Tell her she’s deamin’.
Well maybe I am, but I AM determined to show you how making the start into cloth nappies can be done for a reasonable price whilst getting you a cost-effective, practical and easy-to-use alternative to disposables. Whilst the all-singing, all-dancing All-in-One and All-in-Two nappies are exceptional, and can be excellent value for money, taking that first step to get a full-time cloth nappy pack needn’t cost several hundred dollars in one go.
So in finding a pack for under $100 for you, my search had to meet the following criteria:
1) You did not have to make it yourself.
2) Readily available to start now.
3) Easy to use.
4) Easy to wash.
5) Comfortable for baby.
6) Not too time consuming.
7) Great warranty and follow up service for the product, and
8) It was NOT going to be second hand.
Now I will admit, it was hard to do this. Two of the variety of options I came across were:
- making your own from old cotton t-shirts. Check it out!
- buying 6 -12 prefolds and washing up to 3 times a day and hoping they dry in between washes….even for a newborn. I dont have the time or energy for that, so I’ll assume you won’t either!
I nearly fell of my seat when I saw a child in an old t-shirt for a nappy. Do they then wear it again? This seems an ingenious idea, if a bit impractical and time consuming for most, though could possibly be the cheapest . So, running with this idea, I know you can pick up $5 cotton shirts from Big W or Best and Less, that would be $60 for 12. What about covers? Maybe the Sweetpea at $16… grab 3 and there is your set up for $108. This would involve washing every day for a newborn. Every second day for a toddler.
But I wouldn’t have fallen in love with cloth if that was my daily burden! Even for that price!
So what else did I find? For a whole cloth nappy set up you will need the following:
- Fleece liners: made from old blankets, jumpers, etc – they work a treat. Cost – $0.
- Wipes: made from washers, flannel or towels cut up and sewed. Cost – $0.
- Nappy wipe solution: 100% water. If there are no allergy issues, add your favourite soap for extra cleaning power (search online for ‘recipes’ and find what works for you & bub). Cost – $0.
- Container for nappy wipe solution: use an icecream or yoghurt container. Cost – $0.
- Somewhere to dry them if the sun isn’t shining: over chairs, the bathtub or hung up on thick rope outside under cover? Have a fan blow over them to help. Cost – $0.
So far you have spent nothing to get set up, and now you need the cloth nappies. We all know the cheapest (practical) option is prefolds, but you need one that is easy to use.
For all of my searching, and believe me I did a lot, I found Real Nappies. They have prefolds and covers which are very absorbent but the real winner for me was their warranty and customer service.
They GUARANTEE their cloth nappies will last 2, yep TWO, children from birth to toilet training. That is something to sing about (and chances are Big-W’s cotton t-shirts aren’t going to be refunded if you take them back after a year!).
They have a range of packages to suit any budget or style. There are also some cute cover prints.
The prices listed below are for enough nappies when washing every day. You can add to your cloth nappy stash as you save money from not buying disposables.
”So what price? ” you are wondering. It varies for the stage of your child.
Infant (3-6 months ) $137 for a Real Nappies Essentials and Top Up Pack
Crawler (6-18 months) $137 for a Real Nappies Essentials and Top Up Pack
Toddler (18 months plus) $99.99 for a Real Nappies Essentials
In each pack you will receive 18 nappies and 5 covers, except for Toddler. This is enough to get started with out hurting the bank account or making more work for yourself. You may also consider purchasing the next size up and adjusting the fold as needed to suit bub until they fit just so.
These prefolds are very absorbant and not time consuming to fold. Fold in three and you are done. The same about of time to stuff a pocket or snap an all in two!
So, I didn’t do it for under $100. Maybe I was dreamin’? But you do have an option for not much over $100 for each stage of bub’s growth. You don’t have to buy all sizes at once, you can spread the cost out as little one grows, and even the money you save on disposable wipes or liners using the tips above can go towards buying the next size up nappies, ready for baby as he or she outgrows the nappies you have now..
Let me be clear: this is not a paid plug for Real Nappies. It is a product I found (with a little help) that has made (nearly) meeting the challenge I set myself for this blog possible, and they allow you to start the wonderful journey of cloth nappies without breaking the budget! I am greatly impressed with their product, and I think you will be too.
And think, for every week you don’t spend $$$ on disposables, you can put that towards a layby at Apikali for some other cloth nappies that may also suit you and baby. A nighttime AI2? A funky AIO for outings to grab a quick cuppa with friends? Whatever you do, starting the cloth journey needn’t be expensive, and it needn’t be a huge up-front cost.
All the best.
Dr Tennille Graham
Your Cloth Nappy Doctor