When I tell my friends and family that we use cloth diapers, the first reaction of many is “I couldn’t stand dealing with the dirty diapers.” Too squeamish for cloth diapers? Well, let’s put it this way, parenting in general is not for the squeamish!
Anyone dealing with infants and toddlers is changing diapers. You’ll be wiping buns and will be seeing, smelling and dealing with poo whether you are using cloth or disposable. Many parents who use disposable diapers just wrap up the poo and throw it in the trash. Using cloth involves one extra small step: I take the solid waste and flush it down the toilet–this involves either a gentle shake or a bit of toilet paper to help it off. It’s no worse than wiping it off of my child’s behind. I then fold up the diaper and toss it into my wet bag which I then cinch shut with its drawstring. And I’ve only been doing this since my son started eating solid foods. When he was a newborn, I tossed his soiled diapers directly into the wet bag without even wiping them off. There was no need.
Others worry that the diaper pail will smell. And to this I say, “Yes, it will.” Of course it will but NOT anymore than a garbage can full of soiled disposables–and since I toss most of the solid waste into the toilet, possibly less. If I do start to smell the diapers, then I know it’s time to do a load of laundry. I never let them sit for more than three days before I wash them which is probably another reason the smell is not a problem.
I think those parents who think they will be “grossed out” by the dirty cloth diapers they’ll need to wash are forgetting all of the other things they’ll be dealing with on a regular basis as parents: runny noses, hacking coughs, throw-up and bleeding boo-boos. Buck-up, I say! Cloth diapers involve hardly more interaction with “Poo” than disposables. For me, washing them involves emptying the wet bag directly into the washing machine, adding the detergent and turning on the machine. It’s not like most of us are washing them by hand these days so I’m not elbow-deep in dirty water.
If you are feeling open to using cloth but still haven’t made up your mind, the best thing you can do is to buy a few and try them out. It’s easier than most people think and using cloth is better for baby, the earth and saves money too–and nobody can say they feel squeamish about that!