For New Moms,
Practical Tips for Cloth Diapering!
A few days back, during a discussion with a friend (who also runs a playschool) about what’s the right-age to potty-train kids, she said, “It depends upon a number of factors; how busy you are, how much pollution you are willing to make, and how much you are willing to spend on poop ( :/ ) ; …otherwise, as my mom says, you can let the kid wear them until the marriage-age, because then it will be really embarrassing if your kid is still in diapers!”
I bursted into a big laughter at that last statement, but the pollution thing got my head spinning for days!
“the earlier you train the kids to use the toilet, the earlier they get independant. I train kids in just 3 days!” she added.
I was ever-so convinced to let go the disposable diapers, but was really not up to the challenge of dealing with wet floors, smelly pants, and rushing to the washroom every time the baby makes “IT’s HAPPENING NOW Face!”
Incidently, a week later, the school teacher assigned the topic of ‘Garbage Disposal and Twin-bin System’ for my son’s next test, and talking to him about all the environmental harms of greenhouse gases, got me thinking about how much landfill I must have jammed up after 3 kids (?) with every child needing 6,500–10,000 diapers before potty training around 30 months old (!) – and it is estimated that most diapers need about 250-500 years to decompose (!)
Now I have to do something!
“It has to stop!” I said to myself after reading the potential health risks of disposable diapers to the baby.
…and then alhamdulillah today, this article popped up from somewhere; and it makes cloth diapers look not so bad as a susbstitute! Very well written with practical tips! A must read for new mothers.
Cloth Diapering — Are you Serious?
So many people, when they hear the words “cloth diapering” wrinkle up their noses in disgust. I know what they are thinking. My mom used to have a wet pail full of soaking diapers in our bathroom, and I thought it was the grossest thing ever.
When I had my first baby, my mother tried to convince me to cloth diaper. All I knew about were plastic pants, Gerber prefolds and pins. I thought about the pail, and I said, no thank you!
I used disposable diapers with three children, and found myself considering cloth with my fourth child after following a link a friend posted in her blog. These were cloth diapers? But they are so cute! And it seemed like so many of my friends were using them, how hard could it really be?
This began days and days of internet research. I didn’t stop until I’d read every FAQ, every how-to, every article I could find on cloth diapering. I had to know everything and I had to know it now.
After all this research, I decided I was doing as much if not more laundry as I would if I used cloth, because disposable diapers leak and blow out, and I would rather just wash diapers and save myself the hassle and expense of disposables.
I admit, what pushed me over the edge, however, was the cuteness. Who knew that cloth diapers would be so cute? My last child was a girl, and I was all about the cute. Cloth offered whole new frontiers of cute. When was the last time you saw a beautiful photoshoot of a baby only wearing a disposable diaper. You didn’t. They are wearing cloth. Why? Cloth looks better. This is what I’m sayin’.
I switched entirely to cloth. I still had 3/4 of a case of Huggies I was planning to continue to use, switching back and forth. However, my often colicky high needs daughter was so happy the first time I put her in cloth, I never looked back. I ended up giving those diapers away to a friend!
Think about it, what would you rather wear?
Tips! Tips! Tips!
Okay, you say, that’s all great. They are cute and comfortable. They don’t leak. I’ll take your word for it. But — what do you do after the baby, you know, dirties them? First of all, forget the nasty wet pail of old. Dry pail is the way to go. A dry pail is a waterproof hanging bag or pail/hamper/dedicated garbage can. When the baby is young and not eating solids, you can just throw the diaper into the pail straight from the baby. When you have a load worth, just carry everything to the washing machine, dump everything in, throw your hanging pail wetbag in after, and wash away.
If your baby is eating solids, there may be an extra step. Still, I am here to tell you, my daughter is over two years old and I have never ever never put my hands in the toilet or wrung out a diaper sopping with toilet water. I never will, either.
For a long time I used flushable rice paper liners. I love, love, love them. You lay them in the diaper and when you change the baby, you carry the diaper to the potty, let the paper and everything on it slide beautifully into the toilet, and flush your cares away. If you don’t flush the liner, bonus — it is washable! You can re-use them several times before they finally fall apart, if you haven’t flushed them first.
The spatula solution!
I got lazy, however, and tired of putting the liners into her diapers. Also, her movements became more solid and easier to dump without the aid of the liner. I also figured I preferred for her bottom to be touching bamboo velour, not wet paper. So, I got myself a cheap one-piece spatula. I keep it in the bucket with the plunger under the bathroom sink. When I get a diaper that won’t just roll into the toilet, I take the spatula, scrape the diaper into the toilet, rinse the scraper in the toilet, wipe it off on the diaper or some toilet paper, and flush my cares away. I never touch the business end of the spatula, and I periodically spray it with disinfectant or wipe it with a Costco wipe. (Not environmentally friendly, but they are very effective!) I love the spatula solution. It suits my lazy personality lifestyle with four children and a business.
If you don’t have children yet, you may find this entire discussion revolting. However what you may not realize is when you become a parent, you have to deal with body fluids and wastes. Body fluids made you a parent, and body fluids will be part of your life for a very long time. Whether you use disposable diapers or cloth diapers, you will be dealing very closely with all of them. Your life will include lots of vomit, pee, poop, sweat, blood and tears. Why not deal with them the most effective way possible? I used to spend lots of time soaking baby clothes to remove baby poo stains. I have had to take carseats apart by the screws and wash entire beds of linens after blowouts. After I switched to cloth I actually had to remember to change my daughter’s clothes, because they didn’t get dirty any more. My laundry actually decreased!
“Why wouldn’t I cloth diaper?”
The only difference I can see between cloth diapering and disposable diapering, since I have done both, is disposables smell much worse due to the chemicals and perfumes contained in the diapers, cost more, always have to be budgeted for, leak, and have to be dragged to the curb once a week to add more garbage to the landfills. Cloth diapering allows me to breeze past the entire baby section of the store, thumbing my nose at all those companies who used to take all my money. Cloth diapering is more comfortable for my baby. I never run out of diapers. They are cuter, and thus more entertaining for me and now for my baby. She is old enough she has favorites and loves to choose the prints she wants. Cloth diapering is more environmentally friendly. Cloth diapering makes me feel self-sufficient and connected with my children and with the women who went before me. Even if all my cloth diapers are dirty, I know how to fold a t-shirt and use it as a diaper while I do the laundry. (I have never had to do this, but if I had to, I know I could!) Instead of dragging the diapers to the curb, I carry them to my washing machine. I don’t wash cloth diapers. My washing machine does. And it hasn’t complained yet!
After I learned about modern cloth diapering, and how it really works, my question went from, “Why cloth diaper?” to “Why wouldn’t I cloth diaper?” Honestly, my greatest regret is not learning about and using cloth sooner…
- written by Suzanne Atwood. via GoodMaMa Diapers