Figuring out how many diapers to buy has been one of the more difficult parts of the process. Basically, it comes down to how often you want to do laundry and how much your baby actually needs changing (the second part of this can be hard to guesstimate)!
If the average newborn needs to be changed 12-18 times a day, and you want to do laundry every 1-1.5 days, then you really only need 18-24 diapers (or the equivalent thereof).But, if you’d like to extend your time between washes to every other day, then you’ll need at least 30-36 diapers.
Older babies don’t need as many diaper changes…so, if you aren’t starting at newborn stage, you shouldn’t need as many diapers.
Because no one really likes doing laundry – myself included – we have been building our stash up to a minimum of 36 diapers, which should be two full days worth of diapers.
Initially, half of those would have been Fuzzibunz (18 diapers) and the other half best bottoms (6 shells and 18 liners). But, since I’ve been utilizing the free diaper codes from Kelly’s Closet (and I’ve branched out and bought a few Happy Heiny’s and Rump-a-Rooz on my own), those numbers have changed a bit.
Our diaper breakdown currently looks like this:
Pocket Diapers (20 total)
8 Fuzzibunz from Kelly’s Closet (8 x $19.95 = $159.60)
2 Fuzzibunz from Zulily.com (2 for $24.99 plus $6.95 shipping = $31.94; retail $39.90)
5 Happy Heinys (5 x $18.95 = $94.75; but, I got 2 of these free, so I only paid $56.85)
5 Rump-a-Rooz (5 x 23.50 = $117.50, but I got 4 of these free, so I only paid $23.50)
Best Bottoms (equivalent of 18 small, 12 medium, and 9 large diapers)
6 Best Bottoms Shells (6 x $16.95 = $101.70)
18 small BB inserts + 2 small overnight inserts (18 x $3.95 + 2 x $6.95 = $85)
12 medium BB inserts + 2 medium overnight inserts (12 x $3.95 + 2 x $6.95 = $61.30)
9 large best bottom insert + 2 large overnight inserts (9 x $3.95 + 2 x $6.95 = $49.45)
So, in all, we will have spent $569.34 ($709.20 retail) on cloth diapers that will last from birth to potty training. (Note: this cost does not include the cost of wipes…we will be doing cloth wipes and I did spend $10.75 for some already. A friend of mine has offered to make the rest of my wipes for me, but even if she didn’t – I could complete my cloth wipes stash for $33 or less buying retail. Cost including retail wipes = $613.09)
Yes, I may have to spend a few dollars here or there if a diaper cover gets ruined or an insert gets lost…but all in all, we are coming out well ahead of what we would have spent in disposables (approx. $2611.80)! We have already saved around $2000 ($2611.80 - $613.09 = $1998.71)…and if we use these cloth diapers for a second child, our savings will more than double!
A Hard Pill to Swallow…
I will admit that it has been difficult to part with the money for all of these diapers and diapering accessories. The fact that almost all of the cost in cloth diapers is totally up-front makes it a hard pill to swallow. In some respects, it would be much easier to buy disposables…if only because you can literally buy them a pack or two at a time and not have to shell out so much money at once. But…whenever I see the savings over the long-run…I feel so much more confident in our decision!!