When considering whether cloth or disposable is right for you, one of the main reasons why people chose cloth is because it can save you money. You will find countless breakdowns online of how basic cloth diapering set-ups can save you a ton of money compared to disposables but there are also some hidden costs on both sides that you may not have considered. Some of these include:
Diaper pail refills (disposables only)
Diaper pail (disposables or cloth): one time purchase but in either case, it can be as inexpensive as you make it
Garbage bags (disposables only)
Garbage collection fees (disposables only): some municipalities limit the number of bags per week, or charge more per bag
Gas (disposables or cloth, depending on where you buy): will be more for disposables as you need to buy them more often and may need to make ’emergency’ trips to the store when you run out
Shipping (cloth only): save by buying more at once to qualify for free shipping
Wasted diapers (disposables): when the sticky tabs break as you put a fresh one on, or baby soils it within minutes
Wipes (disposables or cloth): will cost more for disposable wipes
Laundry/water use (cloth): how much will your utilities increase?
Diaper repair (cloth): velcro may need replacing as it wears out (but this is cheap and easy)
Addiction (cloth only): can you really resist all of those adorable prints?
All of these things really depend on your own personal usage so there is no magic number in how much savings can be attained going one way or the other. Consider your own situation and how these hidden costs will factor into your diapering solution!