Back to Publications & Articles

Summary of : The Benefits of Cloth Nappies

This article discusses the various benefits of Modern Cloth Nappies and why they are considered to be the obvious environmentally friendly choice.

Modern Cloth Nappies Today

Many people still think that Modern Cloth Nappies are still labour intensive and ugly. However they have evolved in such a way that they are just like using a disposable nappy.

Once a cloth nappy is soiled, all you do is flush a liner away give the nappy a quick rinse  before putting it in a bucket or putting it in the washing machine. Once washed, just hang the nappy up to dry with your other washing

In addition, to modern cloth nappies being so easy, they are often better at containing runny poos than a disposable

Modern Cloth Nappies are Cute!

Nowadays there is a huge selection of cloth nappies. Different prints and colours, brands and styles. There are cloth nappies with frills and lace, stripes, fluffy cuddly fabrics, cute pictures and so much more.

What are the advantages for the environment?

A child will need around 7000 nappy changes between the age of 0 - 2.5 yrs. You can only imagine how many nappy changes that is when you have 2 or three of even more children.

The article continues by pointing out that disposalbe nappies are responsible for around 10% of our domestic household waste that heads off to landfill every day. With over 145000 babies in nappies in New Zealand, this means that there are around 1 Million nappies going to landfill everyday in New Zealand.

Not everyone is aware of the massive impact their newborn baby has on the environment. The amount of rubbish it creates (through disposable nappies). In addition, parents go through thousends of disposable wipes while can easily be replaced with a reusable wipes .

Finally, various UK and Australian studies have shown that when people wash cloth nappies responsibly, they are far more eco friendly. To wash responsibly, wash on lower temperatures using the right level in your washing machine, use eco friendly washing solutions and line dry as often as you can.

Using Cloth Nappies will save you money

Many first time parents are put off buying cloth nappies because of the up front cost. This is understandable because they are looking at an investment of around $500 - $1000 to buy a set of cloth nappies. At the same time though, the article points out that people will happily pay around $30 per week for 2.5 years or longer.Therefore, the article encourages parents to layby their cloth nappies. This way they can pay for them while still working and getting two incomes.

Parents are also asked to take into consideration that once we know we are pregnant we start looking at all of the essentials that we are going to need for our new baby. The nappies are  the only piece of clothing babies will wear every day 24 hours a day for the first few years, so this is an important investment. 

If parents to be started paying off a layby for nappies at around $30 per week for the final 27 weeks of their pregnancy, they would not have to buy any nappies for the next 2.5 years. Obviously this cost can vary between brands and styles but this is around the cost of a birth to potty pack of cloth nappies.  

To read the full article: The Natural Parent Magazine New Zealand, Issue 3, Winter 2011, page 54-57. By Kate Meads 'The Nappy Lady'. For more information about the magazine visit