My dear friend read my last blog and, in response to my writer's block plight, suggested I write a little about my experiences with cloth diapering. I would be happy to, since I actually love to talk about it.
When my daughter was about 8 months old, I decided to look into cloth diapering. Our family is the kind of family where the decision to have me stay at home was one of big sacrifice. We knew that with the loss of my income, we were going to have to cut so many corners that our lives would soon look like a paper snowflake made by a scissor-happy kindergartener. It was a challenge we were willing to take on. So, after 8 months of buying the cheapest, generic diapers I could find, I thought it would still be worth it to look into cloth diapering. You can see that my motivation was money. I do like the fact that we're not throwing thousands of diapers into our landfills, but that wasn't the reason I decided to take the plunge.
After about a month of research, armed with some money from our 2008 tax return, I bought BumGenius 3.0 diapers. And I've loved them ever since. Washing them every other day has become a non-issue, since I'm a stay-at-home-mom anyway. The diapers are always in the dryer by 9:30 in the morning, and we rarely go out before then, so it works. And, as an unexpected bonus, we rent a condo where our landlord pays for our water. So we don't even see the slight added expense of extra washings.
I've also noticed that Pumpkin Pie RARELY has diaper rash. Maybe because you have to be pretty diligent about changing the diaper, since after a certain amount the diaper will leak since it can only hold so much. And, now that I mention it, we've had ZERO blowouts since the switch. And only one or two leaks, since I make sure to change the diaper every three or four hours.
I still put disposables on her when we go to any kind of nursery setting. I don't expect unpaid nursery volunteers to deal with the cloth, although it wouldn't be that hard for them. I think I buy disposable diapers about every 4 or 5 months now.
My friend was most interested to hear what I do with a really gross diaper. And we have them. I simply use a Pampered Chef food scraper (you know, a little plastic square) and scrape the goopy poo into the toilet. All solid waste has to go into the toilet, since you don't want it in your washing machine. Same goes for not solid but not liquid waste too. It's gross. I've gotten poop on my fingers. But it only takes a minute, and I wash and sanitize my hands when that happens. Since I deal with poop quite intimately 1 to 4 times a day, it's actually become a non-issue as well.
I actually think it's preparing me for potty training. I hear so many stories of moms being so grossed out when their kid poops in their underwear. I don't think the mess is going to bother me, since I'm used to scraping it out and possibly getting it on my hands anyway. I won't reward her for poop in her panties or anything, but it won't come as a shock to my system.
Those are my thoughts on cloth diapering. I say that if you think you might want to do it, then DO IT. There are so many options of cloth diapers out there that I am confident you'll find the right one for your family. You'll love not buying diapers all the time, and probably will feel good about reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. I love that when Pumpkin Pie #2 shows her little face I already have all the diapers she needs.