Last week, I began to dispel some commonly held myths about cloth diapering.

I began with two of the biggest myths, that cloth diapering is more expensive and that it is more disgusting. The reader response was fantastic and I think that you will find the comments section extremely valuable to take a read through.

{As well, the cloth diapering $75 gift certificate giveaway is still going for a few more days… go get entered!}

Today I want to continue on with three more myths, that cloth diapering is more time consuming, more inconvenient, and only for hippies. Au contraire, my friends!

Cloth diapering isn’t more time consuming

Over the years, I have found that cloth diapering fits more and more seamlessly in with my regular routines and I hardly even notice that I’m doing it.

Here is the time that I consistently spend on cloth diapering my little ones (yes, I still have one in diapers full time, and one at night time only):

  • Regular diaper changes and then putting that diaper in the pail. Every day or two, I add on maybe 2-3 minutes to do a toilet “swish” with a poopy diaper. (But, I don’t have to spend extra time messing with a Diaper Genie, or taking garbage bags out to the trash)
  • My wash routine consists of throwing the load into a rinse cycle (no detergent), then turning that cycle into a hot wash cycle (with detergent). It takes me about 5 minutes total, to set up both loads and give my pail a quick rinse. I do this 2-3 times a week, so maybe 15 minutes a week in total.
  • Hanging my diapers to dry takes about 5 minutes or less, again 2-3 times per week. So we’re talking 30 minutes weekly (absolute maximum) for my wash and dry routine.
  • I don’t fold or carefully put away my diapers. I dump all the diapers and inserts into a large basket, and the cloth wipes into a small one beside it. That’s it. It’s the easiest load of laundry I do!

No, doing laundry won't become your life.

When babies are very small, it is slightly more time consuming but hardly. The tasks are still the same, but you might do laundry more often (which happens anyways with a newborn).

I have found that because each component I mentioned is such a simple and quick task in and of itself, I can easily throw on a load while I wait on the phone on hold, or when I have 2 minutes before we need to run out the door, or when I’m waiting for a child to finish going to the bathroom or getting their shoes on.

As with any other common mothering tasks, all of these little things just become part and parcel of our daily and weekly routines. I have never felt cloth diapering to add a burdensome weight onto my schedule. Even when I was diapering my third baby as a newborn (with the extra wash that entails) and caring for two other young children, it still felt like the least of my worries

Cloth diapering isn’t more inconvenient

When my firstborn was a baby, I held off on cloth diapering during outings for quite a long time, continuing to use disposables for going to church, to a friend’s house, to the grocery store, etc.

I’m not sure why I thought it would be more difficult, but I did. When I finally got over it and gave it a try, I was thoroughly relieved to find that it was no more trouble than anything else.

So long as I brought the necessary diapers with me, and a bag of some sort for bringing them home with me, it was just as easy as doing a disposable change. Sometimes easier because I didn’t have to seek out an appropriate garbage for disposing of the diaper (ever been to a home without children where they couldn’t fathom what to do with a dirty diaper, so you ended up carrying it home anyways?).

I found this adorable wet bag at Etsy shop Snuggy Baby (lots of other great designs, too!)

A few ways to make cloth diapering even more convenient:

  • I used to use a ziploc bag way back in the day, but now I use a zippered, washable wet bag which I love. It gets tossed in the wash and keeps my diaper bag totally free of stink.
  • As I mentioned in the last post, rather than a diaper pail that needs the occasional scrub, try using a larger washable hanging wet bag which simply gets added in to your diaper wash.
  • Use pocket diapers, which do up with either snaps or velcro very similarly to a disposable diaper. I’ve taught my babysitter to use them, my hubby doesn’t mind, and the grandparents haven’t found them complicated either. Additionally, if you pre-stuff (add the insert) before you leave the house, you just tuck the one piece into your bag, rather than dealing with a separate diaper and cover while you’re out.

Image by Radio Saigon

Cloth diapering isn’t for hippies only

I suppose it depends on your definition of hippie. In my opinion, I am far from a “hippie”, despite all of my natural leanings. I live in a middle-class suburb, drive a minivan, use a cell phone and a MacBook, do not own a long flowing flowered skirt, have only 2 piercings and shoulder length hair, and I can’t stand Bob Dylan.

That said, I do buy plenty of traditional, wholesome and naturally-raised food, as seasonal and local as possible. I keep my home free of toxins in my cleaners and in my beauty care routine. I do my best to reduce waste. I have an organic garden in my backyard (but no chickens or goats… yet). I cloth diaper my babies because I think it’s gentler on them, the earth and my budget.

Living more sustainably isn’t an option that’s relegated to hippies any longer.

Green is the new black, and though I started this natural-living blog as somewhat of a lone ranger, these days everyone from big-city yuppies to high school kids to small town folk to my grandma are starting to learn that natural and sustainable living is for everyone.

Cloth diapering has really expanded to a wide-variety of people, far beyond the stereotypes that we might think of. And with the wide range of options available for cloth diapering, there’s something for everyone:

  • Hybrids like gDiapers (part reusable, part disposable) for those wanting something more ecological yet not prepared to go all the way with cloth
  • Pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers that function and fit very similarly to disposables- super easy for dads, babysitters, grandparents, everyone.
  • Traditional cloth diapers like fitteds with covers, or even simple prefolds with covers. Cheaper to buy and more like what mom or grandma used to use.
  • Truly sustainable diapers made with textiles like organic hemp, bamboo and wool, 100% natural for baby’s skin and for the earth.

Come clean, fellow hippies (just kidding!), do you find cloth diapering more inconvenient or time consuming?

For those not sold yet, I would love to hear your questions and concerns about cloth diapering, which I will do my best to answer in next week’s post!

Top image by simplyla. Image of old-fashioned scrub board by CedarBendDrive.