Last weekend, I wrote about the cloth diaper experiment I was undertaking, in spite of my hesitations and easily turned stomach. I figured they’d be a way for my family to save money, provided the diapers are purchased cheaply enough. So far, I’ve spent about $50 on a handful of diapers and inserts, concentrated laundry soap and a wet bag.
When we last left off, I was awaiting Owen’s first poopy cloth diaper. Because I breastfeed him exclusively, his No. 2 isn’t that noxious, but I was still surprised how well the cloth and insert absorbed the yellow-y goop. Again, way less gross than I’d anticipated! Woohoo!
Next up was my biggest fear of all: Washing the diapers.
Now, with a few loads under my belt, I have no idea what I was fearing. It’s seriously no problem at all. I just dumped out the wet bag into the washer without touching anything. I washed them one cycle in cold water to get out the stains, and then one in hot to sanitize them. Into the dryer they go, and they’re perfectly clean. Of course, we haven’t started solids yet. I’ve been told diaper liners and a diaper sprayer are helpful here, but I’m still factoring those additional costs.
I’ve also gone out into public with Owen wearing a cloth diaper, but because I was only out about an hour, I didn’t need to change it in public. I’m still reluctant about carrying around a wet bag of poo, so that adventure is yet to come.
We also haven’t tried a cloth diaper overnight, and I’m not sure I will. Unless I do so for your amusement.
I am discovering a few things:
It really doesn’t work that well to use disposable wipes with reusable diapers. While I usually tuck the used wipe into the used diaper and throw it all into my Diaper Champ, now I’m just left holding a poop-covered cloth with no where to put it. I think I’ll look into making my own reusable wipes. A friend once told me you can keep them a wipe warmer (which I got as a baby gift) with some water and essential oil.
The wet bag I bought can only hold about 5 diapers and inserts. That’s fine for now, because I only have four, and will work well for going out and about. But if I’m going to keep this up, I’m going to need to get more cloth diapers. Washing such a small load is wasteful. So, I think I’ll also need to get a diaper pail (a plain old lidded garbage can, probably) and some sort of liner for it, so I can let the laundry pile up a little. But again, that’s more money to invest, and less potential savings.
Finally, I’ve discovered there is waaaaayyyyy too much information out there about cloth diapers. There are so many brands and styles and accessories and techniques for washing/wearing/etc., it makes your head spin. I need to start applying some common sense and trying my own thing, rather than finding the “right” way to cloth diaper. I don’t think there is a “right” way.
That said, I would appreciate any tips from experienced CDers (acronyms are big in cloth diapers, I’ve learned). What’s worked for you? What was a colossal fail?