I’ve been doing cloth diapers for two years and have made a few observations along the way. Anyone wanting to hear my reflections on the subject of infantile excrement management is so in luck.
1. I am humbled by the incredible transformative miracle of the modern washing machine. It actually cleans the dipe I’ve been pretending not to smell, the one I’m hoping my better half swoops in and rescues me from, the one with the poop ground into the very cell walls of the cotton fibers. That one. Maytag, I salute you.
2. A two-day-old diaper pail in the middle of the summer, opened, may cause dizziness, upper respiratory distress and a permanently horrified facial expression.
3. The old wives’ tales of the sun bleaching laundry are actually true. It will also turn diapers into stiff little pup tents ideal for “imaginative play,” or what we used to call “play.”
4. Diapers wear out. Washing (for two cycles) every other day will eventually decimate the cotton fabric of a Chinese prefold. I don’t know why this surprised me. I was counting on ending up with unadulterated dust rags after potty training was over. Not going to happen. My rags will be in rags.
5. What started out as a perpetually neatly folded pile of pristine, fluffy diapers evolved into a laundry basket tumble of stringy (see #4 and photo, top), unfolded prefolds and the occasional sock. And they work just as well as the neat pile. Huh.
6. The above basket is also a wonderful toy. Dump it out, fill it up. Dump it out, fill it up. Better than Disneyland.
7. The diaper pail is also a wonderful toy. Great googly moogly NOOOO!!!
8. In spite of the overwhelming options and information overload, you don’t need an advanced degree in textile conservation to cloth diaper. All you really need is an itty bitty person and a lot of diapers, any kind. I whole-heartedly recommend it.