Monday, January 20, 2014

Better than Never

In 2012, I swore I was going to do cloth diapering.  Or at least, give it a shot.  But the kidlet didn't like it--he couldn't bend his legs at the hips, and I was flummoxed by how to get the poop out.  So after a few tries, we threw in the towel and went with disposables.  And this worked pretty well, for a while.

In recent months, though, he's moved up a half-size in diapers, from what here is called a 4 (7-18, or 7-15 kg) to a 4+ (9-20 kg).  This isn't because he's gotten that much heavier--he's been at 11 kg for quite a while, now.  It's because he's getting longer, and partly because, well...we've been having blowouts with the 4 diapers. I could regale you with horror stories of shit-stained babies at 3 am, but that would be a lie, since a) he doesn't poop at night and b) the blowouts aren't that bad, but they do warrant changing everything he's wearing, and that can be kind of irritating if happens 90 minutes before his bathtime.

But my main reason for switching to cloth is simple economics.  I am too lazy to go to the Kruidvat, which is the only place that carries 4+ diapers in the voordeelpakken that makes it economical to do disposables, and too cheap to spend the almost-€8 the not-voordeelpakken cost every time we need to get more.   And, since I was already doing laundry every other day or thereabouts, it made sense to launder a few extra diapers along with everything else.

And I have to confess, I'm kind of kicking myself for not having figured this out sooner.  It's not difficult, even though I've had to resort to the enormous-honking safety pins designed for diapers (the snappies started coming loose and biting into his leg after he'd been crawling around for a while). The dilute bleach solution that I keep the diapers in (until wash day--I use what cloth-diapering moms call the "wet bucket" method) smells only faintly of bleach, which isn't unexpected for a bathroom.  It did take a few tries to figure out how to handle poop*, but now that I've got a method to the stinkiness, it's easy. So stinking easy, I'm really wondering why I didn't stick it out earlier.  Especially when I remember how much money we've spent on diapers.

We're still keeping the disposables around, though:  they're handy for longer trips to town and travelling, and I don't want to wake up at 5 am to change the diaper of an uber-cranky kidlet when he realizes he's wet.  Still, it means that we've cut our disposable use down to 1-2 a day, and for that money, even I can stand buying the smaller packages.

*What works best is to flip the diaper so that the inside bulges out, and stick that in the stream of a flushing toilet, and keep a spatula by the bucket to scrape off whatever's still there.  Then dump the whole thing directly into the dilute bleach solution.  The bleach inhibits bacteria; I've heard you can also use vinegar, as well.  On wash day, chuck the diapers directly into the wash, add whatever other laundry you're doing, and flush the water of the wet bucket down the toilet.  If you normally run a cold load, remember to turn up the heat.  

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