Let's face it. Cloth diapering, full or part time, takes time and energy. Before you even begin cloth diapering, I bet you have spent countless hours browsing online about which diapers are the best, which detergents are the best, what accessories you will need, and just what do you do with a dirty cloth diaper anyway? Once you receive your fresh stash of fluff, you will feel them, smell them, mess with the snaps or hook and loop, adjust the sizes, try out a snappi and prefold and imagine your little one wearing them. Then, you have to give them the first of many, many, washes!
Here comes the time part. The part that I always seem to dread and put off as long as I can, because reality is... it is much easier to just take off a sposie and toss it in the trash- you never have to see, touch, think, or worry about it again! But, since we have chosen to go down the fun and cute (not to mention cheaper and better for the environment) path, we have loads of lovely smelling diaper laundry, that nobody better ever throw away!
With all of the rinsing, washing, soaking, stripping, drying, sun drying, fluffing, adjusting, and stuffing we do, it's easy to get burnt out on cloth diapering and want to pick up a pack of disposables just for a short break. Oh I have been there, and I did that. So how do I continue to care for my diapers and everything it involves, without getting burnt out or just plain tired of doing it? For one, have a good size stash. The more diapers you have, the more time you have in between washes. Spend the money on a good detergent. Don't waste your time and energy on free and clears, regular detergents and detergents just because they are cheaper. It is worth the splurge for the more expensive detergent made for cloth diapers, trust me on this. I have slaved over diapers filled with smell and build up, and ruined a batch or two with bad detergent as well! That is a big time/energy saver. You know how sometimes you have to rinse your diapers a gazillion times? I skip all the rinses, and go for more full washes (without detergent). For example, I use to rinse my diapers 5-6 times to get them extra clean and remove any build up. Now, I just run the regular hot water wash twice after they go through with detergent. It equals out to do the work of six or so rinses. Faster, and I don't have to keep remembering to go back and run another rinse, and another, and another. Stuff and fluff right out of the dryer (or off the line), so they are ready for use right away. When I leave them in a basket or in the dryer because I'm pressed for time that day, I end up having to run and stuff a diaper on demand- big pain! One more thing- take the inserts out of the dirty diaper before you put them in the wet bag or pail. Loading 2-3 day old dirty diapers into the washer is no fun, don't make it worse by having to pull out 2-3 day old dirty inserts before you put them in the wash.
These things have worked for me, and if all else fails - just remember why your cloth diapering in the first place, it is worth the time and energy it takes!
Shay is a stay at home mom of three little girls, a soon-to-be foster mom, and a regular TCDW blog contributor. When she's not homeschooling, changing diapers, or snapping pictures, she spends time blogging about their journey into the foster care system, family, cloth diapering, and raising kids. You can follow along at http://www.busybudgetmom.blogspot.com