1. What do you do with the #2?
Well back in the day, our parents used to rinse our diaps in the toilet. These days, you don’t have to do that. If you breastfeed exclusively for the 6 months as recommended by the APA, then baby poop requires no pre-treating. I throw them in the diaper pail and wash them. I’m serious. Now, I can’t speak to people who formula feed, because, as I understand #2 is different for formula babies. What I can tell you, is that when we started feeding our daughter baby food and she started having more “solids” in her diapers, we took it to the toilet dumped it in and flushed. Now the only time it’s a little rough going is if it’s stickier then I have to work a little harder at the dump and flush step, but still. It’s not bad and again, no stains.
2. Ok, but what about the smell?
On my baby registry, I registered for a regular kitchen trash can with foot pedal to work the lid. Many diaper companies sell bags, but I use a plastic trash bag (or old ones melted in the drier) with a mesh laundry bag. I throw the mesh bag and all in the wash and change the plastic bag every couple wash cycles (once a week or so). The lid blocks the smell from getting out. It’s as simple as that. If I ever need a little more help, I have use baking soda discs attached to the lid on the interior or the Renuzit odor removing air freshener things that dissolve.
3. What about some laundry tricks?
I have learned a lot in the last year. Here is what I know:
-add a prewash cycle and a 2nd rinse on the hottest water you can
-sprinkle in approx 1 T of baking soda in each load…helps with the stinkies
-white vinegar makes a great all natural softener
-cut back on the detergent use to prevent build up
-during the second rinse, add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract (I’ll tell you why next)
4. What if baby does get a rash or a yeast infection? You’re not supposed to use bleach or rash cream because it affects the diapers liners…
So when maybe will inevitably get a rash or something, you have to know what to do. I like California Baby Calendula Cream (approx $20) and it’s better than any other rash cream (works great on the whole body too). It not a paste like other things so it’s sage to use with cloth. Now when Lemonade got a yeast infection, I learned the hard that the yeast infection will stay in the diaper unless you do all kinds of things to the diapers you aren’t supposed to do to them – bleach, drier, and more. But I found one natural remedy – grapefruit seed extract. It has antibacterial qualities and is safe to use in every wash load. I LOVE it and it’s super easy. I have heard of other people who run their diapers in 1 wash cycle then rinse cycles on the hottest water for the next 24 hours to do the same thing. That’s a lot of hot water.
5. Ok, you’ve convinced me that they aren’t that hard to clean, but I’m not at home and I think it’s a hassle.
I can’t speak specifically to people to work full time. Hubs or I have always been able to be home with Lemonade at one time or another. When we did send her to a sitter a couple afternoons a week, our sitter didn’t keep anyone’s diapers so she had no problem doing cloth. I know that’s not the case for everyone. People have commented that’s there’s no time to wash them if you work. I disagree. Even though Hubs was home, I washed them about half the time and all the time now. Long story short – it’s possible. It just becomes part of the routine. As I mentioned before, you throw them in after Jr. goes to bed. And it takes 20 minutes to stuff them (please note that it will take longer if the waist is velcro instead of snaps and I’ll talk about that later too). If it’s important to you, it doesn’t take long to add it to your day.
6. You said that a diaper needs to be changed every couple hours. What about at night?
There’s a few options for night. Some companies have what they call “soakers” which are meant to absorb a lot more. Some people use more linings in the pocket diapers. Some people use something like a trifold with plastic pants over night (this is what we did until the yeast infection). And there is another option : disposable (gasp). That’s what we do. We felt like she was too wet at night. And it was not helping her tooshie heal during teething. So we use disposables then. And we’re great with that. It’s not a perfect solution but it is working, for now.
7. And what about when you travel?
Well, there are options here again. If we are flying or driving 10 hours to my brother’s wedding, we go disposable. When we used to live 5 hours from our parents, I could do cloth at my mom’s but not my mother-in-law’s. Why? My mom set up a cloth-friendly diaper station. My MIL didn’t. I’m not faulting her. Sometimes its just a TON more stuff to drag along when we bring cloth. I have gone to mostly using disposable when I travel, unless it’s only going to be one day or a quick over night.
8. And since you mentioned it, the velcro?
If you wash diapers with velcro in the wash with liners, they will stick together. So instead of being able to stuff and go on with your day, you will have to pick fuzzies out of the velcro. It’s not terrible. I have velcro for the newborn size. It does get old. I also have read that the velcro wears out MUCH faster than snaps. I’m not hating on velcro. I have just learned I prefer the snaps.
(I will talk more about my preferences tomorrow when I go through differences among the types.)
Well, I hope this helps you get over your cloth diapering fears. If you have additional questions though, please don’t hesitate to ask!