Guest post-The Nappy Mountain! (Part 1- Potty Training)

The Nappy Mountain

Our baby budgeting ‘Going Green’ guest post today is from  Margarita Woodley . Thanks Margarita for a really informative post!

I have been following Baby Budgeting for a while – what an “Ingenious” topic to blog on – after all Babies do cost a fortune! And all of us want the best for our children, providing them with as much nutrition, fun and experiences as possible! Thank you Baby Budgeting for all your ideas so far.

Being a “little green” (note, the word “little” – I basically “try”), I was pleased to see the “Green Month” theme and even more pleased when I was “allowed” to contribute. There is one topic close to my heart, but I would like to submit two posts over two days which refer to it:

The Nappy Mountain!

Photo curtesy of Kingston & Merton Nappy Network

For first two years of your babies life, not only will you be using up over 5000 nappies, it estimated that these will cost you a minimum £800. Every additional half year will mean an approx extra 730 nappies at a minimum of £125 per 6 months! I think that these calculations erred on the side of “cheap” and minimum use. You will probably be spending more!

There are two ways to help reduce costs and the impact on the environment. I will talk about one today and the other tomorrow….

Firstly: Potty Training!

Out generation is encouraged by books, media, health visitors and (I don’t doubt) the nappy manufacturer’s to potty train our children later and later. Many families don’t even THINK about potty training until their child is 2.5 years old, let alone starting potty training at that age. And when they do, they frequently use the “half way” house pull up nappies.

Now think: each month you probably spend at least £20 (optimistically cheap estimate!!). So every month you delay potty training, that is £20 pounds down the drain – in some cases children are trained 18 – 24 months later than it is possible (i.e. at 3 – 3.5yrs) – that is £360 – £480 wasted on nappies alone?! (not mentioning the cost of baby wipes or nappy bags).

Our parent generation trained children around 18 months. Ok, this means the process is slower, more work and more infuriating, BUT if a child isn’t trained til 3.5yrs – that is at least £500 less spent by our parents.

I potty trained mine just before his 2nd Birthday. It took 3 weeks (very boring) and we do still have accidents now (4 months later) – but this is normal. No one tells you this. Everyone tells you “we did in 1 day”, “we did in 3 days” – making you wait and wait and for “the right moment”. Some children will take 3 weeks regardless of when you do it. Some will do it faster. It is hard to decide when exactly is the right time.

Pull up nappies just prolong the process and make money for the nappy companies. Don’t go there. They are a waste of money. Go nappy cold turkey and you will sort it faster. Don’t wait for summer. Do it when it is right. We did it over Christmas – in some ways winter was better, as when Red Ted wet himself it just went into his trousers and not all over the carpet.

And here’s a scary fact: your child is more likely to experience incontinence problems if (s)he is trained after the age of 32 months  The ONLY observed downside of training early, is that it may take a little longer.

Ok. Enough lecturing. Save money. Potty Train.

 Go to The Good Life Bloggers for some tips to help you succeed and to stay calm! Or to read our journey when Potty Training!




  1. Emily O
    April 6, 2010 / 11:27 am

    Good post, you save a huge amount of money once you potty train I’ve noticed this. I potty trained my first at 22 months and my second is now 21 months. He tells me when he’s dirty now which I’m taking as a sign that he’s ready. Just preparing myself for the fun!

  2. Jessica
    April 6, 2010 / 5:52 pm

    Great post! The cost and environmental concerns of nappies are a bit overwhelming! I agree that like parents are waiting longer and longer to start. When I tell them I was potty trained at 16 mo and have started my son at 17 months, they are shocked — some have even gone as far to say that I am trying to make him grow up too quickly! 🙂

  3. April 6, 2010 / 5:52 pm

    can i say ditto? lol

  4. Becky
    April 6, 2010 / 7:32 pm

    My daughter is 3 in June and I havent started yet…am feeling inspired though after this!

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