I have to say, cloth diapering my newborn was a really easy thing. I used to change her diapers by taking the dirty diaper and the cloth baby wipe and throwing them both, as they were, in the wetbag; waste and all.
Yes, I did breastfeed exclusively and the waste that comes from an exclusively breastfed baby is water soluable. I was spoiled and not even aware of it. I had heard that solid waste, "just rolls off the cloth diaper." Well, let me tell you… My experience with starting solid foods had been a little different than I was told.
At six months of age I started my daughter on solid food. Butternut Squash was her first food, followed by Sweet Potatoes and then Peas. It was a new adventure and it was exciting. I was extremely thrilled to be making her food and trying new things with her, afterall, it was a pretty large milestone in her life. Unfortunately, my excitement died down when I got my first look at this new semi-solid dirty diaper. GROSS! Not only was it a disgusting mess, but it was stinky! Because we are not exclusively breastfeeding, I am not able to just throw the messy diaper (waste and all) in the wetbag anymore. I remember thinking what am I going to do with this disgusting thing? It definitely would not, "just roll off the diaper" and I couldn't use a whole roll of toilet paper trying to scrape this mess off.
I had heard one lady that uses a spatula (typically a kitchen utensil) to scrape the mess off into the toilet. Another more common way to clean the mess is a diaper sprayer. A diaper sprayer hooks up to the toilet and is very similar to a shower head on a hose. I did not buy a diaper sprayer in fear that (with my luck), it would spray the mess all over and this dirty diaper would be clean but my bathroom (toilet, walls, and even celing) would be a disaster.
I finally came up with a method to take care of this dirty diaper. A method that works for me. I have been wiping the diaper with the dirty cloth baby wipe, shaking that into the toilet and rinsing the rest in the sink. I know that sounds kind of gross, but this isn't a sink we use regularly and I think it is much easier to disinfect the sink than it is to disinfect the washing machine. I also just cannot come to dunk the cloth diapers in the toilet. Although my college Microbiology teacher used to say the toilet is a lot cleaner than the kitchen sink, I still can not get past the idea.
I have been feeding my daughter solid food for a little over two weeks and everything (as far as output) has been more challenging, but working well. While the dirty diapers look like they will have a stain after I rinse them, when they come out of the wash, none have stained thus far. I wash them the same way I did with the exclusively breastfed waste: a cold wash, hot wash and two cold rinses. All in all, it's not horrible, but it is different than what I had expected.
Joanna Barrette is a stay at home mom to a 1-year-old daughter and is currently pregnant with their second little blessing. She loves spending time with her family and also enjoys reading, baking, cooking, and making crafts.