Monday, August 23, 2010
How I Made Cloth Work for Me
Cloth diapers can be a tough adjustment for anyone, whether you started with your first child immediately or changed to cloth after using disposables. Our world is set up for quick, easy and disposable. Everything has been manufactured with convenience and ease of use nowadays, making the reduce, recycle, reuse concept difficult for the majority of society. However, like so many of the other changes I’ve made in my life to become a greener, more earth-friendly person, I’ve adapted quite easily to cloth. I’ll admit that in the beginning I was overwhelmed by information, methods and options, but very quickly cloth diapers became just a part of my daily routine, something I don’t have to think about, plan around or figure out. I have made cloth diapers work for me.
In the beginning I took an “all or nothing” approach. This quickly became very frustrating. I realized if I wanted to make this work I was going to have to embrace the parts that I loved and do away with certain aspects that made my daily routine more difficult. Cloth wipes made things difficult. For a lot of people they’re an easy no-brainer; for me they were a struggle. I loved the idea of them, but ran into several problems with my daughter and the diapers. My daughter has very sensitive skin so she reacted to every wipe solution I tried. I also found that the solutions left a bit of residue on her skin which, once it got on her diapers, caused some repelling issues. I didn’t like the idea of only using water. And I was still using disposable wipes for her messy poop diaper changes. In the end, I ditched the cloth wipes and my life (and cloth diapering) became a lot easier and worrisome. At first I considered it a defeat, but soon realized that whatever makes cloth diapers work for me is a victory.
Then, I was struggling to find “the perfect” diaper and frustrated when I would like the fit of one, but the look or absorbency or ease of use of another. Sounds silly, but if you’ve read my previous posts you know I’m all about simplicity and streamlining, and sorting those different inserts was just too much for me. For all of these reasons I determined that the plain ole microterry were the inserts for me. They are trim, absorbent and so easy to care for. I have now shelved my triple-fold Blueberry inserts and even my trusty, thin hemp for all microterry inserts. I can bleach them occasionally, I don’t have an extra step of sorting when stuffing and they make all of my diapers pretty trim under my daughter’s clothes. This simple insert change has made my routine work so well for me.
My diaper change and laundry routine now is such a snap, I’d argue that it’s easier than disposables. After a diaper change the diaper either gets thrown immediately into an open-top basket in my daughter’s room (just wet diapers) or I dump the contents into the toilet and throw the diaper into an identical basket in the bathroom. The open baskets mean no fumbling with a cover, no awful smell when I have to reach in on laundry day and no wet bags. Laundry day (every other, or even every third day) is incredibly simple with a streamlined, tried and tested routine.
When I began cloth diapering I thought I would like it and feel better about doing it both for my daughter and the environment, but I assumed and accepted that it was going to be harder and more work than disposables. However the day-to-day usage quickly became old hat. The diaper changes are easier because there’s no garbage bag to haul out and no stinky diapers to bring immediately outside to the garbage. Sure the laundry routine adds work, but I’ll take that over the constant back and forth of running out of diapers and schlepping big jumbo packs from the store on a weekly basis. I can honestly say that, much to my delight, I find cloth easier than disposables now that I’ve made them work for me.