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Cloth Diapering an Infant – What’s Cheapest?

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Many cloth diaper mamas use disposables on a newborn.  And I’m not judging.  :-)  They only stay in those small sizes for a short amount of time; is it worth it to invest in cloth diapers?

That depends on two factors:

What kind of diapers are you using?

and

How many children will be coming after this one?

If you are using a one-size diaper, such as the bumGenius, which lasts from 7-35lbs, and you gave birth to a baby that weighs 7lbs or more, then you would be wasting money to buy disposables.  You already have something on hand that works for you baby!

If you are using prefolds and covers, this is how your math will work:   The cost of 24 unbleached infant chinese prefolds (my prefold of choice) is $36.  Five newborn velcro covers (of the cheapest variety, they won’t wear them long enough to warrant the cute ones) total $44.75.  If you plan to continue using prefolds, you will already have pins and/or snappis, if not, the most you’ll spend is $6 for two snappis.  Which brings your total to $86.75.  And most online stores will give you free shipping when you purchase that much.  Personally, I shopped ebay for the covers and snappis and saved probably around $20.

According to Amazon, newborn Huggies diapers are $0.30 per diaper.  I looked up Luvs, too, but they were actually ten cents MORE expensive per diaper at Amazon.  Pampers are three cents cheaper per diaper.  The average infant uses 8-10 diapers per day (especially the breastfed ones!), which comes to $2.40 to $3 per day, using the Huggies’ price.  It would take you 28 to 36 days to reach the price you would have spent on cloth.  If you use disposable diapers for less than a month, then you will be saving money.

Unless you plan on having other children, because your infant cloth diapers will be in almost pristine condition for successive children, making the need to buy additional diapers unnecessary, thereby multiplying the margin of savings.  You will only be able to use disposables for 14-18 days before you start spending money you otherwise wouldn’t have, if you have just one other child.

Of course, the covers I directed you to are only good up to 10lbs.  You will need to buy 4-5 more in the next size, adding another $44.75, before they reach that 15lb marker where they tend to sit for awhile.  Again, take advantage of ebay for these covers!  Odds are you can get all the covers you need, from 6-14lb, for around $45, which means  I don’t have to redo my math.  And I don’t want to redo my math.

If you intend to use sized pocket diapers, such as FuzziBunz, then it is cheaper to use disposables in the beginning.  Twenty small (7-18lbs) FuzziBunz would total $339.  I have never seen the financial sense in buying sized pocket diapers.  :-)

This post is long enough, so I’ll save my Cloth Diapering an Infant – What’s Best? for tomorrow!

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