Perspectives on Cloth Diapers

Once, early in our cloth diapering career (yes, we are still using cloth diapers full-time!), I had a conversation with an acquaintance who was fascinated with the fact that we put reusable diapers on our baby. She kind of thought we were insane, but I didn't care because I took any excuse to talk about cloth diapers. Best case scenario: Maybe I'd convince her it wasn't totally icky. Worst case scenario: I get to talk about cloth diapers! Win-win.

She asked question after question. "Do you have to touch the poop?" "Do you have to use pins to keep them together?" "Do you carry a dirty diaper around with you if change him while you are out?" "Does it take a long time to change a cloth diaper?"

Eventually our conversation turned to our washing routine. I told her about our awesome wet bags that could hold a ton of diapers, didn't stink and were easy to carry to the laundry room or travel with. I told her all about the special soap we started using and how we love it so much we started using it on all our clothes and linens. Suddenly a horrified look crossed her face.

Acquaintance: You don't wash the diapers with the rest of your laundry do you?

Me: Oh goodness no! I wouldn't think of it!

Acquaintance: (nervous laughter) Oh, thank heavens. For a second I thought you just threw it all in together!

Me: (laughing along with her) Ewwww. No way!

We giggled a bit more . . . and then it hit me. *She* thought the idea of putting the diapers in with our other laundry was gross because she thought there would be poop all over our clothes. *I* thought it was gross because all the residue from our antiperspirant and other toiletries would gunk up my cloth – not to mention the synthetic dyes and chemicals that may be on our clothes ruining my organic cotton inserts! 

Well, at least we agreed that it was a bad idea. I did of course assure her that I wouldn't keep putting the same diapers on my baby's bum if I wasn't confident that they got totally clean when we washed them. I'm sure the diapers -– and anything washed with them – are sanitary. 

These days I've relaxed a bit and we do mixed loads of diapers and other laundry – but I still wouldn't use a detergent with an added fragrance!

Sandra Telep is a West Philadelphia mom of two. This post is adapted from her blog, West Philly Mama.

Categories: MomSpeak