Monday, February 20, 2012

Switching to cloth diapers

Having a second baby suddenly makes you realize how expensive it is to have children. With the first, you usually spare no expense and you try to get the best of everything (i.e. the best hospital for when the baby is born, the best healthcare, new clothes, educational toys and DVDS, the works...). But with two kids and having them so close to each other (one is 2 years old and the other is 5 months old now), it feels like money just keeps flying out our pockets, and so we decided to see where we could save in terms of child-related expenses.

One financial drain we identified was DIAPERS, in particular, disposable diapers. We went through all the cost-saving techniques such as switching from premium to economy brands, buying on promotion, buying in bulk when on promotion, and sometimes having one premium and one economy brand and only using the premium brand for nighttime use. Regardless of what we did though, we were still spending 3-4 packs of diapers every month and spending about 50-60SGD (roughly P1650-1980). And that was when we only had one child.

So with baby number two, we explored using cloth diapers. We researched online and found recommendations from mommy bloggers about certain brands of diapers as well as the different types of diaper systems. One of the more helpful blogs for us was which incidentally has an online store selling cloth diapers (full disclosure: this is where we eventually ordered our cloth diapers).

After considering the different diapering systems, we eventually gravitated toward AIOs which as described by are 'All-in-one diapers, no more missing inserts; no more stuffing; no separate layers. The diaper looks almost exactly like a disposable in that everything is one piece'. Now the first few brands of AIOs we became aware of were imported brands such as Charlie Banana and the prices were quite prohibitive, think P1000 per cloth diaper. And considering that experts recommend you buy somewhere between 15-20 diapers (depending on how often your child poops) it made me wonder how on earth we could possibly save money if we were to buy these things. Fortunately, we found a cheaper alternative to these imported brands in a brand called next9 which is local and much much cheaper since they sell at P1000 for a pack of 3 diapers.

next9 cloth diapers

We eventually ordered 5 packs of diapers (3 diapers per pack) for a total of 15 diapers in four cheery colors (blue, orange, green and yellow). We also specifically chose one size fits all diapers so we didn't have to change and buy more cloth diapers as the baby grew. The various snaps on the diapers could be adjusted to fit the baby as it grew bigger.

Total cost = P5,000

At the end of February, we would have been using cloth diapers for 3 months and would have saved P4950 which is roughly the cost of the diapers. In effect, the diapers would have already paid for themselves and it would be pure savings from hereon out. Not bad at all. Sure we still use disposable at times but only once a day for night time use and for occasional out of home jaunts.

This is one of the best money saving tips we can give for families looking for ways to cut on household costs. It may seem a bit expensive when you compute the upfront costs, but it more than makes up for it in the long run.

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