Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 41
Cloth Diapering in Germany
Stacey Reason joins me to chat about her cloth diapering experience in Germany. As an expat from the United States she shares about the culture shift, what her stash looks like, and how she washes her diapers.
Stacey Reason – her husband took a job in Germany, and they decided to make the family move from the United States. She didn’t cloth diaper with her first – went back to work at 8 weeks and she never had the confidence to really explore it the first time. But, when they moved to Germany she had more time as a stay-at-home-mom thing.
There was so much more cloth diaper conversation and community in Germany was more commonplace. There’s a good chance that other moms are cloth diapering, and if they aren’t cloth diapering they have a supportive attitude. This differs from the states where it’s very polarized
The resale market is so much different – the value on a used cloth diaper holds.
How do you see the role of maternity leave influence on cloth diapering?
I always already at home – but the long extended time at home with baby definitely have the time to focus on other things. There is such a knowledge barrier of entry for cloth diapering — the learning curve to cloth diapering is high – if you only have 6 weeks off, cloth diapering can be the thing brushed to the side.
How do you find washing diapers in Germany? And maybe how does it differ from your American experiences and knowledge.
I started with the American-centred knowledge. I had this idea of what to expect but then in Germany, the machines just totally operate differently. It’s a front loader but it uses so much less water.
There’s a difference in the mindset of cloth diapering and laundry in Europe. The cycles are different and the expectations for the washing machine.
Her wash cycle is over 2 hours.
It’s not time efficient but it is when comparing water and electricity.
And German parents are cloth diapering – so this time thing isn’t a barrier.
She does a 30 minute rinse cycle.
In her rinse cycle, southern Germany (high water with high mineral content), she adds a decalcifying substance in her routine. She adds powdered citric acid (about 10 grams) or white vinegar. She adds it to the softener compartment and adds it in the rinse cycle.
Citric Acid helps with the mineral deposits, sterilizes your machines, and acts a natural brightener.
If you are cloth diapering for the avoidance of chemicals – then yes, it’s fairly common. Citric Acid is really available in the DIY cleaning agent.
Citric Acid is pretty harsh on the diapers and can make the cloth really stiff/course if you use too much.
For the rinse cycle in the main wash cycle she uses white vinegar. It’s softer and makes the cloth soft. Under no legal circumstances, I don’t recommend white vinegar or citric acid, but you can make your decisions about wash routine.
We just bought a dryer – condensing dryer – but they didn’t always have on. Drying usually happens by hanging things around – just drying in general is a challenge. r
The other details…
Her stash is primarily flour sack towels (in Germany they sell these cotton pieces of material that are used in many different ways in the baby section) and some prefolds.
She washes diapers every 3 days using prefolds/flats with covers.
What’s the biggest cloth diaper struggle?
Leaks! But she struggled with leaks with disposables and cloth. There was so many leaks, but luckily she never had a poop leak with cloth.
The FST she used in the beginning leaked – they were a good absorber but didn’t hold it. She started laying more.
Where should people go?? to learn about water and washing in their area?
Google – Read your washing machine manual.
Cloth Diaper Facebook Groups – in Germany.
As for her wash routine – when Stacey needed to adapt – she went to websites that were all in German. If that overwhelms you – there’s always google translate.
To learn more listen to the show!
when I wanted to cloth diaper with my first son, I just got so overwhelmed by the stigmas that I just gave up quickly. But the second time around, and just started asking questions in spaces that I had friends and they came forward. You can learn a lot from the people you are comfortable with.
Don’t give up.
Don’t fall into the stigma.
If you want to do it. Do it.
Professional Cloth Diaper Educator
Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.
Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.
Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.
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About the Cloth Diaper Podcast
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world.
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is not affiliated with any school of thought of diaper laundry but instead focus on the power of peer-to-peer story telling to empower you to make your own cloth diaper journey.
Cloth Diapering is not this or that, but rather many different experiences.
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