Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Disposable Diapers in Russia

Update: I thought I'd mention the stores that you'll have the best luck finding diapers. Sometimes you can find some at the corner productees (small grocery stores), but they're generally more expensive and there's usually only one brand per size. You're best bet for finding a good selection of diapers at the best prices are at children stores like Deti and Dyetskiy Mir, or Ashan (which is a store that similar to Walmart).

I often wondered and worried as we prepared to move to Moscow about whether there were good disposable diapers in Russia or not. If not, should I bring my own cloth diapers, or would they have cloth diaper services? In the end, we figured they would have to have some diapers, so we opted to sell our cloth diapers to conserve valuable packing space.

Now that we're here in Moscow, I can say that, yes, disposable diapers are widely available. I especially appreciate that they sell familiar name brands like Huggies and Pampers, but there are many other brands that are new to me. Many of the diapers here are made in Japan and Korea, so they have those languages on the diaper bags along with Russian. It's kind of fun.

Pampers seems to be the least expensive brand, but that's not to say they're cheap. Diapers are very expensive here! Unfortunately, we have one baby in diapers full time and two young boys in pull-ups at night. All I can say is, "Ouch!" We don't have the extra bedding, or the luxury of doing more than one or two loads of laundry a day, so we continue to just bite the bullet and buy the older boys pull-ups.

I miss the inexpensive store brand diapers (like Target's), but as far as I've seen, they are not available. At one time, I used to buy fancy, chlorine-free diapers. I won't lie to you or sugar coat it; they were NICE and really high quality! I loved every one that I used, and I miss them. But, in the end (no pun intended), inexpensive diapers hold the waste, too, and for much less, thank you very much.

I haven't heard of any cloth diaper services in Moscow, but I haven't looked really hard, either. Honestly, even if they did have them, we probably wouldn't use them. Even when we lived in New York State, and the cloth diaper service websites promised safe, clean diapers, I still felt nervous about them (besides, they still cost as much as disposable, so you didn't save any money). I preferred washing my own cloth diapers and knowing that the only bum they touched were my own sweet baby's tushie.

I've only tried three brands of diapers since living in Moscow: Huggies, Pampers, and a brand called Libero. We've settled on Pampers with the elastic tabs, and I'm happy with them, despite the fact that I never liked scented diapers.

Better than Huggies Supreme!

I have noticed that even though I recognize the Pampers and Huggies brand, the styles are slightly different. Of course, the packages are written in other languages, and they use different pictures of baby models on the front. They have a super nice Huggies here that, I think, totally trump the Supreme that you find in the U.S. And the regular, basic Huggies have characters on them that I swear I remember seeing on the Huggies the toddlers wore at the day care I worked at 10 years ago. Oh, well. They still work the same, even if the pictures are recycled. The Pampers have different pictures on them, too. We have a package right now that seems uniquely Russian.

Says: "Our Little Champion"

One thing to remember is that the sizes are written only in kilograms (not pounds), so you need to convert your babies weight before you get stuck at the store, staring at the diapers and hoping that a size three is the same in Russia as it is in the United States. Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to the metric system much in school, so I can't naturally just convert things in my head. I'm paying for it now. Oh, and just a heads-up for those that have older children wearing pull-ups, they only go up to size 6. So, if you need a bigger size, you might want to bring extra pull-ups along with you or just get used to strrrrretching the pull-ups on and hoping they don't rip right away.

Well, that's probably more than you cared to read about disposable diapers in Russia. But, I hoped that this might help a future mom that's considering coming to Russia for vacation or even possibly moving here. If I would have known it wasn't going to be hard to buy disposable diapers and pull-ups (and wipes, of course) in Moscow, I wouldn't have wasted so much packing space bringing spares.

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