Tuesday, March 18, 2008

cloth diapers

In celebration of my daughter going one whole day without any accidents I decided to write on cloth diapers. After four long days of potty training I am allowing myself to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I may sound overjoyed at the prospect of never washing a cloth diaper but I do appreciate the money and the landfill space we have saved.

We started cloth diapers about 4 years ago with my son so by now the velcro does not stick too well (which made repeated public nudity a problem with the 2 year old) and the diapers aren't absorbing like they used to. We bought our cloth diapers and wraps through DyDee in Pasadena and we used the simple kind. There are other types available that have everything in one piece and other nice features but they are more expensive.
Our investment of
12 small prowraps
24 small cotton diapers
12 large prowraps
24 large cotton diapers
Came to under $200. That is not bad considering how much regular diapers are and that the small cloth diapers are still being used by a friend.

Some of the things I have learned in washing them is that Oxygen cleaners like oxi-clean and Oxo brite work great when added to the detergent and they are environmentally friendly. Vinegar also helps with the smell when added to the fabric softener compartment. Bleach is no good for the diapers or the earth. I have used bleach for the load right after I wash the diapers but I would urge anyone to find another solution.

So if you are still scared there are ways to take some of the pressure off. Why not let DyDee wash them for you, you won't get the savings but you will get the good feelings of doing something for the earth. And don't be too hard on yourself. To make our life easier we chose to not take cloth diapers on trips with us or not stress out when the diapers sat in the pail too long waiting to be washed. Then there was the three months that I was pregnant with our second child and we were remodeling our house that we ditched the cloth.

For those days you can't muster up the strength to deal with the cloth diapers, there are better options now for more environmentally friendly disposable diapers. I have tried a few and I personally like the Target ones, Nature Babycare. They are chlorine free, 100% biodegradable, and the bag is compostable. Plus they fit and work well and don't cost a bundle. For those of you brave souls who are going to do cloth diapers I leave you with some encouragement, potty training should come quicker.

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