Breaking down the costs of nappies – cloth vs disposables

cloth vs disposable

I often get asked about cost comparison between cloth nappies and disposables.  It’s a really hard subject to tackle because there is so much difference in the price of each disposable nappy and even the different types of cloth nappies.  I’m going to give it a go though and try and break it down a little at the same time.  So here we go, what is the cost of cloth vs disposables?


How Many?

The first thing that we need to look at it how many nappies babies goes through and at what age.  At Nest, we have found that the average baby will need around 6,570 nappy changes from birth to toilet training.  This can be broken down in the following way;

Newborn (Birth – 3 months) approx 12 changes per day for a total of 1,080 nappy changes,

Infant (3 – 6 months) approx 9 changes per day for a total of 810 nappy changes,

Crawler (6 -12 Months) approx 6 changes per day for a total of 1,080 nappy changes,

Walker (12-18 months) approx 6 changes per day for a total of 1,080 nappy changes, and

Toddler (18 months -2.5yrs the average age of toilet training) 4 per day for a total of 1,460 nappy changes.

If you add in specialised night nappies from 2 years through until 5years of age (the average age of night training) you are looking at another 1,068 nappy changes.

If you have made the decision to use disposables, that’s 6,570 nappies that are going straight into landfill per child.  If you have chosen to use cloth, you will need as little as 24 nappies to do you from birth to toilet training and as a bonus you can use them on future children, pass them on to friends and family, donate them to charity, repurpose them and more.  This means your cloth nappies will take longer to reach landfill, if at all.  Now, while I say that it can be done with as little as 24 nappies, here at Nest, we recommend the following to make your cloth nappy journey that little bit easier;

Newborn (birth – 4/6 months) – 30 – 36 nappies,

One size fits most (6 months – toilet training) 18 – 24 nappies.

If you want a specialised night nappy, as well, Nest recommend three at any one time.  I you choose to go down the one size fits most, these could work from around the 4-6 moth mark all the way through top toilet training.  If you choose a sized option, three of each size will see you through.

Cloth vs Disposables – What does it cost?

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