It Certainly Doesn’t Smell Like Roses

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I’ve been cloth diapering for a few weeks now and we’ve officially made the decision to continue with it. This means a trip to the store soon to pick up some more pre-folds because I’d really rather not be doing laundry every day for the next three years. Dan is pretty stoked with the whole situation and I’m surprised and pleased to see he likes it a lot more than he thought he would. Then there’s me. I don’t love it. I don’t think I even like it. I have little fantasies about going back to disposables on like a daily basis, but then I think of the money saved and the potential environmental savings and I just… can’t.

And the thing is – I’m a little bit PO’ed about the whole thing. I like a lot of green things – I prefer using cloth grocery bags over paper or plastic any day. I love nursing and would never really want to go back to the bottle – I’m thrilled it’s working so well this time around. We use reusable water bottles and I can’t even imagine using a new plastic bottle for EVERY bottle of water I drink – because I drink a LOT of water. And there are other things, too, that my sleep deprived brain can’t think of – but the point is – I was pretty sure I’d love cloth diapering, too, in a sort of “so it should follow that…” mentality.

I’ve read blog posts of CD users who absolutely rave about cloth diapering. Who say they can’t even imagine letting a “yucky disposable diaper” touch their darling’s delicate skin now. People seriously seem to love the heck out of cloth diapering and I know people can go a bit over board and exaggerate, but seriously? I thought I’d at least like it. I know that with all things, we have our extremists – the people who love or hate something so much it makes you green in the gills just listening to them talk about it. But even with that grain of salt taken… I clearly expected too much.

Because now that I think about – seriously – we’re talking about diapers here. About poop and urine. Does anybody really like changing diapers, like in a, “Gee golly I can’t wait for another diaper change!” kind of way? Does anybody love the rustic smell of throwing out a bag of dirty diapers or washing reusable ones? Really? They are diapers – they stink by nature. Are all these enthusiasts full of *it, or am I reading into their raving the wrong way?

Basically, I think I set myself up for failure by somehow imagining this level of CD enjoyment that just doesn’t exist. Because seriously, picture when disposable diapers first came out – do we think that housewives everywhere said, “Yuck – no thanks!” Or that those same housewives, before the invention of disposable diapers, were like singing songs merrily about how much they loved changing diapers and washing them? It’s not exactly a party game people.

Don’t get me wrong – there is something to be said for not having to run to the store in the middle of the night because we somehow used the last diaper and need to buy more – never mind the cost savings of not having to buy diapers every week or month or whatever until BB is potty trained. That’s kind of sweet. And those little water proof covers can be cute even though they are also gigantic and practically double my daughter’s clothing size – and she’s a peanut, for the record. And I mean, the size of the diapers isn’t exactly the hugest of inconveniences, I can deal. And I know that poop stinks, period – so even though I personally think it smells WAY worse on cloth diapers, whatever, it’s not like it smelled awesome in a Huggies. All I’m really saying – is that I’m disappointed in myself for expecting some weird level of happiness that diaper changing is never going to deliver – and mildly miffed with the world wide web for encouraging that level of excitement, even though it isn’t really their fault.

If I’d gone into this whole thing only wanting to save money and feel like I’d done my part environmentally… I don’t think I’d be so disappointed. If I’d somehow remembered that at the end of the day we were still talking about poop, I wouldn’t have had such unrealistic expectations. But it really has me wondering, am I the only one? How many parents out there cloth diaper, not because they freaking love it to pieces, but because of the cost savings, etc.? Has anyone else soldiered on with CDing despite not loving it in the least? Show of hands?

8 Replies to “It Certainly Doesn’t Smell Like Roses”

  1. My apologies to you as I believe that I am the type that is extremely enthusiastic about cloth diapering. I am now trying to figure out why that is. I had my first in disposables for a year, then switched to cloth (with a bit of disposables mixed in) for a year, then he was in big boy underpants.

    I started my second in cloth when he was four months. I didn’t have any small covers purchased, so I just waited until he could fit into the mediums that we already had. I think what contributes to all of the raving of cloth is the money savings and the environmental benefits. It’s like finding a good deal and wanting to share it with everyone. No, the shirt/pants/bra/whatever, you got for next to nothing with it being on sale, plus 15% off, with a coupon, isn’t made of gold and won’t make your stretch marks disappear, your your boobs perkier, or your waist slimmer, but you got a freaking awesome deal, and you want to tell everyone. So maybe that’s why so many cloth diapering mommas talk up the diaps so much.

    Also, I don’t know if you suffer from a stinky diaper pail, but we were tortured by this for months before I simply laid a hand towel over the lid of the pail, helping to keep the stinkies in.

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  2. I really don’t know how anybody could love anything with the word “diaper” in it! Having said that, my sweet Nat constantly has diaper rash and booty irritations that I am convinced would be fixed by CDing. However, daycare won’t do it, so I won’t be doing it only at night and the weekends. I don’t think it would end up saving me much!

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  3. When my daughter was about a month old, I felt bogged down and a little desperate about my decision to use cloth diapers. I hated the stink and the whole gross routine of washing the diapers! I wasn’t absolutely sure I was doing it right, and it seemed to take so much time. I almost threw in the towel, but decided to just buck up and live with it. It wasn’t until my daughter was at least six months old that I really began to like cloth diapering. Now, I know without a doubt that if I ever have another baby I won’t even consider using disposables.

    A lot of what helped me was getting a good washing system down, one that worked for me and really got the diapers clean. If you want any advice in that area, I’d be happy to help you!

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  4. @ Amanda : Yeah I already remembered that I don’t have to swish or anything until she’s on solids – it’s really not advice I’m looking for – you know I’m not on the fence at this point, just disappointed in my expectations beforehand. I still like the prefolds, it honestly isn’t difficult at all and it’s infinitely cheaper, though the all-in-ones definitely sound nice.

    We might look into the liners when she’s on solids but for now it obviously doesn’t make much sense. We use prefolds with covers, dump the soiled ones in a bucket until I’m ready to wash them – then I wash them exactly as you described.

    So you know, it’s not a level of difficulty thing, just a preference really, but it’s also a moot point as I’m sticking with it anyway.

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  5. I’d like to give CD a spin- for the savings- but Chris even hates changing disposables AND I don’t have my own washer and dryer so I really can’t while living here. So for Mr J and future baby I sadly must go with disposables….I’d like to try G diapers though…at least they are more environmentally friendly than regular ones since you flush it. (which I’ve realized is a great idea for the poopy diapers even now!!! I hardly ever throw poop in the diapers pail now…and his room smells infintly better for it)

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  6. So, let me tell you what works for me. I know I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again. Until BB is on solids, cloth diapering is a whole different ball game. You don’t have to swish the explosive blowouts while BB is breastfeeding (the poo is biologically identical to yogurt). Just throw them in the washer and you’re good. You don’t need any crazy routine – just wash with 1/2 the amount of detergent you’d usually use and add an extra rinse cycle.

    Once she’s started solids, bananas are your best friend and will keep the poo mostly solid. They also make these things called bioliners that look like a dryer sheet and are flushable to put on top of the cloth and catch the poo, so you can just dump it.

    I use the bumgenius, and I love them. When they come out of the dryer (or off the line), I stuff and stack them in a pile on the changing table – just like I had with disposables for the pumpkin. When the cupcake needs a change, I just take the dirty one and throw it in a bucket. I swish (or throw the bioliner in the toilet) when there’s one diaper left and I need to do a wash.

    Like you, I have enough diapers for one day (7 diapers to be exact). I totally plan on picking up 8-10 more and a big wetbag for daycare when the cupcake and pumpkin start that back up. I’m waiting for a good deal online…

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  7. Oooh can’t help you much with this one. I do admire you for soldiering on.
    I also have wondered how these crazy hippy baby wearing(nothing wrong with that) cloth diapering moms do it and love it so much. I did miss out on the baby wearing thing to, which I think would have been so handy. I saw two or three moms at kindergarden drop off baby wearing today. It would have been so much easier than carrying an extra 10 lbs in the baby carrier.

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  8. I am intrigued by cloth diapers. Two of my best friends use them, and they swear they are better than regular diapers.

    Intrigued being the keyword. Notice I didn’t say interested 🙂

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