Thursday, May 14, 2009

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Back to Work I Go

My little man was 5 months old when I went back to work and I was not ready to leave him. At the time, I was questioning how to manage cloth diapers and washing them myself (along with the pressures and requirements of working full time and being a mom). When he started in day care I had 22 pocket diapers in use, while on maternity leave this was plenty. I washed them every other day and had the schedule down pat. While interviewing day care provides, I always asked the very important question, "Do you mind using cloth diapers?" The woman that we chose was so excited to learn that we were using mainly BumGenius because that's what she was thinking about using for her baby (due in July). She was excited to have a "trial run" with cloth on our baby. After a week back at work, and continuing to wash diapers every other day, I was exhausted. My husband suggested that we get new diapers and I was able to get 6 new BumGenius! It was such a relief.

Our routine is as follows: at night I pack the baby's bag for day care, he get 5 or 6 diapers and multiple flannel wipes. In the morning, my husband or I change the incredibly full nighttime diaper (typically it is a Fuzzi Bunz stuffed with a prefold wrapped around an insert). During the day he wears BumGenius, Haute Pockets, and Happy Heinys with only one insert.

When I realize that there are 6 or less diapers in the closet, I start the laundry. I generally start the diapers in the afternoon/evening. I do two loads, (one cold, one hot) and then put all of the inserts and wipes in the dryer. The diapers are hung to dry on a rack in the laundry room. When everything is dry, we put everything on a chair in the living room and in the morning or at some free point during the next day we re-stuff the diapers and start the process over again.

This has worked out well for us, we currently have 33 diapers in use and are able to wash them every 2-3 days. I thought that I would have more of a schedule (such as every Sunday and Wednesday), but it hasn't worked out that way. We have found that some days he needs to be changed more frequently than others and that there isn't really a true pattern to this. I also realized that although the task seemed daunting (washing diapers and working full time), I could do it (with the help of hubby) and that it is well worthwhile.


- by Becky D.

34 comments:

Brittany said...

Congratulations on conquering cloth diapering while working! It sounds like you have a great system.

Montana Mama said...

that's really neat that your hubby is so helpful!

Upstatemomof3 said...

I find that the whole cloth diapering schedule is easier than I ever thought it would be. No one is ever ready to leave their baby - no mateer how long they wait. :)

KayStarGoesRawr said...

Wow!! Good job! You're doing the best you can for your baby! I've heard of day cares who feel cloth diapers are unsanitary. :( Glad you found a good one.

Amanda said...

That's wonderful that you found a care provider who is interested in CD'ing her own baby and that she was enthusiastic about it.

Amanda G.

Sara said...

That seems like a lot of work, but not anymore than running to the store all of the time to buy disposables!! Do you spray off your wipes? (I am not using them yet and really need to get on that!)

Derek said...

Awesome, I love the system you have going. I def. need to get one of those drying racks too!

Gwenn

TheClothDiaperWhisperer said...

That is so great that you found a daycare that will use cloth diapers. I am hoping with the "green" movement and the state of the economy that more daycare's will be willing to use cloth.

Sara in Seattle said...

it's great that you were able to find a daycare provider who would use cloth and have such a helpful hubby. Great job!

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

Congrats on getting it done. CD'ing is much easier than I ever thought it would be and I LOVE it!! You are doing a great job!!

Ashley said...

I can't imagine going back to work, good for you!

Glad you worked out a system too! Cloth diapering is pretty easy.

momof3munchkins said...

Sounds like a great system for you! Glad you could find a daycare willing to use cloth!

Fertilized said...

I think it is awesome that you found a daycare that will use cloth diapers. What a huge blessing. Congrats on getting your system down. Extra points for getting your husband invovled

Anna said...

Way to go! Most mamas don't want to bother with cloth when going back to work - it's so great to hear that you've stuck with it!

coconuts said...

What are the diapers on the door (I believe) hanging in? Does it hold many? Cloth seems to eat up some serious drawer space and your holder seems great.

Kim said...

Good for you! That is an encouraging post to show that cloth isn't just for SAHMs. Awesome that you found childcare that supports your choices.

Talina said...

I love hearing about how each mama's diaper schedule works. I was wondering why you air dry the diapers and put the inserts in the dryer though. Just curious.

Andrea said...

I hate it when I have a system down pat and then it has to be changed, especially something as potentially complicated as a wash routine! Not looking forward to starting solids at all.

Kelly M said...

Great job with keeping up with it all. I don't work outside the house and still have trouble keeping up with it all the time. I am thankful to have a ton of prefolds to fall back on if I get too far behind.

Nikki said...

Awesome! :) We're using a service right now for our diapers, but I'm seriously considering switching to doing them ourselves, but the task of doing laundry and working is daunting! So glad you have a helpful hubby and that it's working out for you! Should you not put the BG diapers in the dryer???

Tiffany said...

Your experience was really encouraging - I hope I'm able to be as organized and diligent as you are when my little one arrives and I'm CDing (I'm a first timer).

Becky said...

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the encouragement and support!

Sara-- I actually just put the wipes in the wash with the diapers. We use California Baby Diaper Area Wash as our "wipe solution".

Kelly-- I really hope that as we get "greener" larger daycare centers will also allow cloth diapers. I am bummed that this summer (while the daycare provider is on maternity leave) I'll have to get disposables for him.

Erin said...

Finally another Mom working full time and cloth diapering! Everyone thinks I am crazy, but it is so much easier to wash at home and spend that little extra time with baby, opposed to stopping at the store on my way home to buy more diapers, not to mention taking the trash off too!

Kimberly said...

That is awesome you found a daycare willing to use cloth! I know several people who can't use cloth full time because daycare won't allow it.

Nikki said...

As a daycare provider myself, it seems strange to me that so many don't allow the use of cloth diapers. It's really NO extra work for the provider. I think it's just a matter of education and information sharing. Congrats on finding such a good fit for taking care of your little guy!

Cooke Family said...

Thank you for sharing your "system". I'm new to CDing and love all of the helpful hints.

Becky said...

Coconuts-- On the closet door, is a basic over the door organizer, it has 4 pockets and I can hold about 6 diapers in each pocket... sometimes I make it to 30 in there, depends on the day and the wash schedule :)

Nikki & Talina-- I let my diapers air dry to attempt to preserve the PUL and the elastic in the legs. Not sure if it's helping, but I figure it's something!! Plus the I can move the whole rack out into the sun, when it's warm! The inserts do well in the dryer.

The top picture is my son, wearing the HUGE nighttime Fuzzibun. :)

wifeandmom said...

Yeah for you that you can use cloth even at daycare. I LOVE how you hang your dipes on the drying rack. I do too! It really helps prolong the life of those beautiful diapers and saves energy too. I hang mine overnight and then fluff all in the morning on warm for 20 minutes or so and they are good to go. It softens and fluffs up the prefolds, inserts and doublers and gets the sticky tabs working great on the PUL covers with velcro tabs.

Tarah said...

look at all that beautiful cloth hanging to dry... you can't fully appreciate it until you cloth diaper yourself, can you? ;)

Stacey Ho said...

This is a great reality check. I'll be a mom of 2 trying this while working (only 1 in diapers). I am realizing I will need more diapers than some but willing to try. Still laundry during the week isn't exactly my specialty right now.

I'm also intersted in your hanging system.

Jenny and Gary said...

So true, it is very worthwhile, good for you for making it work. I use a clothes airer as well, I think it does help keep the covers looking new.

Heather M said...

Sounds like you have a good system going on! Thanks for sharing!

ONCE upon a time.... said...

I can't say enough how incredibly lucky you are to have found a daycare that will use your cloth diapers! I'm assuming from your wording that it is an in-home daycare though, and we go to a center that will not consider using our cloth. Very disappointing. Everything you said echoes my experience as a working mom, too--but you have a much larger stash than i do! Congrats on balancing the whole working mom challenge! You sound very at peace with it and that's important for your health and health of baby! :) ~camille

Melanie said...

I started cloth diapering after I had already returned to work. My coworkers are shocked, they can't believe that I would put that much extra 'work' on myself. Really I don't think that it is that much more work than before. An extra load of laundry here or there really isn't as much 'work' as some might think.