Thursday, 5 September 2013

In Celebration of Cloth

We are back in cloth! After two weeks in disposables after our Rotavirus drops (a live vaccine which can cause diarrhoea from contact with babies poo) and the cloth is back on my baby! Hip hip hurray.

I changed L's nappy five times yesterday. I used reusable wipes. I put her in a bamboo nappy for night time and she was still in it 12 hours later. 

I calculated that for us each disposable nappy change costs on average 26p (this is based on the nappies and wipes we use at the price of both at the time of buying, other nappy and wipe combinations or offers on these products may make this cheaper or more expensive.) Not only did it cost me that but I also changed her far more often. Nearer 12 times on some days. If I average nappy changes to 10 that is £2.60 a day in nappy changes.

Now reusable as yet haven't be used enough to be as cheap per wear as disposables, but because I brought predominately Birth to Pottty or One Size Fits All nappies L will be in the same nappies until she no longer needs them (subject to wear and tear and any changes in her shape resulting in a change of fit which may mean buying more nappies). 

I have brought nappies ranging in price from £6 (bulk buying) - £14 (a gorgeous print). I have 15 day nappies and 7 night nappies, predominantly the £6 ones. We use on average 5 nappies a day and then one nighttime nappy. 

I wash my nappies every other day, 12 nappies are washed in half the amount on non bio recommended. This works out for us at 14p per wash (this one can vary massively if you don't buy branded or if the products are on offer, I have worked this cost out at RRP of a favourite brand which we use at home) so that is just over 1p per nappy per wash. I have found a calculation that each washing machine cycle can cost 23p, I will round it up to 24p to make my calculations easier. At 1.5p (rounded up to account for variations in use) per nappy per wash for non-bio and 2p running costs we are looking at 3.5p per nappy change, 21p a day and and based on 6 nappies a day for 7 days £1.47 a week. During these washes I also do our wipes. I will round it up to £1.50 for my final calculations and to take account of extra nappies on some days or less being washed.

For an initial out lay of £250 (my personally set budget for reusable nappies and wipes to stop myself going crazy for prints) combined with £78 costs of washing makes £328 for nappies for the year compared to £949 for disposables for the year.
This makes me happy. I know they are not for everyone but for us they work well, I am even starting to use them when we are out and about. We made the choice to go cloth, it is a personal one, it works for us but it doesn't for everyone I understand and respect that. We use disposables occasionally, sometimes on trips out, to plug short nappy needing gaps and we will probably use them on our up and coming holiday. 
But, I love my cloth bummed Morkus. 

p.s I have used math skills last used for my GCSE exam over 10 years ago. If my calculations are wrong please tell me so I can learn from the mistake and adjust them. And I know that some of the amounts will vary and I hope I have made that clear. I haven't included the cost of water rates for the washing machine but hope that my calculations as they are demonstrate the saving that is possible even when water is added.


  1. ha, I love your disclaimer about your maths, it seems right to me but my GCSE's were even longer ago! ;)
    I've always thought about cloth nappies but never had the guts to spend the money in bulk in case it didnt work... maybe i'll have a peruse on ebay for some.
    Oh, and you commented about moving with a baby on my post, to be honest it wasnt as bad as I expected, I made sure that we had a bouncy seat at the new house already so we could put her down in something comfy that wasnt the car seat, and then I made sure I had enough expressed milk in the new house fridge in case she was hungry when I was busy directing the movers, as my mum came over to help with things, so she could feed her. We set up her cot and moses basket right away so she had something that felt like home :)
    Good luck!

    Lauren, Belle du Brighton

    1. Hi, I started with only a few to see if we liked it and if it worked for us, when it did I began buying more. I really like using them. They have their disadvantages like anything but nothing we can't work round.

      Thanks for the advice. Luckily we have a few weeks cross over between our properties to make sure everything is ready for us and lots of family to help. I will make sure the bouncy chair is at the ready.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Xxx