One of the big considerations for me before Holly was born was which type of nappies we would use. Disposable or cloth? There are lots of pros and cons for both. One of the big considerations for us was the question of expense. Do you know how much it will cost to keep your baby in disposable nappies up until the age of 2? Well here is a little example to give you an idea...
So, lets start by working on an average of 7 nappies per day. Now I realise when a baby is very small you will change much more often than this and as they get older perhaps a little less but I believe this to be a reasonable average to work from. Also, many children will also be in nappies at night beyond this age. Anyway, this is how it works out:
7 nappies/day @ £0.20/nappy = £1.40/day
7 days/week @ £1.40/day = £9.80/week
52 weeks in a year so 130 weeks in 2.5 years
130 weeks @ £9.80/week = £1274 to spend on disposable nappies over an average child's time in nappies
If you are using disposable nappies it makes sense you would be using disposable wipes as well (although as a cloth nappy user you may choose to do this too!) so you can add around £2.39 a week (if you only use 1 pack)!
130 weeks of wipes @ £2.39/week = £310.70 to spend on throw away wipes over 2.5 years
Total cost in the UK if using disposable nappies and wipes over 2.5 years = £1584.70
Now I don't know about you, but I feel that is an awful lot of money to spend on something that gets thrown in the bin! I'd much rather spend the money to buy Holly something more useful or fun!
So then there are cloth nappies. Now I understand that they aren't for everyone, but when I considered the saving I was going to make over the long term I thought I should at least try them out to see how easy/difficult I found them to use. So here is what I think about cloth nappies, and how I work with them.
First of all, although they work out cheaper over time, if you buy in bulk to build up your supply the initial cost can be quite high (even with multi-buy discounts). For many parents it is quite a big expenditure at a time where they are already spending large amounts of money on nursery furniture, prams etc. However, searching online you may discover there are lots of different types and brands of nappy. There are definitely some very reasonably priced nappies if you are willing to look hard enough! I found a great website called Bum Deals which sells fantastically cute nappies at super prices (the link is given below)! One point I would make is that some people prefer to spend the extra money on the more expensive nappies (BunGenius etc), as they believe that these nappies will be longer lasting. This might be an important factor in your nappy choice if you plan to re-use them for your next child, or want to sell them after your baby is potty trained (brand name/more expensive nappies have a higher re-sale value). Personally I have both cheaper and more expensive nappies, but I haven't been using either long enough to compare them properly, but I do plan to do a post about it in a few months once I've had a good bit of wear out of them.
I would strongly advise you NOT to buy in bulk until you have tried the product and are confident that you can work with it! I know a few parents who bought full birth to potty packs costing hundreds of £'s only to realise they really didn't like using cloth nappies! I definitely recommend first researching the different types of cloth nappy, reading the reviews and watching YouTube demonstrations of how each nappy works before choosing any. Then when you have settled on the type you like, buy a small amount to try. Many websites sell smaller sample packs of about 3-4 nappies which are great! It means you won't waste a lot of money on something you won't use again if you don't like them!
Cloth nappies are definitely harder work. You have to consider many things, for example: Can you cope with the extra washing (and drying)? Will you need to make up your nappies in advance? How will you store wet and dirty nappies until wash time? And how will this work when you are out and about? Personally I don't mind the extra washing, as it really isn't that much considering that you are already doing extra washing of your new baby's clothes. Making up the nappies once washed can be time consuming, but why not do it while sat watching TV so that makes it less of a chore! There are really only a couple of things which I don't like about the cloth nappies. Firstly, I'm not a fan of using them in the night time. I feel even with extra boosters Holly can still really feel when she is wet and can wake up as a result (but I know my little darling is a terribly light sleeper anyway), so I use disposables over night so that we can both get much needed rest! Holly is generally only up once during the night, so that is only one disposable I have to use. Also, my nappy bag is full enough on days out without having to carry a wet bag for dirty nappies, and I hate knowing I'm carrying poo poo nappies around all day, so again I'll tend to use disposables if I plan to be out more than an hour or two just for convenience. I like an easy life! So if you like the idea of cloth nappies but don't think you can use then because of the inconvenience when out and about, I definitely think there is nothing wrong with using disposables on those occasions. I always have one spare pack of disposables for night time anyway!
The cloth nappies I'm working with are Bumgenius one-size V4 pocket nappy (which I initially got in a trial pack of 3) and some new nappies I've already mentioned that I recently got from http://bumdealnappies.co.uk/ . I could spend forever telling you all about these types of nappy, but I won't. Its not for me to convince you which nappies are best or easiest to use. If you decide to use cloth nappies it is a very personal thing, and what works for me won't necessarily work well for you. I do think that these nappies are superb, but I'll save reviewing them for another time, I think I've rambled long enough! If you do want to explore further into the world of cloth nappies I've put some more links at the bottom of this post which you might find helpful.
I hope that at least some of this info is helpful to you when considering your nappy options.
Well, I better go...I've got a nappy to change! Wishing you well on your nappy journey!
For info and advice:
For fantastically priced, super cute, pocket nappies:
For cloth nappy demonstrations: