Reader Contributed Article
Many people respond with wide eyes that seem to say, "You're crazy! I would never do that!" when they realize that I cloth diaper full time, as if I were spending all my time slaving away. I've been giving it some serious thought lately, because it doesn't feel like a difficult thing to me. I've been asking myself, "In all honestly, is it really that much work?" After much thought, my honest response is, "No." Cloth diapering is not as hard as many people think it is, and I'm definitely not spending tons of time slaving away over it. Let me explain my reasoning.
In the same way that cloth diapers are an investment of money in the beginning (and huge savings in the long run), they are also an investment of time and mental energy in the beginning, but not for the duration. When I first started cloth diapering I do admit that I spent a lot of time learning about the different kinds of diapers out there, and how to use and wash them. Since my baby girl came early and nursed for at least an hour at a time, I spent a good amount of that time reading and asking questions on forums about how to care for them. I had a few issues with washing in the beginning, due to my own stubbornness. I had been determined to use less than the recommended water for cleaning my diapers, which looking back was very foolish. Had I just gone with the recommendations, I would have had no problems! Much of my looking up information and re-washing diapers was due to this. You can read about a few lessons I learned the hard way about washing cloth diapers here. This led to lots of reading and re-reading, and I admit it was overwhelming as I learned about detergents and how many of them leave residue, how this or that can cause rashes, and how this or that cleaning agent can harm this or that cloth diapering product. However, even though it took some serious thought and investigation in the beginning, as soon as I found the wash regimen and products that work for me, I've settled into a routine and do not feel like the diapers are much effort at all! When I do come upon issues now, it's easy to tweak things without much ado.
Most things we do in life take getting used to, finding our groove, or getting into a routine. It is the same with cloth diapering. Many dirty diapers and washes later, I can honestly say it takes me just a few seconds to change my baby's diaper, and just a minute or so to spray them or just toss them in the pail. Washing them has become simply a regular part of the laundry. I just throw them in, run the cycle and when they're done, guess what! No folding required! I dump them on the nursery floor, do a quick sort, by stacking the different items on top of each other and stick them in the drawers. They are actually the easiest laundry I have.
Motivation also plays a huge role in one's perspective about anything in life. I have been very motivated from the beginning to make cloth diapering work because I saw it as a huge way to save money for my family. Since I have discovered that it gives me a great feeling to know that I am not adding to landfills in this way, and I love the fact that I never have to run out and buy more diapers. I enjoy diaper rash and yucky leaks being a very rare occurrence. There are so many unique types of cloth diapering products and I enjoy trying different kinds. I have to admit that I think modern cloth diapers and covers are super cute, which adds substantially to my motivation! So, with all that plus having this cute little helper, it would be worth it even if it were difficult!
The Cheap and Choosy. From cooking to cloth diapering, to crafting or budgeting, this is a log of ideas that she finds to be worth sharing
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