What do you do when you only have one nighttime diaper a day to wash? Do you wait a week and wash all seven at once? That would mean you would need seven night time diapers. That may also make for some pretty stinky diapers…. When faced with this dilemma, some moms have decided to throw in the cloth towel and use disposables. Don’t fret! There are at least a couple solutions to this problem and none of them require you spend more money or expose your toddler to the disposable diapers you had previously been avoiding.
I don’t quite have one diaper a night (since I have twins that still sleep in diapers) but I have found a couple ways to continue washing nighttime diapers. The dilemma boils down to, how do you get a full load of laundry out of one diaper? It is recommended that you wash cloth diapers at least every 2-3 days to avoid growth of any kind. You have several options on how to wash them.
First you can collect all your whites, socks, underwear, towels etc and wash them with your two night time diapers every other day. My favorite option has been to increase our home cloth use! Cloth diapering has helped us to be even more “green” than we were before our kiddos were born. My suggestion is to get even “greener”! I like to wash our few diapers with our cloth napkins, unpaper towels, momma cloth, and washcloths that we use to clean up the kids after meals and at bath time. (Did I mention adding the underwear and/or trainers that are soiled during this trying potty learning time?) I alternate washing these items with either the sheets and mattress protectors from the kid’s beds or with two white towels. (Yes, I wash them with napkins. Diapers get washed more thoroughly than anything else in our home and are the cleanest load of laundry! Also, urine is sterile, so with simply wet nighttime diapers, you don’t have to worry about the microbes found in dirty diapers.)
Another option for washing very few diapers a week is to wash one diaper a day by hand. This may seem intimidating but can be much easier and more cost effective than running an entire washing machine load if you don’t have anything else to wash the diaper with. For hand washing made easy, we often use two flat diapers (one birdseye flat and one receiving blanket turned flat diaper folded your favorite way), a washcloth as a doubler, topped with a layer of fleece which helps keep the kiddos from waking by keeping them feeling dry. Wrap this up with your favorite cover and you are all set! Flat diapers are easier to hand wash due to having only one layer of material. They also line dry fairly quickly! (Dry time will vary depending on your climate.)
So, if you have been a fan of cloth, don’t give up while potty learning! Get even “greener”!
This post was written by Janice Roodsari. Janice is a stay at home mom to twins, an RN, an environment and cloth diaper advocate, and a blogger. She also leads the Real Diaper Circle of Ventura County. You can find more posts written by Janice at http://mommawords.com.