Monday, June 4, 2012

Cloth Diapers? You're Crazy!

Before Katie was born, I got a whole lot of negative feedback about my choice to use cloth diapers. The comments ranged from "You're crazy!" to "That's too much work!" My least favorite was, "I'll give it three weeks before you give up!" Wow. I knew that cloth diapering parents are often in-your-face and militant, but I had no idea the disposables folks could be, too!

I thought I'd write a post to dispel the above myths about cloth diapers. I was going to bore you with reasons cloth diapers are good, but this site does a really good job and besides, I'm sure you don't need or want my opinion about what to put on your kid's bottom. :)

So let's stick to proving that I'm not crazy!  (Or at least, not THAT crazy.)  Here's why I love cloth diapers!

They really aren't that much work.  I wash Katie's diapers at home, rather than paying a diaper service. Diaper laundry is hands-down the best laundry in the house. It's basically wash and dry. There's no sorting. There's no folding. Putting the diapers away involves stuffing them in a drawer under the changing table. Sometimes I just use 'em out of the basket. Wish my husband's shirts were that easy! I actually look forward to diaper laundry. I have never said that sentence about ANY other laundry, EVER.

Cloth diapers today are SO much better than the ones our parents and grandparents used. They are "prefolded", meaning that the diaper is folded five or six times to make it fatter in the middle, then stitched down. The stitching makes the diaper "quilt up" after it's been washed a few times, so it's nice and soft and absorbent.  Prefold diapers are also sized, so there's much less bulk from excess fabric. You don't have to fold the diaper in weird ways to make it fit your baby.

When Katie was a newborn, I used to hold the cloth diaper on with a Snappi clip, but now I don't bother. I use the "trifold" method: fold the diaper in thirds and lay it on the diaper cover. Then put it on exactly like a disposable. Could not be easier!  When it's time to change, I toss the diaper in the diaper pail and re-use the cover with a clean diaper.

Cloth wipes go into the pail along with the diapers. I love cloth wipes! They're about 8" x 5", terry cloth on one side and plain cotton on the other. They are so nice and thick and soft! When I was buying my cloth diapers I considered skipping these and using disposable wipes instead, but I'm so glad I didn't! Especially for messy clean-ups. The thick cloth keeps me far away from poo, and I'm sure they feel nice on Katie's bottom. (I haven't asked her, though.) The cloth wipes stay warm in a wipe warmer designed for disposable wipes. I know, totally not eco-friendly, and I could care less. Warm, wet cloth wipes are at my fingertips any time of day. I love it!   UPDATE: Since it's been so hot, I've unplugged the wipe warmer and now it's just a wipe-keeper. Katie did squawk a little at the temperature at first, but she'll survive.

But doesn't the diaper pail stink, you ask? Not really. Sure, if you lift up the lid and stick your nose in there, you're asking for it. But it doesn't stink up Katie's room. I wash diapers every 2-3 days, and on the third day you can certainly tell it's Diaper Day when you lift the lid. But so what? I grab the diaper pail liner (which is a waterproof, washable bag) with all the diapers and wipes in it, trot downstairs and dump the entire thing into the washer. I turn the bag inside out to make sure it's empty. I also toss in any diapers that were in my small, on-the-go wet bag.

Washing is super simple, too. The diapers get a quick cold "express wash" to get any, um, solids off. There usually aren't any solids on Katie's diapers, but I've hung onto this habit from the pre-potty days. When that cycle is done, I take out the wet bags since they don't really need sanitizing. Then the diapers get a nice hot wash with a double hot rinse, and I spin them on the lowest setting if I'm going to hang them outside. That's my favorite part - hanging the diapers on a drying rack in the sun. Call me crazy, but it takes about 1 1/2 minutes and makes me feel good about using less energy.

When the diapers are barely damp (i.e., before they get crispy) I toss them into the dryer for a couple of minutes to soften them up. Sometimes I forget them outside and they are stiff as a board when I go and get them. Katie has never minded a stiff diaper, but I try to remember to soften them anyway. The hoops I'll jump through for that cute little bottom!

So, what do you think? Am I crazy? :)

Here's Katie "helping" me hang up the diapers...TIMBER!!

1 comment:

  1. No, you are not crazy! But you are dedicated and I bet the earth is in love with you! :)