Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Braving the big, delicate questions part one! – Costs Comparisons

on January 3, 2012

OK… I’m going to take in a deep breath, gather together all my courage, and attempt to tackle some of the tricky questions surrounding whether, or whether or not to cloth. Remember, these are only my personal opinions. I’m a teacher by trade (could you guess!) and not some paid member of the cloth nappying society, so I really am only putting on here what I know and what I think. So, please don’t hold anything against me!

Right… Here goes….

Cloth vs Disposables
Now this is the big, tricky one so I thought I may as well start with it first. I’ve touched on this a little in other posts, but it’s such a big area that I thought I should give it a little more space. There are all the eco reasons as to why cloth is, perhaps, considered better by many mums. You could google this topic and be blasted with lots of information about chemicals, carbon footprints, etc – but for me, the main reason for cloth nappying (apart from the cuteness, and because I just really really wanted to!) was the cost. They work out cheaper – as long as you don’t go completely cloth mental (which is very easy to do!).
At the end of the day, you’re reusing them again and again and again, so it’s going to keep costs down. You’ve also got the fact that you can sell them on to other mummies when you’re done with them (or fancy a change and need to reinvest your money) or you can keep them for any other little sproglets that you may have in the future (I’m doing this – have boxes all neatly packed away full of newborn fluff that makes me go all gooey!!!).

I’ve just quickly had a look at the costs of disposables vs cloth and come up with some rough figures to give you an idea. They’re not going to be perfect (took me only five mins), but it’ll give you an idea.

Ok – imagine that the average baby uses about 8 nappies a day (newborns use more, older children use less and then there’s those ones that they poo in the SECOND that you change ’em!). When you look at all the offers that are on, disposable nappies cost about 15p each (20p if you’re not buying in bulk offers). Then, I’m assuming that you’ll be using disposable wipes if you’re using disposable nappies. So – they are about £2.00 a pack (ish). I know that I’m actually underestimating these costs a little, but I didn’t want to overinflate the differences!

Right – so 8 nappies a day @ 15p each = £1.20
Per week that’s £8.40
Up to potty training (average at about 2.5 years old) = 130 weeks = £1,092 for disposable nappies.
Then – adding on 1 pack of wipes a week (I know for a fact I used more when I used these)
That would be £260 for 130 weeks.
So that’s about £1352 for using disposables from birth to potty. Got to be honest, I’d use more wipes that that so I reckon the cost is nearer to £1500 when you add in all the emergency packs of nappies you’ll prob buy and the extra wipes for mucky hands, etc.

So – cloth nappies.
The cheapest option would be a set of Terries – you can get a set, for example, from Mothercare for £43.

The next option up would be to use prefolds. Bambino Mio are the most widely available and a birth to potty set from them costs £220. I had this (bought preloved at a bargain) but it really didn’t do it for me.

If I work on the basis of about 30 nappies (more than enough , to be honest) – then –

30 BTP pocket nappies (e.g. Baba+Boo nappies, which are brilliantly reliable) would cost you £300.

30 All-in-one Bumgenius BTP (birth to potty) nappies would set you back about £450

A whole kit of Little Lamb nappies (40 nappies – 20 size 1’s and 20 size 2’s) would be £300 (they don’t do 30 nappy sets)

Then – if you went the whole hog and got 30 custom nappies made from a WAHM company such as Weenotions that cost you about £25 per nappy then you’d be spending about £750 for those.

Then – if you used cloth wipes, you could add on about £35 for a full kit, such as Cheeky Wipes, or as little as £15 for getting some basic wipes and putting them in your own tub.

Then – I suppose you should add some costs for other essentials.
Nappy Pails/wetbags – £15 each – so you’d need two at least – £30
Extra powder/sanitiser £30
Your water/electric costs – about £150 from start to finish (I’m overestimating this due to all the mad prices hikes that are going on at the moment)

Ok – so the most expensive route is going to cost you about £1000 from start to finish, the cheapest terries route is going to cost you just under £300 and the middle route (which is the one most people end up doing) would be about £650. You might want to buy some liners, or bits like creams or essential oils, but this should give you a rough idea of what you’d be saving.

Obviously – there’s the extra work to factor in with washing them, but as I blogged in my post on this – it’s really not bad at all.


3 responses to “Braving the big, delicate questions part one! – Costs Comparisons

  1. […] or sell them on preloved, you’re pretty much quids in! Have a look at my blog post on COST OF NAPPIES to get an […]

  2. […] and nearly 2 years on from those original posts I still have the same views. Have a read here , here and here to find out in more […]

  3. […] only are cloth nappies so much more economical , eco-friendly and effortless , they are also immensely […]

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