Three times a mummy

Cloth Nappies v Disposable

on May 14, 2013

During the past year my eyes have been opened to fact that more people around me seem to using cloth nappies. And what’s more…they are all raving about how good they are.

I am seriously considering using them for the bump when it arrives. Not because I am massively into saving the planet (not that it’s a bad thing), but my main reason, I love the idea of never running out a nappies! If I am running low all I will have to do is stick a wash load on. Simple. Instead of wondering how my one year old will get on in a size 6 pull up or how safe swim nappies are out of the water (the answer to that is, not very!) But obviously there’s other pro’s and con’s. See my list below….

•There’s lots to get your head around. As with most things baby related its like a whole new world
•The initial cost is quite a lot
•More laundry and therefore higher bills
•They are bigger than deposable’s so take up more room in the changing bag, and if you have more than child you’ll know how valuable that space is!

•They come in really cute patterns
•They last right up to potty training
•I could use them for both baby and Charlie
•Apparently disposable’s can take upto 500 years to dispose in a landfill site. 500 years!!!! That’s a lot
•Potty training should be easier because they are less absorbent and baby actually feels what it is like be to wet
•My local council (and apparently quite a few local councils) are offering a free starter pack – a great way to get me, erm… started!
•Longevity – even though this baby is possibly our last (I just need to work on David and move somewhere bigger), cloth nappies are supposed to last for 2-3 children. Even more money saved in the long run

So, my thinking at the minute is that I will use disposables for the first few weeks when bump arrives. The thought of the extra washing and a new baby brings me out in a sweat. And plus, I kind of wonder if its the worth the money of buying cloth nappies in size 1 when baby will be in them for only a couple of months.

Please share your experience with cloth nappies below….


3 responses to “Cloth Nappies v Disposable

  1. Hiya – thanks for sending this through. Firstly I should start by explaining that although I manage the real nappy project here at Bradford Environmental Action Trust I do not actually have any children myself so cannot speak from personal experience! Though I do have 2 nephews who have both used washables and I have had spoken to lots of satisfied parents/midwifes/healthworkers etc through my job.

    The main problem we have is that people feel the outset cost is very expensive. You can get a full kit of Close parent pop ins (our most popular selling) for around £265.00. The pop in is a “birth to potty” option as it is adjustable. This means there is no need for different sizes meaning your newborn could be sharing the same nappies as your toddler! They simply popper up and down to size accordingly. The pop ins are a little more expensive (the Little Lamb sized nappies are £8ish with the pop ins ranging from £14 – £16 depending on patterns etc for a single nappy.) Obviously if you buy a full kit then you will be saving money as opposed to singles etc.

    A full kit would include 20 nappies plus accessories including night boosters, liners and a nappy wet bag. This should be all you need to go full time with washables and the only other cost would be flushable liners which are around £6 for 160 so not a huge amount. As you say, these nappies can then be “handed down” to brothers/sisters/cousins etc and be reused in that way. Obviously as you have mentioned there is the extra cost of washing but from experience with friends and family with babies there is always a wash load on anyway to keep up with clothes etc and this shouldn’t cost more than a couple of pounds per week extra.

    A lot of people are put off also by the messy aspect but actually the liners take away a lot of that. When you use a washable nappy you should use a flushable liner sheet between baby and the nappy. These liners are flushable, biodegradable and look kind of like a bounce dryer sheet ! The liners are “one way” so they will allow liquid through to soak into the nappy but will not allow liquid back through to your baby’s skin. They also do the marvellous job of catching any “solids” which can be flushed away with the liner meaning the nappies can remain relatively mess free, especially as your child gets older.

    I know you also mentioned issues around space saving. However, because the Close parent pop ins are exactly the same shape as a disposable they can be wrapped up as you would a dirty disposable to throw away and then stored in a watertight wet bag until you get home. True, disposables are flatter but actually the new style nappies aren’t really hugely bigger at all so space saving shouldn’t be too much of a problem. A lot of people I speak to and indeed my sisters in law only use washables part of the time and still use disposables if they’re out and about etc so that means you don’t have to throw yourself in at the deep end if you don’t want to!

    Obviously the main pull for a lot of people will be the money saving aspect (recent surveys say that a baby will get through on average 4000 disposables in their birth to potty period.) We estimate that you can save between £400-500 versus the cost of disposables (including added washing.) Add to this the environmental aspect plus they’re kinder to your child’s skin and it seems to become more appealing! Bradford Council fund us to send out incentive kits because they want to reduce the amount of nappy waste going to landfill. Often when people try them they are so taken with them that they want to continue using them so we also sell nappies and accessories at below RRP with all monies going back to our charity.

    I know that you have already applied for our incentive kit but I’ll just pop some details on here now incase others are interested. If you live in Bradford district and are expecting or have a child under 6 months then you are eligible to claim a free washable nappy kit worth £45! Just get in touch with me for more info or 01274 487270. This link will take you to the kit page on our website

    We also sell nappies at very reasonable prices both on our website and also on EBay:

    All monies taken go back into our charity and specifically keeping the nappy project running.

    If you would like any more help or advice then please do get in touch and good luck with everything

    Thanks, Rosie : )

  2. tiasmum12 says:

    Hello, I read this with interest, firstly I would like to point out that size one tots bots and little lamb nappies go up to 20lbs. My very nearly nine months old is not quite 17lbs yet so would have lasted me a long time had I brought them 🙂 I also have a very energy efficient washing machine, so doing two or three more loads of washing a week still works out cheaper then using sposies. Good luck with what ever decisions you make. Pop along to my blog if you would like to read more. I have blogged about them a few times 🙂

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