Monthly Archives: August 2009

Cloth Diaper Cost Calculator

piggybankThis nifty worksheet is going up on our shop site as soon as I can figure out how to slap it up there. But in the meantime, crunch away:

There are many ways to calculate your potential savings using cloth diapers. Any way you come out, you will save a big chunk of change by avoiding disposables. Using the methodology in this chart we built, you can create your own cost comparison between any number of disposable and cloth options.

Below we compare for you the cost of disposables to 3 different and common types of cloth diaper set-ups. Don’t miss the notes addressing additional costs (water, trash) and the biggest slam-dunk savings of them all: Unlike disposables, cloth diapers are FREE for your second child (or will bring you some of your investment back if sold after you’re done).


$$$   Crunching the Diaper Numbers   $$$



A baby will use 7,300 diapers total at an average of 8 a day for 2.5 years of diapering and 8,760 for 3 years of diapering¹.

7th Generation disposables average 34 cents per diaper².

Total Cost: About $2,482 (2.5 years) to $2,978 (3 years) of diapering for each child.

*Additional diaposable cost: Outside household economic costs not accounted for = trash disposal – 42 dirty disposables per week will equate to about one full kitchen-sized trash bag – around 20 extra pounds of trash, or four extra bags of trash (80 pounds) per month.


Option A: Prefolds and Covers all the way

28 Newborn-sized prefolds, 24 Infant prefolds, 20 Premium/Toddler prefolds, average of $2.25 each³: $162
10 Newborn/Small covers, 8 Medium covers, 6 large covers, $12.50 each: $300
Waterproof pail liner: $17
Total Cost: About $479 for 3 years of diapering your first baby and $0 to diaper your second.

Option B: Prefolds to start, then One-Size Pockets:

30 one-size pocket diapers, average $18.95 each: $568.50
24 Newborn prefolds and 8 covers for the early stages: $142
Waterproof pail liner: $17
Total Cost: $727 to diaper your first child and as little as $0 diapering your second.

Option C: Perfect Fit Diapers all the way:

22 Small pocket/AIO diapers ($17.50 each average): $385
18 Medium pocket/AIO diapers: $315
12 Large pocket/AIO diapers: $210
Waterproof pail liner: $17
Total Cost: $927 to diaper your first child, $0 to diaper your second.


*Additional cloth cost: Outside household costs not included = water usage. 2-3 extra loads of laundry per week. Additional cost of water is similar to that of trash generation with disposables (or to toilet flushing for older children/adults) and therefore can cancel each other out. Extra electricity/water usage can be further mitigated by using an energy-efficient (HE) washer, hang drying and/or buying enough diapers to wash full loads and economize resources.

Diaper Service – Green but not Economical:

$80/month average©ùfor 30 months (2.5 years): $2,400
24 covers (small-large, $12.50 each): $300
Total Cost: $2,700 to diaper one child, with only your covers reusable for the second child.

¹A newborn typically goes through 12-14 diapers a day. That number drops as baby grows, poops less frequently, and sleeps longer nighttime stretches. We average that out to about 8 diapers a day over the total diapering years.

²We searched for the cheapest and most regularly available online price. We chose a more environmentally and health-conscious disposable with the premise that parents considering cloth diapers would select such a disposable should they decide not to go with cloth. Conventional plastic diapers have a different price point and can easily be plugged into out formula.

³We calculated for about a 2-day supply of cloth diapers, what we feel is the “hassle threshhold” – the minimum amount you should have on hand. As babies grow they go through fewer diapers per day.

Calculated based off cost in midsize metro U.S. city.

Cloth Diaper Donation Drive is On!

Cloth Diaper Drive

Cloth Diaper Drive

Punkernoodle Baby’s 2009/2010 Cloth Diaper Drive has begun!

Officially, things kick off at the Sustainable Ballard Festival, but we are accepting donations anytime.

We will be collecting as many cloth diapers as we can over the next six weeks. At the end of the diaper drive, the community donations will be matched diaper-for-diaper by Punkernoodle Baby with new cloth diapers and then donated through Ballard Food Bank to anyone in need in our community willing to use cloth. If we can collect 500 diapers, we can keep 150,000 disposable diapers out of our local landfill — and double that amount with our match!! Wow – 300,000 fewer diapers in our landfill after just 6 weeks of generosity!
Donations can be brought to the festival, where Punkernoodle Baby will have a booth near the Kids Area, or left on our porch anytime at 7350 Mary Ave. NW, Seattle 98117. Anything is appreciated – new or used diapers, as long as they’re in usable condition. If you want to donate but don’t have cloth diapers, you can leave a monetary donation in an envelope marked “Diaper Drive” in the mailbox or donate online here. Money will be put toward buying new diapers – $5 can buy 5 cloth diapers!!!! Thank in advance to the community and to parents for all their support. Together we can really make a difference — cloth diapering shouldn’t be a class advantage. Those in need can help the planet and give their babies better diapers, too, with all our generosity!

Whatever Happened to My Childhood???

candyland2I have very fond memories of playing the board game Candy Land as a child. So I was really excited when my bro bought my 4-year-old Punkernoodle the game for her birthday. But I was dismayed to find out that it is no longer what I remember. I have done some searching and now think I might be going crazy…
I remember playing the game with a cloth bag filled with tiny colored plastic circles – you reached in, grabbed a circle and then moved to the corresponding space on the board. It was much like the process of picking a Scrabble tile. I can remember the sensation of reaching in and feeling around for a circle, brightly colored and looking much like candy.
Now, the game instead has a deck of cheapo paper cards with colored squares indicating where to move. Nostalgic, I started searching online for “vintage” and “retro” versions of the game. I found games with the older game board I remember, but still with the square cards – even versions from the fifties seem to have this deck of cards with colored squares (and I was born in the late 70s). I found a write-up of the game’s history and it even outlines the board and square cards, no mention of the bag of colored plastic circle tiles (which I know today would probably be a huge chocking hazard).
I’m going nuts! Am I nuts? Does ANYONE remember Candy Land with a bag of round colored tiles????

And We’re Back….

Just a quick post to let everyone know that after a lovely summer off, tending to our garden and slinging lots of diapers, we are re-committing to our keyboards to bring the (mostly) diaper news back to the blog. Besides boxes of swim diapers, we’ve added a lot around the shop lately, including new version of the awesome One-Size Fuzzi Bunz, Gro Baby, Haute Pockets in snaps and Velcro, Thirsties Duo Wraps, and lots of in-stock bumGenius.

Punkernoodle Baby is still doing frequent (and free!) cloth diaper consultations by appointment in our Seattle showroom, and we’ll be back to teaching Cloth 101 classes at a rotation of locations around the Puget Sound. Check back here in September for a schedule! To set up an appointment, or to buy or find out more about cloth diapers, you can always call us at 206-325-3497. Happy diapering and see you soon!