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Can I afford to cloth diaper?
November 25, 2007 5:41 pm | by

Even if you have to carefully budget $3.50 each week towards purchasing cloth diapers for the 40 weeks that you are pregnant, yes, you can definitely afford to cloth diaper.

If you are diapering a newborn, start with 24 infant sized prefolds ($18), one Snappi ($2.99) and six pairs of Dappi Nylon Pants ($15). If you want to add in overnight diapers, get two bumGenius One-Size Cloth diapers for an additional $35.90. You will have spent less than $72 to get all the diapers you’re going to need until your baby is approximately four months old. When your baby is four months old, you’ll spend another $46 to get 18 premium-sized prefolds and four larger sized Dappi Nylon Pants. You can re-use the infant-sized prefolds as doublers for naptimes and overnights. The bumGenius grow with your baby and prefolds can be used as additional stuffing if needed. Eventually, you’ll probably need to size up on the covers again, so figure another $10 two more packages of Dappi Nylon Pants.

It is amazing that for approximately $140, you have everything you need to diaper your baby from birth to age two. This is a very inexpensive “no frills” diapering system – but it is fully functional.

Here’s the logic… You’re going to change a minimum of five diapers per day for an older baby and a newborn goes through a diaper every two hours. A package of 216 Size 1 Pampers Swaddlers on was $35.00 on sale today. At 12 diapers per day (normal for a breastfed newborn baby), that package of diapers is going to last 18 days. Every diaper cost you $0.16 to use. After that $0.16 gets thrown in the trash, it is likely that it will sit in a landfill for 500 years. If you repeat that cycle over and over again during the next 2 1/2 years all of the sudden you’ve spent a fortune on diapers… as one customer put it to me recently, “There has to be a trip to Europe in there somewhere.”

“Can I afford to cloth diaper?” is copyright 2008, Cotton Babies, Inc.

About the Author

Jenn is the founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, worldwide leading cloth diaper brands. She has four children (Andrew, Oscar, Elsie and Louis) and holds an MBA from Washington University. When she's not working full time, she enjoys teaching business leaders how to implement sustainable economic & social change.



  • Anonymous said...
    January 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Using the system outlined above, how should I go about washing the dappi and bum genius diapers and the cloths? Do I need a special detergent?

  • Anonymous said...
    February 6, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Wow.Tthank you so much for putting it so frankly! I have been researching cloth diapering and looking for the cheapest way to start but there is a plethora of information out there and it can get overwhelming very quickly. You have broken everything down and have even led us in the right direction to get started! Thank you!!!