While I was pregnant, I remember my mom asking me if I planned on using disposable diapers or cloth diapers. At the time I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to use. She continued to tell me that when I was a baby, my parents used cloth diapers on me for a week…if that. My mom noted that it was a very messy process that resulted in my parents switching over to disposable diapers. Mom ended up using the cloth diapers that she had as dust rags.

Quick side note, I was born in the 90’s, so cloth diapers back then were way different than they are today and a lot less messy.

Before I was pregnant, one of my good friends bought cloth diapers for her little girl. I was curious what they looked like, and how much of a pain it really was to use them. When I walked into her nursery, my friend opened the dresser drawer and immediately my eyes grew wide, as I glanced over all the colors and patterns. She pulled one out and showed me how they work. Honestly, it didn’t seem as bad as I thought.

Fast forward to my pregnancy, a couple weeks after my conversation with my mom and I started wondering if cloth diapers was the route my husband and I should take. We started to do the math and watch YouTube videos on how to use and clean cloth diapers. I would have gone to a class, but because my pregnancy was during the pandemic, I had to research it myself. My husband and I did some rough calculations comparing cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers and it looked like it would save us money. See what we came up with, at the end of this article.

Here is what I have learned and experienced since using cloth diapers. I love fashion and accessorizing, so the patterns and different colors was one of the first things I noticed. They have patterns for boys and for girls. On the diapers are buttons that allow you to change the size of the diaper; so that the diapers can grow along with your baby. On the back of the diaper is a pocket that holds an interchangeable cloth pad. The idea is to change the cloth pad out once the baby has peed in the diaper. At first when I started using them, I didn’t really realize that you could use the cloth diaper longer, unless the baby has soiled it. So now for each diaper I change the pad out once, before putting my daughter in a new cloth diaper. I’ve noticed that I don’t need to change the pad very often, because the pads are very absorbent. There are a lot of options when it comes to picking out cloth diapers, but my favorite ones are Alva Baby brand. They seem to be well made and have a variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

Another tip, that I couldn’t find while searching and watching YouTube videos, was when to start using them after your baby is born. My good friend, the same one that showed me what cloth diapers looked like for the first time, started putting cloth diapers on her daughter after one month. That way you are not adding more stress to your plate on trying to figure one more thing out as a new mom. So that’s what I did. It worked out smoothly. We used disposable diapers until our daughter was 4 to 5 weeks old. However, we still have a box of disposable diapers in the nursery that we keep on hand for emergencies. If we plan on going somewhere, I stick them in my diaper bag just in case.

To make washing easy, my husband and I purchased a cloth liner for our diaper pail, so when it is time to wash the cloth diapers, you dump the diapers out of the bag and throw the bag in with them. I make sure to set my washing machine to heavy soil and cold wash, just to make sure everything gets clean.

I’m extremely happy my friend showed me the cloth diapers that she purchased for her little girl. The diapers are so cute, they have saved my husband and me money, and most importantly they make my daughter’s butt look even cuter!

The following is a very rough estimate of the cost of disposable versus cloth diapers.  Assuming a slightly optimistic potty training age of 24 months, that the baby starts out using eight diapers a day, and the number of diapers used per day decreases linearly over the 24 months until the point of being potty trained, a baby would need just over 3,000 diapers.  Laundry costs vary depending on the type of machine and the cost of utilities in a given location; a laundry cost of $0.50 is assumed.  Total laundry cost for cloth diapers is calculated as 3,000 diapers / 18 diapers per load * $0.50 per load.


The Cost of Disposable Diapers

Cost per Diaper: $0.19

Total Cost: $570.00


The Cost of Cloth Diapers

Cost for 18 Cloth Diapers: $113.37

Cost for Laundry: $83.33

Total Cost: $196.70


Dollar Difference: $370.30

Percent Difference: 65%

2 thoughts on “Cloth Diapers are In!

  1. Okay sounds like a good plan and one I probably would have used had I had those cute diapers. Oh well you still had a cute butt in disposables.

  2. Megan Ballard says:

    Ha, I love that my colorful drawer of diapers made an impression! A good tip for later months is that you can double stuff the inserts as needed when baby grows to be more absorbent. We’re still glad we chose cloth at 14 months in. You guys are doing such an awesome job, say hi to little miss for me. xoxo

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