We get asked if cloth diapers are gross, and we aren’t sure what to say, other than, “No.” That idea seems to be stuck in people’s minds, though, so let’s examine it and unstick it.
These are the issues I see:
- any type of diaper leaves you with the same clean up,
- except that you also wash cloth diapers;
- accessories can make it easier;
- a shift in perception can change everything; and
- you can always give the job to someone else.
But isn’t it easier with a disposable diaper? No, think about it. Cloth or disposable diapers, it’s still a diaper change. No matter which type of diapers you choose, you still have the same clean up at diaper time: wipe the baby, switch the diaper, and dump the solids.
Even disposable diapers should be dumped because waste belongs in the wastewater treatment system, not in landfill. We know a lot of people don’t do it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they should. Think about the accumulation of that waste rather than the treatment of it. All of those babies and mountains and mountains of their poop. What a gift for their future.
No matter what diaper you use, dump the solids.
But isn’t cloth diaper laundry gross? It isn’t, especially if you don’t leave the diapers for a week to stew.
Just wash every couple of days, and the smell stays under control. You could use gloves at diaper washing time, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you meet someone who thinks that diapers are going to leave a washing machine stinky, help them think through the fact that the washing machine is cleaned over and over with hot water and cleaning chemicals. Washing machines do not hang on to residue of human waste. Clothes washed in a machine that has washed diapers will not come out smelling like diapers. Not even the diapers come out smelling like diapers. When you do diaper laundry right, cloth diapers are clean and fresh after washing.
Is there anything that makes it easier for me to clean up after a diaper change? There is, actually. We carry a bunch of clever cloth diaper accessories to make things easier for you.
With a reusable diaper liner, the poop just slides off into the toilet when you dump; with a disposable liner, you pick it up by the ends and dump it with the poop into the toilet.
If the smell from your pail bothers you, try a deoderizer. Don’t use a spray with odor-masking stronger odors. Try our volcanic mineral deodorizer. It absorbs odors without adding masking chemicals.
What is the most important thing I can do to keep diaper changes from being gross? Shift your own perception. It’s only gross if you think it is.
You don’t need to let yourself be controlled by the random thoughts your brain provides you. You can take conscious control and reprogram your thinking.
Try thinking this several times before each diaper change: someone I love so much I could burst needs me for these few short years to help with this job of cleaning up after elimination. This is easy. This is important. I do this with love.
Having done this not only for my babies but for my parent, I understand at a profound level that this kind of care is an act of compassion and love.
So, show it.
When you are changing a diaper, don’t scrunch up your nose and think how much you hate it. That’s the face your baby will see when s/he is completely focused on you. Go make that face in the mirror and ask if that’s what you want your baby to know about you.
In that moment of diaper changing, shift your focus to your baby. Focus on your love and compassion. Look at that little face and just let yourself smile. That genuine smile of love, the smile that reaches your whole face and warms your whole baby, that is what you want your baby to know about you.
What if I really can’t handle it? If you really can’t handle the mess, I have an easy cloth diaper solution for you: diaper service.
If the mess gets to you, you just let someone else handle it. Over two years you will pay more than you would buying and washing your own diapers, but you don’t have to wash them.
Think about the job of a diaper service. They take many, many dozens of wet, poopy diapers and they use their specialized knowledge of laundry science to get them so fresh and clean that you want to bury your face in them when they are delivered back to your doorstep.
Keep in mind, though: even if you let a diaper service clean your baby’s diapers, you still need to clean up your baby, and that’s going to be the same no matter what diaper solution you choose.
Honestly, it’s baby poop. It’s not that scary.
Cloth Diapering Basics
We’re offering our answers to common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diaper 101 basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “I don’t have time for cloth diapers.”
Image © Anetlanda | Dreamstime.com