Thursday, May 19, 2011


In short, I'm a little obsessed.
We're having twins.
Babies are expensive. Well, not inherently, but when you factor in day care and swim lessons and our desire to not default on (mostly my) student loans, they are. So one of the ways we hope the save money (the the environment a little bit along the way) is with cloth diapers.

At 10-12 diapers/day for newborns, that's (using 12 diapers per day, since I'm sure we'll have our share of insta-soil issues) 168 diapers/week. Let's assume they fit into Newborn diapers for a month (4 weeks; we'll live in pregnancy counting for the sake of this argument). That's 672 diapers. I have heard Amazon is the queen of cheap diapers, especially under Subscribe & Save, but for this I'm going to use non-S&S figures as a way of averaging diapers bought online and in store.  So, a quick peek on Amazon at Pampers Swaddlers (I'll talk about our non-financial reasons for cloth another day) says that is $129 (really a little more, since you'll have part of a bag left). Now obviously, I have no idea how big our babies will be, but let's assume they move into size 1 around 4 week and wear those for 2 months (they're marked 8-15lbs) and spend weeks 12-16 in size 2.  I'll assume we've gotten better at poo catching and are down to 10 diapers/day/baby. So that's another 1680 diapers at about $0.21 each on Amazon, for $353 (ish). I'm not really sure how many diapers fit into a trash can, but I'm going to guess, given the size of a bag of dry, un-expanded-by-pee diapers, its a full 50 (40?) gallon can a week of plastic wrapped poop.

So for 4 months, that's (at least) $482 in disposable diapers for 16 weeks.

Here's our newborn stash (missing a wetbag & snappies, which I still need to get), built assuming we have average girl babies who hit 15 lbs about 5 months (babies start fitting into one size diapers around 10-12 lbs, but that's another post).  This should be all we need for the first 4 months (and some will likely fit a bit longer, helping us transition into the one-size diapers).

not pictured: 36 newborn prefolds, 36 small prefolds & 4 small workhorse fitteds (shipping from the Green Mountain Diapers seconds sale!)
left: 10 NB covers, 3 aio. middle: 2 thirsties fitteds, 4 Kissaluv 0s, 8 XS workhorse fitteds. middle 2: 4 small covers,  2 XS pockets. right: 2 S pockets, 2 S fuzzibunz 

Total Cost (a lot bought used or as seconds): $419 in diapers (and we need to get snappies, so add $10), plus $50 in wet bags which will last the life of diapering. Of course, this stash should be plenty to get us into  month 5, unless we have larger than average babies (pretty unlikely, given my wife's build and the fact they're multiples), so there is a clear cost savings before we even consider the likelihood of buying more expensive diapers (eg, not from amazon) or wasting diapers popping between brands for a good fit.

OK, I concede the cost savings is minimal for the newborn stage. AND we have a lot of diapers. I planned on a 2-3 day stash since, well, we're having twins. Its possible we might miss a laundry day. And I don't want to run out of diapers OR become annoyed.  I also sprung for a sort of high number of fitteds for the newborn stage, since we'll probably be sleep deprived and I think they'll be easier for overnights (plus more user-friendly for grandma).I only got a few for the 10-15 lbs stage since they'll be transitioning to our one-size stash at that point.

to be continued...


  1. I love it! Thanks for doing the math! I've done some cloth diaper research as well. I would like to switch over from disposables once the babies are a few months old.

  2. We've been done with diapers for a few years, but this gave me the heebie-jeebies again.

    So for 4 months, that's (at least) $482 in disposable diapers for 16 weeks.

    I STILL say everytime we walk into Costco, "I am SOOOOO happy we don't have to buy diapers!"

    YAY for you guys going cloth! They are so cute!

  3. I love how colorful the diapers are! Good for you for going w/cloth!

  4. Nice stash! I can't wait to be pregnant again just so I can dig out the tiny little diapers from M's newborn stage. I read your stash and sucked in my breath at how many there were...and then remembered you'll have 2 at once! I'm sure you'll step into the swing of things with ease.

    Have you looked into your childcare options for the babies once you are both back at work? I'm just curious how diapering will fit into that plan--I found only 2 daycares in Pittsburgh that will do cloth, but our care provider currently cloth diapers her own kiddo, so she's happy to just CD our son while he's over there.

  5. God! I love FuzziBunz so much! I want to just come hug your diapers :)

  6. Katy, that's a huge point of stress for me since we don't know where we'll be living once the house sells :( For now I'm not too worried since my mom will likely watch them a couple of days a week until they're mobile, and we're thinking either in an home day care or a nanny (given the cost of a center for two anyway) for the other days, so I don't think it'll be too big of a deal. I'm hoping we can figure that detail out before its time to buy a big-infant/one-size stash in full so I know a) if I should get a full or part time stash and b) if I need a lot of aplix (since I'd prefer snaps since I want them to wear well, even though I'm sure the aplix is easier to get on...) since I hear most day care's want aplix for speed.

  7. They're so freaking cute. :) You'll definitely have to report on how they're working after the babies arrive.