Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Great Diaper Debate: Cloth vs. Disposable

I have heard both sides of the debate, some that I nod my head and agree with (from both sides), and others that I roll my eyes at. I see the pros & cons of each, but what I really want to know... which is actually cheaper?
Cloth diapers are expensive up front, but then you only have to buy them once. Disposable diapers you have to keep buying and buying and buying. Cloth you can re-use with your next child, saving you money there as well. Let's hope you don't try re-using the disposables...

Now, I know there's the chemical debate, and the filling up land-fills debate, but of course, disposable really do require less work (rinsing out the poo, extra loads of laundry, and my least favorite... folding laundry). I'm not here to talk about that part. Those topics are more of a life-style choice. I'll leave that up to you to figure out what's best for your family. But if you're a couponer and a money-saver, then here's this debate all laid out for you (at least as best as I can do it!)

I've see lots of cloth diaper sites say that disposable diapering costs X dollars, and then you have to factor in paying the trash man, and this, that, and the next thing. Well, wait a minute... I already pay for refuse service, it's not really an added expense. Then they give me that it will cost X dollars to cloth diaper my baby (usually much lower than their disposable estimate). But I think they may forget to factor in that you have to do extra loads of laundry (that you wouldn't otherwise be doing), which adds to your gas/electric and water bills. And they, of course, forgot to factor in the fact that I use coupons and sales!

Please, keep in mind that these numbers are all the best estimates that I could come up with based on my experiences and research into both. Depending on your life-style, and your choices, both of these amounts can vary.

**An added note to cloth diapering, that my friend, Nicki, pointed out, is that cloth diapers are easily re-sold, often close to what you paid for them.

**Here is an article from Carrie at Pocket Your Dollars about which stores have the cheapest disposable diapers.

So... does this change your opinion? (I'm still not sure which I will use!)

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