It’s generally accepted that using cloth nappies works out cheaper in the long run than disposable nappies. However there is a fairly significant upfront cost, which can be a problem for some people, or put people off. However there are also ways that you can reduce the cost of that initial outlay as well as getting the best value for money.
- My top tip would be to start thinking about your nappies as soon as you can. Buying before your baby arrives means that you can spread the cost and buy bits and pieces as you can afford them. If you’re working, it also means that the money will come out of your salary rather than your maternity pay! Some suppliers will allow you to spread payments over a few months, whilst still taking advantage of bulk buy deals.
- One-size nappies can be a cheaper option overall, since you only have one size to buy. However, they generally cost more per nappy than a sized nappy so you may have a bigger initial outlay. Conversely, if the nappy you choose comes in different sizes then you can just get the first size to start with and so spread the overall cost. This also means that you can see how the nappy suits you over the first few months, and possibly make changes before you get the second size.
- You don’t need to get a huge amount of kit. There are lots of accessories that do make life easier, such as disposable liners and laundry mesh bags, but they are not essential. You may prefer to get the absolute essentials to start with and then add accessories as you need them. Similarly, resist the urge to buy a load of funky nappies or patterned covers – plain white works just as well and is often cheaper.
- Be wary of very cheap nappies – You need a good quality waterproof layer to ensure a leak-free nappy, and to ensure that your nappy lasts. In other words, don’t scrimp on the waterproofing. Its better to go for a cheap nappy (absorbent layer) and get a good quality waterproof cover.
- Don’t be put off by flat nappies – they are a great way to economise. Personally, I like the bamboo terry squares as they are so much softer and more absorbent than cotton. They are also slimmer fitting, which means you can usually get away with just one size of terry to last from birth to toddler. OK, you’ll need to learn to do a few folds, but it’s not too difficult once you’ve done it a couple of times. Paired with a good quality cover, this system makes for a cheap option, whilst still performing and lasting well.
- If you’re unsure, try a few brands/styles out before committing to a full set. Cloth nappies are a personal choice and you want to make sure you get what’s right for you, before forking out hundreds of pounds.
- Washable liners and wipes are a great alternative to their disposable counterparts, and will certainly save you a lot of money in the long term for a fairly small initial cost. Just wash with your nappies as normal.
- Consider using second hand nappies. There are plenty of places to get good quality, well looked-after second hand nappies – such as www.usednappies.co.uk or on parenting forums. Look out for nappies that have been well used, as this usually means that they did the job well. If a nappy that looks immaculate and barely used, it may be because it didn’t work properly and just sat in a cupboard!
- Look after your nappies to make them last as long as possible, especially if you want to use the same nappies again for another baby. Don’t use too much detergent (and never use fabric softener), and avoid avoiding soaking any nappies or covers. Try to avoid tumble drying as much as possible, and wash on as low a heat as it takes to get your nappies clean (40 degrees is usually fine – although I recommend adding an anti-bacterial nappy sanitiser to your wash if you’re washing below 60 degrees).
If you would like any advice or information, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Blog provided by Vicki Jordan at Real Choice Nappies