No, it’s not hard and no, I don’t scrub nasty diapers all day. The laundry isn’t time-consuming and it’s so much easier than I imagined.
For me, using cloth diapers started as a passing thought, and grew over several months. It cropped up as I carried a putrid plastic bag full of disposable diapers and wipes out to the garbage can. It reared up when I stood in a checkout line, ready to fork over $50 for another box of brand-name disposables. It nudged me as my son battled diaper rashes every few weeks, which in turn caused me to buy more diaper cream to treat it. It popped into my head as we reviewed our monthly budget, looking for ways to cut our expenses.
When you think about it, every disposable diaper used is money straight into the garbage can. It’s hard to find information about what’s really in disposable diapers and how it might harm our children in the long run. They are slimmer than ever, and urine turns into a gel upon contact with … something inside the lining. The ultra-absorbancy, through the magic of chemistry, is designed for the convenience of parents, so they can go as many hours as possible without changing a diaper. Keeping my children healthy and being a good steward of the environment ranks much higher on my priority list than stretching out the hours between diaper changes.
I was afraid that my son’s room would stink with cloth diapers in the pail, and I bought a special room spray in anticipation of that. Surprisingly, due to flushing solids and washing every two days, his room smells less like a dirty diaper than it did before the switch. Our large garbage can in the garage no longer holds 3-4 bags of dirty diapers leading up to garbage day, eliminating the horrible stench that used to escape when the lid was lifted.
I don’t have a huge stash of cloth diapers for two reasons: a) I wanted to try out a few types to see what works best, and b) I don’t want a big pile-up of stinky diapers in the pail. I have eight prefolds, three covers, one fitted, three all-in-ones and eight pocket diapers. The two types of pocket diapers I use are FuzziBunz and bumGenius. I thought I would like the AIO more, but they take too long to dry. FuzziBunz are by far my favorite. Prefolds are surprisingly easy to use with a Snappi, and I love the fun covers.
My son goes to daycare two days a week, and his center has been very supportive of using the cloth diapers. I send five pocket diapers in a clean pail liner each day with him, and I add a flushable liner (LOVE these!) to each diaper. I never have to worry about running out of diapers at home or at daycare, I don’t have to search for coupons and I don’t have to factor diapers into my budget anymore.
The most surprising thing for me has been that cloth diapers do not leak. I’m sure some kinds do, but so far, I’ve never had a leak – day or night. When my son was in disposables, we had to buy the expensive “overnight” diapers and he still woke up with a wet stomach every morning.
Many of my friends are expecting babies, and I’m trying to talk each of them into using cloth diapers. I wish I had done it years ago.
– By Kristin