Thursday, May 27, 2010

How and Why I Cloth Diaper

Yea be warned: Once you start cloth diapering, it can become a bit of an obsession. You want to tell everyone you know (and everyone you don’t) about cloth diapers and how awesome they are. You start using your child’s bum to strike up conversations with the people around you any chance you can. Have you ever heard of someone complimenting your baby’s cute disposable? Try making a friend talking about and bonding over disposable diapers...nuh-uh not going to happen.

During my sophomore year in high school I switched to using cloth menstrual pads instead of the disposable alternative because it was cheaper, healthier, and made less of an environmental impact. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I figured if cloth is good enough for my bits and pieces, its even better for hers.
So any time I had a little extra cash (which, mind you, wasn’t very often at all) I began buying cloth diapers and accessories. A little here, a little there made the start up costs so much less overwhelming. By the time my Alice arrived, I had a pretty good starter stash of about 40 prefolds, 5 wool soakers, 2 one size AIO, and about 10 fitteds. I also started accumulating a collection of baby wash cloths and turning them into wipes (by simply removing all the little annoying white tags, ha!).

I brought Alice home from the hospital in a sweet little fitted made by Jessica at Little Owls. It had little tomatoes on it :)

Cloth diapering isn’t as crappy as many skeptics make it out to be, and I only dedicate about 3 minutes every other day to wash my daughter’s diapers, so it’s not such the timesuck either.

They’re easy to put on, easy to take off, and are a snap to care for. Besides any diapers, fasteners, and covers your diapering system may call for, all you need is a diaper pail and liner (I use a Diaper Champ Deluxe and a wet bag), a washing machine, gentle laundry detergent (I suggest either soap nuts or a combo of washing soda and borax) and about 2 minutes every other day (more or less, depending on how much your baby poops, how many diapers you have, and how often you need to wash them).

Here’s my washing routine:
I dump all the diapers into the wash, and do a pre-rinse on cold, Heavy Duty.
Once that’s finished, I set my machine to Hot, Heavy Duty, add my detergent of choice, and watch my shows, do my dishes or feed my baby for the next 25 minutes until I have to load the diapers into the dryer with a wool ball.

If I wasn’t a renting tenant, didn’t live in Alaska, and if I was bothered by stains, I would totally line dry. The sun’s powerful UV rays whiten and disinfect without harsh chemical bleach, and without shrinking your clothes. And, best of all it's great for the environment and absolutely free.

I advise against using bleach, as it can over time eat the elastic used in many diapers, and I just don’t trust any freaky chemicals against precious baby skin.


Tara said...

Soooo true!! I only been CD'ing for 3 wks, but it is SUPER addictive! I put it off until my son was 5 wks b/c I was a little intimidated... but once I started, I was sorry I hadn't started sooner b/c it really is easy! After seeing how many icky disposables we went thru in just 5 wks, it made me sick to imagine the billions that are put into landfills every year by parents that aren't properly informed about CDs... if they only would give it a try!

Heidi said...

My washing routine sounds exactly like yours, but I still have some stink issues with my toddler diapers. Any help?