I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. I have a diaper sprayer, but I don’t use it! I know, I know. I do agree that the diaper sprayer is one of the best inventions in cloth diaper care. It truly does rinse all the nasties off without you having to resort to unpleasant maneuvers such as the “dunk and swish”. But alas, my sprayer hangs forlornly on the side of the toilet, unused for weeks. Let me tell you my story…
Back when my gorgeous 6 month old was only a wish in my heart, I decided that I would cloth diaper my children. It just seemed like the most health conscious, environmentally friendly, economical thing to do. My husband, being the laid back man than he is, agreed wholeheartedly. So, when after years of infertility, our son was born prematurely, it was a shock to me that he wouldn’t fit into any of the millions (it felt like) of Bumgenius, Fuzzibunz, and Smartipants diapers that I had stocked up on. Plus, he was in the NICU, and it was all too overwhelming…the nurses changed him more than we did. So, we fell into using disposables.
When we brought our son home we continued using the disposables until one day, at nearly 2 months old, I realized that the Bumgenius organic AIO fit! I was so excited; I could finally switch to the cloth diapers and wipes I had so lovingly bought for my son. But, I was worried about one thing. The poop.
You see, back when I had decided to cloth diaper I had never had a baby before, much less changed a poopy diaper. I didn’t know what baby poop was like. That is oozed into places it had no business being. That it could be runny, or chunky, or stick to the butt cheeks like tar on a runway. That it could be so explosive and a little 10 lb. baby could produce so much! But I was determined; so on we went with the switch to cloth!
Now, for the first few weeks I was an excellent cloth diaperer. I would change my son’s diaper and then place him in the crib to stare at his mobile while I would diligently employ my diaper sprayer to clean every spot of poo off of his diaper. I would, fearful of stains, run that sprayer until I was sure I had used up an entire body of water somewhere nearby. And my diaper would still have poo streaks (of course the washing machine would remedy this) and would be sopping wet.As my son got older, more mobile and less content to sit in his crib after a diaper change (or even get his diaper changed, for that matter!) I noticed a terrible trend. Instead of spraying my diapers after each use, I would set the dirty diaper on the counter in the bathroom, vowing to spray it off later and put it in the diaper pail. A day would go by, and there would be 8 diapers, 10 diapers, 12 diapers. The piles were getting out of hand, but I was consumed with motherhood, and any free moment I used to take a shower, not spray diapers.
One fateful day, I opened my diaper drawer and realized I was down to my last two cloth diapers. My son was fussy, I had a scratch in my throat that I was praying would not turn into a cold, and I desperately wanted to put a lasagna in the over before my husband got home. I bemoaned that fact that I was a cloth diaperer. Oh how easy it would be to just grab a disposable! I knew I had to wash my diapers- and quick- but upon opening the bathroom door to retrieve the diaper pail I was greeted by mountains of unsprayed, dirty diapers. How in the world had I let so many build up without spraying them off!? In a moment of desperation I just threw all the diapers into the wash, unsprayed, full of days old poop, praying everything would turn out OK. I was on the verge of giving up the whole cloth diapering idea. But, to my surprise, the diapers were spotless! In fact, this desperation wash attempt went so well that I began to wonder why in the world I was spending all this time spraying diapers. My Rockin’ Green and wash routine was ensuring that the dirty, poopy diapers came out just as clean.
So, that is how I became a lazy cloth diaperer. How my diaper sprayer has gone unused for weeks and weeks. When I change a diaper, whether wet or poopy, into the pail it goes, no spraying at all. For my top loader I use a 15 minute cold rinse cycle with 1 scoop of Rockin’ green, then a full hot wash cycle with 2 scoops of Rockin’ Green, then an extra rinse. The diapers are perfect every time. Occasionally I do get stains, just like I did when I was religiously spraying my diapers, but I just set them out in the sun and they whiten right up.
Once my son starts solids I know everything will change. We’ll be dealing with another type of dirty diaper all together. But, if you’re thinking about cloth diapering your newborn, and you are worried about poop, like I was, take it from me: you really can just put it in the washing machine and get clean diapers. It sure has saved me a lot of time, and restarted my love affair with cloth diapers. Plus, I have more time to spend with my adorable son, and who wouldn’t want that?