Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Woman of the Cloth

After trying out gDiapers for a little while now, I've decided that I'd like to take it one step of crazy further and use cloth while at home and g's while out and about. My reason for this is much more economy than ecology, but the biggest concern I have was reinforced when I suggested it to J and got the following response; "Have you ever been to someone's house who uses cloth diapers? Their whole house smells like our diaper pail." Yeah, I know. BUT that could just be that they didn't really know what they were doing.

I was confident that was the only reason, so put a message out to my mom's group talk loop as there was at least one woman who cloth diapered four times over, and she is not the type to have a stinky house, so I set out to pick her brain.

I cc'd my mom and sisters as I knew that my mom cloth diapered the four of us. Since there is that large age gap between the two sets of sisters, I knew "The Big Girls" would have some insight as well, as they would definitely not have forgotten a stinky house. My mom wouldn't have known, as she has no sense of smell.

I got some great responses from my mom's group which were very encouraging, and one mom even offered about 3 dozen diapers. From my family, however, that's another story.

Here's what I got from my sister, Sherri:

Hello Sally,

Ok, I'm going to present a theory about handling cloth diapers I'vebeen carrying around for years but have been reluctant to share. Butstay with me for a moment and see if you don't agree that this is alittle strange. I'll walk you through it:

Consider that all four of us girls were raised in the same household,in the same town, with the same diet and general lifestyles during ourformidable years. Now, think about our relative health histories,thinking first about the "big girls" and then the "little girls."There have been marked differences in the health histories of thesetwo sets of siblings.

Little girls:
Gall bladder surgery
Routine orthodontia.

Big girls:
Ovarian cysts
Blood clot
Hay fever
Cardiothoracic teratoma
Mental illnesses including depression and mood disorder

After taking into account all of our background characteristics, only one thing can explain our disparate health issues: Exposure to andrepeated handling of cloth diapers. The big girls had to change thelittle girls' diapers, which involved "dunking the diaper" in thetoilet to remove solid waste before placing them in the diaper pail. This exposure occurred over a sustained period of nearly five years (especially for one of the big girls in particular who will remain anonymous due to HIPAA issues). I'm surprised we're not both on dialysis.


A "Big Girl"

Nothing like a little familial support when undertaking an endeavor that I'm not quite sure I'm not too squeamish for. Afterall...who really wants to handle their kids' poo that intimately? I think I'll just have to be encouraged each time I want to dry heave as I open the pail to do a load of diapers by the shit load of money I'll be saving by staying home, nursing and cloth diapering while at home. But will the pocket book win out in the end? Stay tuned...


Portlandia said...

Ok, I am a working mom (and I mean 80-hour week working) with 2 kids in day care and precious little local family support, and we manage to cloth diaper at least 50% of the time. And we use a dry pail and only dump solid poos in the toilet (those breastmilk gooies go straight in the wash) and our house smells like dog, not urine. So, power to ya! Make it happen! You'll save the planet in spite of yourself! :)

Sultana said...

Hi. I found your blog when I did a search for cloth diapers. I think you'll be amazed at just how easy cloth diapers are and how easy it is to NOT have your house stink. Honestly! I highly recommend getting a metal/stainless steel garbage pail, a pail liner and sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of the pail. You'll never know it is there! We sure don't. With the pail liner, you just push all the dirty diapers out into the wash when it is time to wash and you never even need to touch the dirty diapers. Very easy :)

If you have questions about cloth diapering, please feel free to contact me. You can find my contact info on my site:

Happy diapering :)

L. K. W-L. said...

I visited a few cloth diaper homes in my nanny days and with the exception of the home where they just put the wet diapers in the bathtube (I know, ewww!) they were clean, ok smelling houses. And as far as what Sherri said, I was actually the healthiest in my life when I was a nanny b/c I was always obsessively washing my hands, whether poo got on them or not. :-)