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Monday, September 2, 2013

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Washing a Reduced Load of Cloth Diapers During Potty Training

For a lot of moms that have gotten used to cloth diapering for two (or more) years, potty training can be a funny kind of mourning. Many silently cry a tear or two when packing away each size of diaper, wondering if they will be used again, or if their diapering days are over. Some even go on mini denial induced spending sprees of newborn fluff for new babies they aren’t even expecting yet, just to get that fluffy high! Still others rejoice in the lack of laundry and don’t miss their child’s cloth diapers one bit. They are ready to move on to the next stage.

Whatever category you fall under, one day soon, your kids will enter the potty training stages. Slowly you can put your diapers away with less frequency until, well, it doesn't matter if they're organized or not... oops!

Whether you use funky colored and printed cloth trainers or plain old underwear, it’s likely you’ll still use cloth diapers at first for travel, naps, and night time, before trimming down to just night time. You might have a day with no wet diapers at all, or just a few accidental drops. In any case, you’ll have very few lonely diapers to launder.

So what to do with these itty bitty loads? There are roughly 3 camps:

1. Some moms wash in the sink by hand as needed.
2. Some moms make an extra small load, rinsing diapers if there’s too big of a lag in between dirties. If you do this, don’t forget that cloth diapers still need special care. I’ve tried reducing the ‘type’ of load i.e. using a casual wash instead of a heavy duty one—don’t do it folks! Adjust your detergent and load size, but don’t change HOW you wash them!
3. Still others rinse the diapers and then add them to a load of baby clothes, towels, or similar. Just remember to use your favorite cloth diaper detergent when washing all the laundry in the ‘diaper’ load and keep up that heavy cycle to get them extra clean!

How did you handle potty training your child(ren)? Were you sad to see those diapering days end?

Bio: Jill (wife and mom to 2 with one on the way) lives life just this side of crunchy and chronicles even the most prickly life experiences at

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Katie said...

We're in the middle of potty training and have gone from 5-7 diapers/day to 1-2 diapers/day. Of course, we've also got more wet clothes and underpants, so it's almost evened out. I just wash diapers/soiled clothes a little less frequently now and run slightly smaller loads. I'm looking forward to packing them away until baby #2. :)

Keara B. said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time! We're at the point where we only really use cloth diapers for naps or long car rides, but I have a little bit of a dilemma. (Maybe you can help?) I have no problem doing smaller wash loads, but my little one usually poops in her nap diaper, and those small loads don't seem to have enough agitation to get them clean. (They still smell vaguely of poo after washing.) I hate putting in clothes and such with several poopy diapers... any ideas? Thanks! :)