The way of the cloth: One mom makes the switch to cloth diapers, comes out aheadIf you had asked me three years ago if I used cloth diapers for my son, I would have looked at you like you had alien antennae growing out of your forehead.
By: Carrie S. Brusven, Areavoices.com
If you had asked me three years ago if I used cloth diapers for my son, I would have looked at you like you had alien antennae growing out of your forehead.
My husband and I tried cloth diapers when Miles was a newborn, but we quickly gave up. Our second son, Simon, has very sensitive skin, so we had to give cloth diapers another shot.
And after four months, I can honestly say it really isn’t that bad. The reason I failed the first time around was a lack of knowledge and organization.
Although I could get over the idea of cleaning dirty diapers, I hadn’t really done my homework or taken the time to create an organized system to help me succeed. It’s taken us a few months to figure it out, but I can now say that using cloth diapers has become as second nature as using disposables.
Here are a few of the most important things I would pass on to other parents who are considering the leap to cloth:
1. Know your own habits and adjust your system to work with them.
For example, I know that my schedule is crazy busy and I hate doing laundry, so I will hate doing a load of diapers every night. So, I have accumulated enough diapers now to last us two days and two nights so I only have to wash a load every other night. I know other parents though, who would just as soon get them washed right away, so daily loads would work better for them. The “right way” is whatever works best for you.
2. Get a spray bottle. There are sprayers you can purchase that hook right to your toilet. We opted to use our sprayer in the laundry room utility sink, which is deeper than the toilet or a regular sink and there are no containment issues. Also, since the sink is right next to the washing machine, we can hose them down and BAM, into the wash they go. Done.
3. Trust the label on your detergent bottle — you don’t need to over-suds.
4. If you’re worried about asking your daycare provided to do cloth diapers — just ask! The worst they can say is “no.” You can handle that. And you might be surprised.
I was very nervous to ask our provider and there was no need to be — she was awesome and agreed to give it a try. Now, even she will tell you it’s not as bad as she thought it would be!
5. Get a wet bag for transporting diapers from daycare. Wet bags are just a little zippered cloth bag with a plastic material on the inside that keeps the bag waterproof.
They come in many different sizes, can be tossed right in the wash with your diapers and are usually dang cute!
6. Don’t use regular diaper rash creams — really. The diapers will lose their absorbency. If you need a cream, look for one that says it can be used with cloth diapers.
7. Talk to other parents who have used or are using cloth diapers. Their advice and experience is invaluable.
Carrie Brusven is an Independent Green Irene Eco-Consultant based out of Moorhead and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.