TRIGGER Warning: Babby talk, plus teh proselytizing zeal of recent convert evangelism.
Teh data is still coming in, but I think I've collected enough to be positive that cloth diapers are super awesome muchly moar so than ebil planet-killing disposables. Sorry to all youse folks who didn't go cloth, I don't mean to say that you are monsters who are destroying teh world that you are passing on to your babbies, but facts are facts.
But seriously, almost everything out there regarding cloth vs disposable that isn't produced by teh diaper-industrial complex is all fair and balanced namby-pamby, there are advantages and drawbacks to each and no one is going to make me say which is bettar. Well fuck that noise. Cloth is better. Sure each and every individual babby is an unique and will have their own particulars, but cloth's advantages of so high that it don't make no nevermind. In every case except teh extremest outliers, cloth >> disposable.
Okay, here we go with teh breakdown:
Ultra Ninja's nine and a half months old. In this time, she has gone through over 3500 diapers. Mostly because she absolutely despises being in a wet diaper. The first month we used disposables, also some disposables on extended trips like teh week at teh cottage. Let's say 3000 disposables have been displaced by our Fuzzi Bunz in the UN's first 3/4 of a year - so 4000 diapers not thrown away in the first year. These would have been mostly Size 1 through 3 (since we couldn't replace the Newborn size with cloth), which if you use teh mega huge super-jumbo packs you can probably get for about $0.20 each. That works out to eight hundred dollars.
We got out Fuzzi Bunz at under $20 a piece. You can usually swing this if you're getting all of them at teh same time. Thirty is a good basis, but we got ten more than that. That works out to eight hundred dollars.
But wait. What about teh extra laundry costs? True - we're doing a load of laundry almost every day. Well first note that these diapers don't go into the dryer as it can cause extra wear on their waterproofing. Even if you have an old top loader machine, you're looking at about a third of a kWh of electricity, 40 or so gallons of water and about $0.30 in gas to heat the water. In LEAFS SUCK we have time-of-use electricity billing, but even at peak prices this is under 4 cents in power. Our water rate is $2.50 for 1000 gallons - or 5 cents in water. Price per load of detergent is about a dime (a load of diapers only need a quarter load of detergent). Even rounding up and adding a bit extra - this is like, two hundred bucks a year. For us, water usage (and therefore natural gas for heating the water) is halved by our fancy front loader and we typically run over night at a 40% discount to electricity rates - so even less.
So roughing it out, our payback period for the cloth diapers is going to be somewhere around twelve to sixteen months. Savings from that point on are just gravy on top of knowing that we've avoided the disposal of thousands of diapers.
Anyways, those are teh numbers with a babby who hates being wet and needs to be changed a lot, but even if you're changing a lot fewer diapers than we are, you are going to do better with cloth before you get to Pull-Ups.
Speaking of gravy - we heard horror stories from moar experienced parents of teh dreaded POOP geyser. This is when you get babby shit shooting out the top of the back of the diaper. Loverly. Something we discovered is that these newfangled cloth diapers and their fancy elastics and adjustable fitting bits and pieces means no POOP geysers. Even teh runniest, gassiest, POOPiest of excretions remains contained. We have had all of one incidence of POOP leakage, and it was with a disposable. Actually it was yesterday - and that's why I'm writing this post now instead of at teh end of year 1.
And in closing - some pictures. To demonstrate that hey lack of POOP geyseriness isn't related to a bland diet.
Plus one moar just because she is so adorbs.