Save Money By Using Cloth Nappies
-- Updated Nov 22 --
Your motivation for wanting to use reusable nappies may be purely environmental, however many parents are also moving towards reusable options to save money. In fact, a recent Census conducted by The Nappy Gurus found money saving to be a motivation for 58% of the respondents using reusable nappies¹.
It is no secret that disposable nappies are a big financial commitment. For an average of 3 years, you will be adding a pack or two of nappies to your weekly shop, and £5 here or £10 there can really add up.
By the time your child is out of nappies, you will have spent almost £1200 in single use nappies, bags and wipes². With absolutely nothing to show for it.
Disposable nappies also incur a cost to the tax paying public. For every £1 spent on disposables, it costs the British taxpayer 10p to dispose of them. This is the reason that many councils have introduced Real Nappy Incentive Schemes, to encourage people to make the switch to reusable nappy options. Over a period of 4 years, 9 Local Authorities in London collectively saved £321k in waste costs as a direct result of the incentive vouchers they offered ³
Reusable Nappies- What is the Cost?
A 2022 Census conducted by The Nappy Gurus found that 66% of cloth nappy parents had spent under £300 in total for their reusable nappies and accessories.¹
Looking at the set-up costs involved with reusable nappies, for full time use, starting from the newborn stage, you're going to need around 25 reusable nappies. Our best value nappies are the Alva Baby, and a full set of these will cost you £173 (or £156 using discount code GOCLOTH), and being one-size, these nappies should take you right up to the potty training stage. Our popular Nappy Accessories Pack will cost you just £22, and includes all the extra bits you'll need, and even includes some reusable wipes (you can learn more about those here). Chuck in some nappy boosters for good measure (and to give your nappies extra absorbency when needed) and all in you're looking at a set up cost of under £200.
Of course, unlike disposables that get thrown away, reusable nappies need to be washed. So we've done the calculations for that too. Running a nappy wash, including electricity (at the Oct 22 price cap), water and detergent will cost you around 0.49 pence. Washing 3 x per week, that's a washing cost of £1.47. Over the course of infancy (or 3 years), if the energy costs remain at their current rate, washing your nappies will cost you around £230.
So in total, using reusable nappies on one child will cost you around £430
For the interests of these calculations we have included reusable wipes. We are finding that even parents who are using disposable nappies are opting for reusable wipes - and if you are using reusable nappies anyway, they are a no-brainer. You can find out more about reusable wipes here.
So lets take a look at the realistic costs in more detail:
The Census found that 79% of cloth nappy parents use nappy liners, but of those only 17% are using disposable liners all of the time. The rest are either using reusable nappy liners, or a mix of both. But if you did want to use disposable nappy liners, here is a reflected cost analysis:
Of course, truly phenomenal savings come when families go on to have further children. Providing the nappies have been correctly cared for, you can go on to use those nappies again, and again with future babies. When considering this as an option, it is worth thinking about the durability factor of nappy fastenings. Nappies that fasten with snaps do usually have a longer lifespan than those that fasten with hook & loop closures.
To further increase your savings, do enquire with your local Council authority whether they have any real nappy voucher incentive schemes in place. Vouchers can be worth as much as £200 in some areas.
Check out our Budget Nappy Kit which, for just £115, will give you a great introduction to the world of cloth nappies, and then you can add to your 'stash' if and when you need to.
¹ A Census survey was conducted by The Nappy Gurus in Sept 2022.
² Cost of disposable nappies based on market analysis conducted by The Nappy Alliance April 2022 and The Nappy Gurus Oct 22. Nappy usage calculated based on average number of nappy changes per age bracket (e.g. 7 changes per day for period of 6-12 months, 5 changes per day for period of 18-24 months etc), and adjusted from 0 - 3 years. Nappy prices taken from market analysis as of Oct 22, sampling 11 major brands, including Pampers, Aldi, Tesco, Naty and Lidl. Disposable wipes at one pack per week at £1 per pack. Nappy Sacks at £1 per pack, for 42 packs.
³ Data provided by the Real Nappies for London campaign
Laundry costs were calculated by The Nappy Alliance and The Nappy Gurus, based on the following. For a standard wash, water consumption will cost 0.14 pence and detergent at 0.09 pence. The cost of electricity per wash, based on the Oct 22 energy price cap is estimated at 0.26p per wash. For 364 washes over 2.5 years, the cost incurred is £58.24 For 3 washes per week over 3 years, the cost incurred is £36.4 Based on washing 3 times per week, the cost over the course of 3 years is £230, including energy, water and detergent.