Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cost of Diapers, A Second Look OR The Myth of Expensive Cloth Diapers part 1

A while back there was a thread on called "the prettiest diaper you've ever seen", or something to that effect. There were dozens of opinions on what makes a cute diaper, but one particular post got a lot of attention.

A mama had had 24 diaper cuts dyed in custom colorways by talented textile dyer, Tickety Bu. The smallest of Tickety Bu's items range from $14-20, so I'm guessing that she would normally charge $10-12 for a diaper cut without any sewing done to it. Then the mama had these cuts sewn into fitted diapers. Now, a lot of WAHMs are charging around $28 for this type of fitted, but even if she chose someone on the cheaper end of the spectrum that is about $18 each. Both of these artisans may have given her a volume discount, but we are probably talking about $670 dollars on a diaper stash, and she still needs to cover these with something waterproof, and they are sized, so she probably needs two more sets. I'm guessing that someone who orders this fancy of a diaper is covering it with wool, not some tacky mass produced PUL cover by bummis or thirsties, so that is like $40 each for 4-6 covers per size. Overall you are looking at $2500 birth to potty cloth diapering stash.

When I first did this math, I am coming from the perspective that you can build an adequate diaper stash for a tenth of this, much less if you are on a budget, can sew, buy used, etc. Don't people use cloth diapers to save money?

But, think about it. The average family will spend that much or more on disposables for one child. At the very least she is breaking even, only her money is going to moms, to artists, allowing them to stay home with their kids. Her child is wearing the best of the best, and every piece was given hours of care, and attention to every detail. Aside from that, she can use these for multiple children, she will probably get half of her money back selling them used, and they will probably never end up in a landfill.

With accurate averages I can show you that cloth will save you around $2000 per child, but it really doesn't have to to be worth it.

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