Remember those lovely days when your baby was still exclusively breast fed and his or her poop didn’t really stink? Remember when washing your baby’s diapers was no biggie at all because you just stuck the whole shootin’ match in the washer and didn’t worry about getting any solids off first? Those were the good old days, huh? It reminds me a little bit of how newborns act all sleepy and cuddly for the first few days, to lull you into thinking that this is going to be an easy baby to care for… and then a few days or weeks later, they wake up into their collicky selves! Newborns are sneaky for sort of reeling you in with all that cute, sleepy, easy-poop stuff. And then bam! A few months later you still haven’t gotten more than three hours of sleep at a time and then a few months after that, comes “The Big Change” in their diapers.
Gone forever are the easy days of poop that doesn’t smell that bad and doesn’t need any special treatment before washing. But, in my opinion, what is worse than the poo smell (which is basically gone after you finagle the monster down the toilet) are the ammonia fumes that arise from older baby or toddler urine. It’s standard to wash diapers every other day; and somehow diapers that were just an easy “pee-pee diapey” yesterday have marinated together with all the others in the pail into a knock-out force of collective ammonia fumes when you go to put them in the washer.
This was when laundry day became a real challenge to me. And not me only… cajoling/guilting daddy into putting the diapers in the wash was like, “fuhgettaboutit.”
And then the real kicker came – first trimester pregnancy smell sensitivity! Holy cow, let me tell you what. Thank heavens there was an exterior door in our laundry room. I would take a huge inhale, frantically unstuff and throw into the machine as many diapers as I could before passing out, stumble out the door, gasp a few deep recovery breaths, retch a few times, and then repeat the process until all the diapers were in the wash. The first trimester nose is no joke, man. It’s a killer!
Then I thought, “Surely there must be a way to make this easier.” (Cue lightbulb above head and angelic choir singing, “Ahhhh!” in the distance.) Why don’t I just pull out the insert right when I change the diaper and then I can just dump the bag in the machine and run?! It sounds like, “Duh. Why didn’t I think of it before?” And I’m sure that’s what many of you already do and are thinking about me right now! However, for me it has been the number one game changer in the laundry department. It took a few rounds before dad got into the new routine of pulling out the insert (you know, you have to touch something wet with pee and it takes .5 seconds longer) but now he’ll put the diapers in the wash without complaint! And that is worth a lot to me!
So the new routine is: Start the washer. Take a deep breath and hold. Quickly dump out bag and turn inside out before adding that too. Shut washer and exit room before running out of air! Take a deep breath in and congratulate yourself that you have made this process a LOT easier on yourself and your pregnant nose.