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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Thank you xx