The minute that pee stick turns blue, you enter a world of constant decision making. What to eat and not eat while pregnant. What stroller to buy? And (of importance to this blog) which diapers to choose? Naturally, we turn to the internet for answers and are instantly exposed to 6 billion options, all contradicting each other, and all claiming to be the correct answer.
I like to keep up on what is happening in the Mommy world, so I spend way too much time on the internet. While cruising around through cloth diaper forums recently, I ended up getting completely confused, grossed out and almost put off of using cloth diapers altogether by some of the advice I read.
“ALWAYS make your own washing soda by cooking baking soda in the oven for 10 hours.” Ummmm, no.
“NEVER think of using a disposable diaper” <<Feels like a failure for using them while down with the flu>>
“ALWAYS scrape every bit of poop out of your diapers with a spatula or dunk your diapers” OMG NOOOOOOOO! Even with years of poopy diapers under my belt, that one still made my stomach heave!
But guess what? Once I suppressed the urge to vomit, I realized that I have never once done any of those things, and have successfully cloth diapered two for over 4 years now. There are many opinions out there, but there is no Nobel prize for cloth diaper laundering (yet). As a newbie to cloth, you will be exposed to so much information / misinformation about cloth diapering from friends, family and our mutual buddy, the internet.
Here are my 5 favorite myths I have heard about cloth diapers:
Myth 1. Your life is going to be all about laundry from now on.
Technology has allowed laundry to progress far beyond hauling your dirties down to the river to beat them on rocks. If you are lazy (like me – I am writing this in my jammies) you will appreciate a simple laundry routine. Some people in the world must enjoy doing laundry because some laundry routines I have read take 10 hours and an advanced degree in chemical engineering. But this is totally unnecessary, and your laundry routine will actually look something like this:
- Throw in the washing machine
- Rinse in cold water with no detergent
- Wash hot with a cloth diaper safe detergent (add an extra rinse if you want)
- Dry (either line or tumble or low or medium setting)
That’s all, and you have the rest of the day to put your feet up and relax. Or chase toddlers, change bums, cook endless meals, clean, etc. etc.
Myth 2. You will be elbow deep in poo all the time.
Yep, this is where the spatula comes in. I read discussions about what kitchen utensils work best for removing poo. Now I am not a great chef, but I like my utensils. And they remain firmly in the kitchen and feces-free!
Here is the scoop on the poop. The poop scoop.
Exclusively breastfed babies’ poop is entirely water-soluble, and super easy to wash out. Just chuck these ones in the diaper wetbag as is. No scraping required. You don’t even have to look directly at them if you don’t want to. Once your baby is on mostly solid foods, the poop is more formed and easy to shake out into the toilet. This has a very scientific term for it: ploppable poop!
The only time dealing with poop takes a bit more thought is while transitioning to solids. Poo at this point has kind of a peanut butter like consistency (sorry for the imagery, especially if you are currently eating peanut butter). Again, our friend technology has made this easier as well. There are a couple of ways to handle poop on your diapers.
Disposable liners come in a roll and are placed on top of the diaper, between it and baby's bum. When baby pees, it goes right through, but poop stays sitting on top of the liner. At change time, the liner is removed (poo and all) and either flushed or thrown in the garbage. Easy as that.
Diaper sprayers are awesome at this stage as well. They are basically a high-pressure sprayer that hooks to your toilet and lets you spray the poop off the diapers and directly into the toilet. Pair a sprayer with a Spray Pal shield, and all of the grossness goes down the toilet exactly where it needs to go.
Poop is a reality of life. Everybody poops. They even wrote a book about it. But give me poop contained in a diaper rather than an up-the-back blowout (which happen so much more often with disposables! Really!) Somewhat hilariously, using disposables to avoid touching poop actually creates many more opportunities to deal with it! And another point - technically, poop should be removed from disposable diapers as well before throwing them in the garbage as well. Landfills are not designed to handle human waste. Holy crap - no pun indeeded!
Myth 3. If I want to use cloth, it is all or nothing.
That is the beauty of cloth diapers, you can do whatever combination you feel comfortable. Cloth diaper during the day, disposable at night. Cloth at home, ‘sposie out and about. It does not have to be all or nothing approach.
Myth 4. My head will explode with the amount there is to learn about cloth!
It might, but only if you try to absorb every little bit of information on the internet. The amount you REALLY have to know to be successful is pretty small, and you will learn a lot from hands-on experience.
The basics that you will need to know are covered (pretty well, I’d say) in our workshops. If you are like me and prefer to live life in pajamas, our workshops are now online here. They cover all the basics, and the rest is just gravy. And remember, I am always here by email, phone or Skype to answer any questions you might have regarding cloth diapering.
Myth 5. I am a bad person if I decide that cloth isn’t for me.
Don't stress what others have to say. This is your decision. I personally prefer cloth diapers (obviously, I run a diaper store!) but it is completely up to you what you use on your baby’s bum. Whatever works best for you is the right decision. You will never get any judgment from me: I am just happy to have helped with one of the many decisions you will make as a parent. Whether you choose cloth or disposable, you are an awesome parent for making the choice that works for your family.