Some Important Facts About Baby Diapering
Baby diapering comes with a lot of important considerations, chief among them being your baby, your preference and your budget.
Of these three, the baby comes tops for me, as no two babies are alike, even when born of the same mother.
It isn’t A One Size Fits All For Babies
Ayaba, mother of five-year old Ari and four year old Ida, experienced this firsthand.
To her surprise, the products that worked well for Ari, caused unsettling reactions in Ida.
Ayaba explains: “Shopping for your baby is not a one size fits all situation, as you need to consider each baby’s peculiarities and sensitivity”.
Baby diapering essentials fall into the band of baby items I refer to as the small things and money guzzlers
Your Baby’s Diapering Needs
Money guzzlers for the simple reason that they are recurrent expenses that prove to be expensive in the long run.
The wet months are typically the infant stages of your baby’s life, characterised by 7-10 nappy changes a day, depending on the child, of course.
This isn’t to say that the toddler stages are dry.
It just means that as your baby begins to toddle, his or her daily nappy usage reduces to between 6-8 per day.
Where your baby is fully potty trained, you rarely use nappies, except for absolute necessities like traveling or a long outing.
There are also young children who may need pull-up pants for bedtime because they have the occasional nightly accidents.
They eventually outgrow the need for pull-up pants.
The only setback here is that it extends your expenses for a little longer.
Nappies, baby wipes, nappy bags, and nappy rash creams are the necessities for the wet months.
It Costs Money And More
Depending on your preference, you could be spending a fortune on disposables or save money in the long run, on reusables.
This again, is down to personal choice. I used both disposable and reusable nappies and I can tell you, they both have pros and cons.
But first I will examine them through the lenses of cost, convenience, and the environment.
One of the downsides of using disposable nappies is cost.
The National Diaper Bank Network, USA, puts the monthly cost of disposable nappies at $70- $80.
The cost implication of this sum, over a two and a half year period is between $2100 – $2400.
Disposable nappies are still dear, even if you choose to use supermarket brands.
The Money Advice Service, UK, puts the average overall cost for own brand disposable nappies at £1875, as opposed to the cost of reusable nappies which averages at about £400.
This projection is “based on an average of two and a half year’s worth of nappies which comes to about 4000 nappy changes, and £100 of laundry costs,” according to the money advice service.
On the flip side, reusable nappies appear to be cheaper and a more common sense choice in the long run when compared to disposables. Nonetheless, they require a lot more effort and time.
With them come poohfests (frequent rinsing out of pooh), endless wash cycles, ironing, and striving to maintain their brilliant white colour, the pride of every cloth nappy mum!
Cost wise, there are different types of reusable nappies, some aren’t cheap to buy, initially.
Not to say that, you’d need reasonable quantities to be able to keep up with the 7 -10 times a day nappy changes seven days a week, in addition to the cost of detergents, and worrying about your electricity bills.
If you are one to choose convenience over cost, then you can as well just go for disposables. They are a lot easier to manage, all you need do is to use and dispose properly.
Unfortunately, the disposing part only looks easy on paper!
In reality, the most challenging aspect of the disposable nappy is its impact on the environment.
The Science Times reports that 187 billion disposable nappies are thrown away annually around the globe.
Experts view the impact of this on the environment as huge, particularly when put into account, that it would take anything between a quarter to half a millennium for one disposable diaper to fully decompose in a landfill!
It does come as no surprise as disposable nappies are made in part of plastic and other non-biodegradable elements like absorbent gel granules and latex.
The case isn’t so for natural fabrics like 100% cotton which degrades as fast as a few weeks to five months.
Your Decision Counts
Whether you choose to use reusable or disposable nappies is your personal decision.
If you have chosen to use disposable nappies, there is now a wide range of eco-friendly disposable nappies options as well as conventional brands to pick from.
Managing The Wet Months
The best way to manage the wet months in price and convenience, is by saving cost and spreading cost.
You can save cost by taking advantage of shop discount schemes like shop discount cards.
If you own one of such cards, you earn points as you shop, and those points build up to give you discount on your purchases over time.
Boots Parenting Club
Shops like Boots offer a discount program called the Parenting Club. Members receive expert parenting advice, discount deals and free gifts for their babies.
You start enjoying the benefits from the time you sign up, which could be as soon as you are certain that you are pregnant. Membership lasts until your child’s fifth birthday.
To avail yourself of these goodies, you must first be a Boot Advantage Card Holder.
Amazon’s Subscribe And Save Program
The Amazon Subscribe and Save program is another way parents can save on their purchases. The company offers discount prices to subscribers.
This program is very handy for new mums who make repeat purchases on items like baby food and diapering essentials.
Subscribers get a 5% discount for initial purchase and an additional 15% on repeat orders.
You have an option of having them shipped to you, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly or two times a year.
The subscription comes with no contract fees and can be canceled at any time.
Where you choose to join the Amazon Prime, you get a further reduction of 20% on baby consumables and other products subscriptions, “when receiving 5 or more products in one auto-delivery to a single address, compliments of Amazon Family”, according to Amazon.
I subscribed to eumom.ie, now known as everymum.ie, during my fourth pregnancy.
I found them to be very useful. Upon signing up, I received a voucher which allowed me to collect a gift pack from any SuperValu Store in Ireland.
The gift pack came with a generous supply of sample products for my baby, free coupons, and useful information for me.
Trying samples is a good way to test and decide on a product.
As a member, you could enter into competitions where you could win discount deals on family holidays and baby products.
I really liked that I received a weekly email that guided me through every week of my pregnancy, child’s development, parenting advice and other very helpful tips.
You also become a member of a community of other mums who shared their experiences and things like that.
I found them to be hugely hugely resourceful!
These are just a few of the many of such offers available both online and in store.
One of the ways in which you can spread cost when purchasing disposable nappies or other diapering essentials is stocking up.
I was first introduced to this idea almost 10 years ago by my friend Victoria, who advised me to bulk buy my diapering essentials.
The advice paid off. I bought a year’s supply of all my diapering needs.
I found it to be very convenient and easy on my pocket.
This experience was unlike what I had with my first three children.
During their time, it was endless trips to the shops for diapers, and heaven help you, if you ran out of cash for some reason.
New mum Jeanie opted to stock up on disposable nappies as well. Her advice to parents is to stock up.
She said: “Stock up on diapers and wipes, we still haven’t bought any pampers. It spreads the cost”.
A Quick Note!
If you choose to tread on the cautious side, which is also a wise thing to do, as no two babies are alike, we will go with Ayaba’s advice too.
You May Want To Test The Waters First
She says: “Don’t splurge before your baby comes, test the waters first”.
This advice may seem to be at variance with the stock up idea.
Yet to “test the waters first” may be a deliberate choice of yours to wait until your baby arrives.
Doing so helps you to make an informed choice of what brand or brands to bulk buy, because now, you have a clear understanding of your baby’s skin sensitivity threshold.
You would have known, which worked well or didn’t for your baby.
Buying The Newborn Size
If you choose to go ahead with stocking up, do little of the Newborn sizes.
The Newborn size worked well for me, as they were a good fit for my baby Laura.
But with Ayaba, it was different. They were a perfect fit for second baby, Ida yet too small Ari. She had to start her with the size one.
Conversely, Zoe had bought the size one nappy for her baby but changed for a size zero as they were big for him.
You can also check out Jules’s Diapering Story for more diapering insight.
I told you about some pros and cons of using the disposable and reusable nappies through the lenses of cost, convenience, and the environment.
I also gave you a few tips on how to manage the wet months by saving and spreading cost.
Next time, I shall be telling you about eco friendly and conventional disposable nappies and will be reviewing some popular brands in the market.
I can’t wait to see you then. Meanwhile, kindly leave a comment and please stay safe.
Further, reads and sources