Disposables vs Cloth Nappies [Cost Comparison]
Disposable nappy costs add up fast. On average, each child uses around $3,000 AUD worth until they are toilet trained.
And that doesn’t include the cost of disposable wipes, which can have caregivers spending hundreds, if not thousands, more.
In comparison, reusable cloth nappies can pay for themselves within approximately 7 months of full-time use.
Of course, this doesn’t factor in the small amount caregivers spend on the ongoing washing of cloth nappies while they’re being used.
But with so many factors at play including when your child toilet trains, your electricity rates, how efficient your washing machine is, it’s almost impossible to attribute an exact figure to this.
However, most cloth nappy users report minimal increases to their electricity, water usage and washing detergent costs.
The cost comparison of disposables vs cloth nappies
The main cost of cloth nappies is the upfront investment to buy a stash of nappies.
For those using disposables, it’s easy not to notice the gradually mounting costs in your weekly shopping trolley.
For our comparisons here, if you head into your local supermarket and grab a pack of disposable new born nappies, you’d be looking at around $0.33 per nappy, depending on the pack size and brand.
Young babies need their nappy changed an average of 10 times per day.
In the first month of your child’s life alone, you could have spent $99. By the time they’re 7 months old, this figure could be around $693.
With our bulk-buy discount of 15%, the upfront cost of a full-time stash of 24 reusable NappyLuxe nappies is $712.98.
This means that in just over 7 months, your NappyLuxe nappies may have effectively paid for themselves already.
If your child is in nappies for three years, you could save over $2,500 in total by opting to use cloth instead of disposables.
This factors in fewer nappy changes as baby grows.
What's more, many councils across Australia offer up to $200 cash back in cloth nappy rebates, providing an extra incentive for parents to choose cloth (this also makes the savings even greater).
Here’s our handy cost comparison table to lay out the cost comparison visually:
How to make your cloth nappy savings go even further
If cost savings for your family is an important factor in your decision to start using cloth, here are our tips and tricks to further reduce costs:
- Line dry instead of using a tumble dryer.
- Set your washing machine timer to wash nappies at off peak electricity times - check with your electricity provider to find out when this is. If you have solar panels, washing in the middle of the day is best.
- Choose energy efficient appliances. Modern, energy efficient washing machines weigh the load and only use the amount of water necessary.
- Buy more washing detergent when there are special offers on at supermarkets.
- Ensure your washing load is full when you’re running your main wash cycle.
- Follow our guide on how to wash cloth nappies to optimise the lifespan of your nappies.
- Reuse your nappies for multiple children - more on this below
Reuse nappies for multiple children
The above cost comparison is based on the nappies and wipes being used on just one child.
Reuse them on your second child afterwards and even a third, and your savings quickly multiply without the upfront cost of purchasing the cloth nappies:
1 child - save $2,776
2 children - save $6,324
3 children - save $9,872!
As stated above, this doesn’t include the small costs of water, electricity and washing detergent used whilst washing nappies, but it's a reference point.
One thing is for sure, the key to maximising your savings is choosing a premium brand that’s built to last. After all – buy nice or buy it twice.
Make the switch to premium, long-lasting, reusable modern cloth nappies and never have to buy a disposable again.
What would you spend the savings on?
Meet the Author
Natalie, Founder of NappyLuxe, is an eco-conscious mother and entrepreneur who discovered the benefits of cloth nappies for her family and the environment. With a mission to create the ultimate cloth nappy, she spent years researching and testing various designs before launching NappyLuxe - a range of high-quality, easy-to-use, and ultra-absorbent cloth nappies. Natalie is passionate about sharing her experience and expertise, helping parents make informed decisions and embark on their own sustainable parenting journey.