A friend recently wrote with the following query:
How in the world do you handle cloth diapering with older toddlers (and their disgusting output)? I was grossly unprepared for what I'm handling and was ready to quit altogether last week. We currently have some flushable cloth diaper liners on order and I'm wondering how you address the cleaning, smell, etc.? Help!
No doubt, the bigger your diapered child gets, the more disgusting his #2 diapers! Thankfully, the cloth community has come up with some solutions that are helpful and also relatively economical. One should definitely check out these options before abandoning all!
The first is a diaper liner I found on eBay, created by a stay-at-home mom with microfleece and a pair of scissors. I caught on after buying my first batch and went ahead and created my own. For about $2, I made ~20 liners that go easily on the diaper directly against the baby's skin, allow for the use of creams/rash ointments, clean up easily in the toilet (so that you don't have to slosh around the whole diaper), and wash with the rest of your diaper load. You can see the liner is contoured like the diaper for great coverage! They are a must in our cloth diapering world. Other liners like these rice paper ones flush right down and biodegrade. They are probably pretty similar to the ones she already purchased.
Another great cloth diapering invention is the diaper spray wand, which attaches to toilet plumbing and makes clean-up quick and easy. We do not own one of these, but are looking to add it soon to give me a little more power when cleaning the diapers. Our new toilets just don't have the jet power of our old one!
Most cloth diaper sites sell diaper perfumes for helping to naturally control smell. I've never used any of these, but have had some luck doing a wash solely with baking soda to help neutralize the smell.
Finally, for storage in-between washings, I use one of these simple trash cans. It has a flip top and generally keeps odors at bay. I've even had diapers sit in it for more than a few days (gasp!) without noticing a smell. You can find it at a local Target or Wal-Mart.
All in all, cloth diapering should be a relatively enjoyable (we're talking diapers here) venture for your family--your baby is clean and dry, snuggled in soft cotton; your family is saving money (eventually) on the cost of regular diapers; and you are drastically reducing your paper waste, among many other perks! If you have to take a break, don't sweat it! We just resumed our cloth diapering after a 6-mos hiatus due to a supersoaker newborn and laundry backlog. Thankfully, we're back on the bandwagon and enjoying it again. Blessings to all of our clothy readers out there...
**If you're new to our cloth diapering discussion, check out our previous posts on the matter. Welcome!