I’ve caught the cloth diapering bug! OK, so if you’re not familiar with it, cloth diapering has one of those communities, like scrap booking, or planning, or crafting etc…where people get obsessed! If you’re not careful, you can get carried away with spending; and you’ll find yourself fast becoming an expert on fabrics and laundry detergents. Before this post goes way over your head, here’s a little introduction into my journey into the cloth diapering world.
Isn’t my life busy enough?
Yes, it’s true, free time feels like a distant memory, and unless another adult is in the house with me, the chances of me showering are slim to none. But, cloth diapering isn’t actually all that time consuming. Changing a diaper takes pretty much the exact same time, there are just a few extra steps when it comes to cleaning/ laundry.
What about the poop? Do you need to touch the poop?
If you’re a parent, then I’m sure you already know that poop is part of life. You don’t escape poop by using disposable diapers (which are way more prone to blow outs anyway), so cloth diapering isn’t that crazy of a concept. The short version – biodegradable flushable liners are your friend! Stick a liner on the diaper, baby poops, liner catches pretty much most of it, toss that bad boy in the toilet, and boom – your done. Maybe just rinse the diaper for good measure before sticking it the laundry bag/ wet bag. If the poop gets a little out of control, then just rinse the diaper first and then stick the diaper in your wet bag.
The rinsing process varies – some mamas do the dunk and swish method that involves rinsing the poopy diaper in the actual toilet bowl, some mamas invest in a sprayer hose attachment on their toilet and get the bucket that goes with it (this seems to be the best option), the sprayer gets everything, the bucket drains into your toilet and you touch NOTHING! This method completely removes the ick factor. As for me, I got a random bucket from Home Depot. I rinse the diapers in the bucket, then dump the water in the toilet – easy peasy.
How do you wash these things? Do they stink? How hard is it to clean?
Laundry for me is the easiest part – which is a relief since I’m doing laundry every other day. I’ve actually decided to increase my stash though, so now I’ll most likely just do diaper laundry twice a week. I do a normal setting on my washer with warm water, with a little detergent sprinkled in, then I do the main wash (heavy load, hot water) with the regular recommended amount of detergent for my load size (typically line 4) and I add a little borax. I have hard water so the borax ensures that my diapers get clean.
What do you need to get started?
WARNING – this step could lead you down a rabbit hole, albeit a very fun and exciting one! The first step will be figuring out how you’ll cloth diaper – oh yes, this isn’t your mom’s cloth diapering; now there are so many different types: flats, prefolds, pockets, all in ones, all in twos…and there are so many options for inserts/ flats and prefolds raging from fast absorbing like microfiber, or high absorbing like organic hemp (I’m a cotton/bamboo fan); and as for the actual diaper covers/ diapers – get ready, the designs are so stinking cute you’ll find yourself buying diapers you don’t even need. Facebook has tons of group to make you informed (and addicted), but it’s fun. Honestly, you can spend as much or as little you’d like. Prime example – for just $8 you can pick up a 10 pack of flour sack towels from Walmart. These bad boys are 100% cotton, great for baby’s skin, super absorbent, fast drying, convenient, and ridiculously easy to clean. And for less than a dollar a sheet, you can build an entire stash with just these and a few covers, and you’re done.
Why am I doing this?
Well, I don’t have a straight answer on this. It feels right, and I want to give it a shot. I’ve always been nostalgic and drawn to old ways of doing stuff – I like the idea of certain rituals in motherhood and this is one of them. I was a cloth diapered baby, its the way my mom and grandmothers did things. Somehow I feel a little more connected to them by doing this. I’m also hyper aware of the fact that we’re seriously destroying our planet. As a sat there one afternoon flattening out old diaper boxes I just though, “wow this is a lot”. You go through so many diapers between birth and potty training – so many!!! And all those diapers end up in landfills. Then there’s the financial benefit – cloth diapering is significantly cheaper (as long as you don’t get carried away and build a stash way bigger than you’ll ever need).
I’m almost a month in and I’m happy I started this journey. I honestly love everything about cloth diapering! For more info on the items I used to build by stash, check out by Cloth Diapering – Part 2 post (coming soon).