Additional inserts can be used at bedtime to avoid overnight leaks.
They may can also have waterproof exteriors that look like pants. Some reusable diapers are adjustable in size and can be used from the newborn stage until the toddler is potty-trained, usually around the age of three.
Washable diapers and disposable diapers come in a broad range of prices. Cheaper cloth diapers can cost around $8 each, while high-end ones cost more than $40.
In comparison, a 42-piece pack of a popular supermarket chain’s house brand of disposable diapers for newborns costs about $12 – working out to be about 30 cents a diaper – while more expensive brands can cost about 40 cents a piece.
Stay-at-home mum Irma Niza Jamal, 33, uses cloth diapers mostly because of the cost savings. ”Besides environmental concerns about landfills, using cloth diapers saves you a lot of money, especially if you use those that can take the baby from a newborn to about three years old,” she says.
She estimates that she has invested about $450 on close to 30 cloth diapers for her daughter, Eesha Naira Mohammad Khirruddin, who is now 17 months old.
However, this is nothing compared to the $500 she estimates she has spent on disposable diapers in her daughter’s first few months, though newborns tend to use more diapers than older babies.
She used disposables on her daughter for five months after birth, partly because she wanted to get used to caring for and breastfeeding her newborn.
Now, she uses cloth diapers for Eesha even when they go out, securing poo-stained diapers in a bag until they are taken home to be laundered.
Irma’s household is eco-friendly.
The family members do not use tissue paper or kitchen towels, preferring to use cloth rags instead.
The only downside to using cloth diapers, Irma reckons, is “the difficulty in finding a babysitter, as not many accept cloth diapers”.
She eventually found a childcare provider who is willing to use cloth diapers on her daughter as Irma, a former customer service professional and certified make-up artist, is planning to return to work.
She and her 35-year-old husband, Mohammad Khirruddin Ismail, a ticketing executive in the tourism industry, agree that attractive cloth-diaper designs, which can include cartoon and Harry Potter characters, are part of the draw.