Before our baby was born, I made a commitment to cloth diapers. I couldn’t bear the thought of several thousand disposable diapers sitting around in landfills for thousands of years; I didn’t want to spend $15/week on diapers; and I hated the thought of whatever chemicals are in ‘sposies that make them so absorbent (how do they still feel dry with two hours worth of pee in them?!). So cloth diapers it was. My mom and I made the diapers before the baby arrived, and we’ve been using them ever since. I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers, but I honestly expected it to be a bit of a pain in the butt. I’m thrilled to say that they’re so much easier than I had expected.
After some trial and error – and reading lots of websites – I’ve come up with a laundry method that works for me. We store the dirty/wet diapers and washcloths that we use as wipes in a trash can with a lid. It’s a dry pail, and I’ve sprinkled baking soda in the bottom (at first we used a wet pail, but switched a few weeks ago). Every other day, I dump the diapers and wipes into the washing machine with a half cup of baking soda (I buy it in bulk because I use it to clean just about everything) and run a cold wash. When that’s done I run a hot wash with a tiny bit of all-natural detergent and a downey ball with about half a cup of vinegar in it. Then I hang the diapers to dry on a drying rack. Done and done. It’s easy, I don’t have to worry about chemicals on my baby, and it takes very little extra time (washing machines are amazing inventions – hats off to our grandmothers who used cloth diapers and washed them by hand!).
If you don’t sew, you can always buy cloth diapers. You can go all out and get the pricey ones for $20 apiece, or find them used on Craigs List for a little less. Or you can just get basic prefold diapers for a couple dollars each. and I’ve heard that snappi fasteners are great.
So if you’re a parent – or soon to be one – with a baby in diapers, I strongly encourage you to consider cloth diapers. It’s a lot easier than it sounds, and much better for your bank account, Mother Earth, and your baby’s bum.