Thursday, April 8, 2010

Like Tweet

Lessons Learned...One Oops at a Time

When I researched cloth diapers for our second child, I thought the hardest part would deciding what to buy. After decided on mostly pockets diapers and after using them, I anticipated the worst part would be staying on top of the laundry.
However, the biggest challenges came when both my husband and I were working full tome when our daughter was 6 months old. I've figured out a lot about working full time and cloth diapering, one lesson at time.

Lesson 1 - I didn’t have all day to wash and dry the diapers anymore. I didn’t want to lose time with my family, so just figured I’d do it all after the kids were in bed. But after a couple mornings of inserts still damp and some frantic stuffing after a turn in the dryer made me realize I needed to start the wash a little earlier and finish the process once the kids were asleep. Hang drying the pockets and wraps and throwing the inserts in the dryer helped too.

Lesson 2 - Taking diapers every day instead of a big package of disposables means a little more planning. Rushing to do it in the morning was just adding stress to an already busy time. Putting them in the daycare bag the night before as part of the bedtime routine only takes a minute.

Lesson 3 - Paying attention to my clean diaper stash saves me from the moment of staring at an empty basket while trying to pack that bag at bedtime and then having to rush to stuff the next morning on top of the rest of the morning routine.

Lesson 4 - It’s best to empty the wet bag soon after I get home and a diaper sprayer is a very nice thing to have for that process. Messy diapers do not get better with time and when they’ve been sitting in a wrapped up diaper, a sprayer can be very helpful at making the clean up go much faster.

Lesson 5 - It’s nice to have more than one wet bag. It always seemed to get soiled the first day after I did a diaper load and didn’t have quite enough for another load yet. Now, if that happens, I have a back up. Even when I don’t need the second one, I like alternating them to give them each time to air out.

Lesson 6 - A slightly larger stash than I had when I was home full time really helps save some time now. I can do diaper laundry every three days and still have a day’s diapers ready to go while I’m washing.

Lesson 7 - Leaving the diapers on the drying rack in reach of my darling daughter will result in nice clean diapers on the floor. Now, I try to make sure the rack is not in the room we are during the evening so I can save stuffing until the kids are in bed.

Cloth diapering while working full time outside the home is very doable. More than 6 months in and things are pretty smooth. It’s all about getting a good routine down and saving time where you can. Laughing at the bumps along the way helps too.

By Cari D.

8 comments:

Jill said...

It will get easier, your baby will use fewer diapers here in a couple of months, so you'll slow down on the frantic washing! This was a fun post and a cute picture!

gnatalie said...

Great blog. I work outside the home too, and we're making it work. Adding some more diapers helped us too and we do laundry every 3rd now. I always back the diaper bag the night before too, because there is enough madness trying to get out the door every morning. I've only been back to work for 9 weeks, but I also declare it as a very doable task :)

Meg said...

great tips!!! thanks!

Alycia said...

What a cute little girl :-) Great post- really hits on the realities of CD'ing while working full time but shows that it can be done!!

Tricia said...

Love the tips! I am going back to work Monday *tear*. I have been thinking about these logistics. I am worried I will need to wash daily since I only have 10 pockets (we also use prefolds but won't be sending those with her). We have a dozen medium fuzzi bunz but she is just over 12 pounds and not yet in those.

Julia said...

This is so encouraging to read! I'm home on maternity leave right now just starting cloth diapering but will return to work full time outside of the home. It's rare to hear about anyone CD'ing while working full time outside of home, and NOT using a diapering service so thank you!

Cari said...

Thanks all :).

@Tricia - We had about 12 pockets for daytime when I first started back to work and I was washing every two days with the frantic morning stuffing I mentioned :). We ended up buying a day pack of flips and I'd send one or two of those with her with the liner already in and daycare would use them just like the pockets which really helped give me time between washings. Could you do that with a prefold and cover? (My prefold knowledge is limited, but I know a friend who uses them inside snug covers without using snappis or anything.)

SAPsMaMa said...

This sounds so much like us! I purchased an extra 6 diapers so we'd have plenty for daycare, but we are always running outta cloth wipes so I have to sew more, but no time! One of us always takes care of dirty diapers at bed time while the other gets daughter ready for bed, and we trade off. extra wet bags are wonderful! Looks like you learned all the major points!