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To Cloth or Not to Cloth

The choice to use cloth or disposable diapers is easy for some people, but for me it was not.  My husband is a very frugal man.  I am a woman who looks for convenience.  It was an obvious choice for me...disposable all the way!  So, why am I now the biggest fanatic of cloth diapers???  While it is better for the environment and saves us a lot of money (with which I can make additional appointments at the spa), these aren't the reasons I decided to switch.  It wasn't even for the fact that cloth diapers supposedly makes potty training easier (I have yet to verify this myth, but will hopefully be able to add a post in the future).  No, I chose to use cloth because it works for my baby and, after hours upon hours of research, I learned how to make it just as convenient as disposable.

Cloth diapers are no longer involve diaper pins and plastic pants like our mothers used to use.  While all of this is still available, I quickly decided it wasn't for me.  Nowadays, there are hundreds of ways to use cloth diapers.  There are the all-in-ones (AIOs), pocket diapers, prefolds, organic cotton, wool, Snappis, Bummis, Thirsties, etc. etc. etc.  A person can go crazy just looking at all of the different types, brands, styles, and accessories used with cloth diapering.  In future blogs, I'll talk more about the different diapering choices we have tried, but for now I just want to discuss how cloth diapering can be convenient.

The first thing that I thought of when cloth diapering was even mentioned was the grossness and time involved with cleaning the cloth diapers.  When I researched diaper services, I learned that this choice is often times more expensive than using disposable diapers, so obviously was not a choice for my frugal husband.  So, I began researching ways to make the cleaning easier for me.  Low and behold, I learned that breastfed baby poop is not solid (I didn't know this before having children).  Because of this, there is no need to scrape, scrub, or do any other thing over the toilet before cleaning the diapers.  We simply put the diapers in our washer, run a quick, 30-minute, cold wash cycle without detergent, and then run a heavy duty cycle (hot, extra soak and extra rinse) using Tide Ultra detergent.  After washing, we dry the diapers on a timed cycle (not sensor-dried) since this is also a part of the sanitation process.  The total time to wash/dry the diapers is approximately 3 hours, but I've learned how to work it into my daily (or often times every other day) schedule:  I wash/dry the diapers in the evening as I'm getting my baby ready for bed.  Because we use disposable diapers to prolong our nighttime sleep, as soon as I've changed the final cloth diaper, I start a load.  I then feed my daughter, read her nighttime books, sing our songs and say our prayers.  Once she is asleep, the quick wash is completed and I start the heavy duty cycle.  This cycle takes our machine two hours to complete, so I usually work on other chores, read a book, or do something for me.  If I manage to stay awake the entire two hours, then I start the dry cycle.  If not, I start it in the morning. 

The second thing I thought of when using cloth diapers was how to travel with them.  I like to go out and about during the day.  The thought of carrying around a bunch of dirty, smelly diapers with me was gross.  But, I invested in a high-quality wet bag that has excelled at ridding my diaper bag of smells and storing several diapers at once so that I can go out and about without fear.  I've also found that using cloth diapers while traveling long distance is also easy - and desirable for me.  When we've traveled with disposable diapers, my baby had numerous blowouts causing us to constantly have to change outfits (often times in the crowded location of airplane lavatories...think "Tommy Boy").  The cloth diapers have alleviated the blowouts (I can count on one hand the number of blowouts we've had).  While I probably have to change the diapers more often due to the difference in absorbency from disposable diapers, I keep a carry-on bag with a larger wet bag in which I can store a day's worth of soiled diapers.  Once I have reached my destination, I ask family/friends if I can use their washer and dryer (I ask ahead of time).  I have yet to have anyone say I cannot use these, but if I did - or if I was traveling where there were no friends nor family - I would go to a laundromat.  So, not only have I spared the embarrassment of having something running down my baby's or my outfit while traveling, but I have also allowed myself to continue with the same pattern of use to which my baby is accustomed.

In future blogs, I'll get into some of the greater details that I like cloth diapers - especially showing you the tools that make it convenient.  This is where I really get excited!!  If you haven't figured it out by now, my husband and I did a lot of research.  This caused us to do a lot of testing.  There are some VERY good cloth diaper choices out there.  But, there are also (in my experience) some VERY, VERY bad cloth diaper choices.  Example A: our mother's plastic pants diapers.

Comments

  1. Hi Katie! Saw your blog on FB, and I just wanted to cheer you on. I am not a mommy, but way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Katie, I can't thank you enough for the hands-on exposure you gave me regarding cloth diapers! It totally changed my way of thinking and got me thinking of better ways to do things for my child-to-be!

    I actually wrote a post on my blog to that effect! Thanks so much for putting your experiences out there for the world to see! I am constantly saying, "My friend, Katie, does *such and such* with her daughter, and it seems to work so well!" (I'm pretty sure my SIL is a little tired of hearing that phrase! LOL!)

    Keep up the awesome work!

    Lindsey

    ReplyDelete

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