. . . continued from Part I . . .
So I’m sure you’ve figured out that there’s more to diapering than just diapers! For example, you’ll need a surface to ‘take care of the business’, you’ll need space to store the supplies, you’ll definitely need a spot to stack diapers, and of course you’ll need to dump the dirty ones. But don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t go thinking you need a ton of stuff.
Early into our procreation planning we realized a nursery just wasn’t for us. A nursery is meant to harbor *stuff*, which we’re not really into. We knew we would use a co-sleeper, so it only made sense to share the rest of our bedroom as well. Our low-impact parenting philosophy made this a lot easier, as we would not be purchasing roughly 90% of standard new-baby paraphernalia (like, you know, a crib). But there was no denying that we would need a changing area.
Our solution was simple: we relocated a lamp and then outfitted my tallboy dresser with a changing pad (this organic non-toxic one). We added a shelf for the associated accoutrements, with a click-touch led light on the underside for nighttime changes (this was Daman’s idea and it came in so handy! highly recommend!) A bit of rearranging and Waits got 2 small drawers for clothing and one giant drawer for diapers. The decorative hook holds the bag of clean cotton wipes, and the old dog food bin made an excellent diaper pail. Voila! A first rate changing station, DIY style.
Along with cloth diapers we use cotton baby wipes. I made them out of old tee shirts, and they work *great*. I recommend using light colors to you can see what you’re wiping up. In the orange spray bottle is plain water with a few drops of tea tree oil. I spray the wipe to get it good and moist before putting it to use. You can just use plain water as well, or a bit of castile, or other essential oils. The point is that you don’t need to buy any fancy formulated wipes, especially not disposable ones! We also use tea tree oil, an antibacterial and antifungal, to keep the diaper pail fresh.
My diaper collection currently hovers around 25, give or take a few as he grows/I shop. When Waits was a newborn we were washing diapers every other day and could barely keep up, but now at 4 months he goes a lot less and we launder every three days without worry. I use my own laundry detergent recipe and it’s a great non-toxic cleanser, strong enough to sterilize but naturally gentle on delicate skin. I usually throw some Biokleen in there too, but that’s more for stains than for sanitation. I also hear great things about Charlie’s Soap, and a Bonzai reader recommended Rockin’ Green Soap, but I haven’t tried either of these.
But washing can only do so much when you’re dealing with caca on white cloth. If you really want to whiten, there’s nothing more powerful (or more eco-friendly) than that big ol’ bleacher in the sky. That’s right, the sun. And bonus – it naturally kills germs, too! An afternoon on the clothes line does wonders for my precious pads. Check it :
Not bad, right?!
So that’s the extent of our diapering drill – that’s all there is to it. But someday (soon! Oh EEK it goes by so fast!) Waits will start on solids, and that’s a whole new potty ballpark. Breastfed baby poo is all soft and friendly, almost sweet smelling and essentially liquid. But real food makes for real poops. And when that time comes, I expect we’ll set up a DIY diaper sprayer, a hack similar to this one. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to blog about it!
I hope you’ve found it helpful to see the choices we’ve made in our little green family. Of course, everyone does it a bit differently. There’s not a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way! What I’d love for you to take away from this, is that cloth diapering is totally doable, even – dare I say – a pleasure! You don’t need any fancy bells or whistles. You don’t need any special set-ups or expensive cleansers. As with everything I advocate, a little imagination and a little metaphorical elbow grease will go a long way. It’s just like I always say: Be creative, and have fun with it!