Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Family Affair: Cloth Diapers

I chose to post on this topic because as we travel for the holiday next week, we will be forced to use the evil disposable diapers (not because there aren't products out there made for traveling green, I just was too late to buy them before our trip), so I thought I'd put some good diaper karma out there. I also wanted to help dispel the misconceptions that cloth diapers are still the old piece-of-fabric-and-safety-pins models that weren't waterproof and were picked up by a cleaning service. Please. Do you think I'd do something if it wasn't easy, modern, and cute?

WARNING: This post involves a discussion of BABY POOP and how we get rid of it. To make up for it, I've dispersed adorable photos throughout to keep things fun.
Although our friends and family thought we were gluttons for punishment and too "crunchy" for our own good (and maybe even a bit gross), Bill and I decided to use cloth diapers on our son. We did this for the following reasons:

1. Over time, it is cheaper to buy 24 cloth diapers than thousands and thousands of disposable diapers.
2. It is more convenient to have diapers on hand at all times than drive into town (25-30 minutes) when we're low.
3. The obvious environmental savings of keeping chemical-laden diapers and poo out of landfills and our water supply.

The cloth diapers of today are cute, functional, easy to clean (no, our washing machine does not smell like poop), and hardly ever leak. We LOVE BumGenius One-Size* cloth diapers because they can be adjusted to fit throughout the entire diapering period.

*I'm not compensated by BumGenius, I just love the product. I pulled this picture from the CottonBabies website.

After we wash the diapers (I do a load every 2 days or so) we stuff them so they are ready to go at the changing table. Sometimes Joe "helps" like he did tonight:
Sometimes some of the diapers even make it back to the changing table.

We also use homemade cloth wipes. When Joe outgrew all of his tiny newborn receiving blankets, I cut them up into squares. I whip up a spray with a little baby soap, some baby oil, and water and we spritz the wipes as we use them. I know it sounds crazy, but after using disposable wipes and having to fish them out of the diapers and then have them sit in the trash (do you know how long it takes to fill a trash can with just wipes?), the cloth wipes are SO much easier.
It's all about setting up a system. We use a regular plastic trashcan with a lid and a waterproof pail liner that we throw right into the wash with the diapers. There's a little patch of felt in the bag that I sprinkle with lavender and tea tree oil to eliminate smells.
And the KEY to removing "solids" from the diapers is a sprayer we hooked up to our toilet so there is no touching the nasty stuff.
Best of all (for me) is that this is all Daddy-approved. My husband is wonderful, but he feels the same way about poop as these guys:

But even my poop-hating husband (and babysitter, visitors, etc.) feel like cloth diapers are easy (been using the same ones for 8+ months). There's is a huge wealth of information over at the CottonBabies blog, but I just wanted to add my $.02.

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