How Many Reusable Nappies Do I Need?
If you are new to cloth nappies you might be wondering how many nappies you would need to cloth full time. And how much that would cost.
Before we answer that question even one reusable nappy will save a disposable from the landfill every time you use it. And even if you switch slowly, maybe just using washables for night nappies or still having disposables for nursery, you will still save money and reduce waste by using cloth nappies.
How many reusable nappies you need depends on a number of things
To use reusable nappies full time the general consensus is you will need anywhere from 15 to 25 nappies. Obviously, how often you plan on washing your nappies, how quickly you are able to dry them and how many your child gets through in a day all make a difference. But if you did a load every other day this should be fine. For you newborn baby you will need more nappies and 25 is a better starting point. For older children, 12-15 day nappies and 3 night nappies should be adequate for washing every 2 days.
Within this number you will need some nappies that are super absorbent and suitable for night-times. These often take longer to dry so you might want 4 or 5 of these to be on the safe side although 3 should do if you have good drying facilities.
As you may or may not know there are different styles of reusable nappy that basically fall into two categories. Nappies where you change the whole thing at each change (all-in-one nappies) and nappies that have a separate inner absorbent layer and out waterproof wrap where you only need to change the inner nappy (two-piece-nappies).
If you use a two-piece system you will probably only need 1 wrap to every 2-4 nappies as they can be reused a few times and they dry quickly.
Don't buy reusable nappies all at once
If you are new to cloth it's worth trying a few different nappies to see what works for you. There are lots of nappy libraries around the country where you can hire nappies or buy one each of a couple of styles to see which you prefer.
Even having 8-10 nappies will be enough to use cloth on a part-time basis and will give you a great idea of how many you actually need. You might find that And if you wash
For night nappies where higher absorbency is often required, and day time for heavy wetters you can get super absorbent boosters that can be added to your usual nappy.
For days when you're sending your child to grandparents or childcare you may find that an all-in-one nappy is preferable at least to being with unless you have carers that are used to using cloth nappies.
However if you prefer a two-piece system you can always set these up ready to go so they can be changed in one piece like an all-in-one.
Next up: How to wash reusable nappies.