Family with 9 children saves money with Cloth Nappies!

Boxes of Cloth NappiesThe Sullivan family have 9 children, from 18 years to 11 months and twins on the way. Their incredible blog is called ‘Larger Family Life’ and it is jammed full of interesting stuff. Mum Tania is blogging her twin pregnancy, writing about baking, homeschooling and loads of ideas for saving money that are good for big or small families.

This is what she has to say about cloth nappies. You can read the rest of the story and about the Sullivan Family at


“One of the main questions we often get as a large family is, “How do you afford it?”.  I talk in more detail about our history and how we got to where we are now in our book.  We aren’t wealthy by any means but we get by. 

I have two boxes like the one in the photo above, all filled with nappies.  I only have three different types in there.  One for newborns, one for bigger babies and toddlers and a supply of terry squares which are adaptable for all.  Every eighteen months or so, normally when a new baby is due, I will go through the supplies and check which nappies are threadbare and beyond padding out with terries or muslins and, accepting they have served their purpose and will use them as cleaning rags before finally throwing them out.  I will throw out any wraps which are no longer usable and I will then replenish the stocks of nappies and wraps which will normally last another 12-18 months or so.

As I haven’t thrown out everything and started from scratch it isn’t very costly to do this every year or two and given that these nappies are used every single day for the last eight years I have certainly got my money’s worth from making the switch.  My nappy supply top up every year and a half usually costs me no more than £100-£150 which is sufficient for the 2-3 children who are normally using them at a time.  If you compare this to having to purchase one pack of disposables per child per week, say at £6.50 on average for the more well known brands, that comes to £19.50 a week.  Even if I were to use a cheaper, generic brand at around £3.70 per pack, for example, I would still be spending £11.10 every week.  We could be spending between £45 and £78 on nappies each month bringing the cost to £810 – £1404 every eighteen months, a lot more than the £100 – £150 I spend on them.

When the twins arrive this figure would rise as there would be four in nappies full-time (with one using them at night only, but I’m not including that in the figures).  That makes it around £15 – £26 per week on disposables.  That is a lot of money and I haven’t even included the cost of wipes either which can easily add another five or ten pounds a week.”

Another way to save money on cloth nappies is with a local council incentive. There are many schemes around the country that give you money back when you buy reusable nappies or free trials. Check out the list on the Natural Nursery to see if your council is involved.

The list is growing so please let us know if there is a scheme near you we haven’t added yet.