Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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Working out of the home & cloth diapering

When I first announced I was going to be cloth diapering and NOT using a diaper service, I was met with incredulous looks and persuasive arguments about why it was a bad idea to pursue cloth diapering on my own. We have a business based out of house, and so time is a premium, and I was warned that with a newborn life was about to change drastically.

Well, the baby definitely changed things, but cloth diapering hasn't added to my workload at all! With a simple system, I hardly notice any added work in my day due to cloth diapering.

The main "knock" against cloth diapering that outsiders will bring up is the laundry aspect. In order to limit the amount of time I spend laundering, I think it's essential for work-at-home moms to buy enough diapers to have a solid stash. I bought enough that I only have to launder diapers about twice a week. For me, time is money, and even more importantly, I'd rather be spending my precious non-working hours enjoying our family and not laundering. To me, it is well worth the investment to buy an extra day or two's worth of diapers.

I always launder on Sundays, and then usually once in the middle of the week, either on Wednesday or Thursday depending on how things are going. Since my "whitest whites" cycle that I use on my washer takes awhile, I try to empty out my pail liner into the washer before I leave for church on Sundays and start the load, and then they're ready to switch to the dryer when I arrive home. I try to get them all put away promptly so that I don't end up having to dig through a laundry basket for wipes and diapers later. During the week, I have a similar routine; I try to take advantage of time that I know will be tied up elsewhere (either in work projects or before lunchtime, etc.) by loading the washer or dryer up so that I am killing two birds with one stone. On sunny days I'll hang the diapers up outside to get out any stains. Often baby Grace will ride in her baby carrier while I get her diapers ready.

When I'm putting diapers away, I prepare my drawers with diapers and then also a "downstairs basket" that I keep near our office. The downstairs basket is loaded with our favorite diapers (usually BumGenius all-in-ones!), cloth wipes, and a waterproof changing pad so that I don't have to constantly run up and down the stairs to change the baby. This helps keep me "on task" so that I can get my work done faster and still have my baby clean and freshly changed throughout the day.

With a little planning and a lot of diapers, cloth diapering and working at home can both be accomplished seamlessly and stress-free!
- By Sara A.

29 comments:

Upstatemomof3 said...

I know exactly what you mean!!! But that means more laundry was the first objection from my MIL. I find that since I am washing the diapers twice a week I keep more on top of all the laundry

MaryAnne said...

Cloth diapering really isn't that much extra work - especially if you have a good stash built up. We love bumgenius dipes at our house too.

Love your photos - so sweet!

Ally said...

Sounds like you have a great system, wonderful post! =)

Bruce, Brandi and Brinley said...

Does anyone know where I can find that nifty clothes hanger that is in the bottom picture. We live in a small two-bedroom apartment and I like to air-dry my diapers too. That would be perfect! Thanks in advance!

Lauren said...

I think having a system is essential for stress-free cloth diapering!

TheCraftyQueen said...

Cloth diapering while working, either in or out of the home, is entirely possible! I cloth diapered both my first and now my second child while working 30 hours a week outside of the home. You are entirely correct in that good laundry technique is where it's at. Start your load so that you won't be wasting time. Let the machine do the work while you do other things! A big thumbs up for all working mamas who CD!

Cari C said...

Oh I like your little clothesline thingy! I bet I could get away with that! My HOA won't allow other types of clotheslines. :(
Great post too. Thanks!

Denise said...

What is the thing your diapers are hung outside on called? That looks so cool!

dannyscotland said...

Doing cloth diaper laundry isn't a big deal for me, either. I actually like doing it because it means my favorite diapers can be used again! Plus, really the only thing that takes any time is putting them into the washer or dryer, and then putting them away. I just wash when I have a moment, and I don't worry about when I transfer them to the dryer--I do it when I can.

Mommy Melee said...

I use that exact same laundry hanger from Ikea!

brookiellen said...

what is that awesome little hanging apparatus for drying diapers outside??

Katie said...

What a sweet little lady! And I *love* your gadget for hanging diapers outside - where did you find that??

The Soldatke family said...

Great ideas!!

Hannah said...

Thanks for the encouragement/advice. I decided to cloth diaper even before becoming pregnant and just very recently made the decision to return to work (outside the home) part-time. I will try to build my stash up to where I don't HAVE to do laundry every other day.

AScott said...

I see alot of tips about minimizing the hassle of running up and down stairs, I guess I'm glad I have a one story home. =P

I have enough diapers to do them ever other day....what is that thing you have them hanging up on outside?? I havn't been able to hang mine outside since I have nowhere to hang them.

Amanda said...

If I lived in a home w/ stairs that's the only way I would do it...changing station upstairs and down. :)

Amanda G.

A Psych Mommy said...

I ge the laundry questions all the time--I work almost full time and really, a couple of extra loads really isn't that much!

*~*a.l.s*~* said...

i, too, want to know what that hanging thingy is! it looks awesome!!!

Sara in Seattle said...

the hanger is from Ikea, as someone else mentioned. It's less than $5 and so handy, even for hanging things in the bathroom or laundry room!

Tiffany said...

I love reading other people's tips and suggestions. Thanks for sharing! =)

Cari C said...

Thanks MommyMelee! Found it on the Ikea website!
It's called: JABBA Hanging dryer with 16 clothes clips $4.99
Wow - less than $5 - SOLD!
Here is a link if anybody wants it: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80124638

Liz said...

I too, love that hanging dryer! I just use a clothesrack but I know its just a matter of time when I get fined from the HOA.

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

Great post!! Sounds like you have a great system in place!!

By-the-way, I love the hanging thing (I am so technical I know). Where can I find one of those? Our apartment complex won't let people have a line anymore, but something like that I could do.

Thanks for a great post!!

Serena said...

For those who've asked what the nifty little thing is used to hang the diapers - it's a hanging dryer from Ikea:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80124638

Anna said...

I do laundry just twice a week too...seems like "too much laundry" is always the biggest objection from others, but it's really not bad.

Key West Girl said...

I love the downstairs diapers basket idea! I usually keep a couple diapers near the baby as well as the other stuff to cut down on trips to her room.=)

Ashley said...

Moms like you are proof that cloth diapering isn't as hard as people say! Very niceee.

Brittany said...

Luckly my family has been supportive of CDing, but I was actually worried about the extra laundry.

It sounds like your system has really made it easier for you!

Sarah Halter said...

I guess what I don't understand about the "I don't have time" comment is how doing a few extra loads of laundry is that much different than making extra trips to the store for disposables and wipes. I know most people pick them up when they're running errands anyway, but I'm pretty sure I would be going to the store more often if I were buying diapers regularly. Besides, just about everybody using disposables has made emergency runs to the store when they're about to run out. You also have to spend time hauling the trash out more often!