01 October 2011
Cloth Diapering Outtakes
The purpose of the Green Means Go(od) series is to show that sustainable practices are relatively easy - if you can make the commitment. And while the positives always outweigh the negatives with these practices, they aren't without challenges. Cloth diapering is no different. As the previous two posts indicated, the positive economic and environment benefits of cloth diapering are huge. And the designs today make cloth diapering ridiculously easy. However, here are some of the not-so-great aspects of washing your own diapers. (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart!)
1. Scrapping poop off diapers is never fun. Lila has an amazing ability to poop the most incredibly sticky poops right after I've washed her diapers. I try to scrape as much as possible on, but these poops are like glue. So, I must soak the diapers and then store them in plastic bags until we're ready to wash again. It also never fails that I'll forget the diaper in the toilet until one of us has to go to the bathroom really really bad and we'll have a surprise waiting for us.
2. Hauling a stinky bag of diapers down to the basement to wash is never, ever fun. Ever.
3. I had never heard of "stripping" diapers the entire three years of using cloth diapers on Benny. Stripping is when you wash all the soap residue off of the diapers that has accumulated with washings. Turns out that residue causes the diapers to stink, no matter if they're dirty or not. Luckily the smell was never outrageous with Benny. But as soon as I learned about stripping diapers with Lila, the smell improved considerably. Basically, you just wash the diapres in hot water, without soap, until there are no suds left. Definitely a case of live and learn.
4. If anyone sells you on the idea of cloth diapering by saying that you kid will potty train earlier, they aren't being entirely forthcoming. We were convinced that Benny would use the potty early because he could feel when he was wet. Not at all the case. Good thing the cloth diapers are adjustable. We used them from the time Benny was four months old to when he trained, just before his third birthday.
I guess you do have to go into cloth diapering knowing that you're dealing with raw human waste. It's baby waste, but it can still be really nasty!
Preview for October's Green Means Go(od): I'll be looking at sustainable celebrations, including a post about the importance of reusing Halloween costumes!