Cloth Diapering in the Philippines: Comparing Inserts We Use

I’m back with another post about cloth diapers. This time I’d like to share my thoughts about the inserts I use on my baby.

I’ve been cloth diapering my baby for close to 4 months now. I’m no expert but I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far.

I started when my baby was 3 months old because I had a C-Section. And back then I didn’t even know how to put on a diaper. Anyway, I did alot research online. The world of cloth diapering is really very complex and overwhelming for beginners, with all the different types of inserts available out there. I got a headache after. So let’s just keep things simple, please. The inserts I use are locally available and of course, reasonably priced. I got them from reliable sellers on Shopee.

5-layer Bamboo Charcoal inserts top my list. Cost: P85.00 each.

What I like about it:

  • It can last 3-4 hours or more. Really absorbent.
  • I can use it on cover-type diapers because it can directly touch the skin (unlike microfiber inserts).
  • Best of all, it keeps baby’s butt dry.
  • And I found out it dries a lot faster than microfiber and cotton inserts during the rainy season

What I don’t like about it:

  • I really haven’t encountered anything to dislike about it.

Next, bamboo cotton inserts. Cost: P72.00 each.

This one lasts about 3 hours. It can be used directly on the skin like bamboo charcoal. But i don’t like to use it on cover-type diapers because it doesn’t keep the wetness away from baby’s butt. It works well when stuffed in pocket diapers. The suede or fleece lining will keep the baby dry.

Since cotton is breathable, I think it’s good for summer time.

The last type, I use are 5-layer microfiber inserts. Take note 5-layer not the regular 3-layer type.

This one is thicker compared to bamboo charcoal and bamboo cotton but the thickness is just right. It lasts 4-5 hours but of course it can’t touch the baby’s skin. It must be used with pocket diapers only.

I don’t have the actual cost because I got it with XL pocket diapers included. The pocket diaper with insert cost me P230.00 each.

I’m happy with all 3 inserts. They do their job well. They are all easily washed, stains and foul smell are easily removed by soaking and line-drying. And I don’t even place them directly under the sun.

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Cloth Diapering in the Philippines: How I Slowly Built up My Stash (with Cost Included)

Cloth diapers are addicting. I’ve often made up reasons to buy some more. But I try hard to curb my inclination to buy, buy, buy online. My goal is just to have enough. I’ve always aimed for a balanced and minimalist lifestyle.

As of now, I’ve accumulated 12 different types of cloth diapers plus 2 hand-me-downs. Still a reasonable number compared to most addicted mommies. 😊

I think 12 is already a good number to start with. Especially since I usually wash soiled diapers every morning, I really have more than enough.

How I started my stash:

I first bought 5 pocket cloth diapers a month before giving birth. I got curious when I saw an ad on Facebook. It led me to research on cloth diapers for a whole week. Then I finally decided to buy Alva and Babyland pocket diapers and bamboo charcoal inserts. Of course, I made sure they were on sale. Cost P995.00 including shipping fee. Not bad.😉

Here they are sitting on my desk. So cute. 😊

How I started Using Cloth:

Two months after giving birth, my mother’s friend gave us two pocket diaper hand-me-downs. My baby was nearly 3 months old when I finally had the courage to start cloth diapering. The hand-me-downs were no good. They leaked all the time. But I realized how fun it was to see my baby in cute cloth diapers. So I decided to start using the 5 pocket cds I bought along with disposables at night and when going out.

Slowly Building up My Stash of 12:

A few weeks later I bought 2 Naughty Baby cover type diapers and 5 bamboo cotton inserts. I felt that covers were more practical, money-wise and laundry-wise. Cost P598.00 with free shipping from Shopee.

Another week later, I bought two XL size Naughty Baby pocket diapers with 4-layer microfiber inserts and an extra bamboo charcoal insert for my leaky hand-me-down diaper. Since my baby is bigger than average, I thought bigger-sized diapers would last us longer. Cost P545.00 with free shipping from Shopee.

With my addiction growing, I ordered another XL Naughty Baby and Qids pocket cloth diaper shells. I had to return the latter for poor quality. Really disappointing. 😦 Naughty Baby XL diaper shell cost P189.00 including shipping fee.

Nearing my quota, I decided to splurge a little on Ecopwet XL cloth diapers. My dream diaper with double gusset, bamboo charcoal lining and insert, cute prints and colorful snap buttons. It’s little pricer compared to other China-made brands I’ve purchased but still very reasonably priced considering it’s excellent design and quality. I ordered two from Shopee and they were really hard to find. Cost P574.00 with free shipping.

All in all, I spent P2,901.00 on my cloth diaper stash. A very reasonable amount. I spent hours hunting for reliable sellers on Shopee who offer the lowest prices. Compared to the P3,090.00 I spent on disposables in a span of 4 months, it’s really not that bad. Hopefully, I’ll be using them until my baby is potty-trained.

Cloth Diapering in the Philippines: Our Simple Daily Routine

I’d like to share how I use cloth diapers on my baby boy from daytime to night time. Hopefully, this will give first-time mommies who are interested about starting and are researching about cloth diapering, an idea about how it goes.

My baby uses about 4-5 cloth diapers in the daytime and 1 at night. I usually change my baby every 3 to 4 hours during the day. At night he keeps his cloth diaper on for 8-9 hours. The main goal of course, is to keep his butt as dry as possible to prevent rashes.

It’s 6am. My baby is still sleeping. He’s got on Ecopwet XL double gusset with bamboo charcoal lining and insert. Amazingly, it keeps him dry all through the night. No leaks at all.

8am. Time to change his cloth nappy. I used a Naughty baby OSFM cover type diaper, air-dried from last night’s use. I stuffed it with bamboo charcoal insert and gauze lampin as filler, to keep the insert from bunching up.

11am. Nappy change time. This time I used Alva pocket cloth diaper OSFM with suede lining stuffed with bamboo cotton insert. Since it’s summer time, I just think this combination would keep his butt cooler as compared to a fleece-lined diaper.

3pm. Gave my baby boy a bath and changed him into another Naughty baby cover type diaper with bamboo charcoal insert and gauze lampin filler. I always like to use generic plain white tops to complement the colorful cloth diaper prints.

7pm. Time to change nappies. Went for an Alva pocket type diaper with suede lining and bamboo cotton insert again. I make sure to air out his butt for about 5 minutes before snapping on a new diaper.

10pm. Last diaper change of the day. Put on an ecopwet XL double gusset pocket diaper with bamboo charcoal lining and insert to last him until morning.

As you can tell cloth diapering really adds a happiness factor into the mundane task of changing diapers.

It’s become of habit of mine to handwash and line dry the diapers every morning. I don’t want used diapers piling up on me. When I say handwash I mean soak, rinse, and hang. That’s about it.

Writing for a Living and Coloring for Stress Relief

Today I’m suddenly inspired to write about the past, present, and future. I’ll start with the past and write the about the other two topics in my next posts.

What about the past?

I started this blog back in 2013, after I finally found the courage to quit my job of nine years which drained my soul. I wanted to practice my writing skills. I thought maybe becoming a writer would be suitable for an introvert like me. I also dabbled into part-time teaching work while I was at home. I taught conversational English and a little grammar to Japanese people via Skype. Basically, I wanted to find a meaningful job I would be happy and passionate about.

Well, what do you know? Looking back by God’s grace, it did come true. I got a full-time job as a snippet writer. It was good enough for me because I lack writing experience and the pay is not so bad. My work schedule was just what I wanted and the office was just a 10 to 15 minute walk from our place. (I hate driving in traffic.) At the same time, I also got a part-time home-based job as a TV program monitor for a Japanese TV network which is more of like a hobby for me since I love, love Japanese food and culture. I was busy living my new life. I didn’t have time to write for this blog.

But as we all know, there is no such thing as a perfect job. Soon stress crept in, mostly from dealing with competition, pressures from management, and clashing personalities at work. During this time, I got into the adult coloring book craze. Coloring pages really helped me transition to a relaxed state of mind and forget about work-related stress when I’m at home. I colored to my heart’s content for 30 minutes every night during weekdays and even more during weekends.

Here are a few of the pages I worked on:

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Aiko Fukawa’s Four Seasons

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Aiko Fukawa’s Four Seasons

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Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest

A cousin learned I was into coloring and he gifted me with Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest and a coloring pencil set. I was ecstatic! 🙂 Being frugal by nature, I usually don’t buy myself pricey coloring books and pencils. I just go for cheap ones. (These days I’m also learning and immersing myself in Philippine stock investing, which I will write about later.)

There also came a time when I wanted to try and buy more color pencils and books, which I felt did not coincide with the minimalist life I aspire to live. I already had four coloring books and three color pencil sets. I became frustrated after I saw other works of artists online with beautifully blended and realistic colors. I felt my work was lame. But then I realized they were artists and I was just a hobbyist. (I always have to be mindful to control my perfectionist nature 🙂 )

As I write this, the department where I work as a full-time snippet writer is folding up starting tomorrow. But it’s alright. I’ve learned what I can from that experience and met people who I have shared fun and melodramatic moments with. My part-time work and domestic chores keep me busy as well as doing research about motherhood, parenting, and homeschooling. I still color from time to time, but my passion for coloring has subsided. There are still a lot of uncolored pages in the four books I’ve collected. I wish I were more focused like the Japanese. They devote themselves to doing and mastering one thing their whole lives.

But life comes in stages, right now I’m beginning another new chapter in my life. And I’m extremely grateful to God for it. He always makes things happen in His perfect time.

Road Trip to Nasugbu on My Second Trimester

Since I learned I was pregnant I’ve been overly paranoid about everything around me. It seems like everything is a threat to my growing fetus, including traveling.

View of the lake at the center of Pico de Loro Cove

During my second trimester my husband suddenly wanted to go to Nasugbu, Batangas. It will be our first vacation in two years since he recovered from depression. I was a bit hesitant at first because of my pregnancy paranoia. According to many pregnancy websites, it’s basically safe and advisable to travel during the second trimester while the tummy size is still manageable and the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms have passed. Manila to Nasugbu is a fairly long drive but thankfully we had a safe trip and a relaxing overnight stay at Pico Sands Hotel.

Always Pray for Safety and Remind the Designated Driver to Drive Carefully

Before we left Manila I made sure to pray for safety and protection. Whenever my husband drives I would be his second set of eyes. I never doze off during a trip. My eyes are always on the road. I warn him if I see other vehicles veering from their lane and pedestrians along the road. In Philippine roads you can’t be too cautious.

Take the Time to Rest and Relax but Do Some Light Exercise as Well

When we reached our destination Pico de Loro Cove, my tummy had this “tagtag” feeling. (Sorry, I can’t think of a direct translation in English.) But after a little rest, I was back to normal.

I did a lot of walking around the hotel grounds and then cooled myself at the pool. I read that walking and swimming are good for pregnant women. I’ve also read that chlorinated water can harm the fetus while others state that unchlorinated water is actually more harmful because of all the bacteria it contains. Hmmm… I took a dip in the pool anyway.

Always Be Prepared

Since I hate mosquitoes, I brought an insect repellent. Again, some recommend that mosquito repellents should contain DEET in order to be effective. While others say DEET is harmful to the growing fetus. Hmmm… I still applied a little OFF lotion on my skin, because it’s the only thing available that time. I think Zika and Dengue are way bigger threats to my baby than DEET.

A Short Review of Pico Sands 

The Good

We got a good discount for a room upgrade and were allowed to extend our stay for 2 hours since we arrived late. They also gave us a complimentary chocolate cake (really yummy! 😊) to celebrate our coming baby. Aside from the usual welcome fruits, instant coffee, and tea bags, there were lots of complimentary bottled water and some juice drinks inside the room. More generous than other hotels we’ve stayed in so far. My husband and I appreciated this because we are big water drinkers.

The Bad

What I didn’t like was the beach area. It was a little dirty with plastic cups, foil snack wrappers embedded on the sand. I’m not exactly sure were the trash came from. (Swept by the tides from other areas or thrown by guests?) But all in all, I had a relaxing experience. 

On our way home we stopped by Breakfast at Antonio’s to have an afternoon snack. I had a veggie sandwich and a decadent brownie. I read that pregnant women are supposed to control their caffeine and sugar intake. What can I say? I really love chocolate! 😁

My Singapore Trip: Traveling Tips for Pregnant Women

View of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel from The Gardens By The Bay while waiting for the Light and Sound Show to begin. 

My husband booked tickets to Singapore months before we found out I was pregnant. I was silently dreading it as the travel date drew close. I was thinking, “Should I rebook and pay a big fare difference or go ahead and risk the life of my child?” After researching, thinking, and praying for guidance. I decided to go. Here are a few insights I learned from this experience.

Be Aware of Travel Advisories

I checked travel advisories and found that Singapore had a Zika virus warning. It made me more paranoid. But then later I found out that the Philippines also had the same travel advisory warning. Hmmm…

If you can, ask people who live and work there

My cousin who lives and works in Singapore assured me the zika case happened way back and has already been contained. My mother also asked her friend whose daughter is a stewardess based in Singapore. And she said they weren’t notified of any new zika case. It’s basically safe to travel there.

Check your airline’s fare rules and travel restrictions for pregnant women

I flew with Jetstar. Based on their website, they allow travel for pregnant women 27 weeks and below. Beyond that they would have to present a doctor’s note indicating they are fit to travel with their estimated delivery date. The date on the doctor’s note should not be more than 10 days prior to the date of travel.

Talk to your doctor before traveling

I saw my doctor for a routine check-up before my trip. To be on the safe side, I got a certificate from her which cost me P500 on top of her consultation fee. Hmmm… I was already on my 27th week and might be on my 28th week when I get back to Manila. I didn’t want to be stopped and stranded at the airport.

My doctor said that it’s alright to pass through metal detectors. That was my biggest concern. She also prescribed a medicine to prevent “hilab” because I would be walking a lot in Singapore. But when I googled the medicine and read the side effects, I decided not to take it.

Ask close mom friends about their travel experience

I did a mini-survey among a few of my mom friends. They mostly said yes, it is generally safe to travel by plane and traveling after having a baby would be more challenging.

Assess yourself and take precautions

In the end, it’s really up to us to decide. In my case, I made sure I brought a copy of my medical records. I tried getting travel insurance, but unfortunately most of them don’t cover pregnant women. Malayan Insurance covers pregnant women but up to the first trimester only.

Rest when you feel tired. Don’t force yourself to follow the itinerarTRy.

Traveling to a new country requires a lot of walking. This became a problem for me. Make it clear to your travel companions that they can leave without you while you rest and recharge.

By God’s grace, I was able to survive our 5-day Singapore trip with no medical emergencies. By the way, I didn’t see a single mosquito while we were there and the airline crew never asked me for a doctor’s note. One my way back to Manila, one ground stewardess just asked, “Ma’am are you pregnant?” I said, “Yes.”, “How many weeks?”, “27 weeks.” And she let me board the plane.

Traveling while pregnant does have it’s fun moments but it is also very tiring and stressful. So take extra care. It is doable but if you choose not to travel it is also a wise decision.  

The Long Road to Pregnancy

I know there are many women out there still hoping to get pregnant against all odds. I share this story to inspire and give hope, miracles do happen. However, If God doesn’t grant our prayers, all the more we need to trust that He has something better in the works for us. Hustle while you wait. Live your life to the full with or without a child.

Ah, The Joys of Being a Woman…

October 2009 at 29 years of age, I underwent a bilateral ovarian cystectomy and myomectomy (big words). It just means my OB-gyne removed two large cysts from my left and right ovaries and a myoma. Thank God they were non-malignant. She then advised me to get pregnant right away. I was single and my then significant other (now husband) was not yet ready to tie the knot. I didn’t want to get impregnated out of wedlock, so I waited.

At age 32, we finally got married but were not in a hurry to have a child. We wanted to enjoy our time together as a couple. We also weren’t using any contraception. I believed that if it’s God’s will to give us a child. It will come naturally.

A Message from God

One Sunday March 2014, I was attending church service. The pastor spoke about finding joy and purpose in work. Back then I resigned from a longtime job that drained my soul, took some time-off and found a lower paying job that I felt passionate about. A thought suddenly entered my head. “Wait on God. Trust me. It will happen in my own time. Just like your new job. Do not rush things.” I immediately typed the words on my smartphone.

I was already in my late 30’s and still not getting pregnant. My OB-gyne suggested fractional curettage (a.k.a. raspa). Despite my jittery nerves, I psyched myself that I had to try it or regret that I didn’t later in life. Besides my mother was really prodding me. The test results came out after. I had endometrial polyps, a dermoid cyst on my left ovary, and complete obstruction of the fallopian tubes. Not good. Well at least my right ovary was okay.

When I read “complete obstruction of the fallopian tubes”, I felt hopeless and downhearted. I immediately brushed the test results aside and got back on with my life. Thank God my husband was very supportive and understanding.

But then 2015 came with other challenges. My husband suffered a deep depression, which also affected his physical health. The cause was not related to our not having a child. We rarely had sex because of this.

Supplements and Prayers

August of 2016, my mother again nagged me to no end. She wanted me to take some supplements to help me get pregnant. (here’s a hint: it starts with a U and ends with an A) I was really hesitant because I distrust people who are into networking and besides they wanted me to buy a bunch of bottles and take mega-doses. My super insistent mother eventually bought the whole set at a hefty price. I had no choice. I shared the cost because I didn’t want her to spend that much on me in the first place. I took the vitamins but not in mega-doses. I just followed the dosage indicated on the bottles. I didn’t think much about it.

One day, I found a novena booklet to Mary Health of the Sick in our home. I thought maybe I should give it a try. I remember my mother telling me how she prayed to the Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran just so I could be born healthy and normal. She also had her share of uterus issues, which I probably inherited. She told me how her prayers were answered. I was a living proof.

So I started praying for my husband’s recovery from depression. (Having a baby was just secondary.)  I replaced the words on the novena as I prayed to make it more personal. Mary was instrumental in my life from the start and she’s  also a mother. I thought Jesus wouldn’t mind if I also asked her intercession. There were nights when I was too sleepy to pray, but I eventually finished the nine-day novena. Again, I didn’t think much about it.

Adoption or IVF?

January of 2017 came. It seems the new year brought us new hope. My prayers were answered. My husband was slowly getting back to his old self after two years of depression. He was again planning about our future. He told me we could try in-vitro fertilization. But in my heart, I wasn’t ready for that. I didn’t want to force things. Sometimes a thought would enter my head. Should we consider adoption? My husband was not open to it. I told him about that incident at church when God promised me we would have a child at His time. I often said short prayers to God. I told him if it’s your will. It will happen naturally.

Is This for Real?

True enough on March 2017, I missed my period for the first time. My first thought was maybe there’s something wrong with my uterus. I bought two urine pregnancy test kits. I was positive for pregnancy. I also did a blood test at a clinic and it too came out positive. God kept his promise to me. I just had to wait on Him. It was not easy. Until now I continue to remind myself to trust him for my baby’s life is in His hands.