When we moved to this farmhouse I had this vision of myself in a vintage apron, hanging laundry out to dry on a beautiful clothesline. My children would be romantically running in and out of the sheets with the sun shining through. We did put up a line but we attached it to two trees and I had the joy of going to get my laundry to find the only creatures frolicking amongst the laundry were some ants who had migrated down from the trees, curious as to what was hanging there.
Then when I was pregnant with my fourth child I was researching cloth diapering and decided to give it a try. More images of me lovingly hanging things out to dry. Well, the reality of hanging the diapers on the line were a lot less romantic than imagined. Trying to fold and pin a cardboard hard fabric diaper on a squirming baby with myself sleep deprived was not what I had envisioned ! I guess our modern conveniences are just that and sometimes I glamorize the day to day life of the old days.
21 months later however, I'm still using the cloth diapers even if I don't hang them on the line anymore.
Yes, it is harder washing the diapers versus just throwing paper ones in the trash . All the diapers and covers are a big investment in the beginning and the high cost of water can make it not that much of a savings in the long run. It's just something I wanted to try. We have a well so I don't have to spend extra on the water to wash them so it's cheaper for our family. And it is satisfying to know there is soft organic cotton next to your babys' most delicate parts rather than paper diapers made in a factory God knows where. A fluffy cloth diapered behind is awfully cute too. Even if it does make your babies' butt look big. No skinny jeans for cloth diapered butts. Too much junk in the trunk!
If you are considering making the switch to cloth diapers here are a few modern conveniences that make cloth diapers doable:
- Buy a diaper sprayer to attach to your toilet. You will need it to spray off solids into the toilet.
- Have a waterproof liner and trash can next to the toilet to put the dirty diapers in.
- Get the diaper covers with the snaps that are multi sized so you don't have to keep buying new covers as your baby grows. Also babies LOVE to undo their diapers once they figure out the velcro.
- Use Snappis instead of pins. They are a lot safer.
- Use Charlies Soap which gets all the smell out and doesn't leave any residue.
- When you wash the diapers do two cycles. The first is with cold water to rinse all the mess and the second is in hot water to clean them. Use a second rinse on the last cycle.
- Also don't feel guilty about using paper diapers when you are out of your house. It's really a hassle to cart stinky cloth diapers around, even if you do have a waterproof wet bag.