So you have come to a conclusion that throwing away thousands of disposable nappies away each year is not the best idea for the environment. Agreed, you are on the right track. But what option do you really have and at what cost would you make a change.

Nappies have come a long way since traditional Terry towels. Much of the nappy evolution has focused on convenience. Convinience of being able to throw away the mess, not having to wash, ease of use without being an origami specialist (and not worrying about stabbing baby in the belly with giant safety pins). All valid points. But this convenience has now been highlighted as a major reason why our highly evolved species relies on single use plastics. Thankfully a new era of cloth nappies have been introduced which mix convienience with multiple use products that are better for the environment and not bad on our wallets either.

Cloth nappies or reusable nappies are now available in all shapes and sizes. Many of them are designed as a single piece nappy which perfectly fits babies bum from birth to potty training. They can use poppers or simple velcro in the same way as many of the easy to use disposables. The only real difference is that they go in the laundry basket rather than the bin for landfill.

However they cost between £8-£20 each, and depending what advice you read you need between 18-30 nappies if you wish to use them full time. Ouch, that sounds expensive. But not if you compare it to the alternatives..

The average baby may get through 6-10 nappies every 24 hours. That’s up to 70 a week, 3,640 a year! If you plucked for well known brands such as Pampers, this would cost you around £550 a year. Even with the ridiculously cheap Aldi nappies (have you ever questioned how they can make a nappy for just 3.2p?) this is still £116 on nappies in the first year of babies life.

So comparing this to cloth nappies?

With an initial outlay of £144-£600 it doesn’t have to be much more than a year’s worth of disposables. You then have extra electricity and washing tablets on top of this, but no more purchases. If you stuck with disposables you my need 2-3 years worth of nappies, you could be doubling the cost compared to cloth. You can even use cloth nappies for multiple babies giving further savings. Believe it or not, there is a growing market for second hand cloth nappies too.

So you know you don’t want to add to landfill and you know in the long term you are more than likely to make big savings. So what is stopping you? A bit on inconvenience with extra washing? If we all continue to do the easiest option, we won’t have a world left for our babies to enjoy.

Not ready to go the whole hog? , why not try some nappies from your local Nappy Library, or even buy one or two to try out. Even by using one cloth nappy a day you would be saving 364 nappies every year from adding to landfill.

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot