What's up in our Instagram

Monday, May 27, 2013

Preparing for the Baby: Cloth Diapering 101

Knowing that I am about to give birth soon, I have gone all out in preparing (buying stuff and etc.) towards cloth diapering my baby. Indeed in my previous post I have mentioned that I am planning to try out cloth diapering (something that surprised even myself because about two months ago me and hubs had bought TWO huge pack of disposable diapers for the baby to use).

My main motivation for cloth diapering is twofold; to reduce on waste and money. In my ignorance (as a first time mommy) I only know now that infants use up to 12 diapers (or moreper day (in the first month or two). A disposable diaper costs about RM0.50 to RM0.70 each (these are non-environmentally friendly ones, the environmentally friendly diapers costs more). This translates to a minimum cost of RM6 - RM8.50 per day or RM180 - RM255 per month (which equals to an average of 360 diapers being thrown out monthly *gasp*). Assuming that the baby uses 12 diapers per day in the first two months and maybe about 8 diapers a day by the third month onwards, you could be looking at spending RM1,560 to RM2,190 in disposable diapers alone for the first year (this equals to 3,120 diapers being thrown out per baby per year *yikes*). This site even claims that the average baby goes through an average of 6,000 disposable diapers before they are potty trained (costing parents between RM3,000 - RM4,200 just for diapers alone). I think that could buy me a Louis Vuitton handbag =).

The costs of diapering didn't alarm me as much as I do expect to spend a reasonable amount of money in the upbringing of my child (as did my parents and other mommies before me) but the thought of contributing thousands of disposable diapers to our landfills from just one child (specifically, my child) gave me quite a rude awakening.

My second motivation is purely for selfish reasons (I'm sure other mommies would agree with me on this). I was told by my friend Khai (and by other mommies in this Facebook group that I've joined) that using cloth diapers leads to less rashes (on the baby's bum) because you need to change the nappy more often than disposables. Less rashes equals to more comfort, better sleep and less fussing, so, let's go for it, I say!

And my final motivation is for the baby itself. I have read that cloth diapered babies are potty trained earlier compared to babies with disposable diapers; some mommies even claimed that their babies were already potty trained by the age of 1 plus and I do hope that my baby would be potty trained as early as possible too.

So I asked my friend Remus for advice on cloth diapering and she told me that cloth diapering has gone a long way from the old flat cloth diapers and plastic 'ikat' pants that we had to wear when we were young (if you're clueless on cloth diapering like I was when I heard all those fancy cloth diapering jargons, you may want to visit this site to find out more). 

The selection of cloth diapers and liners are made based on one objective; convenience (you may be doing cloth but it needn't be difficult). Based on Rem's advice, I decided to settle for All-in-Twos mainly for the convenience of separating and washing the inserts (also known as flats/ prefolds/ soakers) separately from the shells (the technologically advanced version of our plastic 'ikat' pants). Thus I can wash the inserts and still reuse the shells (without having to clean both every time the baby pees/ or poo). Flushable nappy liners was selected also based on convenience; once I'm changing the inserts, I can flush the dirty liner down the toilet (without having to put it in a bin and throw out the trash later) providing less hassle and saving time (hopefully).

After much googling, reading and research, I have decided to go with Grovia Hybrid All-in-Twos, Autumnz Pocket Cloth Diaper (I adore their cute designs) and Bayu Diapers (limited edition) Matrix a try (as much as I'd like to try and save money, I'm actually not that good in being thrifty, most of the time I buy things simply because they're cute or they are a limited edition). For the nappy liner, I have decided to go with Grovia BioLiners but if you like there are other brands selling flushable nappy liners like the Autumnz Stay Dry Diaper Liner (Grovia BioLiners averages at 19.95 cents per piece and Autumnz at 19.90 cents per piece; I bought Grovia only to save postage, it's available locally while I haven't found a store in Kuching selling Autumnz liners). 


And this is what I have so far (it's not much, I know). To those who might be interested in cloth-diapering and are wondering where to get them in Kuching (also as a point of reference for me so that I'd remember where I got them): Grovia Hybrid (also known as All-in-Two) Snaps Woodlands and Nature from Bebe Heaven, Plaza Merdeka at RM60 each, a set of 8 Disney Baby Napkins (flat cloth diapers) from AnakkutHe Spring at RM28.90 and Grovia BioLiners also from Bebe Heaven, Plaza Merdeka at RM39.90 each. Not in photo, Snappi Nappy Fasteners from Poppies, tHe Spring at RM9.90 per pair, a set of 6 Infant Prefolds at RM48.60 (with additonal Poslaju shipping costs at RM10.50currently awaiting shipment from BambooLite, 2 Autumnz Cloth Diaper (one Minky Snap Button and one PUL Button) from One Baby World at RM31.92 each (not inclusive of postage at RM9) and one Bayu Diapers (limited edition) Matrix at RM29.90 from Sentuhan Bayu (not inclusive of RM12 postage). Both diapers from Autumnz and Sentuhan Bayu comes with two microfibre insert each and this brings my collection of cloth diapers to a total of 8 flats, 6 prefolds, 6 inserts and 5 All in Twos. Total costs so far, RM382.49.

Based on the advice from my Facebook group and my friend Remus, my current diaper stash is definitely not enough (so if you're thinking that spending only RM380 for cloth diapers is way too cheap, that's only possible because it's not enough). At a minimum I need at least 36 diapers (lasting roughly for about three days at 12 diapers per day) and maybe at the very least 12 shells (the plastic 'ikat' pants). But I do have a feeling that should I continue to cloth diaper my baby until he or she is one years old (or even better, potty trained) I could be saving quite a sum of money from cloth diapering my first child (and the costs of cloth diapers will almost be practically free for my second child onwards, needing only to buy diaper liners and detergent for the cloth diapers).

Since I was in the midst of contemplating on whether I should add more diapers or wait until I know what I'm doing, I decided to learn the methods of folding flat cloth diapers.

Firstly I tried out the instructions at the bottom of my newly acquired Anakku Disney Baby Napkins (I simply adore the Mickey Mouse silhouette prints on these flats!):


And this was the outcome of my first try:


This is also known as the Origami method. However, I think this folding method might be a wee bit too big for a newborn. So I googled around and found a website that teaches you several methods of folding flat diapers:

1. The Triangle


I don't know how leak-proof The Triangle would be but the best part about folding it this way is that you can adjust the size of the triangle according to the size of your baby. So if you have a newborn, and The Triangle is too big for him or her, you can just fold it again to make a smaller triangle that fits =).

2. The Kite-fold


I am thinking that this folding method would be perfect for newborns (unless the newborns are huge to begin with) so I intend to try this folding method first when using flat diapers with the baby.

3. The Terry Square


And this is another method that I liked. I think I'll follow up with this folding method once the baby is bigger (maybe at two or three months of age).

Unfortunately I didn't really agree with some of the folding methods as shown in the website because they looked like they would leak easily.

I am definitely looking forward to cloth diapering and reviewing the cloth diapers that the  baby will be wearing =).


xoxo Mrs Fashionista


Ps: Updated on 28th May 2013

These arrived in the mail today *woot*woot*: 


Skip Hop wipes case that I bought from Merrily Baby at RM45 (not inclusive of RM10 postage), the set of 6 Infant Prefolds from BambooLite, and Bayu Diapers (limited edition) Matrix from Sentuhan Bayu. I didn't mention the wipes case in my earlier writing simply because I don't think they're relevant to cloth diapering (well, they are relevant but they're not a part of cloth diapers if you know what I mean). However, I wanted a wipes case so that I can make/ buy baby wipes in bulk and should I need to carry a small amount with me, I'll just take some from the huge pile that I have and put them in the case (without having to bring the whole big pile with me). So I'm only waiting for my final online purchase of the Minky Snap Button and PUL Button Autumnz Cloth Diaper from One Baby World.