Following Through

One of the first parenting decisions I made was that I wanted to give cloth diapers a try. Even though Jenny didn’t agree to participate, she said I could try it if I wanted. Thanks to Jenny’s older brother and his wife, who used cloth diapers with their children, we have a good supply of high quality hand-me-downs without any up-front expense.
Now that I’m at home with Elena, we’ve started to use them. I think that Jenny doubted my commitment, but I always said that I would wait to start until I could devote more time to the undertaking. This proved to be a good idea–in order to make things work out it takes a commitment to use cloth for most of the day. This is mainly because the dirty diapers must be washed every two or three days, so I need to generate a large enough volume of diapers in that time to justify the laundry load.
As is true in many respects, we’re lucky to have Elena as our daughter. She’s not at all picky about her diapers, and her skin hasn’t reacted to any of them. She happily wears all different kinds of disposables, and has smoothly shifted to cloth. Furthermore, she doesn’t even fuss when she’s wearing a wet or dirty diaper. Sometimes I have to remember to change her, because she keeps smiling or sleeping through everything. For my part, I’m not nearly as grossed out as I feared I would be. The first time I changed a dirty diaper I had to grit my teeth, but the second time wasn’t nearly as bad. My main problem is finding temporary location for the old diaper while I put the new one on. The diaper pail is in the other room, and our changing area isn’t very big, so it’s tricky to get outside of Elena’s kicking zone.
Last night I did the first load of diaper laundry, following a procedure similar to the ones described here and here. The diapers are drying outside right now, but some of them are still stained; if anyone has suggestions for diaper stains, please let me know. As it is, I hope that the sun bleaches the ones that are out.


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One response to “Following Through

  1. Paul

    Biz can be an effective soak–it’s an enzyme cleaner. Some of the color safe bleaches or oxyclean work well, too, since they’re less likely to damage the fabric. It seems like bleach in one form or another was just part of the process when I was growing up, and later when we were using the cloth diapers. I’m pretty sure my mother just used a bit of NaOCl.

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