Count The Cost of Diapering

Because every baby leaks.

count-the-cost-of-diapering


Every baby leaks. Most families choose to use diapers, either cloth diapers or disposable diapers, to contain the leaks. The cost of containing those leaks can be high.  Disposable diapers are a single use product.  Use it once, throw it away, buy it again.  Cloth diapers are used again and again, often for multiple children.

Disposable diapers are a cost incurred over time.  You “feel” the cost when you buy the box each time rather than “feeling” the cost all at once.  They seem less expensive, but are more expensive over time.

Cloth diapers are a cost incurred all at once.  You “feel” the cost all at once.  They seem more expensive, but are less expensive over time.

The longer a cloth diaper is used, the less expensive it becomes “per use”.  If it costs $4.79 and you own 24 diapers and use each of those diapers 243 times (to exactly compare cloth diapers to disposable diapers in this chart), the real cost of that diaper is $0.02 plus the cost of washing the diaper.  If you purchase a more expensive cloth diaper at $19.95, the cost of that diaper goes up to $0.08.  As you use those cloth diapers for more than one child, your real cost of diapers continues to drop. Cloth diapers also have a resale value, so some of your original cost can be reclaimed, again, lowering your cost per diaper. There is significant benefit to a family’s personal economy when they use cloth diapers.

On the other hand, a disposable diaper, based on the costs calculated for the graph here, will cost about $0.19 plus the cost of throwing the diaper away and the cost of getting more diapers (either going to the store or having more shipped to your home). Obviously, there is no resale value and the diaper cannot be reused.  Each diaper goes to a landfill where it must be maintained at some cost. There is no benefit to the family other than convenience. There is no benefit to the planet other than a theoretical reduction in water usage although disposable diaper companies must use water to produce individual disposable diapers. While disposable diapers aren’t washed, they are manufactured.  There is an increase in waste and an increase in taxpayer burden over the long term as waste maintenance increases.

Each of these scenarios assumes that you only buy the product specified and nothing else.  As we all know, life is never quite that simple.  It is, however, a fact that cloth diapering is cheaper than using disposable diapers. And you can do it.  Visit CottonBabies.com for more information about how to buy cloth diapers for your baby today so you can start saving now.

By the way, the same math works (a little differently, but the ratios still stand) for older children and adults.  If you happen to have an older child or an adult in your household who needs help with incontinence products, Cotton Babies now has adult cloth diapers and incontinence pads available now too.

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Jenn is the Founder and CEO of Cotton Babies. She holds an Executive MBA from Washington University. She was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Category for the Central Midwest Region in 2011. Among many other awards, she recently received a 2017 YWCA Leader of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. Jenn holds many patents on various inventions in a number of different countries and is listed as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is particularly fascinated by languages, chickens, and children (she has four) when she’s not reading economics journals.

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