Why choose cloth over disposable?


The average cost for a cheap brand of disposables is 35c per nappy, they can cost as much as 70c if you decide to buy the more expensive brands. Babies should be changed on average 7 – 10 times a day meaning over 2.5 years you are spending anywhere from $2200 to $6300, depending on the brand you choose.

A cloth nappy set can be made or purchased for as little as $100 or you can spend close to $1000 if you decide to get more expensive brands. Even with the cost of detergent, electricity and water you will be saving $1200 to $3000 before your child is toilet trained. Additionally, cloth nappies can be used again for future children so the cost for each additional child is almost nil.


  • It takes one full cup of crude oil to make the plastic for each “disposable” nappy.
  • It takes 4.5 trees to make the pulp used in “disposable” nappies for one baby over 2 1/2 years
  • “disposable” nappies use 3.5 times more energy, 8 times more non-renewable raw materials, 90 times more renewable materials than washable nappies. It takes as much energy to produce one throwaway nappy as it does to wash a cloth nappy 200 times.
  • “disposables” produce 2.3 times more waste water (at the production stage) and 60 times more solid waste than washable nappies – one baby in disposables will produce 2 tonnes of solid waste!
  • in a household with one baby, “disposables” will make up 50% of total household waste.
    These facts are taken from http://www.zerowaste.co.nz/default,72.sm who have collected this information from various sources

Your Baby

  • Cloth nappies are more breathable and create less heat. This reduces the risk of nappy rash. It has also been claimed that the heat produced by a disposable nappy can create long term problems such as low sperm count in men.
  • The comfort factor – soft material against their bottoms rather than paper and plastic
  • Convenience – lots of parents choose disposables for convenience but they often don’t see the bigger picture:
  • Having to go to the store if you run out of nappies
  • The money – 1 year of nappies (2555, using 7 a day) equates to $900 for the cheaper brands. That means on a wage of $20 an hour you have to work 45 hours to make that money. That’s an extra week of holidays for the average worker.
  • Scraping the contents of the disposable into the toilet. Most people don’t realize that the contents of a disposable need to be flushed. Read the side of a packet of disposables!