Apr 4, 2011

"Eww but cloth diapering is GROSS..."


... how many times have I heard that since I started using cloth diapers?  I don't know - I never kept count, but it is one of the most common replies I receive, when I say the simple phrase "I"m using cloth diapers".

Cloth diapering + gross don't really go in the same sentence for me, unless it is with regard to teething-baby-poop, or stomach-virus-baby-poop.  I'm not too sure why people automatically think that cloth diapering is gross, there hasn't been one time when I've thought "oh god I wish I was using disposables - this is so gross", well I have said that on the odd occasion - but never seriously.  You try cleaning diarrhoea off a diaper you forgot to line with a liner & tell me if YOU don't wish for just a second you could just wrap it & throw it away!

I guess a lot of people make judgements from their impressions of cloth diapering 'back in the day', when you did have to scrape the poop off diapers and have a bucket of dirty diapers in dirty water, creating a horrible stink in the laundry or wherever they were stored... that said, I remember very clearly my two aunties using cloth diapers (20+ years ago) and I don't remember it being gross.  A little labour intensive PERHAPS, but that was about it.  I used to be fascinated by my Aunty doing a special fold for my boy cousins - up until then I'd only been around girl babies, and found it very interesting that boys needed a different fold!

I find that cloth diapering now - compared with back then - seems a LOT easier.  Simply a case of remove dirty diaper & wipe little bottom, place baby on top of new diaper & snap/velcro/aplix the tabs, remove dirty liner from dirty diaper & dispose of any solid waste in the toilet (often these liners can be flushed along with the poop), then place dirty diaper in 'wet bag' or DRY diaper pale.  When ready put the diapers in the washing machine - then hang them out or put them in the drier.

Yes  - when cloth diapering you do have to deal with poop, but that's the same when you're using disposables... no matter what diaper you use there will always be a bum to wipe, and as far as I can see that is really the closest that cloth diapers become to being 'gross'.  If you use diaper liners most time any poop can be removed from the diaper by simply lifting off the liner... on the odd occasion poop does miss the liner & get on the fabric of the diaper, a quick run under a fast flowing tap - or with a diaper sprayer, and it's gone...  That may be the ONLY positive side there is to disposables.

You tell me - what looks 'grosser', more 'offensive', like something you'd hate to have in your house?
A pale full of used disposable diapers....
Cloth diapers folded & ready to be used
'old school' cloth diapers - aka 'flats'
Cloth diapering has come SO far from 'back in the day' - the cloth that our grandparents & parents used.  Back then the only real option when it came to cloth diapers, was using the flats & pins that we probably all naturally associated with cloth diapering when we were younger.... These are the diapers that were most likely used on us, because going back not so long ago a bulk of babies were in cloth diapers - it was more 'kooky' to use disposables than cloth diapers... go into any backyard and chances are you'd find cloth nappies drying on the washing line, getting ready for their next use.  When it came time to change diapers, the diaper was folded, slid under the baby & then the magical (well to me it seemed that way!) task of pinning the diapers took place - a fluffy cover (if a cover at all) was placed on top & the child was good to go.  Then out to the laundry the used cloth diaper would go - and into a pale of cold, manky, stinky water it would sit until a load of diapers was put into the washing machine & then back out on the line - where the whole process would repeat itself.  In most households in your street - in the street next to you & 50 streets away, THIS would have been the process.  It was just normal!  It was what you did when you had a baby!

Then disposables became more widely available - and cheaper, more parents decided to take the leap & try out the new fandangled diapers to see what the fuss was about... and in the space of a few years suddenly cloth diapers became a thing of the past for most families, and disposables were a regular part of life with a baby.  The history of cloth diapering is something I'll get into another time, but long story short - cloth began becoming somewhat popular again, but this time things had changed.  Cloth diapers were easier to use, more hygenic - and a lot cuter...

Going along with the 'cloth diapering is gross!' theme, take a look at these pictures & tell me which you think is the 'grosser' of the two - which would you sooner put on your babies booty?
A 'MCD' - Modern Cloth Diaper
A disposable diaper
The only thing that is gross about cloth diapering, is the poop aspect, and whether you are using cloth, disposables or eliminiation communication - you are going to have to deal with poop, so if you ask me you might as well make the rest of the diapering experience a darn cute one!

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