16 April 2012

the real diaper journey.

16 April 2012

This post is written for the Real Diaper Week Carnival with the theme "Real Simple. Real Diapers."  We aim to educate and advocate the use of cloth diapers in the Philippines.  Please scroll below to read the other carnival posts about cloth diaper styles, how to's or must haves.
Why Cloth?

I'd never given cloth diapering a second thought until I took hiatus from full-time work.  I started reading and learned really interesting things. Modern cloth diapers aren't anything like the "lampins" we grew up with. Now we have modern fabric that is soft, do not crack or keep odour, breathable, water-resistant and super absorbent! Polyurethane laminate fabrics hold up well in the washing machine and dryer too! Good quality cloths are gentle on baby's skin so no worries about getting the irksome diaper rash.

Did you know that having a child on disposable for 3 years means adding over six thousand more diapers to the landfill? And that it takes over 300 years before a disposable fully decomposes?

Oh, poor Mother Earth.

Of course the economical aspect of cloth appealed to me more. Building a stash of modern cloth diapers is an investment that will save you money in the long run. As an example: my stash of 15 pocket cloth diapers ~PHP 1,000 (S$30) each = PHP 15,000 (S$450), plus maybe a few extra inserts a pre-folds,  hybrids. Mind you, this stash will last me till the end of my diapering days and I can keep them for my future children's use too! Disposable on the other hand (based on Singapore SRP), 6 pieces per day x S$0.30/diaper x 365 days = S$ 657/year (~22,000 PHP). Not to mention the costly nappy rash creams and anti-fungal creams that we've to use in case of a rash. Do the rest of the math and see how much savings you'll incur!

Which cloth?

There are a LOT of cloth diaper (CD) systems in the market. Deciding on what to get can become overwhelming. Before you start, I recommend you to do your own research and find out factors that are important to you. Cost and sizing are 2 main things to consider. 

Among the diaper systems, I like one size pocket diapers best. You can pre-stuff them with inserts so that using it is just like using disposable. Plus you can customise the absorbance by adding more inserts for overnight use. Fuzzibunz and Next 9 one size pocket diapers are brands that I highly recommend. They are made so that the leg and waist elastic are adjustable to grow with your child. Both  brands have snap closures which I prefer because they hold up better and do not attract fuzz and lint which can stick to other garments during washing. If you prefer velcro closures, I recommend Bum Genius. They have very generous sizing so it can last you till your child is potty-trained. Velcro is also easily overcome by tiny toddler hands so it doesn't get in the way of potty training.  I also used stay-dry fleece liners to keep baby feeling dry and to minimise poo stains since poo doesn't stick to it. For the newborn, flats/pre-folds/inserts plus a diaper cover is probably best because of the frequency of nappy changes. 

How many?

To be honest, the initial cost of CD is off-putting. Spending PHP 1,000 (S$30) for one seem like a lot when you know that you have to build a stash of say 20. The best advise I got was build as you go. I started with 3 pockets, 2 covers and 12 pre-folds. Later my stash grew to 15 pockets, 5 covers, 15+ hybrid inserts, 12 pre-folds. This is good for every other day washing. I got all of my CDs from online stores here in Singapore for 30-50% off their regular price. I scoured motherhood forums, online sales (Milagro Trading) for good deals. Then I discovered proudly Philippine made Next9baby CDs. Very affordable nappies  (PHP 1000 /S$ 30 for 3 pieces!), with quality comparable to the leading imported brands such as Fuzzibunz & Bum Genius. What a steal! I wish I had discovered them earlier on. For pregnant mums, you can perhaps include CDs in your baby registry. 

Make the switch. Go cloth. 

After more than a year since I switched, I can now say that choosing cloth is one of the smartest decisions I've ever made as a mum. It takes major commitment to decide to make the switch. But once you do, I guarantee you it's all worth it.

3E's: Easy, Eco-friendly and Economical. That pretty much sums up my cloth diaper experience.

Happy Cloth Diapering! Read more cloth diaper chronicles below: 

Buntis' Real Diapers
Claire's Matteo's Diaper Story
Misisagun's We Choose Cloth Diapers
MrsBry's Z Loves Next9
Jen's The CD Revolution
This Mom's Life's Transitiong to Cloth.
Ms.Masungit's Cloth Diapers? Where?
The Odyssey of Dinna's Nurturing Rafael
Chronicles of Nursing Mom's Going out of town with cloth diapers
The Common Mom's Surviving the holidays with cloth
Swept Away's What we love about cloth.
The Articulate Pen's Making the switch to cloth diapers.
Organized Junk's Out and about with cloth diapers.
Tickled Mom Abie's A Quick review of different systems.
Tickled Mom Clarice's Stuff you need for easier CD-ing.