Disposable nappies are the most convenient and popular with parents. We review disposable nappies, including their cost and impact on the environment.
Disposable nappies are a relatively new phenomenon in nappy history – ours is the first generation to have benefited from the time savings and convenience that they offer.
There is no doubt that disposables are convenient – they are ready to go immediately and you simply throw them away when they are used. Easy peasy.
The only downsides – and these are biggies – is the cost of using them and the impact they have on our environment. Disposables are made from man-made materials which do not break down easily in our landfills.
We examine the pros and cons of disposable nappies below.
Stay Dry Quality of Disposable Nappies
Disposable nappies have an absorbent gel in the gusset which draws moisture away from the baby’s bottom. This undoubtedly means that baby feels drier for longer, but contrary to popular myth, it does not mean baby can wear the same nappy for 5-6 hours. Even if their bottom feels dry, a wet nappy needs changing to avoid bacterial growth and nappy rash.
Nappy rash is almost directly related to keeping baby’s bottom dry, although other factors like diet, allergies and general health can also contribute. Of all your options, disposables have generally been thought of as the best one for preventing nappy rash. However, even though disposables seem to keep baby’s bottom dry, you should still change your baby approximately every 3 hours during the day to avoid nappy rash.
While most disposables are fairly leak proof, there is still a major difference between diaper brands. Cheap generic brands usually lack in the leak-proof department, but they are OK for regular changes around the house. If your baby is a big wetter, or saves their bowel movements up for ‘the big one’, then look for brands that have extra leak protection around the legs. While there is no leak-proof guarantee, the more expensive brands are usually better at keeping everything in. If your baby is a chronic ‘leaker’, you may want to put on a pair of overnaps – just in case.
Style and Comfort of Disposable Nappies
Some parents prefer disposables because they look nicer than big bulky cloth nappies. In the comfort stakes, disposable nappies keep your baby’s skin dry (so that has to be comfortable) and different size options mean you can ensure a good and comfortable fit. Keep an eye out around baby’s legs and waist for red marks or rashes – these are a sure sign that you are either pulling the tabs too tight, or they need a bigger size.
What do I really need for Disposable Nappies?
The first thing to get right is the size and generally speaking ‘newborn’ will only last you the first 6-8 weeks. Each packet has a weight guide and average age on the outside, so it is easy to see which size you need.
Some brands offer ‘overnight’, ‘super absorbent’ or ‘leak proof’ versions, but every parent has their own favourite. Try a few different brands to find the right one for you and your baby.
How much will Disposable Nappies cost?
Disposable nappies cost approximately 30-65c per nappy depending on the brand and size, so that’s about $3 – $5 per day (for approximately 2 years). If you want a true comparison, you should also allow about $2 per week for rubbish collection.
How can I save Money on Disposable Nappies?
The number one way to save money with disposable nappies is to mix their use with re-usables, even if it is just for some of the time. Some parents choose to use re-usables when they are at home and just rely on disposables when they are out and about. Likewise, some parents use re-usable nappies during the day and disposables at night.
If you are planning on using disposables a lot of the time, try shopping for your nappies online. There are plenty of New Zealand based websites which sell nappies in bulk — refer to our quick reference Nappy Suppliers directory — and many offer loyalty programmes or special discounts for multiple purchases. Get together with some of your ante-natal group and purchase in bulk lots – the savings are worth it.
Where can I buy Disposable Nappies in NZ ?
Obviously you can purchase disposable nappies from the supermarket, but more and more parents are making their nappy purchases online. This enables you to buy in bulk boxes, have the nappies delivered to your door, and save time and money.
To read about Bathing and Changing your Baby visit our informative Kiwi Families article.
And what about all those little extras, like nappy bags and change mats… read more in Nappy Accessories