Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Scoop on Poop and Washing

As Tim cleaned the poop out Ella's underwear the other night, I said, "Maybe we're just trying cloth diapers out at the right time in our lives." We were dismayed when we saw the diapers piling up after Ezra's birth and found ourselves purchasing extra diaper pails to contain them. Our mission: get Ella potty trained. While having a potty trained toddler is ultimately rewarding, you deal with a lot of pee and poo, clean out lots of underwear, and scrub quite a few carpets before you achieve success. And, even when they're officially potty trained, accidents happen. All accidents are frustrating and dealing with the mess is a hassle, but the gross-out factor has seriously diminished at our house. So, when people get to the "big" cloth diaper question question: "What about the poop?", I think "It's not that big of a deal."

Whether you use a diaper service or not, it's pretty likely that you'll need to shake some poo off cloth diapers before putting them in a bin or the wash. (Side note: According to the Real Diaper Association, disposable diaper packages actually instruct us to do the same.) I did discover the other day, though, that the stool of breast-fed babies (before any solids are introduced) is water-soluble, so serious pre-wash is not necessary. My experience with an older baby is that changing any kind of poopy diaper is gross. In a disposable, it all tends to stick and squish to baby and diaper. It also tends to creep up and out. With a cloth diaper, it doesn't stick in the diaper and I've yet to have it leave the diaper. You can put the diaper over the toilet and it'll easily come off and 'tada!' you're done.

For my trial, I've used a Funnibunz In-and-Out bag especially made for soiled diapers with a zipper at the bottom. I put all soiled diapers inside, making sure to prepare any velcro for the wash. When washing day comes, I hold the bag over the washing machine, unzip it, and the diapers go in. I wash diapers and the bag together.

For washing, I've seen a few suggestions. Basically, most people recommend a cold rinse, hot/cold wash with detergent, then a second cold rinse. It's simple and takes very little time. I've dried everything in the dryer, except covers that dry rather quickly. I would like to try the sun, but haven't been that ambitious yet. Some AIOs and the Bumgenius take a bit longer to dry.
Interested in more detailed info on washing? Here's a link:

Questions about water usage? Here's a link and some facts: and a quote:

"Some people would question whether cloth diapers are better for the environment because of the water required to wash them. However, washing cloth diapers at home uses about the same amount of water in one week as a toilet being flushed 5-6 times a day. A diaper service washing their diapers in bulk will use even less water."

Lastly, what does my husband think of all this? Realistically, he doesn't change nearly as many diapers as I do, simply because he works outside of the home. He does do his share, however, and I've had him try changing the cloth diapers. For Tim, it's been no big deal and he's willing to make the transition. I'm pretty sure at this point he's ready to quit talking about it and just get on with it! ;0) (But there's so much fascinating information out there!)

So, now I've come to the end of my Diaper Daisy cloth diaper trial and I've decided to move to full-time cloth diapering. We will, of course, keep disposables on hand for babysitters and long trips. I'm getting the trial together to send back and sad to actually be back in disposables and dealing with the trash. This being said, I am not trying to convert anyone to cloth diapering here or convince people that this is "the way" to go. I've loved blogging about my experience and sharing all of discoveries, though.

Coming Up Next: The trial is over. What diapers did I ultimately choose?

My Link for the Day:

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