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.