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How much do disposable diapers and formula cost?

by Karen on December 20, 2010

Oh, hey. It’s a post about money!

This weekend, Judah turned three weeks old. For the first two weeks of life with a newborn, I tried to keep things as simple as possible. I was still recovering from the birth and getting used to taking care of a baby, so I was okay with using disposable diapers. We received a case of size 1s from a generous family member at the baby shower, so we have plenty to use up anyway.

Last week, though, I decided to switch to cloth diapers during the day. I’m thrilled with how well they’re working out, and they’re so much easier than I expected. I was committed to making it work from the start, but part of me was nervous that we might not be able to keep up with it. After a week, I can definitely say that we won’t be using disposables at least 95% of the time.

After three weeks of successful breastfeeding, I think it’s safe to say that we’re not going to be buying formula, either.

I’m curious about how much money we’re actually saving by using cloth diapers and breastfeeding. There are so many variables that it’s hard to come up with solid numbers. If I’d spent any time buying diapers or formula, I might be able to come up with some rough averages.

I know if you work really hard like Kacie at Sense to Save did before she had her first baby, you can stockpile a ton of diapers for as low as 5 cents each. I also know that if you buy the most expensive, fanciest brands at regular price, you’ll pay 25 to 30 cents a diaper.

As far as formula goes, I’ve read that generics will run you about $10 a can, which will last about a week for a baby Judah’s age. Or you can easily spend $30 a can on more expensive name brands.

Before I can really figure out how much I’m saving, I’ll need to see what all this laundry does to my water and electric bills after a full month of cloth diapering. I’m not looking forward to that increase, but I’m confident it will still be less than I’d pay for diapers.

I also need some rough averages on costs. I’m looking to all of you for your insight. If you’ve used disposable diapers or formula, how much did you spend per month in an average month?

Photo by chrisirmo

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