Disposable and cloth nappies buying guide

What's best - cloth or disposable? We'll tell you about the environment effects and other issues.
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  • Updated:22 Jul 2003

06.Nappy services

Nappy services provide the advantages of cloth nappies but with a substantial additional benefit: you don’t have to wash them yourself. What’s more, front door delivery and collection means that transporting the nappies isn’t your worry either.

Subscription to a nappy service buys you a fresh supply of towelling or flannelette nappies delivered each week (or twice a week with some). A nappy bin with liner bag is supplied (sometimes at extra cost); you drop the soiled nappies into this, put the liner bag outside the door on the appointed day and it gets collected when the clean nappies are delivered.

At around $19–32 per week for 60 nappies (depending on the city you live in and the duration of your nappy plan), the cost of a nappy service can be comparable to that of a week’s worth of disposables. The nature of the commitment is different, however: whereas you can take or leave disposables as you feel like it, some nappy services require you to sign on for a minimum period of four weeks or more, and others strongly encourage this by offering discounts for long-term prepaid contracts. In some cases, a refundable security deposit will also be required.

Apart from their cost (when compared to doing the washing yourself), the main problem with nappy services is availability: at this stage they’re widely offered only in metropolitan and surrounding areas. Potential subscribers to a nappy service may wish to phone around to several companies, both to compare prices and to check on the washing process used — one that avoids the use of harsh detergents is preferable.

This information comes from our hugely popular book The CHOICE Guide to Baby Products.

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