Today marks a momentous occasion in my life – after a one week trial, my youngest child is now completely nappy free.
No more night nappies! He has gotten into the habit of doing a big wee before bedtime and going to bed commando style.
Why am I so excited you ask? Because 10 years, 5 months, and 3 weeks ago our eldest son was born – and the nappy era commenced and has never stopped since!
Twenty months later son number 2 was born, and there were more nappies – newborn nappies and toddler nappies. Within four years, another 2 sons were born, and the nappy wearing continued, this time with the addition of night time nappies.
Newborn nappies, toddler nappies and night time nappies. The nappy population in our house was ridiculous.
Gradually, over the years, as our boys learned to ‘tie a knot in it’ during sleep hours, the nappy population in our house dwindled, until the youngest was the only nappy wearing superhero in our midst.
But now, that’s all over. He too can ‘tie a knot in it’, and we are free of nappies!
But then I, stupidly, decided to do the numbers – having a business degree means that I always have to look at the big picture financially. I shouldn’t have, because it is depressing.
So, taking the full time nappy wearing years down to, let’s say, 9 (because Master 4 has been toilet trained since he was 3, a bit over a year ago), that allows for the following calculations:
There were 6 years out of that 9 in which only 1 child was wearing nappies at 4 changes a day (conservative – we all know there are days when there are many more changes, especially in newborns.)
=365 days *6 years *4 changes per day = 8,760 nappies.
The remaining 3 years consisted of 2 children wearing nappies at the same time – newborn and toddler, so we will go with 8 changes per day combined.
= 365 days *3 years *8 changes per day =8,760 nappies – which is the same as above because the years and number of nappy changes are inverted.
Added together this comes to a total of 17,520 nappies in that 10 year, 5 month and 2 week time period.
But, wait! There’s more because the above calculations don’t take into account the year that kid number 4 was solely in night nappies, so let’s add another 365 to that, which brings us to the grand total of 17,885 nappies.
17,885 nappies – that’s freaking ridiculous!
Yes, we could have gone with cloth nappies, but seeing as I was working, either full time or part time, up until the birth of number 4, there simply wasn’t enough time to do everything. So we compromised and went with the disposables. Not good for the environment, I know, but I do make it up in other ways.
Nappies vary in cost, depending on where you can source them from and in what numbers. So, let’s suppose that I was able to get them for 20 cents each.
That’s the cost of a small second hand car.
Or a romantic holiday in Fiji.
Or 2/3 months’ mortgage repayments.
With the average cost of raising two children to the age of 21 (in Australia) currently estimated to be close to $800,000, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-23/kids-eat-into-family-budget-like-never-before/4708076 there is no doubt in my mind that the grand total of their nappy bill will pale in comparison to what the rest of their lives will cost us.
It’s just lucky that they are so perfect and gorgeous and cute and wonderful…