Archives for posts with tag: cloth diapers

In wrapping up this week’s series (here, here, and here) on cloth-diapering I thought I’d post about what we use for cloth-diapering and a bit about how we incorporate it into our life.

What we use

Most of the time I researched cloth diapers I got very overwhelmed. There’s a lot of terminology and many options and a lot of opinion. I even went to our local store twice and tried to get help and came away with only frustration to show for my efforts. The people were nice, but it was too much to take in and my fragile emotional state due to the adoption made it much harder.  In the end, I got some advice from another adoptive mommy and my sis came with me to buy the actual ones I’d chosen.

We bought the Econobum pack from Cotton Babies that comes with three basic white covers and 12 pre-fold cloth diapers. It was a good value and I’m glad we did that. I also bought some extra pre-folds so we had 16 when we brought Junebug home.

I also used a groupon or something like that to our local cloth diaper store, The Nappy Shoppe, to get 4 Sweet Pea diaper covers. They are nicer than the econobum ones -they are sturdier and have leg gussets – plus they come in colors which are cute.

After we got home I realized I did not have enough diapers. I was doing laundry every day and he was soaking through the basic prefolds at night. My mom ran to the Nappy Shoppe for me and came back with these super nice pre-folds (I think it’s these) they recommended that are heftier and bigger than the others we had. We use them at night or when I know we’ll be gone awhile because they absorb more.

We have some three-layered hemp/cotton liners. But I never use them because they are so bulky on our little guy that he can’t even lay on his back or tummy while wearing them.

I have a big trash can in our second bathroom that is lined with a washable, re-usable liner and I store the diapers in there until it’s time to launder them.

I don’t have a poop sprayer yet, but I may get one soon.

How we fit cloth-diapering into our life

One of the ways we fit it into life is to not be legalistic about it. Sometimes I use disposable diapers and I choose not to feel bad about it. On vacation we did all disposables so we could travel the many hours without hauling poopy diapers along and also not have to worry about laundry while relaxing. It’s important that cloth-diapering bless our lives and not make us feel guilty so we make sure to not take it too seriously.

That said, we do use cloth diapers most of the time. By starting it immediately and making it the normal choice, our schedule got built up around cloth diapering. We have a changing station in our room that is stocked with what we need. If we are running low on diapers it is obvious because they are all in one place and neatly folded.

I launder the diapers every other day. They all get dumped in with regular, dye-free, fragrance-free soap on a normal cold cycle and then again, with no additional soap, for a hot cycle. Then the covers line dry on our shower rod and the diapers and diaper pail liner get dried in the dryer.

I have a wet-bag that travels with us in case I have to change his diaper while out and about. I also, of course, keep a couple cloth diapers and a cover in the diaper bag along with a couple disposables in case they are needed.

That about sums it up. Many see cloth-diapering as a very unusual choice, and I guess it is nowadays. If you consider our personalities and the unusual trajectory of our life, plus the fact that my mom was a bit on the crunchy side herself, it’s not surprising. Plus, there is actually a growing segment of moms like me who are making this choice for various reasons. It’s working for us, despite the downsides, and I’m so glad we made this choice.

{You can read the whole cloth-diapering series starting with the good, the bad, and the ugly.}

{This is a continuation of my series on Cloth diapering: the good, the bad, and the ugly}

Since the ugly of cloth diapering revolves primarily around body functions that begin with a “p” and a “d”, if you are squeamish about that sort of thing you should click away now. I assume that if you are squeamish you are either not a mom at all or are an uninvolved dad. That’s judgmental of me, but oh well.

The Ugly

1. I consider taking pee-soaked diapers to the laundry bin to be kinda gross. Carrying poop filled diapers to the toilet to dump is down right nasty. Or as I like to say in baby speak to Junebug, “shoo-nasty!” Depending on the type of poop it can range on the nasty scale from “ick” to “@%#$”. Since poop happens, and often happens at least once a day, that is a lot of nasty in my life. Also, in the steps from the changing table to the toilet, it is possible to drop poop on the ground. Not that I have. OK, I have.

2. Sometimes babies get sick and sometimes it means their poop turns to diarrhea. Even so, you still have to get it off the diaper and into the toilet somehow, and probably more than once a day. So gross. So, sooo, so gross. Shiver up your spine, gag in your mouth gross.

3.  My house now always has a lingering smell of poop or pee or whatever from the diaper pail in the bathroom. For someone who can smell absolutely everything all the time, this is a significant hardship!!

4. I won’t say if this is from personal experience or not (wink, wink, nudge, nudge…), but you might just have a couple ugly freakouts when your spouse dumps a dirty diaper (or several) into the unlined diaper pail while the liner is being laundered necessitating that you dig out by hand the shoo-nastiness, place them in the right bag, and get the pail de-bacteria-ized.

Hope you enjoyed the honesty! You can check out my previous posts about cloth-diapering here and here. Tomorrow I’ll post a wrap-up about what diapers and such we use and how we incorporate it all into our life.

{This is a continuation of my posts about cloth-diapering: the good, the bad, and the ugly}

The bad

1. It’s a lot of laundry. I know I said that laundering is a catalyst for productivity and so earthy and all that, but seriously, it’s also a lot of work. And if I get behind I get really behind. I have to stay on top of it, laundering at least every other day, or I will run out of diapers. Considering my personality and its built-in allergies to routine, this can sometimes create internal conflict and external panic. I do not wake up every day yearning to get in touch with the earth mother, or ancient mother, or whatever within me. Sometimes I want to be lazy mother and cloth-diapering puts a cramp in that part of my style.

2. Cloth diapers are not as absorbent as regular diapers because they are not filled with weird chemicals and such. That’s good, but it means changing the diapers often is a part of life so we spend an awful lot of time at our changing station in my bedroom.

3. You can’t just wad a cloth diaper up with one hand all simple and tidy and toss it in a bin. Well, I guess you could under certain circumstances. But I can’t. Our diaper changing station is in our bedroom which is where it makes the most sense for it to be. I do not want to keep a stinking pail of dirty diapers in my bedroom so that’s kept in the second bathroom. This means I have to take the diapers from the bedroom into the bathroom when done with changing. And they don’t tie up in a neat ball. I use my liners for more than one go-round so the inside diaper needs to be tossed in the bin, while the liner is usually being re-used which means I get to carry the pee-soaked diaper in my hands to the bin. I’m used to it I guess, but it will always be gross.

4. Kids clothes are no longer made to accommodate the bulk of cloth diapers which means Junebug looks like a spongebob square pants with his diaper hanging out of his pants and I know some people think it looks weird. Ok. I think it looks weird. But cute too. But weird. Sometimes I let him just go with the diaper and a shirt at home so as not to deal with this problem, but it’s definitely a minor negative to me.

5. I am the resident expert in the house and I can’t say I love being the expert about something to do with pee and poop. My husband tries hard and does his fair share of the diapering when he’s around, but it’s just not as easy for him and that means a lot of the work falls to me, either in the diapering, or in the cleaning up the leak when a poorly wrapped diaper gets soaked through.

That’s not too much bad. But it’s there and it’s real. And it’s honestly discouraging some days. Now for the ugly

I was thinking this week about the difficulty of cloth-diapering and how I didn’t want to talk about it to anyone because I know that about 87% of people I know would have some sort of “I told you so” thought run through their head. But, after I realized that was the only reason not to talk about it, I knew I definitely needed to be open about it. I do not ever want to be one of those people who hides what is real because some people will misunderstand or be negative busybodies who don’t want anyone to do something they see as different or weird. I want to celebrate the beauty without ignoring the ugly because the beautiful parts shine out the more lovely when you see what is not so beautiful as well. Even when we’re talking about pee and poop. So here you have it. The good, the bad and the ugly of cloth-diapering in 3 posts. Plus on Thursday, a wrap-up of what we use to cloth diaper and how we fit it into our lifestyle.

The Good

1. Laundering has long been a catalyst for productivity in my life. If I ever need a kickstart in my domestic day, I start a load of laundry. This means that I almost daily have a productivity catalyst because cloth-diapering requires a lot of laundry. And I mean, a lot!! The sound of that water filling the machine and the knowledge that I need to stick around the house to switch it out in a little bit has led me to get all sorts of work done. Why the house still always seems a little messy is beyond me, but it’s definitely a positive aspect of cloth-diapering.

2. I get energy from being connected to the earthy things of life. The things that aren’t quick and throw-away, but time consuming and meaningful. Things that take up space and are meant to last. Having baskets of cloth diapers, piles of liners and other diapering supplies gives me a boost of life energy. Having to take the time to launder, fold, put away, and do it again tomorrow gives me energy and helps fill my days with meaning. I feel connected to the mothers of yesteryears and that matters to me a lot, plus I think lowly domestic work is an avenue to Godliness (not equal to Godliness – it just provides a place to pursue it). I wish I lived in a place that was conducive to drying clothes outside because that would be just another added layer of connection to the past and time well spent doing menial work.

3. I like my schedule and calendar to be filled with anchor points. Small, medium, and large activities that are the anchors for my life, goals to point to, and reasons to keep going. The laundering of diapers (and other things) is one of my main small activities that helps define my days and keeps me going.

4. Obviously one of the very good parts of cloth-diapering is knowing that it’s best for my baby. This isn’t some global “best” where I judge everyone else for not doing it too. It’s a small best. A best for us. Best for right now. Best for me and Junebug. I care about toxins. I care about chemicals. I care about my baby and I not being exposed to them. We live in a way that makes cloth-diapering an easy way to avoid them and I love that.

5. Also an obvious one. It’s better for the planet. Even bio-degradable diapers don’t really biodegrade in our landfills. They need sunshine and water and such. In my opinion, the impact of running water for the machine is less than the impact to the earth of landfills filled with diapers.

6. Cloth-diapering saves a ton of money. Even though we started parenting way mid-stream, it will still be a huge savings. Not having another line item in our monthly bills is a huge blessing. Plus, I can save these for any future children and be that much further ahead.

So there you have it. Obviously this list is long because we’ve chosen to cloth-diaper which means that we obviously felt the good outweighed the bad. And the ugly. But if you want to know what those are, just check back this week.