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Cloth Diapering--Apartment Style
by Stacy Jones Tolentino

You'd love to cloth diaper your baby, but you live in an apartment and you think it just isn't possible--Well, think again. You can cloth diaper your baby while living in an apartment and this article will tell you how!

Option #1: Use a cloth diaper service

Many parents who reside in an apartment or in a home without a washer and dryer opt to use a cloth diaper service for their babies. Diaper services eliminate the need to launder diapers at home. Rinsing and soaking is not required. You simply place wet and soiled diapers in a lined dry diaper pail that the service provides and at the end of the week you leave your baby's dirty diapers outside where the diaper service picks them up and leaves you a fresh, clean, disinfected batch of cloth diapers in their place.

Diaper service fees differ from company to company. Prices tend to average $40-$60 per month depending on the number of diapers you rent and where you live. While diaper services fees may seem steep, keep in mind that you still save at least $10 or more on additional garbage fees that you would incur if you used disposables. Diaper services not only provide a solution to parents without washing machines at home who choose to cloth diaper, but they also provide a solution to parents who do have washing machines at home, but do not want to be bothered with cloth diapering chores.

Option #2: Laundering diapers at the Laundromat

Laundering diapers at the Laundromat is another option for those without washers at home. I've done it before and can attest that while it does require more effort than the first option, it is not too difficult. Here's what you need to know:

  • Use a reusable diaper pail liner in your diaper pail.

  • Use the dry pail method for storing wet and dirty diapers. Wet diapers can go straight into your diaper pail. All poop should be removed from soiled diapers prior to placing them in your diaper pail. (While placing soiled diapers straight in a home washer is no big deal, folks at the Laundromat will frown and may complain if you load a public washer with poopy diapers. Plus, it isn't sanitary to deal with poopy messes in public places.)

  • Remove poop from soiled diapers by toilet dunking them or by using a spray hose called 'The Little Squirt'.

  • Wring out diapers after toilet dunking and add them to the diaper pail.
  • At least twice weekly take your diaper pail liner filled with your baby's dirty diapers to the Laundromat to be washed.

  • Run the diapers through two cycles on hot using detergent and a laundry booster. Use a bit less of each during the second cycle, as you won't be doing a second rinse and you won't want heavy detergent residues to irritate your baby's skin.

  • Wash your reusable diaper pail liner with your diapers during your first cycle. Remove the liner before the second cycle, take it home, and place it back inside of your diaper pail. (Be sure to wash and disinfect your pail first.)

  • Wash diaper covers with your clothes or by hand and air-dry them at home.

  • Dry diapers at the Laundromat or at home if you're able to air-dry them outdoors.
Washing cloth diapers at the Laundromat will cost around $1.50 to $3.00 for two cycles. Drying diapers at the Laundromat will cost around .50 cents to $1.00. Air-drying, of course, is free. That means you'll average $4 to $8 per week if you launder your diapers at the Laundromat, which is still very cheap. Don't let apartment living deter you from cloth diapering your baby. Because, as you can see, cloth diapering apartment style is definitely possible!

Copyright 2001 Stacy Jones Tolentino/ Homefront Publishing
This article may not be copied, reproduced, republished, abstracted, posted, transmitted, or otherwise, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of Homefront Publishing. Single copies may be made for your personal, non-commercial use provided this copyright notice remains intact. For permissions send an email to readabook@aol.com.

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