We always knew we would like to cloth diaper two children, and this allowed us to see purchasing cloth diapers as an investment. It also allowed us to build a stock of cloth diapers filled with good-quality modern diapers in reputable brands. The original sticker shock at seeing a cloth diaper retailing for $18-25 was easy to handle knowing our family would use that diaper for about 4-6 years.
As an example of cost savings, I did a cost break-down using prices for a stash-favorite: FuzziBunz cloth diapers [aff link]. I estimated a stash of 24 cloth diapers based on personal experience from diapering one child.
Cloth diapers first child: $780.75 (24 FuzziBunz modern cloth diapers, and 12 cloth wipes, water and detergent for 3 years)
Cloth diapers second child: $312 (Cost of water and detergent for 3 years)
Disposable Diapers first child: $3092.62 (Diapers and wipes for 3 years) Disposable Diapers second child: $3057.62 (Diapers and wipes for 3 years)
Cost savings for 1 child using cloth diapers: $2311.87
Cost savings for 2 children using cloth diapers: $5057.49
Adding up these numbers, I can barely believe that we will save over $5000 by cloth diapering our two children. I'm already daydreaming about fabulous ways to use that money (vacation, spa days, new shoes). However, I know it will probably go to practical things (remodeling projects for our home, or daycare expenses). "A penny saved is a penny earned," and with cloth diapers that money adds up at each diaper change.
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