Do Reusable Nappies really save money?

Thursday, 31 March 2022  |  Laura @ TKC

mum with baby reusable nappies

From buying the weekly food shop to heating our homes, the cost of living is rising exponentially, and it’s already starting to affect families across the UK. With this in mind, families need to start thinking of ways to save on living costs, and for those with babies, one way to do this is by switching from disposable nappies to reusable nappies.

Parents usually start to potty train their child at around two years old, and up to this point, over 4,000 disposable nappies will have been used¹, which is not only wasteful but extremely expensive. By switching to reusable cloth nappies, parents could save thousands.

Why switching to reusables is important

Switching to reusable nappies is a great way for families to help the environment. Every day eight million nappies are thrown away, equating to three billion nappies a year². Considering this shocking figure, disposable nappies are one of the main contributions to household waste and can increase a parents carbon footprint by 40%³.

With these figures in mind, parents should consider using reusable cloth nappies to help cut down waste and reduce their carbon footprint. But not only this, parents could save thousands of pounds during their child's infancy by choosing reusable nappies.

Do reusable nappies really save money?

Yes, reusable nappies really do save money and a lot of it too! Initially, reusable cloth nappies have a higher start-up cost, as you have to ensure you have the correct amount of nappies, the appropriate accessories such as reusable wipes, and extra laundry products to get you through the washing process.

However, over the average course of your babies infancy (up until they are potty trained), using reusable nappies could save you a staggering £1475 or more⁴. Taking into account the rising energy costs, this extra expense could be offset by switching to reusables.

During the course of infancy, parents could spend a whopping £1875 on disposable nappies, whereas the overall cost for reusable nappies is around just £400.

The number of reusable nappies you will need vary depending on the baby, but on average, around 25 nappies would ensure you’re prepped if you plan to use cloth from newborn to toddler age.

How to use reusable nappies

Some parents might be intimidated by reusable cloth nappies as they sound complicated to use, but they are actually very simple. There are many different types of cloth nappies, but all are shaped to fit correctly, fasten securely, and be adjusted accordingly. As well as this, reusables are reliable, comfortable and highly absorbent.

Even though there are many benefits to using reusables, some parents might still be worried to use them due to how hygienic they are and how hard it is to wash them.

Reusables cloth nappies are extremely sanitary and easy to wash, especially when you have had the experience of doing it a few times. Simply flush waste down the toilet, rinse the nappy to avoid any stains becoming permanent, and then place in a bucket until you’re ready to load the cloth nappy into the washing machine. When you're ready to do your laundry, use regular detergent, wash with other clothes and wash at an average temperature.

If you want to ensure you get the most out of cloth nappies, it’s best to avoid drying them in the tumble dryer and instead use a creel, radiator or washing line outside - this is also a great way to save money!

The best reusable nappies

There are many different types of reusable nappies, and it’s a good idea for parents to research which ones would be best for them and their baby before purchasing a cloth nappy starter set. The different types of reusable nappies include:

One size nappies

Pocket nappies

Fitted nappies

All-in-one nappies

All-in-two nappies

Terry nappies & flats

There are slightly different costs to each of the reusables above, which is something to consider if cost-saving is your biggest motivation for using cloth nappies. If you are still unsure which to choose, our Reusable Nappy Quiz will give you a better idea.

Reusable nappy incentive schemes

If you want to save even more money using cloth nappies, some local councils will provide a voucher worth up to £200, or a reusable nappy starter kit to kickstart your reusable nappy journey. Find out which nappy incentive scheme your local council offers from the extensive list we’ve put together here.

For more personalised recommendations and advice from one of our Nappy Gurus team, tell us more about yourself and your baby in our nappy recommendation form, and we’ll do the rest!

Sources:

  1. https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/blog/life-events/are-reusable-nappies-worth-it-and-how-much-do-they-cost
  2. https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/news/new-campaign-development-prevent-recycling-contamination-nappies
  3. https://www.wasteless-sy.co.uk/news-blogs/are-reusable-nappies-the-real-deal/
  4. https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/blog/life-events/are-reusable-nappies-worth-it-and-how-much-do-they-cost
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