Costs and the environment
Nappy costs can vary considerably depending on the type of nappies you choose – whether washable or disposable. There are also other factors impacting costs, such as how many you use per day, the age of your baby, and if you opt for washables – how many children you use them on.
As a rough calculation however, we looked at the price of a big brand nappy which cost around 9p per nappy on special offer. If you buy a £16 washable nappy you’d need to use it 178 times to equal the cost of 9p per use. If you use washable nappies for 2 years (a baby is usually 3 before potty training is complete) then that’s one use every 4 days. We think you’ll manage that quite easily.
You’ll also need to buy wipes, which can be disposable or washable. Or you can make your own reusable wipes from old towels.
There is the extra cost of washing associated with washable nappies, but as you’ll be washing clothing and household towels any way the cost may not be as big as you think. Modern washable nappies only require half the amount of detergent that you would normally use and are recommended to be washed at a mild temperature, from 30-40 degrees. Washable nappies give even more value for money if you have more children or pass them on to friends or family with babies.
You don’t have to use washable nappies all the time if you don’t want to. You could use washable nappies at home and disposable ones when you’re out. Some people choose to use washables during the day and disposables at night. All these variations will help save money and have a positive impact on the environment as they reduce the amount of natural resources like cotton and water going into manufacturing disposables. Using fewer disposable nappies also saves on the plastic and energy required in making disposable nappies, reduces waste sent to landfill or incineration and means your bin bag will be a lot smaller!
We recommend putting nappies through an initial rinse cycle and then washing with detergent together with other items such as towels and sheets. Line dry to further save energy and keep them lasting longer.