Wednesday, August 17, 2011

cloth diapering: the gross factor

Yesterday afternoon I got a call at work, "You won't believe what your son did." And, I knew it was bad. After all the turtle had suddenly been solely conceived, born and raised by me; never a good sign. "Oh dear, what?" Chris proceeded to tell me that he and the turtle were running late for their play date because the turtle had to take a bath. The turtle had to take a bath because while Chris was on a conference call and the turtle was watching the Wots Wots, he (yes, the turtle watches a little TV, so shoot me) he had decided to take off his diaper. The problem was the diaper was full of poop.

As some of you may know, we are in the middle of gentle potty training, and we have been teaching the turtle that he doesn't want to be in a dirty or wet diaper. And he's learned the lesson fast; coming up to either Chris or I immediately, making the sign and saying "bath, bath, bath" (his way of telling us he wants to be clean.) But, yesterday it must have donned on him that just taking the diaper off himself was an option. Chris said that it was a pretty funny sight; the turtle talking to DottyWot and SpottyWot on the TV, bare ass naked, with a poopy diaper on the floor.

One of the problems, I think, is that cloth diapers, because of the Velcro, are a lot easier to take off. So I decided, what the hell, I should own up to the fact that sometimes cloth diapering can be a little gross.

So these are the top three items on the "gross factor" list:

The rinse: We have a diaper sprayer and I can't imagine our life without it. That said, there are times, when spraying off an especially messy diaper you accidentally spray poop everywhere; on your hands, your clothes, your face.

Diapers in the shower: After we rinse out the diaper, before it goes in the pail, we hang it on a designated hook in the bathtub/shower to dry out a bit. Meaning, more often than not, we shower with rinsed, but pre-cleaned diapers and rags. Likewise, the turtle is usually in the bath with one of these not quite clean diapers above his head. As such we wrote a little song:
I like to bathe with the poopy diapers, cuz I like my water brown.
I like to bathe with the poopy diapers, cuz I like to swim around in the poop, in the poop, in the poop.
Yup, pretty gross.

And finally, drum roll please, the smell. Okay let's face it sometimes the diapers are pretty stinky and I'm not talking about the poopy diapers, I'm talking about that crazy ammonia smell or as Chris and I call it "the funk," Now, it's taken some time, but I think we've finally found the magic recipe to keep it at bay. It include a generous spraying of BumGenius Odor remover and two washes using Rockin Green products, which totally rock. But every once in a while, there's a little funk in the air.

We're 17 months in and we're still figuring out the best way to keep our nursery paper-free and some days are easier than others. But there's no doubt about it, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, if you want to be a green parent, you gotta have a strong stomach.

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