To those who know me, today’s DLCS isn’t much of a secret but it is definitely a topic of clean living.
I use cloth diapers.
Cloth diapering has certainly gained popularity in recent years and a fair-share of my mommy friends are cloth-converts. And yet, I still get bizarre stares and remarks from some folks when they realize I actually launder and reuse the diaper on Little Chunk’s derrière. So, here’s the (lengthy) rundown on why and how we cloth diaper.
Before E was born, cloth diapering sounded interesting but seemed far too involved and overwhelming. She was going to be in daycare when I returned to work so I filed it away along with skydiving and cults in the “interesting, but not for me” category.
When E was around 8 months, the mommy boards were blowing up with reports that Pamper’s DryMax diapers were causing chemical burns/allergic reactions/really bad diaper rash on some poor wittle babies’ nether regions. Although E wasn’t affected, I started doing more research on disposable diapers and what exactly is in them – countless chemicals, carcinogens and dyes. You know those weird little plastic gel balls that appear on wet diapers? That’s weird, yo.
When we moved to Savannah, I met this cloth diapering momma and others who were able to answer my 832,754 questions and give me the, ahem, scoop on the poop. It became less daunting and more doable.
Tip #1: Find someone to answer your questions – all 832,754 of them. No number of fact sheets or laundry list can take the place of a true-blue cloth diaper user who can speak from experience. I can be that person.
When E was 10 months old, we made the switch and I ordered a full stash of cloth diapers. I remember telling my mother what we had planned and her remark was, “good luck with THAT.” To be fair, Momma Sue was envisioning the prefolds, safety pins and plastic pants of her early parenting days. Although many users still swear by that traditional method, there are so many new ways to cloth diaper. We experimented with several different brands and styles and so, SO many soaps.
Tip #2: For as many people who cloth diaper, there is an equal number of diaper styles, user preferences, and wash routines that work. It depends on your child, your lifestyle, your washer and your water.
This is what works for us:
With B, I use one-sized pocket diapers with the help of a hemp doubler and wool pants/covers at night. I buy most of my diapering items from Happy Baby Company because they’re based out of Pittsburgh and have a brick and mortar store where you can touch, inspect, and compare brands (and because I like to pretend I’m still a yankee). My stash (collection of diapers) consists of Fuzzibunz, Rumparooz, Knickernappies and a few left over BumGenius. We wash in Charlie’s Soap with the occasional scoop of Oxyclean and sun dry when possible.
Tip #3: Washing shouldn’t be complicated. Find a detergent that works and if you have stink issues, 99% of the time it has to do with your soap and/or rinsing.
If I notice some stink, it means either a.) there is detergent build up and I haven’t rinsed well enough – I soak them without soap and add extra rinses or b.) I haven’t used enough soap – I soak with soap, add some tea trea oil and toss in white vinegar during the rinse.
The first question people always ask is, “what do you do with the poo?” and I reply, “what do you do with YOUR poo?” You flush it! Disposable-users tend to be disgusted by having to “deal” with the poop (I smirk and think, “just wait until you potty train, bwahahaha!”). I hate to break it to you, but ALL poop is supposed to be flushed. Check the small print on your package of Pampers. Yep, right there. By throwing away a poop-filled diaper, you are putting biohazardous waste into your landfill. Where it leeches into the ground water. And into your drinking water. Save me the descriptive words and flush the poo, ok?
I could go on and on about the environmental impact of using disposables but I’ll just refer you here and here. Oh, and the whole cost savings thing is pretty nice, too. As is not having to drag two screaming children through yet another Target trip to pick up diapers because Momma can’t plan properly.
Did I mention they’re cute?
I was just swooning over FuzziBunz’s new limited edition spring prints.
So, there you have it – my version of cloth diapering 101. Most mommas who cloth diaper (and some papas, I suppose) have devoted countless hours of research to the topic before and after making the switch so I hope this was helpful and not overwhelming. And I didn’t even touch on diaper creams, wetbags and diaper sprayers, olé !
Do you cloth diaper? Would you ever? What is the biggest obstacle that would stop you?