Saving Money

One of the big questions people ask when choosing to cloth diaper is "is it really cheaper that buying disposable diapers?". The answer is ABSOLUTELY! Although the initial investment to purchase cloth diapers can be a bit steep, in the long run you will be much further ahead. Most couples have also noticed if they budget in advance and purchase diapers over the course of 3-4 months before the baby comes, the cost becomes more manageable.

The following chart is a general breakdown to illustrate the cost involved when comparing purchasing disposable diapers, using a diaper service and purchasing your own diapers.

General Cost Comparison Overview


Additionally, here is some math (in Canadian dollars) to give you an idea of how much you would pay for cloth diapers VS disposable diapers. Please keep in mind that there are no EXACT numbers available since every baby is different. All figures are approximate.


Disposable Diapers for the 1st year:
12 diapers per day for 30 days (1 month) = 360 diapers
10 diapers per day for 60 days (2 months) = 600 diapers
8 diapers per day for 275 days (9 months) = 2,200 diapers
Total disposable for the 1st year = 3,160 diapers

Disposable Diapers for 2nd year:
7 diapers per day for 365 days (12 months) = 2,555 diapers

Disposable Diapers/Pull-Ups for the 3rd year:
7 diapers per day for 365 days (12 months) = 2,555 diapers

If your baby potty trains by 2 years of age, that would be equal approx. 6,000 diapers. (3,160+2,555 = 5,715 diapers)

If your baby potty trains by 3 years of age that would equal approx. 8,000 diapers. (3,160+2,555+2,555= 8,270 diapers)

Let’s say on AVERAGE your child is out of diapers by 2.5 years of age and would have used 7,000 diapers!

Disposable Diapers cost on average approx. 30 cents to 35 cents per diaper depending on if you are purchasing the store brand or brand name diapers.

7,000 diapers times 30 cents per diaper = $ 2,100
7,000 diapers times 35 cents per diaper = $ 2,450

Again, let’s say on AVERAGE this would cost $ 2,275 in DIAPERS alone for ONE child (not counting wipes, diaper pail refills, etc). That is very expensive in the long run. Especially if you have multiple children!


The most inexpensive way to purchase cloth diapers is to use prefolds and covers.

Newborn through 6 months of age:
2 dozen newborn or infant prefolds – $44.00 @ $22/dozen
6 newborn/small covers - $100 (average cost and different types of covers cost different amounts)

6 months - 2.5 years of age (approx):
3 dozen regular prefolds - $90.00 @ $30/dozen
6-8 medium/large covers - $150.00 (average cost – see above)

1.5 – 2.5 years of age (approx):
2 dozen toddler prefolds - $76.00 @ $38/dozen
6-10 medium, large or x-large covers or cloth training pants - $150.00 (see above)

On AVERAGE to cloth diaper your child for 2.5 years using only PREFOLDS and COVERS the cost would be approx. $384.00 (again this does not include wipes, wet bags, pail liners, etc.). Keep in mind that these can be RE-USED for subsequent children, so there would be no cost involved to cloth diaper other babies! And you don't have to buy both sizes upfront! Just buy as you need!

The most expensive way to purchase cloth diapers is to use ALL pocket diapers or AIOs.

Newborn through 6 months of age: 20 diapers
6 months – 1.5 years (size small/medium): 20 diapers
1.5 years+ (size large/x-large): 20 diapers

60 diapers times $19 per diaper (high avg. taken) = $1,140
Again, all these diapers can be re-used on subsequent children! And no need to purchase all at once, just buy the size you need when you need it!

You could also choose to use a pocket ONE-SIZE diaper (which would last from 8lbs - 30+lbs).
25 One-Size diapers @ $26 per diaper = $650.00

HOWEVER, keep in mind that MOST parents use a combination of prefolds, fitteds, covers and pocket diapers! An AVERAGE cost to cloth diaper ONE OR MORE children would be less than $800!

Other facts to consider: children who wear cloth diapers generally potty train easier and quicker! Cloth diapers have a re-sale value of approx. 50%! Cloth diapers are better for your child’s skin, your child’s health and an overall better choice for the environment!

Other useful websites to provide additional information on the cost of cloth diapers VS disposable diapers:
The Stork Wearhouse
Diaper Pin Calculator