Thursday, July 14th, 2005
Part 4: Dr. Strangepoop: Washing Reusable Diapers
- Part 1: Preamble for Cloth Diapers
- Part 2: Our Diaper Gear
- Part 3: Changing Reusable Diapers: Step by Step
I dreaded the thought of dirty diapers in my clothes washer. Disgusting! It was the one issue that had me afraid of choosing reusables. In the end, I bit the bullet, and… the washer comes out sparkling clean after each wash, as do the diapers. I worried for nothing.
Bringing a baby into your home means increased stress in doing all the normal household chores. Washing diapers was one of the easiest adaptations for me to make as a new father. At first we washed diapers every 2 to 3 days, roughly 10 to 12 diapers a day.* After a year we wash every four days, roughly 4 to 6 diapers a day. I capped Mom’s spending at 27 pocket diapers. Much to her disappointment, I shot down her idea to buy more diapers when orange-colored Wonderoos hit the market as a Halloween promotion.
- Cold water rinse with pocket diapers and inserts together.
- Hot water wash on a mode designed for heavy soil, plus a stain cycle. Updated: We now add a scoop of baking soda to eliminate odor.
- Cold water rinse, occassionally adding a cup of vinegar to deactivate urine odor. We have a water-saving front-loading washer. If you have a top-loader, vinegar may not be needed very often.
- Hang dry the pocket diapers or put them on low heat for 15 minutes. Dry inserts on high for 60 minutes.
Buy disposables for the first week your baby is home. New baby poop [yourbabytoday.com], called ” meconium,” ranges from green to black, is thick like melted Tootsie Rolls and stains! It’s also good to have one pack of disposables around to use when traveling out-of-town where you won’t have easy access to a clothes washer, or don’t want to be storing dirty diapers in your suitcase!
If you have faced the yucky muck of changing a disposable diaper, you have the guts to go reusable. It’s not more complicated, just different. These days I wonder why I fussed about reusables at all.
P.S. For anyone confused by the Dr. Strangepoop title, it is an homage to the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (love reusable diapers) [imdb.com].