Real Nappies Vs Disposables – Cost Breakdown

So you may recall that I took part in the REAL nappy challenge back in January.

My three main reasons for wanting to give cloth nappies a go were:

  • to reduce my household waste
  • to find out if they were as easy to use nowadays as I had been told v’s the hard work they were when my mum used them on me
  • to see if there were big differences in costs between them and disposables
It is the latter of those, the costs, that I have been investigating over the last couple of weeks as a few readers of my blog were keen to know if they would actually save money by switching from disposable to re-usable.
During my week long nappy challenge I was amazed by how many people I tweet with and whose blogs I follow, who actually use real nappies themselves for their children and they passed on some brilliant tips and words of advice to me (thank you if it was you!). I discovered a real nappy group on twitter called #nappuvinno and thanks to them and some other helpful real nappy using mums I was able to establish how many I would need to use (and buy) for Jenson. I was also tweeted by the natural nursery who was very lovely and emailed me a load of information on the costs of real v’s disposable nappies as she had carried out a similar investigation last year. 

So bearing in mind that my baby is now 10 months old (if you were starting out with cloth nappies from newborn the costs would be a little higher as you would need more cloth nappies – it as suggested that 20 was a good starting point) it appeared that the average total I would need by the suggestions that I was given on twitter was 10 which would allow me about 2 days worth of wear. As it happens I have 8 as I figured that I may still use a disposable at bedtime which may change as I get used to using reusables but for now this is my plan.

Therefore, based on the Miosolo all-in-one nappies which I trialled which cost £14.95 each (and I will base this on the 10 nappies that were suggested to me that I buy), that totals £149.50
Add to this the liners which cost £4.95 (for 160)
The nappy cleanser powder which costs £4.60 (for 50 washes)

Pack of bio boosters (for extra absorbency) which cost £6.79 (for 3)

So the total so far is £165.84 
I haven’t bothered buying a nappy bucket and a nappy bag for days out, as if I am at home I will use a large tupperware box that I have and if I am out and about I will use a linen shopping bag or something similar. 
Now lets compare this start up cost with disposable nappies. I am going to base this comparison on a well know brand of nappies – obviously if you buy supermarket own nappies you are saving more money, but for the purpose of this I need an average price. I have to be honest when I have shopped for disposables I always buy whatever are on offer with the branded nappies as usually they have an offer of some sort one. 
Anyway, lets say the average size 4 branded nappy costs 20p each (bearing in mind that supermarket own brands are less again) and I would say that on an average day I get through about 6 which is £1.20 per day which equates to £8.40 per week which is £436.80 a year. At 10 months old, based on him being toilet trained at the same time as his brother who was 28 months (which isn’t an accurate guide as he may be completely different and take much longer, but I need an average length of nappy wearing time) this means he still has another 18 months of nappy wearing 
So the total is £655.20 
(based on 20p per nappy over 18 more months from now)

I will probably continue to use disposable wipes for now at least, although I am going to try and use flannels when I am at home so I am not going to bother adding or removing wipe costs because if you wanted to work this our for yourself then again most wipes start from about £1 a pack (either supermarket own or brands when on offer). 
*Did you know, you can wash disposable wipes in your washing machine? a mum on twitter does this and says you can get several uses out of them?*
So at the moment the re-usable nappies cost a LOT less than the disposables at this point in the proceedings – a difference of £489.36 in fact. Although of course the disposable costs are spread over those 18 months whereas the real nappies have to be bought and paid for in one go.
Of course with re-usable nappies comes the fact that you have to wash them at 60oC which includes electricity, washing powder and water. Thanks to the  natural nursery I have some costs I can include here which are based on findings taken in 2011
I am thinking that I will be washing my re-usable nappies every 2 days so on average that is an extra 3-4 washes per week so i will say 4 to round things up. So over the next 18 months that adds up to 312 washes. Again I am basing the wishing powder costs on a well know brand of washing detergent – other asking powders will cost you less of course – but 50 washes (4kg box) costs £12.00 which averages at 24p per wash. BUT according to real nappy manufacturers you only need to use half the amount of recommended powder per wash which equates to 12p a wash.

So total washing powder cost is approx £37.44
(for 18 months)
Meaning I would also need 312 washes worth of nappy cleanser so extra cost for 6 more tubs = £27.60
The average ‘B’ rated washing machine uses 1.15 kw of electricity per load at 60oC** , at an average cost of 12p kw/h which is 13.8p per load 
So total cost of electricity is £43.01 
(for 18 months)
* So in conclusion *
Disposable nappies (not including wipes or nappy bags) for 18 months =
Re-usable nappies + washing powder + nappy cleanser + electricity + liners + boosters for 18 months = £375.24 

Which makes using re-usable nappies quite appealing from a money saving point of view doesn’t it?

I have decided to use real nappies although I will still keep disposables to hand for emergencies!

If you are contemplating using real nappies would these savings help you to think more seriously about using them instead of disposables? I would be interested in reading what you have to say.


Prices for consumer products based on online prices at supermarkets and BambinoMio January 2012
 The prices for the energy providers, January 2011

Thank you also to the natural nursery for their help and cost information

this is not a sponsored post and I was not asked to write this post by anyone, it was something I wanted to find out for myself . Other brands of real nappies are of course available.
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First Day At Nursery – Done!

So as I mentioned on the blog last night, Burton started nursery this morning at Ladybirds. I was a little apprehensive about taking him because I  worried that he might  not want to stay without me. Thank you to everyone who sent me such lovely tweets and left comments on my post – all so caring and reassuring remarks.

Anyway, we set off at 9.45 am on the 5 mile trip and Burton had his new backpack  and he took his Shadow (a little toy dog which he named after my Mum’s dog) to keep him company. To be honest, I could have cried as we walked to the car – he just looked so big suddenly!

So we arrived at Ladybirds a few minutes early and he took his coat off and was shown where his peg is in the cloakroom, and he then proceeded to turn out the entire contents of his rucksack to show one of the nursery staff what he had brought with him! He took his Shadow and went back into the playroom while I re-packed his bag. When I joined him he was being asked which activity he wanted to join in with and I decided that this should be my  time to say goodbye.  I kissed him and told him I would be back after lunch and for him to be a good boy and I said goodbye and walked out. 

I looked back but he wasn’t watching as he was already looking  at the other children playing. I peered back in through the window,when I was outside just to make sure he wasn’t crying out for me but he wasn’t *sighs with relief* . Of course Mummy was struggling to contain her tears, and as soon as I got back in to the car I let a few escape which I had been holding in!  Silly Mummy!!

The four hours soon passed and then it was time to return to Ladybirds and collect my boy. When I entered he had just come in from outside from playing in the sandpit, and I could see he had a different pair of trousers on – apparently, he rushed in from outside and couldn’t get his coat off fast enough and didn’t quite make it in time! Bless him! 

His first day’s report reads like this:

Burton has done so well on his first day at nursery !
We went outside to go on ‘a bear hunt’ and Burton loved riding on the bikes! 
Burton joined in with some dancing this morning and listened to the stories ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and ‘Duck In A Truck’.
Burton had a few tears a couple of times over the morning but was soon distracted (the bikes quickly cheered him up!)
He also loved pushing the pram around the playground, whizzing round and round.

My heart sinks whenever I re- read the ‘Burton had a few tears a couple of times‘ part but I guess it was inevitable and it just makes me even more proud of him. 

Apparently the lunch was chicken pasta bake with peas and sweetcorn followed by pineapple and peach crumble with custard. And he ate some – not all but some which is fantastic 🙂 he never eats crumble at home or pineapple!! Or custard actually! I had hoped that by allowing him to stay for lunch it might encourage him to try foods he may not normally eat at home. On the way home he talked about a girl called Lilly and a boy called Jordan so I assume these may be two friends he made today. He also says he had a good time and wants to go again! *phew*

Since we have been home he has done nothing but eat so I don’t know if he didn’t eat very much lunch after all,  or he is just hungry from all the fresh air he had! 

So we survived our first day of a new routine – he was definitely the braver one and I am so proud of him and love him even more (if that is even possible!)

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Having To Let Him Go

Burton is starting nursery on Monday (tomorrow). 
There is a statement I didn’t think I would hear myself say for at least another 6 months!

His daddy and I (me more reluctantly, I hasten to add) have decided that attending a nursery for 4 hours a week will give him some extra stimulation; some more social interaction with his peers and a chance to do things that we havent yet done like messy play with paints. These reasons are good and positive ones for him to attend, but I cant help but feel a little guilty as his mummy that I have somehow failed him because surely he should be gaining these skills whilst in my care? I never wanted him to start going out to nursery  until he was at least three, and now it is happening tomorrow.

I am fully aware that since Jenson came along I havent been able to dedicate the same kind of time and attention on Burton that I once did. It’s just not possible. That sounds like a cop out but it really isn’t. He is bright and learns things very quickly, and he is also demanding of my attention because he wants to do activities with me and he is keen – very keen – to learn new things. I try my best to ensure that when Jenson goes down for a nap that I spend that time actively playing with Burton and showing him new things. However, once his brother is awake I can’t dedicate my time to him as much because then Jenson wants my attention too, and somehow amidst all of this I still need to organise meals and all the other usual Mummy duties. 

I actually feel guilty towards both my children. 
  • Burton – because he wants to learn so much more the I am able to teach him due to the time we have together on our own. Before Jenson we did so much more together, obviously, but I did know that by having a smaller age gaps between my children this would be one of the downsides.
  • Jenson – because he doesnt get the one on one time that I gave Burton for the first 19 months of his life, but then he does benefit from observing his big brother and playing with him. He is learning skills by copying – something which Burton didn’t do because he was an only child at the time.
  • I also feel bad because we have never attended a regular playgroup so Burton (or Jenson now) has never had the opportunity to make new little friends or have that regular playtime at a dedicated place which caters for little people in terms of activities and toys.
  • Also since last December owing to Jenson being ill on and off we haven’t gone out and about as I would like to. Then with me also being poorly last week I wasn’t able to leave the house because of my eye sight being too bad! I try to make up for this when we are all back to full health, but it doesnt make me feel any better that we have been stuck indoors so much.
So it is with a heavy heart that I agreed that Burton should attend nursery. I know it is a great opportunity for him and he will learn lots and thrive and it is all good practise for when he starts nursery more regularly at some point in the not-so-distant-future. It will also be nice for Jenson and I to have a few hours where we can play and read stores together without big brother taking over!

Of course I am dreading tomorrow – the dropping him off at Ladybirds (the name of the nursery). We went to visit it last week to look around and he was quite taken with it, and actually wanted to stay and play once it was time for us to leave. All his family have been asking him where he will be going Monday and he has replied “Ladybirds”.  I have talked to him about asking to use the potty when he needs to go. I have bought him a rucksack to take and some new wells – all with his name on which he thought was funny. When he has asked if (baby) Jenson and I will be there too I have told him we can’t because Mummy is too big and Jenson is too small. He seems ok with this but I am not sure how he will react when I do have to leave him tomorrow. I could stay with him and watch him settle in from afar on his first day, but I said I wouldn’t because I don’t want him to think I will stay each time he visits, and it is important that he realises that Ladybirds is for HIM and not Mummy and his brother. 

*Sighs* but I worry that he might get upset which will make me upset and I know I must stay strong. 
I know that many children attend nursery or daycare of some type from a much younger age than what Burton is now, and that Mums (and dads) go through what I am feeling all the time, but that doesn’t make it easier for me to handle. 
My little boy is growing up and there is nothing I can to to prevent him doing so, and I know I have to let him go little by little – but I wish I didn’t have to just yet. 
how does this happen so fast?
Wish me (and him) luck – I think I am going to need it at 10am tomorrow. 

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I do believe that choosing the name for your child is a BIG deal and it is important to get it right, because that child has to live with your decision for the rest of their lives.
I did not know the sex of my baby until he was born. To start with my boyfriend and I each compiled a list of boys and girls names – I wrote down 10 of each and he only managed 2! It is strange because for years my chosen names were always going to be Scarlet (named after my all time favourite film heroine Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With The Wind) and Joshua for a boy (I loved that name from the first time I had heard of it which was when I watched the film Big ). However, in the end we decided upon Isobel and Jack – which were the only 2 names we were able to agree on! So whenever people asked us if we had chosen any names these were the ones we would tell them.

However, about 2 months before my due date we both started to doubt the name Jack – although we both loved the name and felt it was a good, strong name, it is just soooo popular and we did not want to end up in a situation where by the time our son went to school there would be a classroom full of Jacks!

So then we tried to find another one that we both liked – which was VERY hard as we both had different ideas on what a good boys name is! Logan was a contender and starting to look like a real possibility as a replacement name although I did know of someone who had just named their son that which always makes you wonder if you should then follow, however unintentionally, suit. Then one night, whilst we were watching an American sitcom, a character came on called Burton, and although it took a few days for both the OH and I to come to the same realisation: that we (both) just really liked the name and being so unusual we doubted anyone else at school would have the same name. Also, up until finding this name I had kind of been hoping that my unborn baby would be a girl (I know, I know I shouldn’t have done!) – even though I kind of had a feeling it was a boy all along. However, once the name Burton became a contender I sooo hoped my maternal instincts were correct after all, and it was going a boy, because I did not want anyone else to use that name before we got the chance.
couldn’t imagine him being called anything else now of course!
Here are a some facts about the name Burton:
  • The name is still used in America in fact Burt Reynolds and Burt Lancaster were both born Burton
  • It ranks 25,000 and something in the top boys names list (who could believe that so many names exist!)
  • In olde english Burton means fortified settlement
Therefore, without meaning to we chose a name which is unusual and yet not too modern or wacky. In fact, it’s really an old fashioned name and yet it does not seem like it because it is so uncommon. I also doubt very much that Burton will attend school or college with any other name- alikes!*

Jon and I do not regret our choice in the name Burton – we just love it so much and when we tell people his name they always comment on it and say how unusual it is yet they really like it. It does however, put pressure on us to make sure that the name we choose for our next child, will be as good and one that we love as much and not one that the next child will grow up hating either!!

So why did you choose the name/names you gave your child/children? Would love to hear your stories 🙂

*in fact to date there are no other Burton’s registered in the UK