My Green Nappy Discovering Modern Cloth Nappies and Eco-Friendly Disposable Nappies

April 7, 2010

I’m on a Tight Budget – How Can I Get Free Cloth Nappies? 5 Great Tips…

Free cloth nappies? Yes! You CAN find them – these 5 tips will give you a head start…

– You need to find some Modern Cloth Nappies for free? It is possible – provided you have time before your baby arrives, a passion, patience and enjoyment of sleuthing online while your baby sleeps…

This article will let you know about 5 basic strategies and a huge list of resources to help you start or plump your stash with free cloth nappies to ease financial pressures.

How can you source these washable nappies more cheaply? They can run to $20 – $50 each – (even though that will STILL save you money as they are such good quality and can be re-sold later). Even so, you can be clever in your shopping and find ways to spend very little or actually get your cloth nappies for FREE!

Below are 5 Strategies to Help You Locate Free (or very cheap) Modern Cloth Nappies…

1.Visit sites that have Free Cloth Nappies.

Used Nappies has a section for freebies of pre-loved cloth nappies that Mums are simply happy to give away to those in need. You’ll need to pay for postage and keep popping in to grab these great bargains.

2. Become a Tester for New Styles and Brands of Cloth Nappies

By visiting dedicated Cloth Nappy Forums, new nappy makers will ask for ‘testers’ to try out their nappies and troubleshoot the designs as they work on developing a new pattern or ‘tweak’. If your baby or toddler is the right age, you usually get these nappies for free in exchange for your feedback on the product.

3. Enter Nappy Maker and Retailer Giveaways, Contests and Competitions to WIN free cloth nappies.

By joining the announcement or newsletter lists of your favourite brands or suppliers, visiting their blogs, following them on Twitter, becoming a Facebook Fan, you can be made aware of promotions, competitions, giveaways and testing opportunities to win or grab modern nappies quite cheaply. Do the Great Cloth Nappy Hunt every 6 months. You can even set up a series of Google Alerts with keywords such as “Modern Cloth Nappy Giveaway”, “Modern Cloth Nappy Competition” or even “Win Modern Cloth Nappies” to be notified daily, weekly or instantly when something pops up online! Join My Green and be notified when a Green Promise Nappy is up for grabs in our seasonal initiative, and participate around the site to win a Green Nappy Kit!

4. Ask. Just do it. Share that you are on a really tight budget and want to use cloth nappies.

A simple idea, the easiest or perhaps the hardest idea of all! Other mums have been there and will understand and some will be able to help too! Ask at online parenting forums, online marketplaces, The Freecycle Network, Yoink, Opshops – ring around for an afternoon, see if any modern nappies have come in – you’ll be surprised at how many Opportunity Shops are in your local area. Asking around at your mothers group will access the ‘great material continuum’ of baby supplies – you might be surprised that you can BORROW a set of modern nappies for a time – that is another sensible way to get free cloth nappies, be reusing, sharing and knowing they will return and continue being used on the next baby. Be sure to get an idea of how long you can use the nappies when you first borrow them – the mum might be between babies, or want to pass them on to another mum in 6 months perhaps.

5. Save with mama-made – Recycled DIY Cloth Nappies

– Recycle your old clothes, or ones gathered for pennies at the Op Shop, to make enough nappies for your needs. Have a look at these nappies made by mums and get inspired! Nappies Covered has ‘Nappy Sewing Kits’ you can purchase (or ask for as a gift!) and make your own fabric nappies. My Green Nappy Guide has a section each part on DIY modern cloth tips. You’ll find a bunch of great resources there.

Finding ways to get your modern cloth nappies for free or super-cheaply will be easier with these 5 tips.

Know that you are making a positive choice in using reusable cloth nappies for your baby. The cumulative savings really are substantial, and you will have more in your purse for your family’s other needs at the end of each shopping trip, rather than being forced to spend it on one-use, throwaway disposable nappies. Modern cloth nappies really do benefit your budget, and reduce your household waste.

Happy Hunting!

P.S What if you focussed on one each month? Over time, any nappy you get cheaper will only see your savings grow, so it is worth a bit of effort and the fun you may also have in tracking down and entering these draws, giveaways, lotteries, contests and so on. It’s also helpful for you to know about Baby Pottying – you can reduce ANY sort of nappy use by practicing some Elimination Communication and offering your baby a potty break each nappy change – less pooey nappies to wash – woo hoo!

Thank you to My Green Nappy’s Partners:

If you are just visiting for the first time today, and have found this article useful, be sure to register & receive My Green Nappy Guide, you’ll be both relieved and excited at the things you will discover!

A question for you about free cloth nappies:

How have you benefited from the generosity of others? Have you shared your nappy stash to help out another new mum? Tell us your stories.


  1. I have had a number of wonderfully generous friends that have helped me. Ingrid shared a bunch of covers and small pants, Katherine lent me a whole stash of fitted nappies for some months, Belinda shared a collection of liners, nappies and more, I could go on and on.

    For myself, I share out my modern cloth stash all the time, LOL. My OneWet Pants have been all over the world and back!

    Comment by Charndra — April 7, 2010 @ 8:05 am

  2. One of my wonderful and crafty friends made me some MCNs as a baby present. Another mum also gave me some hand-me-down prefolds which was lovely. I’ve now also given a relative some of my own prefolds.

    Comment by Caroline — April 7, 2010 @ 8:51 am

  3. I found some Bum genius that someone was giving away on a website because they repelled all liquid. I tried everything to strip wash but no luck so instead i use them as covers for some pre-folds I have and they work great. I also have a budget and try to buy at least one a month, so far I have only got 2nd hand ones but it doesn’t matter.

    Comment by Leanne — April 7, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  4. When I was pregnant with my daughter I purchased a couple of sets of well used cloths from ebay, we got on quite well with these and in time managed to expand our stash thanks to the generosity of freecyclers. Some were not in the best condition and needed repairs which I wasn’t confident doing, but there were some gems in there too.

    When my daughter was done with nappies I packed up my favourite ones to keep for next time but the majority of my stash when out on the curbside for another freecycler to collect, I got an email to say that they had been picked up and were very greatful for the nappies, so I know they will get lots more use.

    I actually regret giving so many away and wish I had packed them to bring with us when we moved but I’m hoping that I will find some replacements from other generous freecylers and I’m also keen to have a go at making some myself.

    I also gave a lot of baby items including my daughters cot, moses basket and carrier to a young mum in need, it feels good to give the gift and was a quick and effective way of clearing out the no longer needed items. I will get the fun of seeking new treasures for the next child 🙂

    Comment by Gina — April 7, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  5. I’ve been making some newborn sized nappies for my next bubs. There are some handy websites around with easy instructions to turn old clothes into great nappies. I also find friends are great at lending nappies that no longer fit.

    Comment by Nicole — April 7, 2010 @ 9:42 am

  6. I have purchased some seconds from Ebay which have been perfect, and have also shared some nappies that we have that are now too small. We do buy OSFM, but a few of them have been on the small side, but we give them to friends to use so atleast they are being used. I am also interested in making some MCN’s myself… hmmmm???

    Comment by Cindy — April 7, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  7. I just passed on about 15 nappies to a friend to use. She’ll return them when her daughter grows out of them, and they’ll get another cloth butt to go onto 🙂

    Comment by Sal@Flowerchild — April 7, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  8. People frequently give away nappies that need small repairs. Often the elastic goes in fitted nappies and I have written up a tutorial with plenty of photographs to show you how to fix them yourself.

    Replacing Elastic in Fitted Nappies

    I bought some of my original nappies at Op Shops then decided to make more myself using recycled clothing as well as some from more expensive (and delicious!) fabrics. Now that we don’t need them any more I have donated them to a clothing exchange. Families in the area can take clothing and nappies that fit and then bring it back and swap for more at the regular exchange parties.

    Comment by Marnie Holmes from Noonee Wilga — April 7, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  9. I’ve always wanted to run a newborn nappies co-op in my area. Newborns need plenty of nappies, yet outgrow them so quickly.
    For small-sized newborns, having the right size cloth nappy matters, but cost is usually the prohibiting factor.

    I have made a number of newborn nappies, bamboo trifolds and owned a number of NB/XS and Small sized covers that have gone out to a couple of mums and come back to me. They still have a lot of life left (considering they are only used intensively for about 2 months per baby). I would use them again for my next bub and lend them again to anyone who wanted to use cloth with a newborn.

    Comment by Rebecca Tham from Bean Sprout Bubba — April 7, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

  10. I have bought almost all of my nappies second hand through gumtree, buyforbaby, nappyaddicts, a facebook MCN group and trades through bubhub… I certainly couldn’t have amassed the fab stash I have without the willingness of others to pass on the great nappies they no longer need.

    As my stash has grown, it’s evolved and in turn, I’ve on-sold some of the nappies I no longer need, or weren’t my *favourites* so that I can buy/try others.. I’ve also donated some through freecycle, and gifted and lent some to friends who have seen my success and been interested in trying them out..

    I’ve also got two pregnant friends that I plan to attempt making some for, and if DD is TT by the time their babies come along, I might pass on some of my stash, too.

    Comment by Tracey — April 8, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

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