I’ve been cloth diapering now for around 12 weeks.
I’ve done a lot of boring estimations and calculations. The conclusion is that the diapers I’ve purchased have paid for themselves. That includes all money I’ve spent as well as gifts and gift certificates.
Money isn’t why I switched to cloth, but it sure doesn’t hurt. Also consider that with disposables, that money would be in the landfill. With cloth, I could stop cloth diapering tomorrow and be able to make a decent amount of my money back by selling the diapers, or at the very least, pass them on to someone else.
I know that the devil’s advocates will have something to say about the cost of washing the diapers. The lil outlaws detergent I’ve been using doesn’t cost any more than a decent “baby” detergent, and in fact costs considerably less when taking advantage of Jacklen’s sales. We have well water, therefore there is no cost for the water. I have an HE washer, so there isn’t much hot water used. I hang diapers to dry and the inserts take no time to dry in the dryer. I’ve noticed no change in my electric bill. Often, I’ll go ahead and throw my son’s clothes in with the diapers also, making it even more efficient.
The real reason I switched was for my son’s health. Since cloth diapering, his bottom is totally clear. He gets a tiny bit of redness when he dirties his diaper, even when changed immediately. A thin layer of Grandma El’s and he’s good as new by the next diaper change.
My son wore a disposable diaper for a few hours one day and literally had raised, red welts on his bottom. I actually love cloth diapering, but even if it were tons of work and very expensive, I’d still do it!
Saving a good $3 per day doesn’t hurt either!