Written by: Deanna.
Cloth diapers: soft, plush, fuzzy, wooly, patterned, fleecy, bright, fresh, and…clean!
For many parents, the first moment with a brand new cloth diaper involves an interaction unique to the diapering world. There’s a pause, a lingering glance, a reaching hand, and then, that soft inner lining is brought up to the cheek and…snuggled! “Feel how soft they are!” she gushes. “Whoa…they’re really…fluffy” he murmurs. Another caress, a shared glance, and they’re filling their basket with visions of plush little bummies on their perfect little babes.
But there’s a dirty truth in the diaper world.
Cloth diapers, as cozy and snuggable as they may be, are still…diapers! They soak up the wet stuff, they collect the’other’, and before long those giddy parents are opening up a package that they want to keep far from any caress!
Well thanks to the fabulous array of materials and the wonders of modern laundry machines, cleaning up after a diaper change isn’t near as messy, unpleasant, or daunting as it could be. In fact, the soft and snuggly interior that initially drew you in can actually last through many washes and many wearers.
First, establish your hardware. In our family we use one stainless steel garbage can as our diaper can. It has a removable and washable bucket inside, a foot pedal, is easily freshened, and doesn’t look out of place in the bedroom or the bathroom. Other cloth diapering peers have used fabric laundry bins and find that even without lids there’s generally no obtrusive odor. Others employ a second, smaller, can for covers that require different laundering, such as wool covers.
Next, decide on a system that works for your unique family. In our gang, we find that it’s best to deal with soiled dipes as soon as possible. When wet, we pull the inserts (lately we’ve been using a lot of pocket models), fold them inside the cover, and toss into the can. If using a multi-use cover, I do a quick check for excess moisture or smell, and either toss into the can or drape on the designated closet rod for a bit of air before the next use. Finally, if the change reveals a more ‘productive package’, we shake or scrape the solids into the toilet, then do the same steps as with a wet one.
Finally, options. Certain diaper wearers or certain stages of diapering such as the transition from milk to solids, produce some intriguing diaper contents (for lack of a better term….). During these days, purchasing some bio liners or testing out a ‘hybrid model’ can get you through with a bit more ease. Further, employing a toilet-attached diaper sprayer can make the whole process that much easier, tidier, and consistent, right through to the potty-learning days.
A beautiful thing about cloth diapers is that what you see really is what you get. That absorbent wool, that plush bamboo, that snuggable fleece, that soakable cotton: it’s here to stay! Our family’s diaper stash is nearing four years old. As we near the arrival of our third baby-bottom, we have yet to discard, bleach, or repair them. Now that is good value!
So go ahead, get dirty!
Wear them! Wash them! Use them again and again and enjoy one of the most fashionable, environmentally-conscious, and budget- friendly waste management options available to families today.