How to Save Money with Cloth Nappies.

Miss Thrifty11 April 28, 2011

Right now my interest in cloth nappies is limited to ahhing at the Fat Tire ones that Frugal Babe made for her son. I regularly see posts about cloth nappies on American frugality and money-saving blogs. Here in the UK, however, I rarely read about them. All of the blessed British infants with whom I am acquainted are taped into relatively expensive disposables. So why is that? Are cloth nappies a pain to make or buy? Does the smell linger? Here’s a take on the joys of reusables from American blogger Bailey Harris.

cloth nappies

Buying Cloth Nappies

Everyone knows that having a baby requires work, time, energy, and money. There are so many different supplies needed, from bottles and formula to clothing and nappies. Many people choose to use disposable nappies for their children. Although they may seem more convenient than cloth nappies, the truth is disposables are very expensive. You may not realize how much money you can save by using reusable, cloth nappies.

If you choose to use cloth nappies, it may seem like a big investment at first. Since you are paying more money for fewer nappies, you may think it is a bad idea. But, you must remember that the nappies you purchase up front are the nappies you will continue to use until your baby is ready for the next size up. You can also purchase one-size-fits-all cloth nappies, which save you even more money.

When using cloth nappies, you will need covers that fit over top of them. Many types and brands of covers are available. Since these too are reusable, the money spent will be much less than if you were to purchase disposable nappies. These covers prevent leaks from occurring and help to hold nappies in place.

Recycling Cloth Nappies

Since cloth nappies are washable and reusable, they can be passed on and used by other babies. This is another huge money saver. Just think, the same nappies used for your first-born can be used by your next baby. That just isn’t possible with disposable nappies. If one baby is all you want or have, you can easily sell your used cloth nappies. They have an excellent resale value, provided you take good care of them. The idea of getting money back for nappies that have already been used is an excellent concept.

Washing Cloth Nappies

If you think that it will cost you great amounts of money to wash and dry your cloth nappies, that just isn’t the case. It is really only 1 or 2 extra loads of laundry each week, depending on the amount of nappies you have. The more cloth nappies, the less loads of laundry. It is best to wash your nappies as soon as your pail is full though, that way fresh ones will always be available. When you compare the cost of washing and drying a couple extra loads of laundry each week to the amount you would spend on disposable nappies, it is definitely in your best interest to choose the laundry. You can save even more money by hanging your clean cloth nappies out to dry in the sunshine.

Other Reasons to Use Cloth Nappies

If you have ever used disposable nappies, you know that sometimes you run out at the last minute. You go to change your baby in the middle of the night, and you realize the nappies are gone. You then must make a special trip to the drugstore. This uses gas to get to the store, as well as money for the nappies once you are there. This may also make for an irritable, sleepy parent. It is so much easier to use cloth nappies, as you will always have them on hand. Just keep up with the washing of your cloth nappies, and they will be there when you need them.

In addition to saving you money, cloth nappies are also better for your baby. Disposable nappies can contain chemicals that may irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Cloth nappies are almost always made from pure cotton, which is very gentle. Cloth nappies can also help the environment by eliminating disposable nappies in landfills. In the end, you will find that using cloth nappies is definitely to the advantage of you and your baby.

Image credit: simplyla.


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11 Responses to “How to Save Money with Cloth Nappies.

Suzie says:

It’s worth checking your local council for any schemes they are running. I work in the recycling department for my local council and we offer a 50 pound voucher towards reusable nappies.

April 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

Thanks Suzie – that is good to know!

April 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Mrs Karla Grant says:

I tried using cloth nappies with my first baby, who is now 9 years old. I could live with the need for a nappy bucket, and they dried quite quickly on my airing rack over my range. However, my daughter has very sensitive skin, and I found that the laundry soap didn’t help things, even doing extra rinse cycles on her nappies didn’t really help. I managed with cloth nappies until she was a few months old, but it was too much. I never paid full price for nappies for her first year or so, as I kept getting coupons for pampers. I tried cheap disposables, but they are not worth the money saved, if you have to change the baby twice as often!

With my son, who is now 2, I didn’t even try cloth nappies, although I did find that Pampers did not seem to be as good as I remembered them, and he has been a Huggies boy almost since birth.


April 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

lovelygrey says:

It seems like an age since I had to give a thought to nappies as, Louis, my son is now eight. Being a thrifty chick I was one of the early cloth converts and only resorted to disposables when we went away on holiday. They washed up beautifully in non biological washing powder and when Louis was potty trained they were sold on Ebay where some other thrifty chick got a real bargain!

April 29, 2011 at 5:54 am

Johnny Debt says:

Sometime ago I remember reading that every single disposable nappy ever made are still around!! They are supposed to be very environmentally un-friendly, they do not degrade when buried.

We may have moved on since then, but even so they are a very expensive item.

May 4, 2011 at 7:28 am

Becky says:

I write about all things baby and budgeting on my blog http;?? We have often had the greatnappy debate and environmentally no one is too sure anymore as laundry is not so eco friendly either HOWEVER in terms of cost it is undoubtedly cheaper to use cloth .

May 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Becky says:

Oh thought I did mean to say I know its frigal but the thought of putting recycled reusables on my new born baby hmmm frugal or not…I could n’t do it. I woul dn’t weear someonelses pants (I know this is not green/thrifty!)

May 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Great tips! And better for the environment too!

August 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Jerry Pohn says:

Great Post and excellent tips. Good to see the old ways coming to the fore again. We knew what we were doing back then.
Dutailier Nursing Chair

August 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Louise says:

Bought new washables for my daughter who is now 3. I wondered which was worse the washing of nappies or the disposal ….but on advice of the seller I rinsed them in cold water which removes stains and smells then washed with the smallest amount of non bio on fairly hot wash they came up lovely not sold them on yet though. I do recommend them!!!

May 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Ian says:

Personally I’d rather find the best deals and savings I can on disposable nappies and avoid having to a) wash dirty nappies and b) affecting my daughters sensitive skin.

I’d focus on bigger savings, but that’s not very “thrifty” is it? 😉

June 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm

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