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Reusables - For Mum And Bubs

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pop in reusable nappy


Following on from my last blog post about our dire landfill situation and what we can do about it.
I believe that the solution is using less in general, but particularly disposable items that can be swapped for reusables.

Be warned, this blog post is for mums and bubs, menstrual products are talked about in this post, so if talking about ‘intimate’ things like this is an issue for you, then please don’t read this blog (my next blog post will be about the less intimate reusable products).

It surprises me, how many people don’t consider reusable products as a viable option.
When I was pregnant with my son, I went to antenatal classes, when the subject of reusable nappies came up, most of the class laughed, (until we were told that the pile of disposable nappies in the middle of the room were what our lovely little new born babies would use in their first week of life.) That was a lot of rubbish, and a lot of money just for one week.

Newborns are usually changed 7 - 10 times per day, toddlers around 5 times during the day, and then a nappy for the night. (When they aren’t sick!)
Supermarket brand nappies cost 0.30c each and branded nappies 0.74c each (These prices are from the countdown website – as this is where I shop)
 

 

Supermarket brand

Branded

 

A Day

$3.00

$7.40

Newborn

A Day

$1.80

$4.44

Toddler

A Week

$21.00

$51.80

Newborn

A Week

$12.60

$31.08

Toddler

A Month

$84.00

$207.20

Newborn

A Month

$50.40

$124.32

Toddler

*A Year

$546 + 327.60
= $873.60

$1346.80 + $808.08
= $2154.88

6m Newborn/ 6m Toddler


Total amount spent if your child is in nappies until they are 3 years old is $2184 for supermarket brand nappies and a whopping $5387.20 for branded nappies…and that’s just for ONE child!
Compare that to a set of 20 reusable cloth nappies for $649.00 which can last you for multiple children (when cared for properly)
*You may have noticed that there is a difference between the monthly total and the yearly total e.g. monthly total x 12 doesn’t equal the yearly total. This is because I worked out the yearly total as 52 weeks.

When the subject of reusable cloth maternity pads came up in antenatal class, 95% of the class nearly died of shock!
I had friends who were already using them, so these weren’t completely foreign to me, though I wasn’t exactly sold on the idea either. (Until my first day postpartum!) Now there’s no way I’d ever go back to disposable pads.

While we are talking about reusable pads, lets take a look at what the 'average' woman uses in her lifetime. (I say 'average' very loosely as I personally don't believe the averages lol )

Cycles lengths can range anywhere between 21 to 35 days in adults and between 21 to 45 days in young teens.
A girl can start her period anytime between the ages of 8 and 15, the average age is 12.
Menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, usually around age 50.
So going on the averages of 12 years starting menstruation and 50 years starting menopause, (which occurs over 2 - 8 years) that would make menstruation on average, 38 years.
The average adult woman has around 9 periods a year, 9 x 38 = 342 periods in a life time. (This isn’t a true figure because of the varying cycle lengths at different ages, so is likely to be higher than this number.)

There are so many variables e.g. length of period, flow, tampons, pads (wings, no wings) or a mixture of both, that I’m just going to give the simplest example that I can.
Based on the ‘average’ 28day cycle using, per month, one pack of overnight pads and one pack of tampons/pads.

Regular Winged Pads

$3.50 ($0.22ea) to $6.50 ($0.33ea)

 Life time total = $1197 to $2223

Regular Tampons

$3.49 ($0.18ea) to $7.50 ($0.54ea)

 Life time total = $1193.58 to $2565

Overnight pads

$4.00 ($0.40ea) to $5.79 ($0.57ea)

 Life time total = $1368 to $1980.18


These figures are worked out 1 pack per month. So if you use 1pack of overnights and one pack of tampons, add the totals together. Only you know how many packs you use so pick and mix to get your total!
Some people use less, some people use more, everyone is different so these figures are just to give a rough idea.

Ecore's reusable cloth pads range from $11 to $22 each, this varies depending on flow (liner, regular, heavy, overnight) and length of the pad. A set can last (on average) 5 years, when looked after correctly. Some people find they can last longer. A set of 10 is a good starting point until you find how many you feel that you need (if you are washing once a day, every second day or waiting until the end of your cycle etc.)
These are a bit of an investment to start with, but pay off in the long run, not only for your pocket but for the environment too!

I was lucky enough to have been given quite a few sets of cloth breast pads. I say lucky because I suffered with breastfeeding (as most first-time mums do I’m sure) and I ended up with cracked, raw nipples (due to a tongue tie that wasn’t diagnosed for about 6-7 weeks). On the really bad days I was so grateful to the lovely ladies that sent me the soft washable breast pads to use, they really were life savers!
I'm not going to give prices and averages for these :)

As you can see, there is a huge impact to be made on our environment by switching to reusable products.
Whether its swapping to cloth nappies for the day and disposable at night, tampons for the day and cloth pads at night or going the whole way and using only reusable.
The options are there for you to choose what is right for you and your family.

My next blog post I'll be talking more about reusable products (for the whole household.) If you would like to know when it's up, put your email in the box at the bottom of the page to sign up for the Ecore newsletter.

Thanks for reading!
Sarah :)

 

References and Resources:
https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/menstruation-and-menstrual-cycle
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/normal-menstruation
https://shop.countdown.co.nz/



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