It’s the weekend, son !
Cloth diapering was one of those things that I knew I wanted to do, but, kind of like mum and baby yoga, it was one of those things that felt too overwhelming to get into in the wake of all the excitement about your early birth.
Then again, maybe it was more like babywearing, in the sense that, maybe even if you had arrived when they said you would, during the last months of pregnancy I was so focused on the birth itself, that I didn’t even look into anything about actually being with a baby. I like to think that those were things that if I’d had that last month, I would have looked into, but that’s probably not even true. If I’d had that extra last month, it still would have been spent focusing on the birth.
Anyway, it was only about ten months postpartum and approximately twelve to fifteen hundred disposable diapers later, that I actually got around to deciding to look into cloth diapering. But oh, how overwhelming the choices! I felt so lost, kind of like trying to decide on a stroller, about which to choose. Prefolds, all-in-ones, pocket, or fitted with covers? Dry or wet pail? Hemp, organic cotton or bamboo inserts? Disposable or non-disposable liners, or no liners at all? Vinegar, baking soda or tea tree oil in the rinse cycle? My head was spinning.
I put up a question on facebook and Bumgenius seemed to be a big hit with mothers I knew. So I put an ad up on message asking for different kinds of cloth diapers. I got a response from a mom who gave me a great deal on her new and gently used Bumgenius pocket diapers and all-in-ones that she didn’t need anymore. She also threw in some hand-sewn flannel and terry liners that a crafty friend of her had made. And she told me about disposable liners which, seriously son, is like the greatest invention to cloth diapering ever. I’m not really sure how people go without them, really. I mean, I guess some people are hardcore and don’t mind getting down and dirty with the poop, but with the liners, you just take the diaper off the baby, tilt it in the toilet and let the liner holding the poop fall in, flush, and stuff the diaper into the pail or wetbag, which is what we are using. You can even wash and reuse the liner once or twice if it’s only been peed in. It really makes life easier.
Then on laundry day I just empty the wetbag into the washing machine and then toss the wetbag in with the diapers, and I’ve been mixing tea tree oil in with the detergent as a deodorizer and disinfectant (though Bumgenius’ official instructions discourage this), do a cold cycle, then a hot cycle and dry, and there you go.
Is cloth diapering more work than using disposables? Diehard cloth diaperers insist that it’s not any more difficult. I’m not sure I would go that far, son. I mean, sure, it’s a few more steps than just dumping the diaper in the garbage, but the thing is, it’s not THAT much more work. I mean, you have to do one or two extra loads of laundry per week, but to me that’s not a deal breaker. Doing that extra step is so worth it when you think of all the landfill space and trees it could save.
So, before I start to sound too high and mighty, let me say that, much like the rest of my parenting adventure, we are doing part-time cloth diapering. Nay, let me qualify that, we are doing as much as three-fourths cloth. It’s just that first of all, we still have to use disposables when you are at the halte-garderie, and I still use them if I know we are going to be out for a few hours because I really don’t want to carry around poo in my new-to-me Storksak diaper bag. Also, I need to get some more as we only have enough to go for about a day and a half, but I was trying to decide if I prefer the AIOs or pocket. I thought about trying fitteds and covers too, but honestly, the way you are wriggling when I change you, if I can eliminate one step that is all the better.
We’re coming along, slowly but surely.