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The Cost of Disposables

There are many attempts to work out the cost of disposable versus cloth nappies. Although many different figures are reached there is only one conclusion – cloth is cheaper.
The following table uses figures that are averages only. Obviously prices vary between store and brand and your baby may be in one size for a longer or shorter time. I have kept the number of changes per day conservative. The total cost is for 1 child from birth to 2 1/2 years. Your child may toilet train earlier or later which would also affect the total.


Qty per week

Cost per nappy

Number of weeks

Total Cost

0-3 months 70 $0.35 13 $318.50
3-6 months 56 $0.40 13 $291.20
6 months + 40 $0.50 104 $2080.00
Disposable wipes 1 $5.00 130 $650.00
Total Nappies over 2 ½ years 5798 Total Cost $3339.70

The Cost of Reusable Cloth Nappies

The following costs for cloth nappies are based on nappies available from Baby Soft Landings. We estimate the cost of washing and drying nappies using a tumble dryer. This effectively gives the upper cost of laundering. This is calculated to be $200 per year. Of course if you dry your nappies on the line the sun will dry, bleach and sanitise them for free, substantially reducing this figure.

24 Happy Heiny One-Size nappies  = $670
24 Cloth Wipes = $40
Dedicated Night nappies (Baby Beehinds x 3, Boosters x 3, Wool Covers x 2) = $145
Wetbag x 1 = $40

Total Cost of Cloth nappy system: $895
Total Including Upper Cost of laundering: $1395

The total disposable cost for one baby is $3339.70, for a second baby the total would increase to $6679.40 and a third to $10,019.10

The savings of cloth nappies increase even further for each additional child that they are used for.  In recent times one-size nappies have become increasingly popular with new cloth users.  We would not anticipate a one-size nappy system lasting multiple children as it is undergoing vigorous washing and use for 2-3 years.  A sized nappy system will having an increased chance of lasting for multiple children as each size is not used for as long a period of time.


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