Podcast Episode 008: Cost expectations

This time the girls talk about expectations of the cost of modern cloth nappies over disposable nappies. The girls even take into consideration the cost of washing, cost of detergent and also the water use over the cost of disposable nappies. They answer the question are modern cloth nappies cheaper than disposable nappies.

You can find all the numbers at Vashti’s website.

 

 Cost Expectations transcript.

Andrew: Merry Christmas, Vashti.

Vashti: Merry Christmas, Andrew.

Andrew: Merry Christmas Vicki.

Vicki: Merry Christmas, Andrew.

Andrew: How are you both today?

Vicki: Good, good.

Vashti: Yeah, awesome. The weather could be a little bit better.

Vicki: It’s getting hot.

Andrew: It is getting hot, yes. Actually [crosstalk 00:00:27]

Vashti: Where have you been for the past couple of months? It’s been hot from, like, [00:00:30] since July.

Vicki: I know.

Vashti: But do you know that the hottest month in Brisbane is actually February?

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Yeah. So I’m not looking forward to that.

Andrew: That’s next year.

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s a long time away. Today we’re going to talk about expectations. Let’s talk about expectations of cost. You’ve done some research on this Vashti, on the cost comparison between a cloth nappy and a disposable nappy, and what have you found?

Vashti: It’s definitely cheaper to cloth nappy, especially if you’re having a child. I’ve done a little bit [00:01:00] of research and working off current costs on your major websites, like you may just say supermarkets, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, your cost for your nappies ranges anywhere from 15 cents per nappy all the way through until a $1.50 per nappy, depending on what style and size it is.

Andrew: Wow, $1.50?

Vashti: Yeah, that’s more for your pull-ups, for your night pull-ups and things like that. Because they come in much smaller packets, you pay a higher cost per piece.

Vicki: See, that’s kind [00:01:30] of almost the trick, isn’t it? You go through a pack of single use nappies a week, but the quantity actually reduces as they go up in sizes. Next time you’re at the supermarket, have a look. A pack of newborn nappies has got like 108 in it, or something like that but then the next size up which is infant [crosstalk 00:01:48] I don’t really know. Whatever it is …

Vashti: It’s like the four to eight kilo mark.

Vicki: Yeah, it’s about 80 or something.

Vashti: … you’ll only get … Yeah, around about the 80 mark. It’s a lot less.

Vicki: But they’re the same price.

Andrew: [00:02:00] But all the boxes are the same size. That’s why they’re the same price.

Vashti: Because the size-

Vicki: The baby gets bigger.

Vashti: … of the nappy gets bigger.

Vicki: Ah, of course. Yes.

Vashti: And then once you’re looking at your toilet training pants, your pull-ups and stuff, you’re only by packs of 15 or so because you’re only using a few a day. But-

Vicki: Still a week’s worth.

Vashti: It’s still a week’s worth, and they’re much larger nappies.

Andrew: So we split them up into sections. What’s the first age group you’ve done?

Vashti: So the first age group is your newborn nappies, which is your zero to three months, [00:02:30] or up to five kilos. And in that age range, you’re probably changing around about twelve times a day. So if you work that out over the three months, it’s around about 1080 changes.

Andrew: Something to look forward to.

Vashti: Yeah.

Andrew: A thousand nappy changes.

Vicki: A thousand nappy change … we say that quite often and exposing things like that and people go, huh?

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: And [crosstalk 00:02:52] They just haven’t given the thought.

Vashti: Yeah, we normally write that newborn stage, that first six [00:03:00] weeks and that’s like five to six hundred nappy changes and just six weeks old.

Andrew: You can imagine what they’re thinking. Thinking, “Oh, my gosh, I’m going to need another husband.”

Vashti: Yeah. So what I did is I actually got the top eight nappies and so we’ve looked at things like your Huggies, your Coles, your Naty Baby, Little One’s, which are by Woolworths, Aldi, Thankyou and BabyLove and I’ve worked these out into each age group, but on average for that zero to three month mark, you’re spending around about $282 [00:03:30] on nappies, which, essentially you’ve got 280-odd dollars that’s going straight … I’m sorry.

Vicki: ‘Cause that’s the big disadvantage with newborn cloth nappies, especially if you go for more of like a fitted or all-in-one style where you’re spending a little bit more per newborn cloth nappy, is you don’t actually see your financial benefits until you have a second child or your third child and then you sell them, because you’re only using them for that short period of time, [00:04:00] you don’t throw away your $280, whereas for your newborn nappies you can invest anywhere from 150, up to $600 on newborn nappies, but of course you use them once or twice, you have, sorry, one or two children and you’re gonna get at least half to three quarters of your investment back straight away. So that’s when newborn cloth nappies become cheaper.

Vashti: But, in saying that there’s a lot of newborn cloth nappies on the market that can do the average [00:04:30] bubby up until around that four to six month mark.

Vicki: Yeah. That last that long.

Vashti: Yeah. I had one of my customers in yesterday and her little girl is six months old and still fitting in a new all-in-one, like she’s quite tiny.

Vicki: She was a prim, wasn’t she?

Vashti: She was a prim, but she’s quite tiny, but she’s still fitting in a new born all-in-one that this is her first baby. She’s had six months with still room to grow in all-in-one and when she has her next bubby, she’s definitely gonna get her money back, because that average cost there of $280 [00:05:00] is just for three month. If you look at the next three months, so from three to six kilos, or three to six months, sorry, or four to eight kilos, you’re looking at another $230 on average, so in that first six months you’ve spent over five hundred dollars in nappies that are going in the bin. So, yeah, definitely-

Vicki: That’s pretty confronting, isn’t it?

Vashti: It is very confronting. And that you’re looking at a thousand and eighty changes in the first three months, and then for the next three months you’re changing on average around about nine [00:05:30] times a day so there’s another 810 changes. So you’re looking at nearly 2000 changes in six months alone. That’s a lot of poo! A lot of poo. It is.

Vicki: And also that’s where … we’ve spoken before about using a one size system from birth and this are clearly goes to show, figure wise, if you actually invest in a newborn system for those first six months, taking the pressure off your one size nappy, so, by the time you get to toilet training. [00:06:00] And, again, with expectations you know you’ll have nappies in so much better condition because you’ve got … how many nappy changes?

Vashti: Two thousand.

Vicki: Two thousand nappy changes that your one size nappies haven’t had to go through because that’s where all of the … obviously, the older they get the less nappy changes they have and-

Vashti: Most definitely. I mean, when you’re looking at that six to twelve month mark, you’re down to six nappy changes a day.

Andrew: I’m embarrassed by it.

Vicki: So then halves. That’s pretty halves, so your first six months you have 2000 nappy changes, your second six months is only a thousand or-

Andrew: [00:06:30] Yeah. Exactly. So, in that second six months, on average you’re spending about $340 on one use nappies or disposable nappies and then in that twelve to eighteen month period, it’s around about the same amount, so you do the same amount of changes in the first six months that you do in the second twelve months. So, yeah, about another $345 from 12 to 18 months, and then what we’ve done [00:07:00] in that toddler range where you’re looking at your pull-ups and stuff like that, we’ve gone from about 18 months through to around about 2.5 years, ’cause on average, most bubbies are changed around the 2.5 year mark.

Vicki: I think it’s between 27 and 31 months depending on boys and girls, on average.

Andrew: Yeah. So, in that year you’re probably looking at around about four changes a day which, is about 1460 changes.

Vicki: Not including night nappies, of course.

Vashti: No, not including night nappies, so this is just day. So [00:07:30] in that year from 18 months to 2.5 years, you’re looking at about $650 on average. So, $650 for a year of nappies. Think what could do with $650.

Vicki: I was actually just thinking about how you could justify to your husband buying new prints.

Vashti: There you go.

Vicki: “But, darling, I would have spent $650 on nappies in this last 12 months or something like that.” Not [00:08:00] that I’m enabling anybody. I would never do that.

Vashti: Now, I worked it out and just to give you an average, so we’ve taken our top three used nappies, so, we generally find that when we look at what people are using, the top three nappies that are used are generally Aldi, there’s a lot of people who use Aldi and Aldi are your cheapest ones. A lot of people love the Naty Baby as well because it’s more of an environmentally friendly disposable [00:08:30] nappy-

Andrew: So you’re saying it’s not made out of plastic?

Vashti: No, it’s still made out of plastic. It’s just got more biodegradable parts.

Vicki: That don’t actually biodegrade [crosstalk 00:08:40] anyway-

Vashti: That’s true.

Vicki: … It’s all a bit …

Vashti: And then Huggies. Huggies is obviously your most popular disposable nappy. So we broke that down and on average from birth through to 2.5 years, you’re looking-

Vicki: Excluding night nappies.

Vashti: … excluding night nappies and swim nappies, you’re looking at around about the $1850 [00:09:00] mark. So, that’s $1850 that you could be taking a holiday with your family. That’s a week up the coast, isn’t it?

Andrew: Oh, you never travel with the baby.

Vashti: Oh, I’ve travelled with all my [inaudible 00:09:13] on my own and [crosstalk 00:09:15]

Andrew: And Jenna told us all about what it was like to travel with a baby overseas.

Vashti: It’s definitely doable. I had a mum in today who is off to Melbourne, so she’s going down to Melbourne with her little six month old.

Andrew: On purpose?

Vashti: Yeah. [00:09:30] Well, the in-laws live down there, so. So, yeah, but in saying that, Aldi is definitely your cheapest so from birth to toilet training it’s around $1460. With Naty Baby being your most expensive at around $2760.

Vicki: So, it’s like with cloth. You can still use your single use nappies and budget accordingly. Not everybody can afford Huggies or Naty, and it’s the same in [00:10:00] the cloth nappy world, too, there’s different price points for different nappies, and you just find, I suppose, with anything you get what you pay for and-

Vashti: Well, it’s the same as not can afford a Ferrari. Everyone might like to drive a Ferrari, but there’s Fords and Ferraris. So, the average person drives a Ford or a Toyota or a Mazda or a Hyundai, whatever you choose, but some people like to drive Ferraris and Porsches and Lamborghinis. So-

Vicki: It doesn’t matter what you drive. You’re still gonna drive at around 100 kilometres an hour.

Vashti: There you go. Or, you can get up to [00:10:30] 110.

Vicki: Yeah, true. True.

Vashti: If you go to the Northern Territory, you can get up to 130.

Vicki: No, actually, they actually have highways that are no speed limits.

Vashti: Ah, not any more. They cancelled the open speeds on the highways up in the Northern Territory. They speed limited it to 130 up there now.

Vicki: Really?

Vashti: Yeah, because I used to live in the Northern Territory. It was awesome driving along this great big flat track and sitting there fiddling with my CD player, ’cause, obviously, the car CD player didn’t work, so I had my portable one and looked up at the speed dial and I [00:11:00] was doing 160 in an old 1980 Sigma. I nearly-

Vicki: That was back in 1980, though, so it wasn’t that old.

Andrew: Well, I remember the ’80s.

Vashti: But, no, I probably needed a nappy right then. I was like, “Ooh! It’s a bit fast. No wonder the car’s vibrating.”

Vicki: And the bump is back there.

Vashti: Swing!

Andrew: I’m driving past jets.

Vashti: [00:11:30] Now, all these figures don’t include things like your swim nappies and your night nappies and things like that, so, I did work out some more prices, because a lot of people who do cloth nappies will also like to do cloth swimmers. So, if you’re looking-

Andrew: So, we haven’t spoken much about swim nappies. Explain a little bit more about a swim nappy. Why do you use a swim nappy? Why don’t you just throw them in with nothing on.

Vicki: [crosstalk 00:11:56] Because they poo. Children are unpredictable. What a swim nappy is designed to do [00:12:00] is to catch poo, and it’s only designed until you notice it. The whole idea is the bub poos and you get them out of that pool asap. It’s not, “Oh, let’s just swim around and finish our class.” Because any swim nappy, cloth, disposable, it doesn’t matter, will leak because, let’s think about what happens when water and poo get together. It starts to disintegrate and stuff like that-

Andrew: It [inaudible 00:12:28]

Vicki: It does. It does. So-

Vashti: And [00:12:30] if your baby poos in the pool, the entire pool has to be-

Vicki: Drained.

Vashti: … emptied. And then it has to be scrubbed clean and then refilled. It’s really expensive to do that.

Vicki: Yes. They will charge you for it. And, also something to remember, too, and this is quite a common misconception with single use swim nappies, is they’re not absorbent at all. So don’t go putting your baby in a swim nappy in their car seat to then take them to the pool. Because if they wee, it will come straight out, because if they’re absorbent [00:13:00] they’d absorb swim water. A swim nappy doesn’t know the difference between pool water and-

Vashti: And wee.

Vicki: And wee. It’s all liquid.

Vashti: Yeah. So-

Vicki: So, yes, that’s what they’re designed for, specifically.

Vashti: And the material that a swim nappy is made from is designed to handle chlorine and stuff like that as well. So, while you can use, and a lot of people do, they’ll use the shells from the all-in-twos as a swim nappy and will do the [00:13:30] job. You need to make sure that you clean it out, like you wash it out really well afterwards ’cause the chlorine-

Vicki: Well, it’s bleach.

Vashti: Yeah. The chlorine will disintegrate the nappy.

Vicki: Over time, if you’re not gonna rinse it out, you’re going to find that your swim nappy or your shell or what have you will leach colour and just compromise the components.

Vashti: Yeah. The elastics especially. But nappies that are specifically designed as swim nappies have slightly different materials, which gives them a little bit more capability to handle the [00:14:00] chlorine.

Andrew: So that’s it. They’re just able to handle chlorine. That’s any difference. They’re not absorbent, they won’t hold poo, I’m back to my original thing. Well, why don’t you just put them with nothing on, it’s …

Vashti: Because you then have to empty the pool.

Vicki: Because if you poop in the pool with no pants on, where’s poo gonna go? Floating down the stream. [crosstalk 00:14:20] And it is gonna contain a-

Andrew: How they do it in our country.
Okay, so you’re taking the kid to the pool, so you’re gonna put-

Vashti: Yeah, so-

Andrew: … [crosstalk 00:14:29] So how much are you gonna spend on swim nappies?

Vicki: You’re [00:14:30] taking your kids to the pool, are you?

Andrew: [crosstalk 00:14:33] That’s right. The correct meaning for that.

Vashti: So, the average cloth swim nappy is around about the 20 to 25 dollar mark, and they come in sized and one size as well, so, I prefer a sized one, because it gives me a much snugger fit for my little one, whereas the one sizes will work great and give you that longevity, it’s the same as your one size nappy. They’re going [00:15:00] to be a little bit bulkier in the early days because they’re going for 2.5, three years, they’re going to loosen and let go a little bit quicker. Your sized ones give you that much snugger, trimmer fit, and they won’t be as bulky.

Andrew: So, for a swim nappy, I’m assuming when you buy a reusable swim nappy, you’re really gonna need to buy one?

Vashti: Most people do only buy one. So, I know for myself, we started swimming at [00:15:30] around about four months with [Kylan 00:15:31] ’cause he was born in the middle of winter. We bought a sized one, which would fit him from that period and he ended up wearing that for 16 months. It was supposed to be seven to 10 kilos and he wore it from eight to 11.5 kilos and then we jumped a size up to an extra large. It’s, like, 11 to 14 kilos, I think, and he’s sitting at about fourteen and a half kilos now and it still fits beautifully. The nanny took the kids swimming last school holidays and [00:16:00] must have gotten the smaller one out. It must have still been [inaudible 00:16:04] and it still fit him, and it actually held the poo. While he was playing in the playground he decided to do a poo and it held it quite nicely. That was supposed to go up to 10 kilos and he was 14.5 and it worked.

Andrew: He wore a nappy.

Vashti: It’s awesome. But, well, I’ve bought three swim nappies all out, so we’ve got the two of one style and then we’ve got another one as well, because it had this cute little matching swim vest [inaudible 00:16:30] [00:16:30] and it’s nice to have that second one just on the off chance that something does happen. So in total I’ve spent a little less $100 on swimwear and Kylan’s three and a half.

Andrew: And disposable swimwear is how much?

Vashti: If you were to do a swimming lesson once a week from birth through to three years, let’s say you’re happy that they’re fully toilet trained by three, there’s no chance of an accident, you’re looking at $156 swim nappies and that’s [00:17:00] an average of $168 and they’ll range anywhere from 73 cents through to $1.50 per piece.
Now, your disposable swim nappies are one use. They’re designed as one use. I hear a lot of people say [inaudible 00:17:16] again and stuff like that.

Vicki: Why would you bother? Why wouldn’t you just get a reusable swim nappy? You can get cheap reusable swim nappies. It’s not like you have to spend $25 a swim nappy. You [00:17:30] can actually spend six, seven dollars and still get … That beggars belief to me [crosstalk 00:17:38]

Vashti: But it’s quite common. I quite often say it, the people who have rinsed out their disposable swim nappies, dried them and reused them the next week.

Vicki: It’s a bit like the whole wipe situation where people-

Vashti: Will wash their disposable wipes?

Vicki: No, no, no. Well, they’ll go spouting on about all the uses that the disposable wipes have, from, you know, we’ve discussed this before, [00:18:00] wiping [inaudible 00:18:01] off walls and stuff like that. You don’t get a wipe, man. You [inaudible 00:18:03] bum with the same wipe.

Vashti: Well, I mean, that concerns me a little bit because they’re not washed correctly and if bubby has done a wee then there is urine that’s going on them and stuff like that. So, just a rinse out, that doesn’t actually get rid of the bacteria.

Vicki: Would they fall apart if you put them through the washing machine?

Vashti: I don’t know. I’ve never tried. Yeah, we’ve always used [00:18:30] reusable swim nappies on all three of our kids, even when we were using disposables in the early days as a parent, we still used a reusable swim nappy. And it means that, instead of me worrying about spending somewhere between 70 cents and a dollar per nappy, I bought the one and I can go swimming five, six, seven times a week without any concern.

Vicki: Yeah, and you don’t have that whole … when you’ve got single use nappies and you change the nappy and bub poops straight away or wees straight away, you have that cushion of, “Should I [00:19:00] change this?” Whereas with cloth nappies it doesn’t matter. It’s like typical.

Vashti: I’m just gonna add another one to the wash.

Vicki: Yeah, exactly. You don’t have kind of quite the same cost connotation with it, because, well, essentially once you have them, there’s this feeling that they’re free. Because you’ve already paid for them you’ve already outlaid for them so there’s no cost.

Andrew: Okay, so if you’re finished with that, shall we move on to nappy training?

Vicki: No. The cost of washing them.

Andrew: Oh, the cost of washing, okay. So, we’ll have the cost of washing them.

Vicki: So, in fairness, obviously, cloth [00:19:30] nappies aren’t free, because they do cost money to wash. Now, Jenna did a really cool wash comparison per year. So, the actual energy and cost, the annual cost per wash, for washing every second day, so if you your 36-minute, just your prewash type thing, that’ll cost you $2.20 a year in electricity. Then, depending if you wash on [00:20:00] cold, warm or hot, can cost anywhere from $8 for cold wash per year, this is. This is not per cycle. This is per year. Eight dollars, $18 if you using 40 degree and hot wash, 60 degrees cost $37 dollars per year, plus your detergent, which is in another file, which is in Hindi right now.

Vashti: Your detergent’s definitely going to vary depending on what brand you use, I mean you can [00:20:30] buy something like Earth Choice for $2 something a litre, or you can buy your big expensive brands that can range anywhere up to eight, nine dollars a litre.

Vicki: Well, CCNDU, look at this file.

Vashti: Yeah, there you go.

Vicki: It’s just phenomenal. If you’re after washing information, I happily recommend Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under.

Andrew: .com or .com.au?

Vicki: It’s a Facebook group. They do have a website. I think it’s .com as well.
Okay, so [00:21:00] let’s say we talk about Norwex. I don’t think we can get any more expensive than that. I think that’s pretty much as expensive as you can go. It’s like 35, I don’t recommend it, though, it’s $35 per kilo, so the total dollars per wash for the nappy and the main wash for Norwex would be $3.35.
Now, the reason that is so expensive is because it’s a plant based detergent and they found that it wasn’t [00:21:30] necessarily terribly effective. Most of the detergents, looking through this list here, are between 30 and 80 cents a load. So if you’re washing every second day, that’s three loads a week, Vashti’s quickly got the calculator out. So, every second day, so 365, so 365 divided by two times point five.

Vashti: Fifty cents a load?

Vicki: Yeah. They’re 50 cents a load.

Vashti: You’re looking at $91.25.

Vicki: [00:22:00] Okay. So, it’s $150. That’s being incredibly-

Andrew: Per year.

Vicki: Per year.

Vashti: Of washing your nappies.

Vicki: Which is three bucks a week.

Vashti: So, $450 from birth through, well, not even-

Vicki: Three years.

Vashti: Yeah. It’s $400, $3.75 dollars?

Vicki: It’s that.

Vashti: From birth through to 2.5 which is what we’ve taken our costings for our nappies up to.

Andrew: Well, to me, that’s splitting hairs, because you’re already washing.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Yeah, but, I mean, in fairness, you’re gonna get people, [00:22:30] and you get a lot of naysayers that say, “Ah, but the cost of washing and the cost of the water and all of that sort of stuff, by the time you add all of that on, it’s not any more financially viable.” And we have got smart people who have done the sums for us. Just would help if we had all of this in front of us before we started talking about it, but-

Andrew: We’re highly professionals.

Vicki: Absolutely. Fly by the seat of your pants. [00:23:00] That’s how I like to reckon. But on the same hand, I don’t like to pull figures out of my butt. I like to have actual-

Andrew: What’s that statistic that 50% of-

Vicki: I think [crosstalk 00:23:09]

Vashti: No, it’s actually around about 87%.

Vicki: I think it’s 97% of statistics are made up on the spot.

Andrew: You know why it varies? ‘Cause the person telling the joke could never remember [crosstalk 00:23:19]

Vashti: So, look, the one figure we didn’t give is night pull-ups.

Andrew: Yeah. So, let’s talk about night nappies. It’s a long time [00:23:30] and it’s nice to not have to change the nappy overnight, so it’s more of a specialised thing. Is that right?

Vashti: Definitely. Definitely.

Andrew: Is it the same with disposables? It’s more of a specialised nappy?

Vicki: Yeah. It’s got a whole lot more.

Vashti: Well, no. So, your night pull-ups are generally for older kids who have larger bladders and they let go in one hit. A lot of people can get through until that two, 2.5 year mark with a normal disposable overnight. In saying that, [00:24:00] a lot of people have issues with their babies wearing disposables overnight. You’re talking about a child being in the one nappy for 12-plus hours, sometimes. A lot of people put their kids to bed anywhere from six to 7:30 at night and the child will sleep, hopefully, for twelve hours straight.

Andrew: Fingers crossed.

Vicki: Nobody told our children that.

Vashti: Admittedly, a lot of kids … I know that Kylan was still waking through the night for feeds until he was two-ish.

Vicki: Four, for Gabriel. Four. [00:24:30] Until he slept through.

Vashti: Well, Michaela and Braith were both very light sleep through-ers. I think I went something like five and a half years of broken sleep between the two of them, and it wasn’t until I put an amber necklace on Michaela, she went from waking six, seven times a night through to sleeping through. So, yeah. But that’s a whole different story.

Vicki: That’s right. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but damn! I ain’t gonna touch that one. I [00:25:00] don’t care. It could be a complete coincidence, it worked for me.

Vashti: Yes, exactly. [crosstalk 00:25:03]

Andrew: It just sounds like magic, doesn’t it?

Vashti: Yeah. Well, it was. It’s that voodoo black magic. I was a massive naysayer beforehand and that weekend I changed my tune. But, you know, a lot of people will start with cloth nappies and dedicated night nappies around that four to six month period, because even though bubbies are still waking through the night for feed, then-

Vicki: They’re not pooing overnight.

Vashti: … they’re not pooing overnight and so [00:25:30] therefore you can get away with leaving them in the same nappy. So, yeah, around that four to six month mark is normally … Now, because you’ve got your baby in that one nappy for such a long period of time, you’re gonna need a lot more absorbency and disposable nappies work differently to cloth nappies. They have those little gel crystals in them which expand and that can expand a huge amount to absorb more moisture and that’s where they work, whereas cloth, there’s only a certain amount of moisture that a piece [00:26:00] of cloth can absorb before it’s full and it starts somewhere to go. So with the cloth nappy, you need to add more layers.
Cloth night nappies can have anywhere from 15 to 30-odd layers of fabric in them.

Vicki: It depends on the size of the layers and-

Vashti: It depends on the size of the layers, the absorbency, like the GSM of the fabric-

Andrew: And what sort of cost are you looking at for a night nappy?

Vashti: Anywhere from, I have seen them as cheap as, 30, 35 dollars through [00:26:30] to 60, 65 dollars for your handmade stuff.

Andrew: And how many would you normally have? Would you have just two, would you have one?

Vashti: I normally recommend having three, so that works through a three-day cycle on your nappies, washing every second day, you have two night nappies in the wash and you’re using your third one.

Vicki: And then that also planes if bub poops the night nappy as soon as you put it on.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Because that’s happened. It’s a thing.

Vashti: It is. It’s like, you go through your whole night routine-

Vicki: They have their bath, they’re all relaxed-

Vashti: [00:27:00] They’ve got their bath, they’re all relaxed and you pop them in their night nappy and half an hour later, bang. It’s just exploded everywhere and you’re like, “Thank goodness I’ve got another one.” So, yeah, so I recommend three.
Now, most people will spend … my night nappies at my shop range between $35 and $48, and then I also recommend wool covers to go over just because-

Andrew: So, they’re not waterproof, they still need a cover?

Vashti: Yeah, well-

Andrew: Generally. Well, it depends on the brand.

Vashti: Generally. Yeah. So you can get some night [00:27:30] nappies that-

Andrew: We had wool covers, I really liked the wool covers.

Vicki: Yes. You liked felt in all the covers.

Andrew: I used to stick ’em through the wash with the rest of the nappies and-

Vicki: And the dryer.

Andrew: … and Vicki would scream.

Vashti: See, I wash my wool covers with my nappies, but I don’t put them through the clothes drier.

Vicki: Yeah, but you do cold wash.

Vashti: I do do the cold wash.

Vicki: Yes. Big difference.

Andrew: Didn’t I do cold wash?

Vicki: No. You pressed Favourite.

Andrew: I just pushed the button?

Vicki: Yeah. We’ve had this discussion many, many times.

Andrew: Hey, I just [crosstalk 00:27:58]

Vashti: A lot of people spend [00:28:00] about $150 to $200 on a night system, and that’s that’s really average.

Andrew: How much would you spend on disposables for that?

Vashti: Well, I worked out, with disposables, you can use your normal disposable nappies up until around about two years of age when their bladder is larger so they’ve a larger output and they tend to hold on and then let go in a rush.
So, I worked out the night pull-ups going from around about two years of age mark through to around about five years of age, because night training does [00:28:30] take a lot longer than day training. There are some kids who aren’t fully night trained by about seven or eight, they’re still wetting the bed overnight. Some kids will night train earlier, so you’re able to get out of them earlier.

Vicki: I think I found the key was trying to do the whole day and night straight away, but there’s this whole fear of what if they wet the bed and wake up, we did a lot of midnight wees hence why Gabriel didn’t sleep through until it was four. He was night toilet trained when he was just after three, but that’s because we used [00:29:00] to wake him up at midnight, or half wake him up, put him on the toilet to do a wee and then put him back to sleep. So then he started waking up at midnight. “Oh, mummy, can I hope into bed?” “Yes, darling.”

Andrew: And Daddy yells from the other side of the bed, “No!”

Vicki: Mummy said, “Shhh.”

Vashti: If you are using night disposable pull-ups and you are looking at using them for a longer period, I worked out our figures from two to five years, so three years, which is 1068 [00:29:30] changes and that’s if you only use one a night so they don’t wake up half way through the night and need to be changed or they don’t poop as soon as you put it on them or something like that. You’re looking at, on average, over $1250 just in night disposables for three years. Some kids will need them for a lot longer.

Andrew: Now you spend $150 on night [crosstalk 00:29:52]

Vicki: I’ve never done the figures on that before. That makes so much more sense when you see posts from people who’ve got [00:30:00] four and five year olds and they’re kind of exacerbated at how much they’re spending on pull-ups. With kids that toilet trained at night time, at three, this is all new to me.

Vashti: Yeah. Well, look the price is per piece [crosstalk 00:30:15]

Vicki: Yeah, I’m looking at your figures going, “Wow!”

Vashti: It’s like $1.09 up to $1.33. There’s only one or two brands on the market that do a night [00:30:30] trainer or a night pull-up. So, it’s really a little bit scary.

Vicki: I know. That’s completely thrown me, to be honest.

Vashti: And keep in mind that that’s for that period after you’re actually out of your disposable nappies, like all your day nappies, so you’re still using them afterwards. If you’re doing it in cloth, those night nappies, you could have been using from four months. And by about four months they’d well and truly be big enough to be fitting into a one size fits most. [00:31:00] You may decide that if you’re using wool covers or a sized PUL cover, that you wanna upgrade your covers to different sizes as they get bigger. But a lot of kids, well, Kylan’s still in the same night nappies that we were using when he was six months old and he’s three and a half.

Vicki: I must admit we had some shorties that I think your mom knitted for our Bella or something that I saw somewhere online as you do. I remember her rainbow shorties, they were little shorts with the pull waist so they’re [00:31:30] wool and she wore them from six months right up until she was toilet trained at night. So that same wool cover, wool shorties, wool shorties are just shorts. They’re knitted shorts instead of being fitted like a cover. But, I mean, they worked amazingly and then during winter she’d have long pants. [inaudible 00:31:51] longies.

Vashti: Jeez, that’s original. So with the wool you get soakers, which are like a little pair undies, [00:32:00] like wool and undies that go over the nappy, the shorties, which are woollen shorts and the longies which are woollen longs.

Vicki: Which also, you don’t just have to use them at night, either. They were quite often used during the day as well as instant outfit.

Vashti: Yeah. And your wool, it’s-

Vicki: It’s expensive, but-

Vashti: It’s expensive, but it’s super for the years.

Vicki: … when it lasts for three years and two, three kids.

Vashti: So, well, I’ve got someone woollen covers. We’re just getting rid of a whole heap of stuff at the moment and passing it on and all. Some of the wool covers [00:32:30] that I had are the same ones that I bought with Brett. Now he’s 12. I mean, middle [inaudible 00:32:37] we bought them probably around the time, eight to 12 months old. But that’s 11 years and it’s three kids I’ve gone through. So I well and truly got my money-

Andrew: So your husband never washed them?

Vicki: No, didn’t he felt something? He felted a sample that I gave him.

Vashti: Yeah, I got a sample wool cover off you.

Vicki: So how’d he do that?

Vashti: Well, [00:33:00] I was away and I think he put them through the dryer.

Andrew: Does he listen?

Vicki: [inaudible 00:33:07] would do it all the time.

Andrew: Does he listen?

Vashti: No.

Andrew: So, [inaudible 00:33:07]

Vashti: No.

Andrew: I know your pain. I know your pain. So, let’s hear some totals.

Vashti: Well …

Vicki: Did we get to totals?

Vashti: So, well, really I think you’re looking, if you go you for your cheapest from birth through to your night training and your swimmers and stuff like that, you’re [00:33:30] looking at $2,900, and that’s using the Aldi brand nappies. If you were to go your most expensive, which is-

Vicki: Go, Huggies. Go, Huggies.

Vashti: Naty Baby. Huggies?

Vicki: That’s the most popular.

Vashti: Okay, Huggies is definitely the most popular, so that’s-

Vicki: 3-7. About 3-7.

Vashti: Plus your hundred and seventy-odd dollars for your swimmers as well.

Vicki: 3-7

Vashti: So, you know, $3,700 to $3,900.

Vicki: Wow. So just say, yeah, a little bit of pocket change out of four grand if you went completely [00:34:00] with Huggies and their swimmers and, well, that’s actually the average price for swimmers. That’s not even the Huggies price for swimmers.

Vashti: Yeah, the most expensive is $234.

Vicki: So four grand if you went with a premium brand like Huggies, full brand, bits which are blah, not including wipes or anything like that but your swim nappies, night nappy, day nappy. But you don’t have to wash them.

Vashti: No, you don’t have to wash them, but you have to take-

Vicki: You’d have to put them in the, stick them-

Vashti: You’ve got to put them in the bin, take ’em down to the bin each day.

Vicki: I’m actually like my husband. We have [00:34:30] a two-story house. Have you seen our bins?

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: He’s actually tied a rope to the edge of the deck. So you just pull on the rope and throw the bag of rubbish. Nine times out of 10 it goes in. The other 10% of the time-

Andrew: Depends on where the breeze is blowing.

Vicki: Yeah, that’s right. [crosstalk 00:34:48] You actually have to allow for it.

Andrew: Yeah, if you don’t check for the wind it’s like a …

Vicki: It’s usually the recycle bottles that do it because they’re quite light and it’s quite a distance to fall, but …

Andrew: It’s either in our bin or the next door neighbor’s yard. [00:35:00] Either way it’s out of our hair.

Vashti: But now, it’s really … you’re looking at between three and four thousand dollars from birth-

Vicki: To toilet training.

Vashti: … through to toilet training on average. It’s really quite scary, quite scary and-

Vicki: It’s per child, of course.

Vashti: Yeah. Per child.

Vicki: You don’t get to reuse anything.

Andrew: I knew what Vicki was doing was saving us money but I had no idea it was saving us that much.

Vicki: Well, I actually put it in ways that I understood, breastfeeding three children full time and cloth [00:35:30] nappying three children full time actually equals a boob job and a tummy tuck.

Vashti: And you’re still waiting?

Vicki: I’m still waiting because I never put that money aside, so I still have a mummy tummy and I have boobs down to my waist. Soon. One day. One day.

Vashti: But yeah, I know. I’m gonna actually write all those figures up as well, so we’ll attach those to this, so you can actually see-

Andrew: We’ll point to it from the Nappy Leaks website, but it will be on [00:36:00] the next nappies website.
So, anything else you girls wanna say before we finish up?

Vicki: No.

Vashti: No, but-

Vicki: You definitely save on cost.

Vashti: And you save even more if you do it from the beginning.

Andrew: And we didn’t even talk about wipes, how much you’d save on wipes.

Vashti: No.

Andrew: ‘Cause that would be mind boggling, too, if we ever did those figures.

Vicki: Well, we have to do the figures first.

Vashti: Well, I’ll do the figures for the writeup. So, yeah.

Andrew: Excellent.
Thank you, Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you, Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks, Andrew. Have a great Christmas.

Andrew: Merry Christmas to both of you. Bye bye.
Vicki Simpson [00:36:30] is the current president of the Australian Nappy Association and has been making and selling cloth nappies for 13 years. You can contact Vicki through her website, bubblebubs.com.au or call 1300-792-232.
Vashti Wadwell is the member secretary of the Australian Nappy Association and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappy store, Nest Nappies, in Brisbane, Australia.
She has been using cloth nappies for 12 years and currently has one child still in nappies. You can contact Vashti through her website [00:37:00] nestnappies.com. au or phone 07 3217 5200.
If you have any comments about the podcast, you can email us at feedback@nappyleaks.com
If you found this podcast helpful, then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store.
I am your host, Andrew Simpson.