I cloth diaper
A statement that usually is met with one of two types of responses; the first being primarily one of confusion, shock and sometimes outright disgust. “Why?” “I could never do that”, “I do enough laundry already”, or my personal favorite being “I just don’t want to deal with the poop.” Like somehow wrapping your little bundle of joy in disposables will decrease the number of bowl movements he/she has before potty training. The other response, more typical from older generations is one of admiration and is usually coupled with comments more along the lines of “good for you” and “I did cloth with all of my kids.”
The last statement: “I used to use cloth diapers for my kids” is one I’ve heard from WAAAAY more mothers than I ever thought I would have. Many of these woman are people I’ve known for years if not my whole life and I never had any idea how many of them chose this method; including my own mother! By extension I take this to mean that in my parents generation and every generation before non-single use non-disposable diapers were the norm. So my question then is how in a single generation has something gone from being just a part of parenting to something considered to be too gross, too much work, and a practice almost completely forgotten except by hippie types? Are we really that wussy that we can’t do today what our parents did for us. Plus we have better technology now! No more safety pins! We’ve been doing the cloth thing at our house for over two months now (his first month we used premie disposables) and I don’t find it any more work or any more gross than regular old disposables. I’ll prove it by telling you my routine.
First off there are many different styles and brands of cloth diapers, I chose a local brand, AMP because it was easily accessible and had almost all positive reviews online. They also have what are called one size pocket diapers, one size means that the outside of the diaper is covered in snaps so it’s a buy it once use it forever kind of system. A pocket diaper is one of the styles that most closely resemble a disposable in shape and ease of use. Very beginner friendly. I keep all of my diapers in the top drawer of my changing table and when it’s time for a change I just undo the snaps slide one diaper off and put a clean one in it’s place. Exactly as you would with disposables; if they had snaps. The only difference being that my dirty diaper goes into what is called a wet bag, this water proof bag keeps everything contained until laundry time; which is usually every other day. At laundry time I pick the bag up (only touching the outside, nothing gross), take it to my washing machine and turn it inside out as I push everything into the washing machine (again only touching the outside of the bag, nothing gross). Set the washer to a rinse cycle, cold water, no detergent and walk away. Later I come back add in the rest of the baby laundry, sleepers, receiving blankets, bibs, socks you name it all goes in with the rinsed diapers. This time I set the machine to stain wash, hot water, add my detergent and walk away. You can probably guess that after the washer everything goes in the dryer. From the dryer we go back upstairs to the changing table drawer, or most likely I won’t get that organized and I’ll just pull them out of the laundry basket as I need them.
That’s it! That’s the whole process to cloth diapering. Not scary, no more contact with poop than with any other child and assuming your washing machine isn’t significantly farther away than your garbage bin it’s really the same amount of work. So for those of you who were previously filled with shock or horror at the thought of cloth diapers here are my answers to your FAQ’s:
Why? Because it’s better for the environment so it makes me feel better and I’m not spending money on something I can only use once and then send to the landfill forever. Plus I got people to buy me my diapers as gifts and I can use them for more than one child so I’m basically diapering for free.
I could never do that! Sure you can, you’ve just freaked yourself out because you don’t know what it is and your afraid of the unknown. If you’re a parent there is nothing you can do to escape the fact that at some point you will be puked on, peed on and have poop in your hands. It will happen.
I don’t want to deal with the poop. You will be anyways, everybody poops and it’s not like your washing the diapers by hand. Let your washing machine do the dirty work. I promise by the end of the washing cycle there is no residue or smell or anything like that left in your machine.
And last but not least. I do enough laundry already. We’re doing the same amount of laundry I just add an extra rinse cycle to the beginning of mine and then wash all my baby stuff on the stain wash cycle instead of the regular wash cycle. Which takes forever so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Bit of a longer read today but I hope maybe I’ve convinced you to give cloth diapers a second or even first thought if you weren’t on the band wagon before. In another post (This one here!) I’ll share with you my adventures in trying to be even more thrifty by sewing my own diaper inserts and how I’ve learned to deal with stain issues using lemon juice!