There’s a new bug in town, and it’s called the cloth diaper bug. Haven’ you heard? ;)
In an effort to be cost conscious and environmentally friendly, I have decided to jump on the cloth diapering bandwagon. To simplify things, this is an excerpt I took from lampinkain.com
Why Cloth Diaper?
Cloth diapers are easy to use and it just take a little effort.
Cloth Diapers have evolved. Cloth diapers now are elasticized, waterproof breathable and equipped with Velcro-like closures or snaps. They are just as easy to use as disposable diapers but it is washable.
But wait, does an extra load of laundry sounded like a prison sentence to you? Honestly speaking, yes it does take a little effort. Using cloth diaper do means extra of 2 – 3 loads of laundry. But trust me that washing it is just a breeze.
Cloth Diapers Are Cheaper Than Disposable Diapers
At first glance, the price is expensive. Cloth diapers have a pricey start-up cost.
But wait. Let’s do some calculations before making any conclusions.
As a rule of thumb, a new born baby will use up to 12 diapers per day. An older baby will need around 8 diapers a day until potty training.
Let’s do some estimation:
How many diapers?
- New born baby up to 4 months – 12 diapers per day
- Older baby – 8 diapers
(Assumption: potty train at 3 years)
- 12 size small
- 12 size medium
- 8 size large(I use one-sized diapers)
Total of diapers
(12 diapers X 4 months X 30 days) + (8 diapers X 32 months X 30 days) = 1440 + 7680 = 9120 diapers
Assumption on price per diaper
On average, cost of average brand diaper in Malaysia RM0.50 (In Italy, it’s about RM1.10 each)
On average, the price for a cloth diaper is RM75 (EUR17.50)
*These days, one can get dipes for as low as RM25!
Total money spent on diapers
RM4560 (EUR 1062)
RM2400 (EUR 560)
Thus cloth diapers would only cost between RM1800 – RM 2500 which is equal to 90% savings. Although the table above states that one can buy sized diapers, I think its even more cost saving to buy one-sized diapers like I did. They are adjustable and can usually fit a 3kg baby till potty-trained.
The best part is that these cloth diapers may last for one or more successive children and your savings doubles or even triples.
How about laundering expenses? Cloth diapers will usually mean an extra one to three loads of laundry a week, but if everyone were to weigh the extra costs of their electricity, water usage, and detergent, I think they would be pleasantly surprised. These costs are still low if compared to the cost of expensive disposable diapers.
Cloth Diapers Are Better For the Environment
Disposable diapers require thousands of tons of plastic and hundreds of thousands of trees to manufacture. After a few hours of active service these materials are trucked away, primarily to landfills, where they sit, neatly wrapped packages of excrement, entombed or mummified, for several hundred years.
Waste from disposables diapers are the 3rd largest single product in the waste stream behind newspapers and beverage containers. The urine and feces in disposable diapers enter landfills untreated, possibly contaminating the ground water supply.
When you consider the unnecessary depletion of our valuable forests, the huge volume of garbage created, the toxic air and water pollution and the potential health risks to children, it is very difficult to comprehend how washing and reusing cloth diapers could ever be considered an inconvenience. They are a rewarding investment all around. A financial investment, an investment in our children’s health, and an investment on our planet earth!
Cloth Diapers are Healthier for your Baby
Some toxic chemicals are presented in disposable diapers. Disposable diapers contain:
- Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, genetic damage, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves. Dioxin is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of cancer related chemicals.
- Tributyl-tin (TBT) – a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.
- Sodium polyacrylate. If you have ever seen the gel-like, super absorbent crystals in a disposable than you have seen this first hand. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons because of its link to toxic shock syndrome.
No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby’s reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years. Studies have also been done to show that the chemical emissions from disposable diapers can cause respiratory problems in children.
Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers.
Seeing that there are some sales going on in Malaysia in conjuction with the Malaysian Mega Sale, I took the opportunity to purchase some cloth diapers online and got it shipped to my sister’s house in Malaysia, and another batch to a friend’s house in Singapore. I realized that it would be a pricey purchase and hence decided to start early and not buy everything in one go. That would most likely cause the other half to
blow a fuse freak out, and hence the step-by-step purchase. Of course, it is always best to buy a few first to see which brand and type suits your baby best before purchasing more. Unfortunately, I do not have that luxury as it is close to impossible to get good deals here in Italy, and thus, buying in Malaysia would be a much more economical solution, what with the mushrooming of blogshops offering competitive prices. Sigh, I do wonder why just about *everything* in Italy is so much pricier. Even purchasing goods from Ebay Italy can be quite pricey!
That said, here’s my first stash of cloth diapers (or popularly known as fluffy mail amongst cloth diapering moms) that arrived in the mail. These are cloth diapers from Bumgenius, and the solid coloured Bumgenius’ are from their latest series, Bumgenius 4.0. The one with designs on them are from the Bumgenius Artist Series. The rest are from Happy Heinys, another well known American producer of cloth diapers. I can only hope that bubs will be able to wear them all sans any problems.
Can you tell if bubs is going to be a boy or a girl? ;)