I had some great responses and questions to my previous cloth diaper post. I’ll answer some more questions in a future post, but first I wanted to address our routine. Lots of people seem to say they can’t get into cloth diapering because they can’t get over the idea that it’s too much work or takes too much time. So how does an average day or average week look for us?
Cloth diapers do need to be changed more frequently–because they aren’t filled with the chemicals that disposables are that make them super absorbent. When we first started, I’ll admit I was like, “ugh, really?” But I promise it’s not that bad. You got used to changing disposables, right? You get used to changing cloth. Besides, they’re cuter so it’s more fun.
We get up in the morning and change Ryan’s diaper. This is when he usually poops (yep, once a day, in the mornings). We haven’t had a problem at all with poop in cloth diapers. So during a change: we take Ryan to the changing table where all his cloth diapers are, unsnap and remove the dirty one, grab a cloth wipe to clean him up, then throw the whole thing (diaper + wipe(s)) in our pail. We just use the same old Diaper Champ that we used to use for the disposables. It has a wet bag in it… you can just use a garbage bag or plastic bag, but the great thing about the wet bag is that you can throw it in the wash with the diapers–just grab the entire bag at laundry time and dump it all in.
I’d say we wash our cloth diapers every other day, but that’s because we don’t have a full stash. I think we maybe have 12? That’s about a half-stash. With a few more, we can probably cut down to washing the diapers twice a week.
Washing routine: sometimes I run a rinse cycle first, but not always. Depends on my mood, haha. Or if there are some especially poopy diapers that may have been sitting awhile… I run a cold rinse cycle (warm/hot water will set stains!) without any soap. Then I wash them–and we use Rockin’ Green Soap. We won a bag from an online giveaway, but really, it’s not that expensive AND it’s fine to use on clothes too–we use it for Ryan’s. But there are other detergents that are safe to use and are cheaper–check out this awesome list: cloth diaper detergent list to know what’s okay to use (the “wrong” kind will cause diapers to lose absorbency).
Is the extra laundry a hassle? No. I don’t even notice it. I’m doing multiple loads of laundry during the week anyway (my clothes, my husband’s, and Ryan’s). But also, my husband shares in the work too–whoever is home and has time when it needs to be done… so that helps. But otherwise, how hard is it to throw stuff in the washer, start it, and walk away? Go run your errands, go play with your kid, go make dinner… besides, something about cloth diapers makes it not seem like a chore. Because they’re cute? Because I know I’m doing something good for Ryan?
We still have “breastfed baby poop,” so the diapers just go right into the wash. It’s not gross at all. Once his poop becomes more solid, the poop will have to be shaken off into the toilet (or sprayed, if necessary). That will add a little more work–about 20 seconds of it–and again, to us, it’s no biggie. But once that actually happens, you bet I’ll be blogging about it to let all of you know how it really is I’ll be giving away a diaper sprayer too–soon, on my giveaways blog!
After washing: we use mainly pocket diapers (a few prefolds with covers) so just like you have to fold clothes when they come out of the dryer, you have to stuff the inserts back in the cloth diapers. Takes a couple minutes–again, to me it’s not a big deal. I like replenishing his stash
Outside of the house: until very recently, we only used cloth part-time because we didn’t have enough. So when we left the house, we’d just use the disposables then. Now that we’re able to use cloth full-time, Ryan’s wearing them outside of the house. Most of the time it’s for a quick errand and we never have to change him while out (but we bring 1 with, just in case). When we DO have to change him (like if we’re spending the day at a friend’s or our parents’ house), we bring with a few cloth diapers and lots of people have travel-sized wet bags to hold dirty cloth diapers. We don’t have one (yet) so we just use a plastic bag. Just like you’d use when packing a wet swimsuit to come home. (Just make sure you take the dirty diapers out of the plastic bag when you get home ;))
My next post will answer more questions about WHY we decided to cloth diaper… WHY the “extra work” is worth it to us… was it the money, Ryan’s bum, the environment, ease ???? etc.