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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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What's That Smell??

When I was 12 years old, my little brother was born. I was just old enough to babysit and do some of the "mommy chores," and the thing I remember hating the most was dealing with the diapers. Not necessarily changing him, but the smell of the used diapers that seemed to drift around the room. When we were on the go and he had to be changed in the car, my sister and I would dramatically hold our noses the whole ride home until mom could throw it out. I think it actually brought my parents joy to see how we reacted to it, haha. And emptying the full diaper pail was a chore that we dreaded!

So when my husband and I adopted our son, I was resigning myself to reliving that experience. Luckily, a few months before he arrived, a friend who cloth diapered showed us her system, and I was hooked. Now after using cloth on my son for 5 months, I've been so pleasantly surprised to find that "the smell" is almost nonexistent! When we're on the go, we use a travel-size wet bag that easily fits into the diaper bag. There can be 4 or 5 messy diapers in there, and you'd never know it! At home, I use a large PlanetWise wet bag with elastic on the top. Originally, we'd planned on getting a kitchen-sized garbage pail to put it in, but with all the business of being new parents, only got around to buying one recently. Until now, that bag has just been sitting in the corner, full of a day or two's worth of messy diapers, and there's still no smell. I think there's something about cloth that just allows for better air flow. A few times when I've been lazy and haven't finished the laundry in time, we've had to use a disposable diaper or two, and there's quite a noticeable difference. When that used diaper is taken off, there's "the smell" again. I don't understand the exact science, but I've read that it has something to do with the chemicals in disposables that allow them to be absorbent. In my opinion, things like that have no purpose being near my baby's sensitive skin!

Now, that's not to say that my baby's diapers NEVER stink. My boy has created some masterpieces that would make your hair stand on end! That's just a fact of can't quite get rid of that. But it certainly is nowhere near as bad as what I've experienced with disposable diapers. And I also use a system that minimizes the stink and staining. When my baby hasn't had a bowel movement yet, I try to remember to lay a flushable liner on top of my diapers. When he finally goes, I carry the messy diaper into the bathroom, where I have a "diaper sprayer" hooked up (well, it's actually a handheld shower attachment that we rigged up ourself. It works great!). I carefully flush the messy liner, then use the sprayer to get any remaining mess off the diaper. Since he's not on solids yet, I could technically skip this step and toss it straight in the washer, but I find that my diapers are less likely to stain if I spray them first, and it really only adds a few minutes onto the routine. Easy and totally worth it!

So if you have friends, family, or a hubby who is reluctant to try cloth due to the mess and stink factor myth, feel free to show them this post. :)

Bio: Laci is a new mom to a sweet baby boy who loves his cute fluffy dipes! She works from home as a freelance illustrator and voiceover artist, and has an affinity for all things geeky.

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