Monday, April 18, 2011
Cloth Diapering in a Third World Country
I had been cloth diapering since my son Gideon was a couple months old so I decided when were planning our trip that I would be taking my cloth diapers with me. I had tried to find out as much information as I could before we traveled to Guyana about what the people of the country do with diapering and asked people who had been before but nobody knew. However I did discover that most of the trash was put into their local river and that played a big part in my not wanting to add my diapers to the river trash! So I packed my 20 bumgenius diapers and disposable wipes (this was before I switched to cloth wipes). Boy did they take up a lot of room in our two suitcases, but it was worth it to me.
When we arrived in Guyana we were there during the rainy season, meaning that pretty much everyday you could expect at least one torrential down pour. In addition to that Guyana is very, very hot! So that makes for very humid weather. I remember a couple days after we got there, we were at a family’s house that had a baby about my son’s age and I asked what they did for diapers. She told me that they did pampers and it would only take me a couple days before I would go buy some disposable ones too because my diapers would never dry. I of course told her that they would dry fine and I’m sure she thought I was just a crazy foreigner.
A couple days after we arrived in Guyana I decided it was time to give washing my cloth diapers a try. It was definitely not easy and it was a long process. The way you get water where we were staying was from a great big tank, that was on a tower to the side of your house, water came through little pipes to your “shower” and the kitchen sink. Sometimes it was warm since the temperatures were so high but you definitely didn’t get hot water. So not having the resources of a washer in Guyana I had to do my best with what I had. First I boiled a pot of hot water and placed all my rinsed diapers in a big tub. Then I placed some diaper detergent on the diapers and poured the boiling hot water on top of them. Then I “stirred” them the best I could with a stick and left them to soak till the water wasn’t so hot. Then I would take them out one at a time and scrub and rinse them with the cold running water. Then I would do my very best to wring as much water out as I could before taking my basket of diapers outside to the clothesline to dry.