Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cloth Diapers and the Chaotic Life

The official blog schedule for The Little Mother has been decided upon - at least for now :) Diaper Duty on Mondays and Gluten-Free Fridays.  There may be extra posts here and there, but you can count on those two to happen every week [save a natural disaster or something equally as terrible…like the flu].

Welcome to the the first Diaper Duty post!  I hope that Monday postings will be a stress-free learning zone about the world of cloth diapers.  I felt I needed to post something legitimate about cloth diapers, but I wasn't feeling ready to unveil a little mini-series that's been in the works.  I want to make sure its really, really good before I finally let the series loose upon the world wide web.

The goal for this post is to give an example of how cloth diapers work in the real world.  You don't have to be a super mom to make them work for you.  Take, well, yours truly as an example of a not-so-super mom making the cloth diaper thing work: we officially survived living in complete upheaval for two and a half months, and cloth diapered our child almost the whole time.  I say almost because of two exceptions.  The first was when we were living in a hotel in Waikiki and washing diapers was not an option, and the second was when Adelle developed a no-fun diaper rash from poorly washed diapers [more on that below].  

There were five things I learned about cloth diapers this summer:

1. Cloth diapers can work with a chaotic life.  We moved into our in-laws' basement, visited scores of family and friends all over the state of Colorado, helped move our in-laws into a new house, moved ourselves into my parents basement, and started feeding Kiddo solid foods. We did all this while Adelle was wearing cloth diapers.

2. Cloth diapers demand their own suitcase when being moved.  We had a carry-on suitcase completely, 100% filled with cloth diapers.  That suitcase carried enough diapers to only have to do laundry every third day.

packing diapers - like trying to stuff a cloud in a box
3. It will take time to understand the marriage between your cloth diapers and a new washing machine.  I went from a regular top loader to a high efficiency machine.  I learned that my mother-in-law's washer requires extra rinses.  Like 4 extra rinses.  Or else Dellie gets a bum rash.

4. Gas dryers are the bomb. OK, so this isn't something I learned about cloth diapers specifically, but I really wanted to point this out for reasons of relativity. Our diapers dried a whole lot faster in the in-laws' gas dryer than our old electric one. [Gas dryers can also be a bomb.  I also learned that this summer when I woke up to the smell of rotten eggs one morning.  Turned out the dryer hook up was leaking.  Good thing no one smokes in this house.]

5. Anyone can use cloth diapers.  Everyone who babysat for us over this summer ended up using cloth diapers.  Everyone who hung out with the three of us saw us use cloth diapers. No one walked away thinking cloth diapers were a bad idea by the time I was done blathering about them.

We finished the rest of our move in disposables.  We weren't sure that our new place was going to have a washing machine [or dryer, or fridge!], and the idea of having to lug a stinky bag of diapers to a laundromat while unpacking and getting settled sounded like way too much work.

The one thing I will hand to disposables, they do have an edge when it comes to convenience.

Anyway, thanks for reading my first ever rant about cloth diapers!  I hope that this post about my experiences with cloth diapers while making a huge life transition holds at least a bit of inspiration.  Cloth diapers really aren't hard.  They're even kind of fun if you give them the chance :)

Your turn! To my readers who have/are using cloth diapers:  What's the craziest life event you've tackled while using cloth diapers?  A relative's wedding out of state?  Weekend trip at the lake? How did it go?


  1. you have inspired my to try an tackle large events with CD, up until now when we go on vacation we just get disposables. For three reasons, one is they are just easier, two, i dont feel comfortable washing them in other peoples machines, and three, I would not know what to do with out my diaper sprayer! How am i supposed to get avocado poo out with out my sprayer?!

  2. I thought through a couple of travel-size options for dealing with poo, and the first I came up with is bringing a spray bottle along and using it like a diaper sprayer. Then I realized I should actually test this theory before telling you it works! I had to use it on "stream" for maximum pressure, and I ended up using almost all of the water in the bottle in the process of spraying the poo in the toilet.
    Conclusion: it's not amazing, but its better than doing nothing.
    I think probably an easier option would be to use the flushable liners (you can find them at most online CD stores). The liner catches the poo, and then all you have to do is dump the poopy liner into the toilet. They're usually around $8 for a roll of 100 liners.