A semi-frugal guide to nappies, NZ edition

By: miguelb



I hate to think how much time I’ve spent thinking about nappies. How to get the best deal on diapers. Where to buy the cheapest nappies. Learning about all the different kinds of MCNs (modern cloth nappies). And that’s not to mention worrying about the actual contents of Spud’s diapers … but that’s a different story altogether…

Buying nappies online, NZ edition:

Early on I obsessed over all the different websites that sell nappies in NZ, trying to figure out where to get the best deals. Here are some of the options I’ve tried in the name of saving money on diapers:

Nappytime nappies from Babyonline

At 10 cents per nappy on sale, it’s hard to beat this price! The quality is reasonable; the only downside is there’s no wetness indicator (the coloured line that changes hue).

Dryups from Babyonline

At about 12 cents per nappy on sale, another great option! Less stiff than the Nappytime diapers IMO and worth it for the softer feel.

Nepia Genki nappies from Bestnappies

At 26 cents per nappy on sale, this was a good deal. These Japanese nappies are a little on the thin side but I liked how they felt. There are also a bunch of other Japanese brands on this site that I was planning to try, until I got lazy about it…  I’ve been quite impressed with Japanese nappies so far, in fact I picked up a clearance pack of diapers at the local Japan mart for a pittance and loved those ones too.

Huggies from Nappies Direct

This is the site everyone recommends and sometimes will get as low as about 30 cents a nappy but that seems to be rare, from what I’ve seen.

But to be honest, now I’ve realised that if I can time my purchases in line with the supermarket sales, it’s just as easy and cheap to get Huggies diapers with my Countdown shop.

There was a time when Huggies weren’t fitting Spud well at all (and we lived in Japanese brands for a month or so) but now we’re back in business 🙂

Our current nappy routine:

With changes every 3 hours or so during the day, and usually 1 more overnight, I think we’re averaging $10-15 on nappies a week.

Huggies are our go-to nighttime diapers. The absorbency and fit are worth the brand premium to me.

During the day, it’s a real mix. Basically, I go with whatever’s cheapest that I’ve managed to score. Sometimes we get free packs of Rascal + Friends (a Kiwi brand) from my MIL, which I quite like despite the lack of wetness indicator. Otherwise, lately I’ve been buying Littlies (a budget brand found at Countdown).

I also have a handful of OSFM (one size fits most) cloth nappies, and try to use 1 or 2 of these a day at home. Full-time cloth diapering is definitely not for me, but if I can save a few disposables from going into landfill I feel a little better about myself. In particular, we usually have quite a short window between the evening poop and bathtime, which is ideal for a stint in cloth 🙂 I also try to time it so that poops don’t happen during cloth time!

Our cloth nappy journey

I spent so much time in my pregnancy researching cloth diapers – brands, types, etc. It’s a whole new world and it’s very confusing for newbies! Here’s a super simple breakdown of the different types of cloth nappies, explained – and a good primer for reusable nappy newbies on getting started.

I knew I only wanted to use the most convenient types of reusable diaper that were closest to disposables. So no faffing around with flats (the traditional white cloth nappies), nor anything with covers (where the waterproof outer is totally separate from the absorbent inner). That left pocket nappies, All in Ones and All In Twos.

Currently I have one Bambooty Basics AI2 (all in two, the insert clips into the nappy with a button) that I really like, and a bunch of pocket nappies (which require you to stuff the inserts in, which I find annoying). These are a mix of Alva and Baby Factory reusable nappies.

(Previously we also had two newborn size AIO (all in one) cloth diapers, and two AIO slightly bigger cloth diapers, which we’re now sized out of.)

It definitely pays not to invest too much in any one brand. It’s so personal – you gotta figure out what fits your baby and what you like to use, and this can change over time. The way they fit Spud has definitely evolved over the months. I had a wishlist of certain fancy brands I wanted to try, but honestly so far my favourite has been Bambooty … I bought one off Trademe and got a couple more for free and they have just been a dream!

We started using cloth diapers at about a month old, since he just didn’t fit reusables until then. I’m already doing way more laundry anyway so the increase in the water bill that can be directly attributed to reusable diapers is negligible 🤔

I invested less than $100, buying almost all of them secondhand off TradeMe or the NZ MCN (modern cloth nappy) buy and sell Facebook group. I also got a few for free from the Raising Ziggy Facebook group.

Extra resources for anyone who is interested in cloth diapering: the subreddit is a bit overwhelming but people seem really helpful, and the NZ MCN discussion page and MCN reviews uncensored page are also pretty useful.

2 thoughts on “A semi-frugal guide to nappies, NZ edition

  • Reply Jennifer April 9, 2019 at 10:44

    Nappyneedz website is great to buy bamboo prefolds from. Very economical and no leaks!!

  • Reply Sense April 9, 2019 at 12:27

    Whoa–10 c per diaper? That sounds like a great deal! Well done!

    I actually had no idea what they cost–am child free so I honestly had no clue. I guess I thought they were a dollar or two per pair or something?

    Considering how cheap they are but how bad they are for the environment, they are probably on par with single use plastic bags or plastic water bottles? That is a bit scary…there has to be something else someone can make to lessen the impact. (I just got a fantastic water bottle made of plants by For the Better Good–it looks, feels, etc like plastic but is non toxic and reusable, and will break down quickly with time. Something like that?)

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