(This is old. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago. I am now back at work, so a day for us is a little different now. But I have nothing new for you today. And I thought I should post this draft before the wee one goes to college and you wonder why I still talk about her being in diapers. I hope you enjoy, all the same.)
So, how different is cloth diapering from using disposables? Cloth diapering feels very natural to me. I have been cloth diapering my daughter for well over a year, and it just feels like the way we do it. However, I know there are aspects of our routine that I do because we use cloth, that are habit for me, but might be a source of questions for mamas that don't cloth diaper. For mamas considering the cloth diaper question, I thought I would post a sample day-in-the-life of a cloth diapering mama. For those of you who have been following the blog and it's photos, you may recognize some of the photos mentioned here!
7:30 am. Wee One wakes up. I hear her from my bed, so I get up and put on a robe, and retrieve her from her bed. She makes the sign for "nurse", so we settle in the rocker. She is still in her nighttime diaper that she has been in since 8:00 the night before.
7:45 am. After nursing, she climbs down to some toys on the floor. She is not the least bit uncomfortable, though still in her nighttime diaper. I gather the diaper changing supplies - cloth diaper, changing pad, disposable wipes (we go back and forth between cloth wipes and sposie wipes. This particular morning I did sposie wipes.) I hear the rumblings of some passed gas and know this diaper is likely to be a doozy.
7:50 am. In the middle of the living room floor, I lay out a Fuzzi Bunz cloth changing pad (the one shown here) and lay her on it. She immediately rolls over and tries to get away, so I hold her with one hand while wrestling the jammies off. I find some random toy within reach and lay it on her chest in the hopes that she will be still long enough for me to wipe. I pull back the velcro on her Thirsties Duo Diaper stuffed with an extra insert (discussed here) and then reattach the tabs to the velcro on the back of the diaper (laundry tabs). There is poo, so I lay the diaper to the side to be dunked and swished (see below). While still holding the squirmy worm with one hand, I pull sposie wipes out of the dispenser and wipe her as much as possible, then lay them to the side with the dirty diaper. Still with one hand on ankles, trying to turn her back onto her back, I lay the fresh diaper underneath, do the velcro tabs, and viola. Diaper changed. First of the day.
7:55 am. Pick up the changing pad and fold (or toss) it on the arm of the chair. Take the dirty diaper and used wipes into the bathroom. Wipes into the garbage (I keep the door to the bathroom closed these days. If your LO gets into the garbage, this won't work. Trust me.) and the inserts come out of the dipe into the hanging wet bag on the back of the bathroom door. The pocket then gets turned poo-side-down into the toilet to soak for a few minutes because ...
7:56 am. Riiiiiiiip. The sound of velcro, followed by the sight of a naked hiney on the living room carpet. Do I let her stay that way, and pee on the carpet in a few minutes? Or let her be naked and diaperless for a bit? I'm afraid for my living room rug, so I put the diaper back on, and tug a pair of tight-fitting shorts over top. After snapping a photo for the blog (see here).
7:57 am. Back to the bathroom to swish the diaper in the toilet before I forget and flush it down. Wring the poopy water out, drop it in the wetbag, zip it up. Grab the Lysol or Clorox wipes next to the toilet and wipe off the drips on the seat, and drop the wipe into the garbage can. Wash hands. Close bathroom door. That last part is key.
10:00 am. She is not acting uncomfortable, but it's been two hours since her last change, so I chase her down for a diaper change. I again grab the changing pad and throw it on the living room floor, and this time I grab the diaper bag to use a cloth wipe. After taking off the dirty diaper, I spray her bum with Thirsties Booty Luster, and wipe with a dry cloth wipe. Then I put on a clean diaper, and the shorts, of course. This diaper is just wet, so I just toss it in the wet bag, along with the dirty wipe.
12:00 noon. Almost time for a nap, as evidenced by the meltdown that is beginning over the cracker that she signed for, took a bite of, lost, found, but tried to give back to me and I refused. Hence, the tears. I take the cracker and play the "give and take" game for a few minutes until I get a teary, weary smile, then we begin the diaper change. This time, we are on the floor in her room, and I know she's not poopy, so I don't bother with the changing pad. Also, there are awesome toys within reach, so this change is relatively smooth. I put a Knickernappies Disposanot sized diaper on her - with snaps - so I don't have to wrestle the shorts on her while I'm trying to keep her calm to get ready for her nap.
3:00 pm. She slept until 2:15 and then was hungry, so we went straight to the lunch table. Her Knickernappies diaper is covered in soup and pieces of cheese and crackers when I strip it off of her in the living room for her afternoon change. I tend to stick to a schedule in the morning, but by the afternoon she's lucky if she doesn't sit in a wet diaper for 5 hours straight. She gets another Knickernappies, this time a OS (one-size).
5:15 pm. Grandpa will be home from work soon, so either we are waiting for he and Nan at our house, or getting ready to get in the stroller to head to their house. Either way, it's a convenient time for a change. I'm usually packing the diaper bag on the end of the couch, so I just put her down there and do a quick change. Back to the Thirsties, which means the shorts have to go back on. Sippy cup of juice, and we are off to the repeated sound of "dog" since she knows we are going to see the dog at Nan and Grandpa's. (At this point I just leave the dirty diaper lay. When she's in bed and I'm picking up, I'll stick it in the wetbag. It's just wet, so it's not stinky.)
7:30 pm. Time for a bath, so in the bathroom by the tub the last diaper comes off - easy to toss in the wetbag, although if I'm really in a hurry I'll leave it on the floor until she's washed and playing and then I pick it up. The pre-bath preparation has been to grab a Thirsties Duo and stuff it with an extra bamboo/zorb insert and put it in her crib along with her pajamas so we are ready when she gets out of the tub. Dry off, to the crib, diaper on, pajamas on, then to the floor to read books on my lap (and eat some oatmeal if she didn't eat much at supper). That is the diaper she will stay in until the next morning.
Every few days, when the wetbag gets full, I do diaper laundry. After she is asleep I haul the wetbag(s) to the basement and put them in the washer (I unstuff the Knickernappies, but the Thirsties unstuff themselves in the rinse cycle) on a cold wash with Thirsties pre-wash. Then just before I go to bed, a wash on hot with Thirsties super-wash. In the morning they go in the dryer, and the next evening they may or may not get folded and stuffed, and may or REALLY may not get put away!
So there you have it, a day in the life of a cloth diaperer. In many ways it is similar to a routine that any other mama would do. Probably the dunk-and-swish is the most different, followed by the wetbag rather than the trash!!!