WHY on earth did I think this was so hard? I often find myself asking why people can't change and my conclusion is always "people are afraid to step out of their comfort zones."
So was the case for me and cloth diapers. I did gDiapers with little one #1, but never used the cloth. I refused to get into the science of washing cloth inserts (which soap? what temperature? where do I store them? etc) so I just used the biodegradable disposable liners. It was really easy and fool proof. I was determined to try cloth with our new baby and now that it's been a couple of weeks, I have to say I am SO happy we did.
For one, he's a major pooper. So not only are we saving money on diapers, we're not filling the landfills with tons of diapers that will hang out there for who knows how long really. The only thing I will say is that I'm not crazy about how much water we are using with the washing. And I wash a load of diapers every day or every other day. Consume water or create more pollution. Hmm... I'd opt for neither but I'm not about to exclusively EC my new baby. It's not that I'm not able but I certainly choose not to. I think with how much he eliminates, it would be messy, stressful and time consuming. So, cloth diapers it is.
I am so impressed with myself because I never thought I could do it. I thought there was too much to it. But here is what I do:
- I take a smaller sized wet bag with me for leaving the house and I have one big hanging one next to my washer/dryer (make sure they are washable and tumble dry-able). Both of my wet bags are from Planet Wise and I have an extra emergency small one from Bummis.
- I just throw diaper and liner in together into the wet bag when I change the baby and zip it up (odors don't come out of the bag thankfully).
- At the end of the day (or end of second day) when the bag is full, I use a glove to pull all the diapers out into the washer, turn the wet bag inside out so it gets all clean and then start the wash. For every load I use 5 soap nuts (I also hear a small amount of Biokleen or Rock'n Green work great too) and wash once on COLD and then do a HOT rinse to disinfect.
... and that's it! :) So easy. So, honestly, anyone can do it.
Here are some tips I've learned from some experience and from other mommas:
- if your diapers get really stained or start to have odor, strip them with Dawn liquid soap in a hot cycle (or two).
- after you've unsnapped/unhooked/unvelcroed the diaper, leave the diaper or liner on the baby until you;re ready to slip the next diaper on (ESP if you have a boy!)
- your daily wash could also be a COLD rinse then a HOT wash. I do the COLD wash and HOT rinse bc with gDiapers, I wash the plastic liners and diaper along with the inserts. The liners and diapers should avoid hot water washes. I use Bum Genius too and they shouldn't do hot either- warm at most.
- when prepping for first time wear, wash poly liners/separate from natural fibers. Polys only need one hot cycle. Natural fibers like cotton or hemp need 3-7 hot cycles to prep to make them really thirsty. After prep washing, you can wash poly liners and natural fiber liners together.
There are also a lot of different ways to combine your diapering. If you aren't committed to using cloth diapers exclusively, you can use cloth at home and disposable for traveling. Or you can use cloth during the day and disposable at night (I use disposables at night because I don't want me or my baby to wake up for every peepee and have to change it- that makes for very unnecessarily long nights... in my opinion). Either way, it's a lot less of a mess in our landfills to opt for cloth diapers even just part time.
I use gDiapers and Bum Genius. I just happened to like those the best, but there are a lot of great cloth diapers out there that make things easy and cost effective too for that added bonus :) If you have any questions, feel free to post. Cotton Babies is a great resource for cloth diapering accessories and answers, too.
Happy diapering to all you mommas!