Posted by: Brigitte Rozario Post(s) by this blogger
Cloth diapers are reusable, cheaper in the long run and have less impact on the environment. But, disposables are more convenient.
All parents go through this debate - should you use cloth or disposable?
Let's hear from two mothers who grappled with this question.
Stay-at-home mum Stacy Dong:
We use disposable diapers because they are just so much easier. Plus, the baby goes through diapers like there's no tomorrow for the first few months of his life, so it's definitely much easier with disposables.
Most importantly, I do not want to overburden myself especially when I am a first time mum and a SAHM (stay-at-home mum) without any help.
Was cost a factor when we made this decision?
Yes and no. Yes, as the cloth diapers startup cost is not exactly cheap, and no, because the convenience of disposables trumps any cost issues.
I feel bad about the impact to the environment from using disposables, but I know that every little help and convenience that I get would help me be a calmer and better mum to my son and that is more important to me.
I try to compensate by living a greener lifestyle - more recycling, using green and biodegradable products, etc.
It would definitely be great if we do go natural and opt for cloth, but I don't think that's always practical, especially when you are a first-time and often overwhelmed parent and when you travel. I think a combination of both types of diapers would be most practical and I would definitely explore that option for my next child.
Hanani Izzati Mohamad Zubir
Hanani Izzati Mohamad Zubir, mother of 2-year-old triplets:
We actually considered using cloth diapers but decided that it was not very practical in terms of cost and convenience.
We calculated the cost because when we were considering it, we really wanted to compare costs and benefits of cloth diapers versus disposables.
In our case, the initial investment
would have been quite high as cloth diapers are not cheap either; it would have
cost about RM50 each for a good quality one and we would also have had to
buy the inserts and liners, too.
Normally, one baby would use at least five diapers a day, which means we would have needed 15 pieces a day (we'd need more if the boys were having diarrhoea).
Since we live in an apartment, the drying area is limited and this was also an issue as the cloth diapers might not dry properly for next day's use.
So ideally, we would have needed at least 45 pieces of cloth diapers to ensure that we'd have enough to spare if we didn't have time to wash them every night or if they didn't dry properly the day before.
We spent about RM250 a month on disposable diapers.
Let's say one cloth diaper, insert and liner costs about RM60, so 45 pieces would cost RM2,700 for a year, which is equivalent to RM225 per month. Thus, the cost savings would not have been very high for us. Though it is reusable, I'm sure after a year of being frequently used, there would be wear and tear and they would need to be replaced, too.
It was also not very convenient for us because cloth diapers need a bit more care to wash and dry, which we didn't really have time for. As I am working, I already have very limited time after work to spend with the kids so I'd rather spend every minute enjoying my kids rather than having extra housework to do.