Buying Cloth Diaper
Cloth diapers have come a long way and they're increasingly popular today.
More and more parents are worrying about the environment - for good reason. According to Environment Canada, more than four million disposable diapers are discarded in Canada each day. It's estimated that it takes 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill.
Cloth diapers are also cheaper than disposables. The average cost of a disposable diaper is about RM0.60. If you wash your own diapers the cost is about RM0.03 cents a diaper after the initial purchase.
What's more, most cloth diapers today are a lot cuter than any disposable. You can buy cloth diapers in anything from blue and purple gingham to shocking pink and leopard print!
Are They Practical?
Many moms say they are - here's why.
• New designs are less likely to leak than old-fashioned diapers.
• They stay in place better than they used to, thanks to Velcro fastening and plastic clips
• Cloth diapers are now made of lightweight, fluffy materials that wash and dry easily.
If you're worried about the practicalities, you could always use disposables some of the time - at night or when you're travelling. Alternatively, you could try the latest cloth diaper design, which is a hybrid. (ie Flip, gDiaper, GroBaby)
Where do I start?
If you want to have everything ready before the baby arrives then I strongly suggests sticking with the more popular brand name diapers.
If budget is your concern, then you can start with a small stash of ebay popular pocket diapers ( Coolababy, Sweet Doll Baby, Babyland, QQBaby etc) They usually cost you around RM30 a piece. But please, don't compare the quality against the Super Brand like BumGenius or Rumparooz. Or you'll be disappointed.
Once you have your budget stash, you could later build your cloth diaper stash with the more popular & higher quality.
Another alternative is, visit the Malaysia Owned diaperswapper forum (http://www.diapersasia.com/). Here you could get preloved branded & quality diapers at a bargain price. I must say the 1st 10 of my diapers came from here, & they're still usable too. (BTW my baby is now 18 months)
For a start there are two basic types of cloth diapers. These are:
1.Two-part diapers: which consist of a diaper part and a wrap part. The diaper may be a traditional terry, or a folded diaper (called a pre-fold) or a shaped diaper. Around it goes the wrap, which may be pull-up or wraparound and is waterproof.
2. All-in-one diapers: in which the inner diaper and the outer waterproof are combined. These look like disposables and are usually fastened with Velcro. They tend to be less fiddly but harder to launder (slower to dry as they're bulkier and often don't go in the tumble dryer).
How do I decide?
What a family chooses varies considerably from one to the next.
To help you sort out your own preference, Parenting by Nature has created a questionnaire that you might find helpful.
What else will I need?
You'll need some disposable diaper liners. Any poo is caught by the liner and the whole thing can be flushed away before the diaper is soaked/washed (see our section on washing and drying, below). There are also reusable fleece liners available.
You may also need some booster pads. Some makes of two-part diapers suggest booster pads to give extra-absorbency at night.
You'll need to buy a bucket with a lid for storing dirty diapers prior to washing.
Finally a tumble dryer (if you live in a cold country), while not essential, can certainly helps with drying.
I recommends beginners keep the washing routine simple. A dry pail is all that is needed (wet pails are messy, smelly and will break down the materials on your diapers and covers faster). Don't use additives in the wash or dryer that could coat your diapers and cause repelling. Most Malaysian house has a water sprayer in the bathroom, it really does make the clean up easy!