Cloth diapers why and how?

I am a cloth diaper advocate, I have been using them since Victor is born and only use disposable when I am out of town for an extended period of time. There are many benefits of using washable diapers and I will quickly list below the reasons I decided to use them over their disposable counterparts.

 

Toxicity factor

First of, cloth diapers are non-toxic. They do not contain harmful chemicals or skin irritants. They are usually made of cotton, bamboo or other fibers that can be washed and reused. Disposable diapers, on the other hand, contain absorbent chemicals and harsh ingredients such as polyacrylic acid, dioxins, dyes, fragrances, and phthalates. As much as possible, I prefer not the expose the skin of my baby to these chemicals, which can be irritating and harmful.

Price factor

Second, buying washable diapers will end up substantially cheaper than buying disposable diapers. Approximately Php 58,400 for disposable diapers VS Php 10,000 for washable diapers. Check out my easy computation below. Of course, the price decreases further if you have several children since you can reuse your cloth diapers for many years as long as you care for them properly.

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Easy computation: On average a disposable diaper costs 8 php, whereas a washable diaper costs on average 500 php. You will need to change your child approximately 7,300 times during his childhood (On average 8 times a day during 2.5 years). Based on these numbers, buying disposable diapers will cost you  Php 58,400, while buying one-size washable diapers will cost you only Php 10,000 (20 pieces).

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Environmental factor

Disposable diapers are, most of the time, non biodegradable and are one of the largest contributors to landfills. They take several hundreds of years to fully decompose and release toxins in the environment in the process. Remember: 7300 diapers per child. Imagine the huge pile of diapers under decomposition out there… This is scary! In comparison, cloth diapers take approximately 6 months to fully decompose.

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DISPOSABLE DIAPERS FACTS
 

It takes approximately one billion trees per year to produce diapers in the world.

Petroleum, a valuable, non-renewable, and diminishing resource, is used to produce the pastic in disposable diapers and in the packaging.

3.5 billon gallons of oil are used to produce 18 million disposable diapers each year.

Source: Project Mom

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Others

On top, babies using cloth diapers are likely to potty train faster because they can feel their diapers wet, as compared to disposable diapers that always feel dry. Also, washable diapers come in multiple design, patterns and colors and are way cuter than they disposable counterpart. For casual days at home, my baby is usually dressed in diaper + T-shirt only and the look of his diapers really matters to me!

In my opinion, convenience is really the only area where disposable is winning over cloth, but if you are well organised, washing the diapers should not be too much of a big deal. Especially if you have help at home.

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How to use and take care of cloth diapers?

Nowadays, most diapers are made of an interior liner insert, made of cloth, and a waterproof cover that goes over it. When your baby wets his diaper, you can change the liner insert and keep the cover if this one didn’t get wet. I usually use 2 to 3 inserts before changing the cover. I keep the wet diapers in a pail and empty the pail for washing daily (it is better not to keep wet diapers unwashed for too long as they might deteriorate otherwise). When you’re away from home, bring a wetbag (waterproof and retaining odours) to stash dirty diapers in until you get home.

When washing your diapers it is important to use a mild laundry detergent. Stay away from ingredients like perfums, dyes, brighteners, softners, or enzymes since they might leave a residue on your diaper, and will reduce absorbency over time.  Cloth diapers can be line dried or tumble dried to your preference.

 

Where to find cloth diapers in Manila?

There are many brands of cloth diapers available around the metro. Prices and quality vary widely.  I personally bought a mix of several brands since  I wanted to test what is best for me. But so far, I don’t have any preferences (after 9 months of use).

  • Fuzzibunz available in Hobbes and Landes or rustans, you can also buy online here.
  • Charlie Banana available in Rustans or online here.
  • Bamboo Dappy available in Rustans or online here.
  • Baby Leaf available in Baby Company, Rustans and online here.

I personally like plain color pattern and mostly get color that are unisex. We never know… :) And you, are you a cloth diaper mama? What are your tips and tricks in using cloth?

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Hi, I am Ady! Wife to my filipino love and mum to my eurasian baby bear. Loving the outdoor, travelling and everything natural & healthy!

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