloth…
      1) Are they thick, do they make the baby hot?
      2) How do you wash them?
      3) Does that baby feel wet in them?

      • 1. Yes, they are thick- more so than disposables, but they do not make the baby hot. Think about it this way- you’re using natural materials that are breathable, and not plastic based materials that will trap moisture in. I have known quite a few people whose babies were actually allergic to disposable diapers, the chemicals in them, and their babies are more prone to rashes b/c disposable diapers don’t breathe.

        2. Throw them in the washer with a tad bit of detergent. Wash on hot, extra cold rinse, dry on low.

        3. Yes. Which is why most cloth diapered babies potty train approximately a year before their disposable diapered counterparts. My daughter was fully trained at 2 years old, but mostly done at 20 months. It is not unheard of for the average disposable diapered baby to not train until four years old or later!

        Lots of resources out there on the internet about cloth diapering. Try
        diaperpin.com
        clothdiaperoutlet.com
        diaperswappers.com

      • Mandie

        I’m not expert but I’ll give my .02 :)
        1. Are they thick? Well some are some aren’t you have to research them to find just what you want. Even then you may end up liking the opposite of what you thought you wanted lol. Clear as mudd?
        1b.Will they make baby hot? There are lots of studies that show that sposies (disposable dipes) increase the temp inside the dipe. Some folks believe this may be not so good for male boys. (not going to get into that here). In short sposies increase the temp more than cloth.
        2. Washing is easy, everyone has their one system of washing dipes. Theres two basic ways, the dry method and the wet method.
        Dry method: dump the poo into the toilet and store in a some sort of bucket with a tight fitting lid.
        Wet method: same as above except bucket is filled with water (some people like to add vinegar or baking soda or essential oil to thier buckets)
        Now onto the washing part,
        First: I prefer to do a cold rinse first to get rid of the pee/poo.
        Second. wash in cold water, use only a few tablespoons full of your favorite detergent. Some gals like to add in baking soda, borax etc.
        Third do a second rinse, I added in Vinegar during the final rinse but not a necessity. Now you’re done, line dry or dry in the dryer. One more thing, every few weeks I would wash my clean dipes without any detergent on the Hot setting. Detergent will build up on the dipes preventing them from absorbing to their full capacity.
        3. Does the baby feel wet in them? Not likely, especially if you use a fleece liner. Most All-in-one/fitted dipes are lined with fleece therefore eliminating the wet feeling.
        Here are some good sites to start your cloth diapering adventure
        http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp,
        http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp
        These are just two of thousands!

        • Lucy

          Thank you so much for all of your replies! You've almost convinced me to try cloth dipers. I'll try. I also think that it's much better to use natural products for baby. I especially feel bad for the environment, with the number of diapers I use, there must be tons of diapers in a landfill just from my kids :) The only problem I see is washing these – my kids have a too good metabolism LOL, so I get poopy diapers after EACH meal, no kidding! So I guess I would have to wash these every day =O It's just that I can't even get regular laundry done on time, with school and kids, and cooking and cleaning and what not, washing clothes for 4 becomes a huge chore. But I'll try, I'm really looking towards this!!! Thank you all again for all of your comments, very helpful!

      • kathi

        My baby is old enough to be a mom now (glad she isn't yet) so my experience is dated BUT
        1) a Both disposables and cloth were thicker when my kids were wearing them than they are now. Visually from babies I know, they look about equal to one another now. b One reason I preferred cloth was that the 'sposies tended to retain more heat and living in the south that was an issue for both of my kids,

        2) I rinsed poopy ones in the toilet, put all in a diaper pail w/ water and borax, poured the whole thing (diapers, wipes and borax water) into the washing machine and added detergent and 1c vinegar (my sister waited and added the borax at this point). Either line dried or dryer

        3) I think babies DO feel the wetness more easily in cloth. This can be an advantage if you are potty training; it can be a disadvantage if you want to go for a period of time w/o the baby fussing due to discomfort.

        And you didn't ask but IME both of my kids and several others I know/knew are/were more prone to diaper rash w/ disposables vs cloth

      • nikichickee

        1 They are MUCH more breathable ESPECIALLY when you use wool as a cover :) Depending on what system you use they are nearly as trim as sposies, we LOVE our Bum Genius Organics One size

        2 cold prewash, hot wash with about 2tbsps of Purex F&C, cold extra rinse

        3 yes baby feels wet depending on what system you use and as a result they potty train much sooner, my son PLd at 18 months and I was able to pass on his diaper to his baby sister that arrived a month after he graduated from them :)

      • annakauzlarich

        Just wanted to add that you don't have to soak in water anymore. Just a dry pail!

      • leahAB

        About #3: Depends on the type of liner if they feel the wetness, but in my opinion feeling wet is not a bad thing. They learn that when they pee, they feel wet and they want it off. Helps significantly with potty training (cloth diapered babies train much quicker). One of the grossest things about disposables is the ability to let the baby wear their pee for a while because they don't “feel” the wetness. Whether mine are in a disposable (occasionally on outings) or in a cloth, they get changed when they pee- not when their diaper is full. How many adults want to wear a toilet all day? This also eliminates most diaper rash issues.

    • Thank you for having cloth as your first option! It is so true! People who like to say cloth is not really as good for the environment say so to make themselves feel better. All you have to do is a tiny amount of research to see the truth in that fact.

      A friend of mine is a firefighter and he said that often when they go into houses that have burned down, the ONLY thing left are disposable diapers, completely in tact and water-logged. Because they have to be flame-retardant and waterproof, everything else in the house burns/melts except the diapers! Imagine all those chemicals on your baby's bottom. ICK!

      They also retain their value. We are using our cloth diaper stash on our second child with no new money put in. And when we do decide to sell them, I will be able to recoup at least 50%, if not more, of the money I bought them with.

      I encourage people to look into cloth- they are WAY different than what you think of, what was out there twenty years ago, and it's really not all that gross. In fact, I find disposables way grosser- they certainly SMELL way worse than cloth!

    • Jennifer

      We just switched to cloth diapers and my daughter is 18 months old! We did it because Pampers screwed up a good diaper by putting this “new and improved” crap on the market. We love it and can't wait to cloth again when we have baby number 2!!

    • Jenni

      Great article! My experience completely agrees with what you've written. I used to always buy Target house brand, which is usually about $7 a jumbo in my area. Every once in a while, there are coupons for them as well. I remember being so THRILLED with only paying $5.25 for Target diapers ONCE.

      Well, NOW I pay no -more- than $5 per jumbo. I just stocked up from Rite Aid and Walgreens deals for Huggies diapers and Pull Ups at 3.99 a jumbo (we don't like Pampers and there are no Harris Teeters in our area), and that is before the $/$$ coupons that I also used! I couldn't have done it without the tips on coupons and sales from you, Jenny, and I am so grateful!

    • Anonymous

      I use the Flip cloth diapers for my one yr old and I love them! I bought them from cottonbabies.com when she was 6 mths old and they still look and work the same as when they were brand new. I use disposables when I travel or am going to be gone from home all day so I only have to buy them when I see a great deal. Cloth is a great way to save money and be “Green” :)

    • Robert

      The deciding factor is ease of use and comfort. As a chemical engineer with an environmental studies background, the difference in regards to environmental is essentially zero. The total cost savings aren't quite as great as they appear.
      1) One must first own a washer and dryer. Not all can afford them.
      2) The frequent hot washings and dryings use of detergent not only have significant environmental impact, but can be costly.
      3) Replacement of poo stained clothes and other items. One big advantage of disposables is that they can hold so much more. When we tried cloth, “blow outs” (where clothes and other things were stained) were about 10 times more likely. Some stains just just don't wash out.
      .
      In the end, if you get good deals on diapers, it can actually be cheaper than cloth. If you get diapers for $.10 a piece, which can be done with coupons and/or smart shopping, 8-10 dirty diapers becomes $.80-$1.00. This is actually cheaper than what the majority of people would pay in energy costs and detergent to have the same amount of cloth diapers washed and dried.

      Summary:
      1) Environmental Impact: Tie
      2) Cost: Tie
      3) Pick the ones you are like best and are more comfortable using. We use disposables because they are easier and more sanitary. As for diaper preferences, we like Luvs. They appear to absorb more and control blowouts better than Pampers or Huggies. It is also nice that they are significantly cheaper.

      • courtney_80

        you should use cold settings to wash your dipes with very, very little detergent. you should also line dry your dipes. most cloth dipes come with a care manual that will explain why these things are important.

        as far as blowouts, each type of dipe and each brand of dipe fits a child differently. my children have very chubby thighs, so we had to play around to find a cloth dipe that worked best for them.

        re: cost. we have $300 invested in our cloth diapers and we are currently diapering our 2nd child with the exact same dipes. even adding in the extra 2 loads of laundry a week, there is no way that a person can diaper a child for 2 years on $150.

        hope this didn't come across as grumpy, i just hate to see anyone being discouraged from using cloth when studies show it's better for the environment and your child.

        • 3kidsandamom

          I wish I could like this 100000 times :)

        • jessica

          Better for your child, better for the environment, and better for your wallet :) :)

          I wish I could like your comment 100,000 times too! ;)

        • Susan

          Cold Washings are the key. 95% of energy used is in heating up the water. I must say though that I find washing cloth diapers only every 3 or 4 days is highly unsanitary and in all honesty disgusting.

          • courtney_80

            LOL! i'm not really sure what to say. i don't know why it would be disgusting. i've been doing it for 2 1/2 years now without a problem. i use a dry pail and they don't smell or have stains. we have a very large amount of dipes so i have no need to wash that often. maybe if i knew why you thought it was disgusting, i could address the issue.

          • Jennifer

            It is very unsanitary. When I change a poo diaper…I am not going to go wash my hands in cold water and use half the amount of soap and then go touch my baby or cook dinner.

            • jen

              it's no less sanitary than a bunch of disposable diapers sitting in a diaper pail or trash can for that long.

              i always wash my hands in cold water, and i don't use a lot of soap. I am NEVER sick, and i dont really feel it is unsanitary.

              if you are not a fan of cloth diapering, that's fine. everyone is entitled to their own opinion. but that doesn't mean it isn't sanitary. cloth diapering doesn't expose a baby to all the horrible chemicals in disposables. to me, that is even more important.

            • courtney_80

              ha! it doesn't really matter if you use cold/hot to wash your hands unless you are scalding yourself to kills germs. :) most people also use far too much soap thinking that more = better, but that really isn't the case. i find it interesting that so many think that cloth diapers are disgusting but don't bat an eyelash at leaving their child in disposable diapers for hours and hours, all the while exposing their child's delicate skin to harmful chemicals and growing bacteria. a little research on the subject can really open up a person's eyes to the facts.

            • Courtney

              Actually, most modern disposable diapers pose no more danger to baby skin than cloth diapers when dry. When wet, they are actually better because they absord the urine. When I change a wet disposable diaper, the baby's skin is almost always dry. Everytime I've change a cloth diaper, the baby's bum was wet.

              I know I wouldn't like having my backside wet with urine, so why would my baby?

              I acknowledge that cloth diapers can be easier on the environment, but there are much easier and more effective ways to be green. My energy efficient appliances, light bulbs, windows, insulation, driving habbits, water usage, using unprocessed foods, carpooling, recycling, etc. reduce my environmental approxamitly 400-500 more effectively than using disposable diapers.

              I saw Kudos to those who do use cloth diapers, but for me, It is just not worth the cost.

            • Betsey

              Knowing that disposable contain chemicals and that cloth diapers do not, then it would be easy to deduct that no chemicals is probably less dangerous than chemicals. Depending on what type of cloth diaper used, you can keep baby's skin dry. On average, we would change a cloth diaper more often than a disposalbe depending on the type again. Cloth diapers do not contant the gel or other chemicals that allow for the disposable to absorb the liquid and expand. Cloth diapering is by far more affordable than disposable diapers. Initially there might be a greater investment with buying your cloth diaper supply, but they can be used for multiple children. It's great that we have choices and can do whatever we feel is best for our own children, but it is just untrue to state that cloth diapering is more expensive. I think that even if one bought the most expensive cloth diapers, it would still end up being cheaper than disposable diapers even considering energy costs of washing your own. The effects and cost of disposable diapers sitting for hundreds of years in our earth's soil is immeasurable and it is unfortunate that my grandchildren will likely deal with the negative consequences.

            • No, No, and Yes

              I'm a chemical engineer with an MBA. I have product safety and OSHA experience. Your 3 arguements for cloth diapers are:
              1) They are Cheaper: This is only true if you wash diapers in cold water or compare cloth diapers to buying expensive diapers and not using coupons. Read “Cost Comparison's” post. I ran the numbers and came up with similar numbers. On average over a 2 year period, using cloth diapers cost 10-11 cents per use. A price attainable by watching sales and using coupons.

              2) Diapers have bad chemicals: They don't. Most people don't even have the slightest idea about what “chemicals” are and what they do. Their isn't room for a chemistry lecture here so I'll just say that they chemicals in disposable diapers are no more harmful to a baby's skin than the chemicals in cloth diapers (and yes they do have chemicals in them).

              3) Environmental factors: Cloth diapers are better for the environment. I agree completely. However I do not naysay disposable diaper useres in this respect because there are many more effective ways to reduce ones environmental footprint than using cloth diapers.

            • courtney_80

              i actually find it silly that anyone could argue that disposable diapers are cheaper. i have already posted, but again i repeat that we have $300 invested in cloth diapers. we are diapering our 2nd child with the same dipes. even adding in the 2-3 loads of extra laundry a week, there is no way that i believe a person could buy disposable dipes for their children for 2+ years for anywhere even close to the affordability of cloth.

              $300 investment in dipes
              divided by 2 children
              =$150 per child
              add even $100 for costs of laundry (which is crazy high, we wash cold/line dry)
              =$250 per child

              divide that out by week for 2 1/2 years of diapering (130 weeks) = $1.92/week per child

              we even purchased the more expensive diapers. we initially only invested $60 in cloth for prefolds and covers. we chose to buy others because we liked them so much. can anyone really argue that disposables can beat the price of $60 (plus laundry, of course)?

            • JZig

              do you work for kimberly clark? my uncle does….and even he says the chemicals they add to the diapers are terrible. does your dish towel absorb as much liquid as a diaper? didnt think so, obviously chemicals are added to help absorb more liquid. i hope you arent really a chemical engineer, because that would be sad. to be so bad at math and comparisons and to not know the dangers of chemicals…what chemicals are in a cloth diaper??? cotton? bamboo? where is the chemical? and all the talk of the dry max diapers causing burns? if there are no chemicals in diapers why did huggies come out with a pure and natural diaper??!? or why is there a difference between the regulars and the supreme, as well as regular pampers and swaddlers. i am all for using what you want, but dont turn this around. lets call a spade a spade here

            • No, No, and Yes

              First off, what are you calling a “chemical?” I am going to assume that you mean something man made in a laboratory (even though this is an extreamly limited and inaccurate definition).

              Second I never said there weren't “chemicals” in disposable daipers. I simply commented on the comparative lack of harmful effects to a baby's skin. Most of the “chemicals” in cloth diapers are associated with the cotton processing. Below is a quote from an article from the Organic Consumers Association:

              “The chemicals used in cotton production don't end with cultivation. As an aid in harvesting, herbicides are used to defoliate the plants, making picking easier. Producing a textile from the plants involves more chemicals in the process of bleaching, sizing, dying, straightening, shrink reduction, stain and odor resistance, fireproofing, mothproofing, and static- and wrinkle-reduction. Some of these chemicals are applied with heat, thus bonding them to the cotton fibers.

              Several washings are done throughout the process, but some of the softeners and detergents leave a residue that will not totally be removed from the final product. Chemicals often used for finishing include formaldehyde, caustic soda, sulfuric acid, bromines, urea resins, sulfonamides, halogens, and bromines.”

              The point is not that Cotton is evil or dangerous, but that “chemicals” are in literally just about everything we touch. They are simply not present in sufficient amounts to be a danger.

              Third, your “so bad at math” statement. I am going to assume you are referring to my estimating the cost of using cloth diapers. My math was not “bad,” it is simply more realistic and complex than what you know. I am not saying I am a more intelegent person, but I've had the advanced finance classes so I have better tools to use in my calculations. My estimates are accurate on average. If you want to know what you cloths diapers are costing you specifically, find a finance specialist and have him calsulate it using your specific situation. Simple math does not suffice when dealing with money over an extended period of time.

            • marybeth

              I find it so hard to believe you have a degree in finance and yet cannot spell “intelligent.”

              Additionally, you obviously used the cost of hot washing and drying in the dryer in your calculations (otherwise- sorry, your calculations are just plain wrong). You should not include hot washing and dryer drying in the calculations when most who cloth diaper do NOT do these things, they add a HUGE expense, and instructions for cloth diapering will explain that it is ideal to line dry (for a number of reasons I won't get into here.)

              So, though you obviously probably do know math, your assumptions are still, on average, wrong :)

        • djane

          I agree it is better for the enviroment but I tried cloth once when my 18 month old DD had a very bad diaper rash and she soaked not only her clothes but the furniture and even the floor not one but 2 cloth diapers on. There is no way to keep her from soaking everything in sight with the cloth diapers on. She is 3.5 now and I have not been able to get her to potty train yet and she is prone to soaking her clothes through the disposible diapers to where I know that cloth would never hold it.

      • rebecca

        I used disposables on my first and cloth with my second, so have lots of experience with both. I love cloth! We have NO blowouts with cloth but have them very frequently with disposables. I also know for a fact that we are saving lots of money. I find that the “ease” of disposables is nothing in comparison to the money I am saving as well as not having the blowouts that ruin outfits. To each his own, but we LOVE cloth and have found that it is the best option for us :)

        • msbwg

          We've only had 2 blowouts in the last 18 months and both times my son was wearing a disposable. My son has some GI issues and has pretty chronic diarrhea so to never have a blowout in cloth is amazing. Disposables are more convient and we do use them for traveling or on daytrips(the zoo, beach, etc….) but for any other time we prefer cloth.

          I know you can usually find disposables pretty cheap between sales, coupons and CVS but there still could be times when you need them and have no choice but to pay full price. I know I had that experience w/ baby formula. I would stock up when I could but there were several times that I didn't have any choice but to pay the full price. I stock up on disposables when they're almost free at CVS and have a whole closet full(we have several trips planned in the near future).

          • jennifer

            I also ran out of coupons for formula. We use powder and so I checked on Ebay and bought around $600.00 worth for around $300.00 shipping included. That formula lasted 4 1/2 months and this week I am back on Ebay to stock up again. For those that are interested what I do is decide how much I am willing to pay for a 12.5 size. In my case $7 is my max I will pay total. Say the listing has (2) 23.5 cans and (2) 12.5 cans and say $10 shipping. I first add all the ounces up 2 x 23.5 + 2 x 12.5 = 72 total. Then I take 72 and divide by 12.5 = 5.76. So I think of the auction as selling 5.76 cans of formula. I take 5.76 and multiply by my max price which is $7 = 40.32. Then I subtract shipping of ten. $30.32 would be my max bid for the auction. They also have auctions for the coupons on there also. Just read the auctions for what the expiration dates are.

      • Nicole

        You don't need a washer or a dryer. In fact, our ancestors used to wash everything by hand. So, technically, that would be incorrect. My intention is not to degrade your opinion, but merely point out that we don't actually need all of these luxuries we have to survive. If you were a single momma/daddy with no washer or dryer and someone handed you cloth diapers at a baby shower, more than likely you would wash them by hand and the cost of diapering your child would be significantly less.

        I wash some of my delicates, by hand, in the bath tub, a diaper wouldn't be any different. Also, blowouts in a child's clothing really aren't that bad. If you are willing to buy second hand clothing or take hand me downs it wouldn't be a big deal. I hope that we all think about our choices before we make them regarding our children, environment, and our own sanity.

        Cloth diapering might not work for a busy, on the go family… so you should also choose based on your lifestyle too.

      • Crystal

        Seriously, if you don't want to use cloth that's your call, but to say that the environmental impact is the same is ridiculous. And, we used cloth and had no more blow-outs with cloth than with disposables. And, as for the cost I still think that cloth is cheaper in the long run. Yeah, if you're buying $25+ AIO cloth diapers then the cost would be a tie, but you can't compare the highest possible cost for cloth with the lowest possible cost for disposables. If you compare across the board, frivolous with frivolous and frugal with frugal then there really is no comparison.

    • marie

      I used cloth while I was nursing and it wasn;t bad at all…I chickened out once solid foods entered the diet…but after all is done, every dad on the block wants your cloth diapers to use to wash their cars! My oldest is 11 and we just threw out the last 'diaper rag' last year…they last FOREVER! honestly, I think one of the reasons my kids all potty trained early (on their own…we didn;t push it) was because of the cloth diapers..they actually FELT it when they got wet…which is OKAY…you are not a bad parent just because your kid's booty feels damp! I don't remember diaper rash ever being a problem with cloth either…ONE TIP that was passed to me…if you use pins and not velcro…just store the pins point down in a bar of soap and they will slide right in the diaper every time! GOOD LUCK and if it doesn't work, then you jsut have some great rags!

    • Lindsay

      What do you do with dirty cloth diapers immediately? Like, until you wash them, where do you put them so they don't stink up your house? Also, what are cloth wipes? Is that basically a wet washcloth or is it different?

      • I have a separate trash can I put cloth diapers in – you can buy pail liners, but I just wash my can out while washing the diapers. They actually smell less in the open trash can than my daughters disposables do in the Diaper Champ! Hard to believe, I know (I was told it was something about the chemicals in disposables). I wash diapers about twice a week. I made my own cloth wipes out of a ripped flannel sheet we had. They are basically like baby washcloths though. You can find some recipes for ways to soak them, but I use a water bottle to wet them as needed (for freshness reasons). Hope this helps!

      • 3kidsandamom

        I have a simple Costco diaper pail that is in my laundry room. It contains the smell and once it gets full, I wash. I have a 6 month old and I'm doing this every other day. :) I don't do cloth wipes YET, but I just got a sample for making solution to home made wipes that smells really yummy. There are a lot of tutorials on you tube for making your own, as well as CDing :)

      • annakauzlarich

        Mine just sit on our washer and they really don't stink up the house or anything!! (I have a 21 month old). We clean them at night in the toilet. And place in our “diaper pale” which is a small trashcan with a liner. We wash every other day. And for cloth wipes, just use baby washclothes (about 2-3 dozen), and I just keep a squirt bottle of water next to it to spray on the wipe because I'm not organized enough to make a special solution.

      • courtney_80

        i keep a dry pail (just a stainless steel small trashcan) with a liner by the changing table. the liner i purchased in the camping section. it's a wet bag to keep in any wetness and odor. when the pail gets full, i wash.

        cloth wipes are awesome. we actually purchased some homemade ones (ebay, i think) that we love. one side is terry cloth, the other side is flannel. once used, just throw them in with the dipes to be washed. we use a homemade, natural solution to wet them. you can find tons of “recipes” for wipes solution on the net. HTH

    • Shari

      if any of you would like to get a better insight on how to get the disposable diapers for super cheap, you should go to the Extreme couponing event in Nashville May 8! If you don't live in the Nashville area, get a few friends together and make a day trip out of it! you will not regret it!

    • JRFrugalMom

      This is a great post! I have debated with myself about this many times, and my calculations have always come back to buying diapers with coupons.

    • annamariec76

      I have cloth diapered…I actually made them myself…the last two times around though I have been homeschooling bigger kids and just didn't want to add the time for extra changes (because little babies use about 4x more cloth diapers in a day than sposies) and washes (every day to every other day). I can never say how thankful I am to SS for helping me learn how to strategically shop and except for a small handful of times that I have found myself in a bind and had to pay full price for a bag of diapers, I have paid rock bottom prices for them.

    • Meg

      Just a quick question for all the mothers out there. How early before you had your children did you start diaper deal hunting? How long are packaged diapers good for?

      • Jennifer

        We used lots of size 3 diapers. not as many size 1 and 2. I am on my third child and I bought too many size 2 but if they are unopened you can exchange them. I think it is never to early to buy them if you find a great deal at CVS or Walgreens with the XB's or RR's. My baby is 4 months and we just changed to size three. I remember with my other two they used size three for many months.

      • Crystal2756

        Honestly- with my first I didn't buy any diapers ahead of time as I wasn't couponing and didn't realize we could get diapers for over 50% off! This time I started buying in January and I am due in 2 weeks. Since this is my second child I bought about as many of size 1 2 and 3 that my first went through. She grew much faster than average so I figured to buy as many as she used then I will be able to find deals if I need more of a certain size. The best deal I've been able to score so far were the jumbo packs of huggies for 2.99 at Harris Teeter last week!

    • Cloth diapers are the best!! I love Babyland Diapers.

    • SLS

      I am very new to couponing, just about the last 6-8 weeks. I am trying to figure out the whole diaper “thing.” I am used to buying target brand for my twins (2 years old) and Huggies for my middle one. Thankfully my oldest is all out of diapers! Is a $3 publix coupon and $3 huggies coupon the best I am going to get? I am totally happy with $6 off a box- it seems to come out to the same price as a target box…maybe a drop less. Should I be doing more research? Is it cheaper other places?

      • MelRae

        Yes, diapers can be much cheaper other places, mostly drugstores. Keep reading this site and Jenny will alert you to the best diaper deals each week.

      • VanessaCook

        Diapers go on sale so frequently. I only buy them when they are on sale, so I only pay about $3 per pack. Cheaper to use disposables (with coupon shopping I spent about $312 in 2 years) than to pay $500 for ones you have to wash.

        • jen

          so you only go through a pack a week? even for a newborn? and you ALWAYS get diapers for $3 a pack? Otherwise, your math doesn't add up.

          • VanessaCook

            Yes, as a matter of fact I do ALWAYS get diapers for $3 a pack or less…it is so easy with help from Jenny. And my math is based on the fact that you use about 2 packs for newborns and then about a pack a week for a long time and then as they are training you use less and less…including pullups for emergencies.

    • DD

      Just curious as to what cloth diapers are the best and most highly recommended. I have done some research, but would like to hear from people who actually use cloth diapers.

      • Anonymous

        sites like diaperpin.com and greenmountaindiapers.com offer great tutorials and clothdiapernation.com is a great place to meet mamas that will walk with you ever step of the way :)

      • annakauzlarich

        I LOVE one size Bum Genius Pocket 3.0. However, my daughter is getting to big for them (32 lbs at 21 months), so we are switching over to Happy Heiny's pocket one size and they fit bigger kids :). If you can find someone who has a cloth diaper business in your area they can sit down with you and you can see all the different kinds etc. There's so much out there it can be hard. But its totally worth it!

      • Kazzy

        I use Kushies all in ones, and they are now being used on my second child. I run a load everyday and they have held up very well. I use Kushies flushable liners as well. I also use cloth wipes in my own solution. I've lived in an apartment on the 2nd floor for years and I have a hard time getting to take the trash to the dumpster with 2 kids, let alone getting to the store to buy diapers and wipes all the time. hth

      • courtney_80

        i prefer the boring, old-fashioned chinese prefolds and covers for a newborn. then as they get older, i switch to BumGenius one-size. at around the age of 12 months, i prefer the Fuzzi Bunz as they just seem a bit trimmer and fit my kids better. they also have numerous snaps for a more custom fit around the thighs.

        we have a few AIO's, but i honestly don't like them much. they take too long to dry and don't seem to hold up as nicely as the pocket diapers.

        out of all the dipes we own, the Fuzzi Bunz have stayed the nicest. they are in excellent shape.

    • Trae

      One other place to look for disposable diapers are thrift stores. Some parents give diapers that babies outgrow too fast to thrift stores. I recently purchased 50 newborn diapers that were repackaged in a clear plasitc bag for $2.99.

    • lisaajenkins

      We're expecting our 3rd—8 months after our 2nd came. I can honestly say that I'm not scared of buying diapers for 2 like I would have been 2 years ago!! Thanks for all you do to show us how to save when unexpected events come our way!! LOL

    • Anonymous

      I literally SQUEELED when I saw this! I have been cloth diapering for over 2 years and by my second baby can tell everyone of you people that say the price and environmental factor is equal are incorrect. Those “stastics” you find are provided by manufacturers of disposable diapers and therefor completely biased. I haven’t read through all the responses but wanted to let those interested know that cloth is FAR from what it used to be and with handy products like flushable liners, diaper sprayers, and wet bags convenient reigns in the cloth diapering world these days :) sites like diaperpin.com, greenmountaindiapers.com, and clothdiapernation.com can be a wealth of information and you will be welcomed with open arms :) also anyone can feel free to email me and I will help you in any way I can.

    • Dereck

      I'm not saying that disposable diapers are better for the environment than cloth, but they still leave a hefty impact. Here are some average numbers of waste produced per child from washing and drying cloth diapers:

      1) 183.1 tons of waste water containing chemical detergents and waste matter.
      2) 293.23 pounds of laundry detergent down the drain.
      3) 10884.3 kWh of energy used.
      4) 12.35 Tons of CO2 emisions.

      If you wash your cloth diapers in cold water and line dry them, then they definately are better for the environment. If you wash in hot water and use a dryer, there really isn't much of an advantage over disposable.

      • jessica

        I am not a cloth diapering mom, (heck, I don't even have any kids), but your comment seems very misleading. First, the “waste” would be present in either cloth or disposable diapering regardless. Secondly, how much energy is used to produce the number of disposable diapers that a child goes through in roughly 3 years? surely more than than would be used washing cloth diapers I would think. Thirdly, I would think that 300 lbs of laundry detergent is nothing compared to 2 tons of disposable diapers rotting somewhere for 500 years. Fourthly, how many tons of CO2 emissions would be produced in the production and transporting of all those disposables? How much CO2 would be produced in the disposables rotting in a landfill?

      • Struck

        Where did you get those numbers? 293 pounds of laundry detergent?? I used 1/2 tablespoon of Charlie's Soap detergent (non-toxic, biodegradable, highly recommended by many cloth diaper users) every other day. So, maybe 4 pounds for the 2 years we used cloth diapers. Yes, using a washing machine uses energy but so does producing mass quantities of disposables and packaging, over and over and over. Now, if you hand wash diapers like my grandma taught me to and her mother taught her I think that would be a difference. No CO2 emissions from some elbow grease.

        • Dereck

          The cited numbers are for average recommended amount for liquid laundry detergents in an average modern top loading washing machine. They were not ment to discourage users of cloth diapers. They are ment to show that cloth diapers aren't the perfect little angels many people are trying to paint them as if one washes them in hot water and dries then in a dryer.

          Obviously your detergent numbers are lower and if you wash diapers in cold and line dry them, about 95% of the CO2 emmisions and energy consumption are cut out.

    • miichaelcollins

      I don't want to say that there is no enviromental impact to using cloth, but to say that the studies that those below have referred to have overstated that impact would be an understatement. These same studies are published by those who have done all the climate change studies that are false.

      • jessica

        ALL of the climate change studies are false? Um, no offense meant, but how do you know more about this topic than the many, many scientists who have studied and reported on climate change?

    • Jackie

      Great article! I love cloth diapering my daughter and plan on using her cloth diapers for our next kids we plan on having. I also use cloth wipes which saves so much money. It’s so much better for them if you can CD…much cooler (don’t have plastic against your skin), less chemicals, and easier to potty train a child who is cloth diapered. Just an FYI…you can’t sell used cloth diapers on ebay. http://www.diaperswappers.com is a great website to check out though!

    • Kat

      I am so so so proud to see this post here that I could kiss you! :) Cloth diapers are an amazing thing to offer your child that so many unknowing/unwilling parents overlook and it’s sad. I was the first of anyone I knew to cloth diaper my now 17 month old son and I am SOOOOO happy! My child has never NEVER had a diaper rash…….I am pregnant with #2 and I will not be paying ANYTHING for diapers!
      And I am quite proud that I have done something “green” since I really never have before.
      A GREAT resource is DirtyDiaperLaundry.com it is run by a great woman who will walk you thru everything you need to know!
      I am watching several people I know go thru the struggles with the Pampers Dry Max issue (causing severe chemical burns in hundreds, possibly thousands of babies); and I am so glad not to have that worry.

    • Crystal

      It drives me crazy when people say that because it's all about your choices. We spend VERY little extra money on our kids and they are certainly not deprived.

    • Leslie

      I've got twins too. Tho they will turn 18 years old in a few weeks. I'm sure their disposable diapers are still in some landfill, and I'm sorry about that. But I'm not sure it was the diaper thing that made you almost lose your mind! I think it may have had to do more with the twin thing. I had a two year old and then twins. I sure wish there had been an internet and Southern Savers back then. It would have saved us a bundle. Next year it's college x 3! Tho I'd rather spend money on a college education than a lot of other things!!!

    • LadyWicky

      I am due with my first child in August and already have started my cloth diaper stash. I found that nubunz is running a special right now. $8 a diaper. They are one size pocket diapers…and from what I've heard from friends who use them, they are almost exactly like Bum Genius diapers. So, they will take my baby from 8lbs to potty training.

    • My sister saved lots when she had her first baby by saving coupons for nappies. She also did a little research and found shops that were doing 2 for 1 offers.

    • Sarah

      I have been using Bum genius 3.0 on my now 2 yr. old, and my 9 wk. old. LOVE THEM!!! wasn't sure how it would be with a newborn, but they have worked great, and i think they even keep those newborn blowouts in much better than disposables. for the older kids, I use the flushable diaper liners for the pooh. a lifesaver, just flush the poop down the toilet, makes cleanup so easy. they are a bit more expensive than some cloth diapers, but definitely worth it in my book. the outer fabric whisks the wetness away so its not sitting on your baby. we use them day and night and love them. even dad has a easy time changing diapers with them

      • Lucy

        Wow, I never thought about liners, that would be a great choice for me, since my babies have a too good metabolism LOL. That's why I never really looked into cloth diapers – can't imagine having 6-10 poopy cloths to wash per day :O LOL

    • Big thumbs up for cloth. Especially since once you buy them, you can reuse them for multiple kids. Prefolds are probably the cheapest, but definitely ask people who are coming to your baby shower to buy you diapers for your cloth stash!
      http://naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog/how-to-afford-cloth-diapers/

    • jeniver

      Jenny, thank you for the info on diapers. I am currently cloth diapering my fourth child. He is 7 months old, and I wish I had started cloth diapering with my girls years ago. With very little skill you can make very nice fitted diapers that work like disposable. I have snaps on mine, but started with hook and loop fasteners.

      I can't imagine going back to disposables, and easily wash the diapers every night, just like when my three year old was potty training and had accidents. The reason for using less detergent is the residue buildup that causes diapers to not absorb. I do wash in hot but may try washing in cold to see if they still get clean. That would be nice for showers at night and having enough hot water.

      I never imagined that there would be such argument over the use of cloth. I know people who use disposable and ones who use cloth. I know my choice is economical and because of the chemicals in the disposables, as well as them being in the landfill forever. I appreciate that you listed cloth as an option and gave resources for research. I know I have saved a lot of money cloth diapering and even have cute cloth diapers for my baby. If I couldn't sew, I think I would use prefolds and covers held together with a Snappi. They make ease of fastening quick and easy.

      Hope everyone finds what they need. I am also thankful for the resources to get disposables really cheap. We will be traveling some in the near future and washing while we travel would be difficult, so I will resort to using disposable during this time…but as soon as I get home, I will be thrilled to return to my cloth diapers.

    • Lucy

      I forgot to mention that I also love getting diapers with the money-makers. Like last month at Publix the vitamins were $3 money maker, so each time I went, I would get a pack of diapers and 2 bottles of vitamins, use a manf. coupon, store coupon, plus coupons on vitamins, and get a pack of diapers very cheap.

      Or Walgreens for example has lots of money makers that I buy even if I don't need the item. Then I use that $3 or $2 or whatever RR + manf. coupons to get cheaper diapers :)

    • Mary Ann

      I use little g diapers for my baby at home, which are cloth diapers with a plastic liner, which I fill with cut-up old bath towels which I wash. They also sell flushable/compostable liners, but they are expensive. So I wash the towels (and can throw a piece out if it's really nasty) and coupon for the disposables I need for going out, long naps, nighttime etc. Good compromise for me. Thanks Jenny!

    • Cost Comparison

      Cloth diapers Vs. Couponed Disposables: Cost

      Note: this post does not discuss environmental, sanitary, or ease of use factors. Cost factor only.

      OK, heres how it works. We will determine how much it costs to wash disposable diapers and then calculate the price we would need to be able to purchase disposable diapers to make it even.

      Assumptions: Initial cost of cloth diapers = $200. Baby goes through 8 diapers a day for 2 years. Diapers are washed every other day in an average modern top loading washing machine and dried in a dryer. Electricity costs are considered the average over the US. Laundry detergent is $.20 per load (cheaper than Tide and Drift, but more expensive than the cheaper brands). No fabric softener is used. Cost of capitol is 15%. Cost of water use is negligable.

      Under these circumstances, the total cost of cloth diapers for 2 years is $711.30. For disposable diaper to have the same cost, you would have to buy them for $0.1067 per diaper. With coupons and/ or smart shopping, such a price is easily doable.

      • jen

        first, your numbers for the disposables don't add up right.

        second, who here spends $0.20/load on laundry detergent?!? That would mean you are spending $6.40 for a 32-load bottle of detergent. That's insane. I spend about $1 for a 32-load bottle. Additionally, most people do not use the full amount of laundry soap when washing cloth diapers.

        third, what is your “cost of capital” at “15%” referring to? 15% of the cost of a washer and dryer? Because most everyone has a washer and dryer and therefore would not have any such additional cost.

        are you assuming washing and drying? washing on hot? because the vast majority of energy cost goes to heat the water and on the dryer. If you wash on cold, and line dry, the energy use is less than 5% of what it would be if you are washing on hot and drying in a dryer.

        it is one thing if people do not want to use cloth. but saying disposables are cheaper is ridiculous. many studies have shown that the average cloth diaper user spends approx $500 to cloth diaper the first child until they are potty trained, and a small fraction of that for each additional child, while disposable diaper users spend an average of $3,000 or more to diaper a child until they are potty trained. I would like to see anyone who can buy disposables for 3 years for their child for $500 or less. Or anyone who could buy disposables for their 2nd and subsequent children for approx $100. It just isn't the least bit realistic.

        • Cost Comparison

          As mentioned in above post, the numbers are for the assumptions stated. In regards to the points you made:

          2)$0.20 per load for detergent. I don't pay $0.20 per load for detergent, but many do. Many pay significantly more. Most P & G detergents are at least that expensive and Tide can be over $0.30 per load. Dreft, organic, and ecofriendly detergents can cost significantly more. At most stores the cheapest liquid detergents are are least $.10 per load and often more. Congratualations on thrifty shopping, but the calculation was done assuming an average cost per load, not using the cheapest possible detergent.

          1 & 3) The answers to your first and third points are the related. In finance there is a concept called “The Time Value of Money.” In practice it can be rather complex, but it essentially means that a $1 today is worth more than $1 in the future. A “cost of capital” of 15% means that recieving $1 today would be equally desireable to recieving $1.15 one year from now. In actuality most people, especially those with children in diapers, have a “cost of capital,” greater than 15%. The more people need money, the greater their cost of capital. The greater one's cost of capital the more expensive using cloth diapers become as a result of the initial purchasing costs.

          When factoring in the cost of capital the numbers do add up. If you don't believe me, thats fine with me. Not believing in math doesn't make it any less real.

          Note: If you change the assumptions, you will obviously get different answers. If you wash in cold and line dry, then there is no way disposables can be cheaoer, but when you wash in hot and dry in a dryer, couponing can be competitive and even save money.

          • rob

            “If you change the assumptions, you will obviously get different answers. If you wash in cold and line dry, then there is no way disposables can be cheaoer, but when you wash in hot and dry in a dryer, couponing can be competitive and even save money.” I am glad you made this point, because you had not made it previously, and it does need to be said. I believe most who cloth diaper do wash in cold and line dry (that is what it says on many of the instructions/manuals you get with cloth diapers. It is indeed true that there is no way disposables can be cheaper when compared to cold washing/line drying cloth.

            also, i do not think it is accurrate for you to calculate laundry detergent at an “average” price sans coupons, and then calculate the price of diapers WITH coupons. You have to calculate both at their average price, or both at a “good couponing price.”

            Did you factor in the cost of capital for disposables? Because many people spent $200+ before their baby is born on disposables, or in the first several months after birth. You can't factor the cost of capital into one equation and not the other.

            Additionally, you have to factor into the equation all your time and money to drive around to whatever store each week has the lowest diaper prices, and gas money, and wear on your car, to get the best prices on disposables.

            • Cost Comparison

              Cost of capital is factored into both disposable and cloth diapers.

              The post was a simply a basic comparison. If have a financial calculator or are familiar with Excel's financial functions, I encourage you to do you put in your own data and do the calculations.

              As to avg detergent price vs. “good couponing price,” the point was not to determine which type of diapers is cheaper, but to give the price one would need to purchase diapers for disposables to be as cheap as cloth per stated assumptions.

              Besides, using the cheap detergent only brings the cloth daipers down from $0.1067 to $0.1005 per use.

              If one washes their diapers in cold water and line dries them (assuming to additional costs for line drying equipment) then the cost of cloth diapers goes down to $0.0561 per use. Definately cheaper than disposable diapers.

          • jay

            I don't think anyone here doesn't believe in math. Not believing cloth diapering saves money also does not make that fact any less real. :)

        • JZig

          first off, we only own 12 cloth diapers and we wash every 3rd day. the detergent we use is dirt cheap (they recommend ALL free and clear or publix brand free and clear- ALL is FREE at publix right now, so stock up!!!!!) jen is correct, as they recommend less then 1/2 of what you would use for a normal load of clothes. also, we have a front loader, and we hang them on the patio to dry. even if we do throw them in the dryer (when its too late for the sun) they take maybe 20 minutes. i get diapers dirt cheap at CVS when we use disposables, but please do not say that cloth is more expensive. not only that, but the research shows cloth diapered children potty train earlier- hence more savings! plus, fluffy tushies are SO cute!!! and we always get comments on his vibrant diapers!!

          • Cost Comparison

            JZig

            Using a front loading washer, line drying 100% of the time, using 1/2 a load of the cheapest liquid detergent, washing every third day (which means that you only change your baby's diaper an average of 3.67 times per day), your use of cloth diapers costs $.0872 per use. The reason this number is as high as it is is because of how few diapers you use. Instead of the 8 disposables needed per day, only 3.67 per day are needed to match your diaper changing habit.

            This is cheaper than most people can buy disposables, if only by a penny or 2 per diaper. Of course over 2 years it can add up. Saving 2 cents per diaper, you would save $19.43.

            Earlier potty training does make a difference though. If you tell me how much quicker cloth diapered babies potty train, I could factor that in as well.

      • 3kidsandamom

        Two things to add to your “assumptions”
        1. multiple children
        2. resale of cloth

        • Cost Comparison

          Assuming 3 kids, keeping the initial cloth diaper cost the same and reselling the cloth for $100, half of the original price, the cost of cloth diapers goes down to 8.152 cents per use.

          • anon

            again, the 8 cents per diaper is assuming average electricity costs for washing on a hot wash cycle and drying in the dryer (which most do not do) as well as using the full amount of detergent (which is not recommended) at an “average” price for detergent, bought without coupons. This also does not factor in gas to drive, wear on car, and time spent to drive around each week to get the best diaper deal for disposables. in my honest opinion, this “cost comparison” is very biased and misleading.

      • jess

        you really also have to factor into your equation that the average cloth diapered child potty trains a FULL YEAR before the average disposable diapered child. So, to be accurate, you would have to factor that into your equation as well.

    • Val

      Jenny,
      Would it be possible to do the best diaper deal of the week as a button or bar on the blog?

      I check SS weekly for Publix deals, but (because I'm a cloth diaper user and only stock up on disposables every now and then) I don't keep up with the 'sposie deals and have a hard time finding them on the blog.

      Thanks for the cloth diaper shout out! We use bum genius and love them! And to all the environmental arguments below, isn't this blog about saving money? Even if you don't believe cloth diapers are better for the environment (which they are), they save a ton of money! Obviously, we should all do what we believe is best for our families, but I suggest if you are thinking about trying cloth, do it!

      • JZig

        i second cloth diapers!!! i didnt read any posts below (too many to filter through) but i was on the edge between disposables and cloth and then when my son was about 6 months old i donated about 700 oz to a girl who owned a cloth diapering business. she, in exchange, gave me 4 happy heinys! then, i bought 8 bum genius from a friend who didnt need them anymore. we still use disposables at night and when we are out of town and not all the cloth ones are clean, but i only stock up and buy when they are nearly free!! the last great deal at CVS was even better for me because i got a 5 off 25 email right before i went so i combined another transaction since i had the ECB and it made my diapers completely free!!! then i repeated with my husbands card! my son is 16 months and we have already started buying sizes 2 and 3 again!!! (he was 11 lbs at birth so no need for the newborns and the size ones we got at the hospital last time he was born so i am waiting on those!) i LOVE SS!!!

    • mrsmadayar

      I have 4 children & I use disposable diapers. What I do to save on diapers for the first few months is combine sales & coupons. I only buy small packs of diapers b/c they grow so rapidly they are constantly changing sizes. Once they settle into a size 4 I start buying in bulk at Toys R Us. I have both their rewards card & credit card which means I get deals & coupons out the wazoo. Of course since it's in bulk it is less money per diaper than other packs. I regularly get $5 or $10 off store coupons plus they will let you stack a manufacturer's coupon so that's another couple of dollars off. Then if you consistently buy the same brand of diapers (I get pampers) they will give you a free box for every nine you purchase.

    • Jennifer

      I didn't read all of the posts here, but did anyone bring up the age old solution of potty training at an early age? Yes, 'Mom is the one potty trained' – I've heard some peers say. But my 6 month old has close to 100% of her bowel movements in the toilet and about 80% of her tinkles go in the potty too. (She still wets when she sleeps.) I nurse her then take her to the potty – no big deal. It takes a few more minutes of my time but it is actually a sweet time with her. She is very talkative on the potty :)

      • Patagonia

        I was doing that too. Elimination communication. For some reason, I started doing it less and less I dont remember why… Anyways, my daughter is 2 now, and I cant seem to get her to go #2 on the potty, but then again she never did do that on the potty. What resources did you use to learn this? Random internet sites?

    • kkirch

      Wow- an age-old debate clearly outlined here! I can say I have used both cloth and disposables, and love my cloth diapers. Yes, there is an ick factor with poop, but everyone seems to get over it just fine (including Daddy and sitters).

      I use BumGenius 3.0 all-in-ones and love them. They work just like disposables (no pins), and the elastic on the edges (waist and legs) seems to keep solids in MUCH better than disposables. I wash in All Free and Clear and use a TINY bit per wash (like a tablespoon). Whenever possible, I dry on the back porch in the sun- this cuts down on power, and the sun really does help with smell. I have never had any issue with stains, so I'm not sure where those would come from.

      In the nursery, I use cloth wipes (just squares of flannel) with a home-made spray. The wipes stay folded in the drawer, and the spray is in an old travel-sized hair-spray bottle (sprays a fine mist) that I mix water, a healthy squirt of baby oil (after two years, still have not gone through a travel bottle I got as a gift for Baby #1), and one squirt of the Johnson's Hair and Body wash (any gentle liquid soap should do). The spray works like a charm.

      After I change, I pull out the liner/insert and drop both in a cheap plastic trash can with snap lid lined with a Swammies liner. When it smells enough (usually half of my supply, about 10 diapers, which is usually about 2 days worth) then I take the bag, dump the diapers in the washer and drop the liner in on top.

      On the road, I got a little zip-top bag at Target that is cloth on the outside and that PVC fabric stuff on the inside. It can hold like 3 good and soaked diapers, but we usually only have one in there. It is also great for wet clothes after swim class, etc.

      I should say I have *NEVER* had a leak from these diapers during the day! My second wets a ton at night (but sleeps through), so I used a disposable with him overnight for a while- and he's fine now. That was my only leak issue- and he leaked through Pampers, too, just not as much. What can I say- the kid can pee!

      I also noticed a HUGE difference in skin care. My kids have sensitive skin, which wasn't always a huge problem, but whenever my first got antibiotics he got runny poops and always got a diaper rash. Because his skin was so sensitive, it got bad quickly. That's what made me switch at first, and soon thereafter got pregnant with #2. WE HAVE NEVER HAD DIAPER RASH IN OUR HOUSE SINCE USING CLOTH!! I say that so emphatically because my first's rashes were so ouchy, it made me cry sometimes. All those creams and warm rinses in the tub- GONE. It has been great for that reason alone.

      Also, I do feel comfort when I change now, knowing that these diapers are not going in the trash. I'm not buying any of them, coupons or not. I also never have to run out to the store at night because we are running out.

      The lack of chemicals is nice to know, the cost savings is GREAT, and the gentleness on baby's skin is wonderful. It's not for everyone, but cloth diapers were certainly the right choice for us.

    • jen

      Also important to note is that many who cloth diaper do so for the health reasons for their baby. Some info to be aware of:

      Babies in disposables are more likely to get diaper rash, due to the plastic in disposables preventing the circulation of air and trapping in the ammonia. One toxic chemical used in diapers is dioxin. It comes from the bleaching process. Sodium polyacrylate is the clear gel found in diapers that makes them super-absorbent. Sodium polyacrylate was BANNED from being used in tampons in 1985 because it was deemed to be unsafe, yet it is still being used in diapers. Tributylin is another toxin found in diapers which the World Health Organization actually lists as one of the “most toxic substances in use in consumer products in the world today.” Tributylin is used to kill or prevent the growth of bacteria. Scientific studies have also linked the perfumes and toxic substances found in disposables to the increase of asthma in today's society. Several animal studies have found that animals who were exposed to disposable diapers straight out of the package suffered symptoms similar to an asthma attack, as well as eye, nose, and throat irritation.

      To say that the effect of highly toxic materials being used against a babies skin for 3 years would have no effect on them is like saying you would let someone rub arsenic (rat poison) on your baby's skin every day for 3 years and it wouldn't affect him since it wasn't swallowed. It's ridiculous.