Guest post by Jessica Bruds
I’ve gotten pretty good at convincing my friends/family members about the benefits of using cloth versus disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are safer than disposables made from plastics and other hard to pronounce chemicals, better for the environment, and when you combine the cost savings this would appear to be a “no brainer” type of decision for parents.
Logically speaking, cloth diapers make sense. But there’s that one little “hang up” that discourages most parents from making the switch to cloth: the clean up process of diaper mess.
Coming from a mother who managed to put two kids through cloth diapers this remains a tough sell even for me. I’ll be the first to admit there’s nothing glamorous about cleaning up your bundle of joy’s excrement even if it does save you some money.
While I can’t argue that cleaning up your child’s feces isn’t gross (It most certainly is!), I can try to persuade you that the clean up isn’t as bad as you might think. In this post, I hope to clear up some of the misconceptions about the work involved with cloth diapering and outline a few realistic clean-up options if you’re still on the fence.
1.) Toss Them In The Wash: When your child is still being solely breast fed, their waste is actually water soluble. That means cloth diapers can be thrown directly in the washing machine and the excrement will wash away. Of course you’ll still need to separate cloth diapers from regular loads of laundry, because of the diaper mess.
This can help you ease into the first few months of using cloth diapers. However, after your child makes the transition to solid food this is no longer a viable option. But for the first few months of your child’s life cloth is barely more work than the alternative.
2.) Biodegradable Diaper Liner: Biodegradable cloth diaper liners can cut down on much of the work associated with cloth diapers.
Here’s what I mean. Unlike cloth inserts that need to be washed, biodegradable inserts fit inside a cloth diaper and absorb the majority of wetness. These inserts can be thrown away or flushed down the toilet while the outer portion of the diaper is washed.
Biodegradable inserts can be compared to really thick paper towels that are extremely soft to the skin. While there’s still a certain amount of diaper mess associated with these throw-away inserts it can make for an easier transition when getting started with cloth diapering. Plus, there’s still less waste than traditional diapers and the material is able to decompose quickly.
3.) Shake it out!: The third vloth diaper mess clean up option is simple: shake the cloth diaper into a toilet and flush the remains. Next, toss the cloth diaper into the washing machine. This option takes less than a minute to complete and is ideal when you’re at home.
4.) Diaper Sprayer: The final diaper cleaning option is to purchase a diaper sprayer. If you know a handy man (or woman) this could be a good option. A diaper sprayer hooks up to your toilet and is used to spray diaper droppings into the toilet similar to how you might wash dishes.
I’ve never installed a diaper sprayer in my own house, but I have a friend that swears this clean up method.
While making the switch from cloth diapers is a little more work than disposables, I hope you’ve learned that the benefits far outweigh the hassle. Cloth is less expensive, eco-friendly, and not as much of an inconvenience as parents often think. It saves you a lot of trampling with diaper mess.
Jessica Bruds is a proponent of cloth diapers and friend of the owner of Adult Cloth Diapers HQ a website that specializes in the distribution of adult sized diapers.