Also, in most of Asia washing is done by hand (even if you give your washing to a hotel to do, about half the time it is done by hand), so using cloth was even less practical. So unfortunately we left our cloth nappies with nana and have learnt to embrace disposables..
So, as annoying as it is to have to travel with an extra bag just for nappies, we try to keep it as full as we can. Wipes are even more expensive (AUD$7 for a pack of 80!) and hard to come by so definitely bring some from home!
As for brands, Pampers are virtually everywhere. In fact, the word for nappy in SriLanka and in Malaysia is simply “pampers.” Talk about brand power.
We have found that the pampers here are not only really expensive but actually not that great quality.. Whereas the cheap Taiwan imported nappies we have only found at Food City on occasion, are actually really good quality! Go figure!
Another thing to keep in mind is that sizes really change. Gypsy was in crawlers or smalls in Australia, and is now suddenly in large! The mediums just were too small. So it may be best to buy a 4 pack first to check the size before spending a small fortune on a 38 pack.
As for other countries, in Fiji we found nappies to not only be really expensive, but unless you bought the expensive, good quality ones, they were terrible and constantly leaked! We found it easier to just let her go nudie in a pair of swimmers for most of the day, and just rinse them out as needed.
The quality and variety of nappies available in Japan is amazing! It’s even easy to find biodegradable of semi-biodegradable nappies too!
In Malaysia nappies were maybe a fraction cheaper than in Australia but also of a pretty good quality.
No matter how long you are going for, do some googling and find out about nappies in your destination.
If you are travelling to Sri Lanka for only a couple of weeks, and carrying an extra bag won’t bother you too much, then I would suggest bringing your own. And your own wipes too. If you are travelling for longer, maybe bring a supply with you to fall back on, or for night time use while you experiment with what is available locally.
As for change facilities… Quite simply, they don’t exist. In Japan you can find baby change rooms, and in larger shopping malls in Malaysia and even Colombo you can as well. But apart from that, no…
We go by the adage, “do as the locals do” , so in Australia or Japan we sought change-rooms. And here in Asia, we simply change Gypsy wherever we are, whether it be on a moving bus, or a restaurant floor. If you can remember to bring a little change mat with you it’s obviously a little more hygienic. We have also become quite adept at changing her on the other’s lap, and also while she is standing. (Infant beds on airplanes are super handy as well!)
In Asia, a child is the most important part of any community so no one will blink an eye at you changing them (or nursing) wherever it is necessary to do so. Strangers will even offer to dispose of the nappy for you! It might take a while to get used to at first, but it really is such a beautiful and natural way to raise a child.