Cloth Versus Disposable
Based on a bulk purchase of disposable nappies, a single nappy costs 33 cents. At a conservative estimate, baby goes through six disposable nappies per day. Per week disposable nappies for one baby costs a family $13.85. Although this does not seem like a lot, over the life of baby wearing nappies (a conservative estimate of two years) this equates to $1440.40.
Using cloth nappies on the other hand is seemingly expensive initially, as you would usually outlay a sum of money to stock up. If we base our calculations on requiring 18 cloth nappies (to last three days on average), at an average price of $30 per nappy, the initial outlay cost is $540. Let’s pose it from a different perspective.If we were to purchase one cloth nappy every fortnight ($30) which almost equals our fortnightly expenditure on disposable nappies, we would amass 18 cloth nappies in a little over 36 weeks, or eight months.
Many modern cloth nappies can be used from birth to potty (0 – 2 years of age), so additional outlay throughout the two years may be minimal. Even if you were to outlay $200 on larger sizes, covers etc. you would still come out approximately $700 ahead.
Furthermore, if you were to purchase your modern cloth nappies for your first baby and hope to have more children, these can be used on subsequent children, saving you even more money.
We realise there are arguments against the use of modern cloth nappies when you factor in washing, but as most parents will acknowledge, washing is a part of life with a family, what's one more load every two days.
The cloth versus disposable nappy argument will most likely live on beyond yours and our time using nappies, and it is at the end of the day a personal choice. If you are motivated by financial savings, the use of cloth nappies is definitely an appealing option. A holiday with the family could be your reward for choosing cloth over disposable.
To this point, we have not factored in the environmental costs of using disposable nappies. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 250,000 babies are born in Australia annually. Undeniably the vast majority would be wearing disposable nappies. At a conservative estimate, say 200,000 of those babies born wore disposable nappies. Combined, based on our six nappies a day, these babies would go through a staggering 438,000,000 nappies per year. Yes, that is 438 million nappies per year. Now times that by another year, based on two years in nappies. It is difficult to put into perspective how much space this many nappies takes up in landfill, particularly when most of us only consider our individual waste generated, but it is a lot. Something to think about!
Washing & Care
Cloth Nappies are relatively easy to care for, please see individual washing and care instructions for the nappies you have purchased, it is important to follow these instructions to maintain the quality of your nappies and most warranties (if applicable) will be void if cared for incorrectly. As a general guide:
Do not soak or add bleach to your nappies, simply place them in a dry pail (after solids are removed).
Biodegradable paper liners make removing solids simple. Paper liners stocked by Beginning Green can simply be removed and flushed down the toilet (for more information please see product information). Or for less ‘solid’ solids use the Spray Away, a high pressure hose which attaches to your toilet, making the removal of messy messes easy (please see product information for more details).
Stains can be removed after washing by drying nappies in the sunlight.
Wash at no greater than 60 degrees using only half the amount of detergent you would normally use. Do not use bleaches and ensure your detergents don’t contain brighteners, enzyme cleaners and fabric softeners. There are some great eco-friendly detergents on the market.
The best method is to hang your nappies outside as the sun acts as a sanitiser and bleach. Some nappies can be tumble dried - please read each nappy's care instructions.
A strip wash is recommended if your nappies have become smelly or have a build up of detergent residue. This is a simple process, please see individual washing and care instructions for the nappies you have purchased.
Nappy Rash Creams
Barrier creams may clog up nappy fabric affecting their absorbency, please don’t use these creams unless you also use a liner to protect the nappy.
If you have any further cleaning questions please contact us, we are happy to offer advice.