It's not unusual for parents who diaper their babies with disposables to give strange "Are you crazy?" looks to those of us who diaper our babies the natural and old-fashioned way. But what these parents fail to realize is that they're missing out because cloth diapering is truly a joy and the upkeep involved with cloth diapering isn't very difficult at all. Don't believe me? You will after you read these diaper-views, where 10 moms share exactly what motivates them to cloth diaper their little ones and how simple it is keep their baby's diapers clean!
Paula (Louisiana): I love the fact that no nasty chemicals are exposed to my son's genital and bottom area. I also love all the cute prints. I'm a sucker for the prints. Since I only have boys, I don't get to dress them in cutesy stuff, except for the dipes. LOL. To launder I dump them in the washer, set on a 15 minute soak with Tide with bleach, wash in cold, dry two cycles of 80 minutes. PUL covers get washed with dipes but air-dried.
Zandra (California): I cloth diaper because I never run out of diapers or have to make a midnight run to the store. We are not contributing to environmental waste. I am saving much money, as I have spent $400 for my now 2 year old, vs. $14 a week for those same two years, which comes to $1456. Plus I'd still be buying as she is not potty trained yet. And one big factor is that I wouldn't enjoy wearing paper undies, so neither should my child. As far as laundering goes, my diapers sit in a dry pail until laundry day which is about every 3 or 4 days. I do a soak and prewash on hot with a cold rinse. I use Planet detergent (1/2 scoop) and a splash of Odoban. Then I do a wash in cold with a cold rinse and I throw my covers in this cycle. I just use ½ scoop of Planet. Then, covers get line dried and the diapers go in the dryer on the heavy setting. Takes about an hour or so.
Hilary (Virginia): I cloth diaper because it's better for the environment, softer, plus there are many variations to cloth diapers. This makes diapering more fun. For laundering, nothing goes in the pail, just dipes. I prewash on cold, then wash on hot with detergent and do an extra rinse cycle where I put a splash of vinegar in.
Jessica (Minnesota): I use cloth diapers because I feel good about it. My son reacts very badly to disposable diapers. This is a fairly recent development and did not figure into our decision to switch to cloth diapers when he was 4 months old. I switched to cloth to save money after a friend shared her interest in the buying and swapping of the diapers. It has been fun to try a variety of diapers and covers, eventually culminating into my making some of my own. We've had fun experimenting with new colors, styles and especially textures. My son also thinks these are great and loves to help me pick out diapers for each diaper change. We launder our diapers ourselves. I use a dry diaper pail, which is actually a small flip lid trash can I purchased when we were starting out and I didn't have any extra money for a real pail. I inherited a relatively new pail a few months later, but it never took. The garbage can holds just the right amount and is easy to carry to the basement for washing. As for washing, we usually do one complete wash cycle in hot water with liquid detergent, followed by two additional hot water rinses. Then we dry them in the dryer. For several months last year I was washing at a nearby laundromat while our machines weren't available. That worked just fine. I would wash diapers twice a week. At the laundromat we would wash in one complete cycle with an additional rinse by running the machine without soap. I got some of the strangest looks washing diapers in the laundromat, but also a surprising amount of positive feedback. And a lot of questions! Many onlookers were amazed at how far cloth diapers have really come since the days of pinning prefolds.
Gretchen (Wyoming): I love cloth diapering because I know I am not dumping more trash in the landfills and because the diaper fabrics are all so cute. I always tell people, "You can find a cute disposable but you just throw that cute diaper away. With a cloth diaper you can enjoy the cute diaper over and over and over and over." I wash every other day and do a cold soak overnight, then wash on hot with a cold rinse with some vinegar in that rinse, then a second cold rinse with just plain water.
Beth (Virginia): I think cloth diapering is easier, softer and prettier. No chemicals or anything to worry about. Plus when I wash diapers it reminds me to get some other laundry done so I don't forget that too.LOL. My baby is also allergic to latex, which is in disposables, but we have been doing cloth for three years already. To wash I do a rinse cycle with vinegar, soak cycle with Dr. Bronners and a short cycle with baking soda, and then dry.
Carrie (Pennsylvania): I made the decision to switch to cloth six months ago, mainly because my then 9 month old was constantly breaking out in horrible diaper rashes from the disposables (every brand). I was hesitant about switching, especially since I knew nothing about cloth other than prefolds, diaper pins and rubber pants. As soon as I discovered how far cloth diapers have come and how wonderful they are, I was hooked! The Work-at-Home Mom's diapers are much more absorbent and cute than any of the disposables! To launder, wet/soiled diapers are kept in the dry diaper pail until wash day (about every 3 days). On wash days, I first do a cold water soak for about an hour/hour and a half. I soak with 1/2 cup "free" detergent (brand varies) and 1/2 cup of either Borax or Arm & Hammer's washing soda (depends which I have). Then I wash in hot water with "free" detergent, a scoop of Oxi-clean and Odoban. (Not sure how much, I don't measure it! LOL.) I do two rinse cycles and dry in the dryer.
Angela (State Unknown): I like using cloth diapers because I feel it is the best choice for my children. My daughter broke out in a horrible rash within an hour of being in disposables and never had a rash while wearing cloth. I also love the savings that I've had with cloth. I estimate that my average diapering cost, including laundry costs, was around $12/month for my daughter and about $15/month for my son. (I've been buying extra absorbent fitted diapers for him so that I can avoid double and triple diapering him. He's a very heavy wetter.) I'll recoup some of that cost by selling the items that don't work well for us or that he outgrows. My method of washing diapers: I toss the wet only diapers into the dry pail. I also toss in the dirty clothes. If the diaper with stool in it has solid material, I dump that into the toilet, otherwise I spray it with a mixture of laundry detergent and water then toss it into the same pail. I treat bibs with food stains the same way. When the pail is full, I empty it into the washer and do a soak cycle with about 1/8 cup of Odoban and 1/8 cup liquid laundry detergent (I like Cheer Free.) Then I'll spin it and do a prewash with ½ cup baking soda and a regular wash cycle with 1/4 cup Cheer, followed by two rinse cycles. Then I pull out the wraps and toss everything else into the dryer. If I'm in a hurry, then I'll start the machine and set it for a soak cycle, prewash, wash and two rinses. This eliminates the spin after the soak cycle and I don't add baking soda.
Sonya (State Unknown): I like cloth diapering because I get to pick the prints, the closures, and the wrap. Having boys, I don't get to "dress them up" as much as I would a girl, and this is fun! I also don't have to spend $150/month to cloth diaper two boys. I launder using the dry pail method. I soak the diapers for one hour in cold water with 1/4 cup of detergent, and a splash of Odoban, then do a hot was with 1/2 scoop of detergent and one scoop of Oxiclean, cold rinse, then an extra rinse. Wraps are line dried and diapers dried in the dryer.
Noreen (State Unknown): I enjoy cloth diapering because I know it is best for my children's behinds. Also, contrary to what others think, it is very convenient. I never run out of diapers and the diapers can be used as doublers when outgrown and rags or burp cloths when worn out. My older son is seven and I am using the same diapers on my 10 month old that I used on him all those years ago. I love that the diapers have no added chemicals and will not be in our landfills. To wash I wait until I have a load and use Arm & Hammer powder in my machine on warm. I dry them in the dryer (except for the rubber pants, they just dry on top of the ironing board. LOL.) I first dump any BM's out into the toilet, but I don't soak my diapers.
Well, as you see, the reasons for cloth diapering vary from mom to mom. And the moms who have shared their diaper-views with StorkNet sure share a joy of cloth diapering. If you're not cloth diapering your little one yet, I hope that these diaper-views will motivate you to do so. I assure you, like the moms here have, that washing diapers is no big deal. Surely the tips you've gleaned from this feature should be all you need (aside from your diaper layette) to get you started. Happy diapering!
© Copyright 2002 Stacy Jones Tolentino/ Homefront Publishing
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