Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cloth vs Disposable Diapers – Cost Comparison

Cloth vs Disposable Diapers – Cost Comparison

Diaper costs have a huge impact on the cost of having a baby. The cost of diapers depend on whether you choose cloth diapers or disposable diapers to diaper your baby. The average cost of disposable diapers for one baby from birth to potty training is about Rs. 85,000. For a family of 2 children the cost of disposable diapers will be about Rs. 1,70,000. The average cost of cloth diapers is about Rs. 21,050 and can be used on multiple babies. The cost of laundering cloth diapers for 3 years is about Rs. 13,650.

How Often Does A Baby Need To Be Changed?
Before you can figure out how much diapers will cost you need to know how many diapers your baby will need each day. When a baby wets or soils a diaper he should be changed immediately. If a baby is left in a wet or soiled diaper he will get diaper rashes and have other problems. How often a baby wets or soils her diaper depends on her age and diet. Younger babies need to be changed more often. Newborns will need their diaper changed as many as 10 – 12 times per day while an older toddler may need their diaper changed 5 – 6 times per day.

The Average Age for Completion of Potty Training?
To figure out the cost of diapers you also need to know how long your baby will be wearing diapers. Researches says that the average age for completion of “potty training” for a girl is about 34 - 36 months and for a boy it’s about 37 - 38 months. These sources say it takes an average of 6-8 months to “potty train” a child. Children diapered in cloth diapers do tend to potty train as much as 6 months earlier than children using disposable diapers.

The Cost of Disposable Diapers

0 - 2 months of age:                10 diapers per day X 60 days = 600 diapers
2 – 6 months of age:                9 diapers per day X 120 days = 1080 diapers
6 – 12 months of age:              8 diapers per day X 180 days = 1440 diapers
12 – 24 months of age:            6 diapers per day X 365 days = 2190 diapers
24 – 30 months of age:            5 diapers per day X 180 days = 900 diapers
30 – 36 months of age:            5 diapers per day X 180 days = 900 diapers

The average child uses about 7110 diapers from birth to potty training.

The average cost of a popular brand diaper from a larger package is Rs. 12 each.

The average cost of disposable diapers for ONE CHILD from birth to potty training is Rs. 85,320.

The Cost of Cloth Diapers

People that haven’t seen today’s modern cloth diapers may still think of the old-fashioned, traditional, “toilet-dunking”, plain-white flat or traditional nappies of the past. The diapers of the past required safety pins and “rubber pants”. They were time-consuming, weren't very absorbent (leaked), weren’t easy to care for and weren't “fashionable” and cute. Prefold diapers are still available and are now available in different prints. The cloth diaper has EVOLVED! Today’s cloth diapers are easy to use and wash, have built-in or separate BREATHABLE waterproof covers, snap or Velcro shut, are fitted and fit like a disposable, are very absorbent and are very fashionable. Today’s modern cloth diapers are available in many colors, prints and fabrics including organic cotton and bamboo. Cloth diapers can be used for multiple children.

The average modern/fashionable adjustable (One Size Fits All) cloth diaper system with enough diapers, covers & inserts for full-time diapering will cost about Rs. 20,000. Washing cloth diapers will cost about Rs. 13,000 over a period of 3-years based on a stash on 26 diapers. Having more than 26 diapers will mean washing larger loads, less often and result in less money and time spent on laundering. This cost has been calculated assuming that baby has 26 diapers available and it costs Rs. 25 to wash each load.

For Full time cloth diapering, a baby needs approximately 15 Pocket diapers, 6 Diaper Covers, 5 All-In-One (AIO) diapers & 45 Inserts.

15 Pockets X Average cost of 1 Pocket is Rs. 400                     = Rs. 6000
6 Diaper Covers X Average cost of 1 Cover is Rs. 350               = Rs. 2100
5 AIOs X Average cost of 1 AIO is Rs. 600                               = Rs. 3000
45 Inserts X Average cost of 1 Insert is Rs. 190                       = Rs. 8550
4 Wet Bags X Average cost of 1 Wet Bag is Rs. 350                  = Rs. 1400

Total Cost = Rs. 21,050

Assuming load needs to be washed every 2 days. So, number of loads for over a period of 3 years are 546.

No. of Loads per year = 365/2 = 182 Loads
No. of loads for 3 years = 182*3 = 546 Loads
Total Cost of washing for 3 years = 546*Rs. 25 = Rs. 13,650

The average cost of cloth diapers for ONE CHILD from birth to potty training is Rs. 34,700 and including laundering.

How Much Do Cloth Diapers Save?

For a family of 2 children, the cost of disposable diapers will be about Rs. 1,70,640.

For a family of 2 children, the cost of cloth diapers (including laundering for both children) will be about Rs. 48,350. Here I am also assuming of purchasing 50% new diaper stash for second children due to wear & tear of some used by first children, the total cost would not exceed Rs. 58,500 in any case.

Using cloth diapers will save about Rs. 1,12,140 for a family of 2 children.

The savings will be more if the cloth diapers are used on more than 2 children and/or sold after use. By using cloth diapers, you save money with each diaper change. The money saved on diapers can support another area of your family’s finances or could go towards helping someone else less fortunate.

Monday, 23 February 2015



Why choose cloth diapers? There are so many reasons. Cloth Diapers are soft against your baby’s skin. Cloth diapers are also free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers. Our common sense tells us that cloth diapers are the ultimate in recycling because they are used again and again, not entering a landfill until they are nothing but rags. Of course, some people want more than this common sense approach--they want facts. Here are a few well-documented facts to help inform your choice.

  1. The instructions on a disposable diaper package advice that all faecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use (disposable) diapers goes into the sewage system.
  2. Over 92% of all single-use (disposable) diapers end up in a landfill.
  3. No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years when exposed to sunlight & air. Since diapers are dumped into landfills, covered, and not exposed to sun or air at all, nobody knows how many hundreds – or even thousands – of years they can be around. Without sun & air, even so-called “ECO-FRIENDLY” diapers labelled biodegradable DO NOT biodegrade in landfills, and cause just as much of a problem as regular diapers.
  4. Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste.  In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
  5. Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp.
  6. Manufacturing & using disposable diapers uses 2.3 times more water than manufacturing & laundering cloth diapers.
  7. Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.
  8. Disposable diapers are full of bacteria, viruses and vaccines and pose a threat to wildlife and the ecosystem as a whole.
  9. Disposable diapers also contain a toxin Tributyl-tin (TBT) known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.
  10. Disposable diapers contain Sodium Polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. This substance known to cause toxic shock syndrome was banned from tampons in 1985. Even the “eco-friendly” diapers contain this chemical, too. This substance can stick to baby’s genitals, causing allergic reactions & can cause severe skin irritation, oozing blood from perineum and scrotal tissues, fever, vomiting & staph infections in babies. These are the small, shiny, gelatinous crystals that you will sometimes find in your baby’s private parts during diaper changing.
  11. Studies have shown that the chemical emissions from disposables can cause respiratory problems in children.
  12. Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin which is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is an extremely toxic by-product of the diaper bleaching process.
  13. Baby’s poorly developed outer skin layer absorbs about 50 different chemicals if you use disposable diapers & wipes.
  14. The plastic in all disposable diapers contains phthalates. These are the plastic softeners that were recently banned from children’s teething rings and other toys because of toxicity. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning they mimic human hormones and send false signals to the body.
  15. Super – absorbent disposable diapers facilitates less diaper changing, which leads to rashes because of exposure to the super – absorbent chemicals, bacteria, and ammonia from accumulated urine in the diaper.
  16. Disposable diapers raise the temperature of a baby boy’s scrotum far above body temperature, to the point that it can stop his testicles from developing normally.
Reusable cloth diapers offer a solution to all the cost, health & environmental problems of disposables, but their benefits have been hidden by the huge market of disposable diapers. Today’s cloth diapers are as effective as any disposable, and they come in lots of styles, sizes and super – cute colours and prints! With Velcro, Snaps & soft PUL covers, the old diaper pins and sweaty, plastic pants are now a relic of the past. Cloth diapers are safer for the environment and your child, healthier, less expensive, and even helps with potty training…? Sounds like a dream come true for every parent!
  1. Cloth Diapers leads to earlier potty training for your infant. Using a cloth diaper allows your infant to feel the wet sensation against their skin and become more aware of when they have gone potty.
  2. Cloth Diapers saves money. The initial investment in cloth diapers is more expensive, but once you own cloth diapers, you have them for life. No need to be constantly buying disposables!
  3. Cloth Diapers allows convenience. No trips to the store when you are out of disposables. Cloth diapers are always on hand, and if parents see they are running low on clean diapers, they can just wash a load. There is no need to run out to the store in the middle of the night.
  4. Cloth diapers allows for more breathability. They are made of breathable fabrics and results in less skin irritation and rashes.
  5. Cloth diapers are also highly absorbent, but without the aid of chemicals. They reduces the baby’s exposure to chemicals that’s why considered safer and healthier diapering system.
  6. A cloth diaper is reused an average of 200 to 250 times, while a disposable diaper is used once and discarded. Once retired from diaper duty, a cloth diaper has a myriad of other practical uses too. Every parent knows that a cloth diaper makes the ideal burp cloth too.
  7. Cloth diapers are so easy to care for – with inventions like diaper sprayer and flushable/reusable liners, the rewards are worth the little bit of extra work.
  8. Cloth diapers actually leak less than disposables. Modern cloth diapers are totally leak-proof diapering systems that you can depend on! It’s true that many moms actually switch to cloth diapers because they were fed up with disposables leaking.
  9. Cloth diapers comes in cute, fashionable designs and styles. There are so many designs and styles of diapers to choose from it makes a cloth diapering a fun fashion statement.
  10. Cloth diapers are made in an eco-friendly manner with materials that are safe to be used on baby’s skin and can be laundered at home and reused over and over again.
  11. Cloth diapers are infinitely more comfortable than disposable diapers because they are made of soft & natural materials like cotton, microfiber fleece, hemp, wool or even bamboo. Many cloth diapers have been developed by parents which means that only materials that are safe for baby are used to make these diapers.
  12. Cloth diaper parents are known to keep the entire set for the next baby, since the diaper remains soft & fluffy after years of washing too.
  13. Cloth diapers are excellent for travel too. Regular users swear by their stock of cloth diapers when they plan a holiday or vacation. Your diaper pail will take care of the messy ones and baby will travel in the comfort of wearing natural fabric and experience absorbency that allows you to change them as you would with disposable diapers.
Cloth diapers are a cost-effective and feasible alternative to diapering a baby. Many parents are quick to dismiss this option because they are unaware of all of the benefits that cloth diapers have to offer. Parents may change their minds if they learn about the many different types of cloth diapers available and understand the advantages they have to baby’s health, the environment, and the family budget. With cloth diapers, parents can end up saving thousands of rupees between the time the baby is born to the time they are potty trained.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

When parents first take to the idea of cloth diapering their baby, they easily overwhelm themselves with both the choices and variety of cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories available. "How many diapers should I buy?" is the most common question, but the answer is not the same for everyone.

If you are new to cloth diapering, we would always recommend trying out a few different things before investing in any one system. Best option is to buy one of each of the most popular diapers for you to “test the waters” and discover what will work best for your family. Keep in mind that usually the best systems involve using a little bit of everything. After all, each type of cloth diaper, diaper cover and cloth diapering combination can serve a very different purpose. What's best for overnight use, may not be the trimmest for day use. And what's you use for day use may not be the most convenient for trips out of the home.

The most agreed upon number of cloth diapers preferred in a full-time cloth diaper stash is a minimum of 18. With 18 cloth diapers, you can develop a washing system of every other day. If you desire to wash your diapers less frequently than every 2nd day, you will obviously need a larger stash. Some parents initially purchase MORE cloth diapers for this reason, but please know that cloth diapers are not intended to sit in a pail for more than 3 days without being washed; the longer a soiled diaper remains in a cloth diaper pail unwashed, the longer you will work to treat any stains, not to mention the stink. I do NOT recommend leaving your diapers for longer than 3 days between washing. Every 2 days is optimal for best cleaning results.

Full-Time Cloth Diapering

For the first year and 1/2, full-time cloth diapering requires a minimum of 18 diapers cloth diapers. As your baby grows to toddlerhood, he or she will wet less frequently, and won't need to be changed as often; at this point you will need fewer cloth diapers overall.

NEWBORNS – Newborns need the largest cloth diaper stash. With newborns, especially those breastfeeding, every meal is liquid - as a result, they have more explosive bowel movements and urinate more frequently. As newborns develop and solid meals are added into their diet, these patterns change to allow for less diaper usage overall. Newborns will generally go through 10-12 diapers in a 24 hour period. Since you don’t want to be doing laundry every single day (to reduce laundering costs and to avoid wearing out your diapers too quickly), we recommend that you have at least 24 diapers – enough for a non-stressful rotation. Typically, a set-up of 24-36 diapers would get you through 2-3 days.

6 – 18 MONTHS – Once your baby is a little older, at approximately 6 months, you won’t have to change diapers as frequently. At this point, you can have fewer diapers in your rotation and still not have to do laundry too often. A six months old & up requires about 6-10 diapers a day. Once baby begins to roll, crawl, pull-up on furniture, and sit up on their own, their wetting patterns typically decrease and their cloth diaper needs change. Whereas before, baby was just lying around, now baby is dynamic and needs a cloth diaper that can move along with them. This is often a time when parents will modify their cloth diaper stash to accommodate more flexibility in the thigh and waist for baby's added comfort. If your newborn stash was made up primarily of prefolds, you can re-purpose them as burp rags, changing pads, or diaper doublers. At this point, 16-18 cloth diapers are still recommended for a washing cycle of every other day.

18 MONTHS – POTTY TRAINING - When your Toddler begins to gain interest in using the 'big potty', your cloth diaper base can be reduced significantly. Even 12 (a dozen) cloth diapers may be more than enough, because your Toddler will no longer be considered a full-time cloth diapered baby. Many parents will switch over to the pull-on style of cloth diaper Training Pants during the day and use their regular stash for night-time diapering.

As you can tell, there is really no need to become overwhelmed with the question "How many diapers should I buy?" Though it might alter slightly, overall you can count on needing 18-20 cloth diapers for a full-time cloth diapering system from birth to 18 Months. If you are cloth diapering your baby part-time, you can cut that number in half.

So, in the nutshell, this answer depends on:
  • The age of your baby
  • If you have more than one child in cloth diapers
  • If you use cloth diapers exclusively
  • How often you want to wash your cloth diapers
  • What style you choose
A good rule of thumb is 8-10 diapers per day for the amount of days you won’t be washing.

Basically, the more diapers you have in your cloth diaper rotation means each diaper is getting used less and washed less. This results in a lot less wear and tear on your diapers and they remain in better shape in order for you to be able to sell them, give them away, or save them for use on future babies.

Requirement of Cloth Diapers based on your washing schedule:

Number of Cloth Diapers
This will work best for….
8 – 10
Using Cloth Diapers Part-time
10 - 12
Washing every day
16 – 18
Washing every other day
18 – 24
Approximate 2 days between washing. 24 diapers is recommended as a bare minimum for the average parent and to improve the longevity of your diapers, reducing wear and tear.
24 – 36
Washing 2 times a week (every 2-3 days between washing).
36 – 48+
Enough cloth diapers to pass on to siblings