A Cost Comparison of Prefolded Diapers, Mother-ease® One Size Diapers, Mother-ease One Size Duo Diapers and Disposable Diapers
When it comes to choosing reusable over disposable diapers, a major factor is the cost of cloth diapers vs disposable diapers. The graph below compares the cost of Prefolded diapers and Velcro Wraps, the cost of Mother-ease® One Size Diaper Systems and the cost of Disposable diapers. This includes the cost of laundering.
Costs will vary:
Wraps and Prefolds - When purchasing prefolded diapers, costs will vary according to the quality and the amount of diapers purchased. These also need to be purchased in more than one size. The amount of wraps purchased will vary between 4-8 wraps per size. Velcro wraps come in 4-5 sizes. Cost will range from $450 - $550.
Mother-ease One Size Fitted Diapers – Cost of 24 One Size diapers, 12 Absorbent Snap in Liners plus 4 covers per size is $511.
Mother-ease One Size Duo Diapers – Cost of 24 Inserts, 6 Absorbent Liners plus 6 covers per size is $629.
Disposable diapers - Costs will vary according to the amount of diapers used per day and the period of time over which a child is diapered.
Following are sample calculations:
Practices, supplies and utility costs vary. You can insert your own costs for a personalized total. 6,500 diaper changes over 2 ½ years represents an average of 7 - 8 changes/day (10 - 11 for newborns; 5 - 6 for 2 year olds).
Laundry (based on 6,500 diaper changes, 20 changes/washload = 325 loads):
- Detergent (@ $.22/load x 325 loads) $71.50;
- diaper pail additive (8oz. of vinegar @ $.15/load) $48.75;
- water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal; rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @$.005 = $.34/load) $110.50;
- natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @$.004 = $.08/load) $26.00;
- power to run dryer (3.5 kw/hr. for 1 hour., 3.5 kwh @$.12 = $.42/load) $136.50;
- power to run washer (.76kwh @ $.12 = .09/load) $29.25;
- depreciation on washer and dryer (.16 for washer .09 for dryer = .25/load) $81.25
= $504 ($1.55/load).
Prefolds & Wraps: $504 for laundry + $500 for prefolds & wraps = $1,004 (average= $.15/change).
Mother-ease One Size Diapers: $504 for laundry + $511 for One Size diapers & covers = $1,015 (average $.16/change)
Mother-ease One Size Duo Diapers: $504 for laundry + $629 for One Size Duo diapers + covers = $1,133 (average $.17/change)
Disposable Diapers: Disposable diapers get more expensive as they get larger, but the average cost is about $.35/diaper. Based on 6,500 changes (average 7 - 8/day), cost would be $2,275. for 2 ½ years. However, babies diapered in disposables tend to be changed less often than babies diapered in cloth. Based on an average of 5 - 6 changes/day, cost for 5,500 diapers would be $1,925. Cost of 1,500 disposable wipes would be about $100, making the total $2,025. (average $.37/change)
Initial investment is highest for home laundered cloth. However, long term savings are substantial.
To calculate labor cost for home laundering, allow at least 40 hours over a 2 ½ year period. Disposable diapering also involves labor (i.e., purchasing regularly and emptying the garbage daily).
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