I love cloth diapering. I spread the gospel to anyone who will listen. The olds think it’s all trifolds and pins while the youths have never heard of it. Such a shame, so I appreciate you taking the time to hear what my converted-crunchy self thinks about amazing cloth!
My biggest cloth diaper challenge:
I began cloth diapering in the midst of (undiagnosed) postpartum depression (PPD.) I was overwhelmed by everything, so switching to a new diapering system that involved laundry gave me anxiety. I didn’t know what a riser was, let alone what setting would fit, and I thought the world would end if I chose the wrong one.
Can I cloth diaper in an apartment with no laundry facilities?
Yes! Rinsing is the key in this scenario. The golden schedule for washing diapers is every 2-3 days, BUT if you can only make it to the laundromat (let’s assume) once a week, then the best thing you can do is rinse your diapers right away. The main reason for frequent washing is to avoid deterioration of diaper fibers from pee/poop. If you fling your poo into the toilet, use liners to catch poo, and/or spray it off, then you’re halfway finished. The most important part of your routine is rinsing off urine (especially from the night diapers in the morning – those suckers are FULL of pee.) Rinse your diapers (I use the sink) and get out all of the urine you can. Then squeeze out the excess water, store in a wet bag/pail that can breathe, and wash them when you’re able.
- Did you know that Karin Biggs from show 5 of the Cloth Diaper Podcast also tells her story of using apartment coin op for cloth diapering? Check it out here.
Why I cloth diaper despite the challenges:
I love the routine of cloth. When I was dealing with PPD, my every other day “wash twice and dry” was a small piece of predictability in a new world of ever-changing parenthood. I came to rely on it for a chunk of calm during my week. Since then, with the help of antidepressants, I have been able to see the many benefits of cloth:
- I save so much money. I spend $25 every 6 months for a 180 load box of Tide Powder. That’s my only expense. It might be lower, but I wash my diapers every other day with a level 5 scoop. (That’s the maximum amount of powder and the strictest schedule.)
- My baby has never had a diaper rash.
- Nothing but cloth holds my son’s explosive poos. It flew right out of the side of disposables. Thick cloth keeps it contained.
- I’m saving the planet. According to the BBC, just by cloth diapering my one child, I’m preventing 4-6K diapers from entering a landfill. That doesn’t include the 10K+ disposable wipes, which can also be swapped for cloth. I use my cloth wipes en lieu of facial tissues, paper towels, and nursing pads.
- The snaps keep the diapers on. My son has learned how Velcro works, so the snaps on my hybrid diapers are the only things keeping him from running around naked. I’m sure this has an effect on reason 3 as well.
Why I decided to cloth diaper:
My diapers were given to me for free from a friend. I’ll try anything for zero dollars. I was incredibly excited to avoid the expense of diapers and finding somewhere to store them!
How can I cloth diaper without spending money:
Organizations like The Cloth Option give away diapers through an application process detailing need. Many BST (buy/sell/trade) groups on Facebook offer free stashes to new or expecting moms who want to try cloth. There are also rummage sales during the summer that offer incredibly cheap cloth, but many sellers will give away their inventory if you ask – they’re mostly trying to get rid of them anyway since they’re finished with the baby stage. Many parents will post about garage sales with cloth inventory on the BST pages or if you’re in a cloth diaper group. You may also find a friend or acquaintance who’s happy to give them to you. Just spread the word that you’re interested in cloth, but cannot buy them, and folks often find you. That’s what happened to me! If you can’t tell, we’re an enthusiastic bunch and want to make cloth feasible for everyone.
Lindsay Joy-Wenning is a converted -to-crunchy mom from Indiana. She is a government epidemiologist and cloth enthusiast.
About Guest Posts
Do you have your own cloth diaper story to share? The Cloth Diaper Podcast accepts guest posts to share your story and experience cloth diapering. We understand that the cloth diaper story looks different for different people and want to connect people in the beauty of differences. Learn more about guest post contributions.