“Diapering for kids” is the most essential part while raising a healthy child. From selecting the right type of diapers to maintaining their disposing hygiene, every stage plays an important role to frame a pleasant and hygienic lifestyle for your child. I was a complete Cloth diaper momma’ for almost 14 months for my lo. As she grew, I started using disposables (pant style) so that I can potty train her too.
Be it a cloth diaper or a disposable one important thing most of us overlook or are unaware is the correct and hygienic way of its disposal. When you are travelling, that too with a 2 month old on a cloth diaper (I have been travelling with my lo since she was less than 2 months, and I still was using cloth diapers due to her sensitive skin) you feel clueless on what to do on the go. So I asked my mom about how shall I clean the soiled cloth diapers and what hygienic factors should I take care? She said ‘it’s easy-peasy’, and shared her valuable tips and tricks for mess-free diaper cleaning she gathered with her experience on the traditional ways of diapering. Below are the tips and suggestion my mom gave it to me for cleaning cloth diapers hygienically at home or while travelling.
1) Start the diaper changing session as soon as you notice that your little one has pooped or peed. Have a dustbin/bucket (clean one) nearby and put the soiled/wet diaper there. After the diaper cleaning and changing session is over, take the soiled/wet diaper to the washroom, if she has pooped, then put her feces into the toilet pot and flush it, then rinse it with running water. If she has peed then just wash it with clear water.
2) After rinsing the cloth diapers thoroughly with water, put the diapers into the bucket, half filled with water solution of antiseptic (dettol/savlon), so that there is no foul smell till you pick those for next laundry wash. If you are travelling then please carry few extra plastic bags, as you may put the water rinsed diapers in to zip-locked or fragrance bags, and can put it in laundry when you reach the destination.
My mom always said that never keep a soiled or wet diapers unwashed as this may make your child fall sick. If you have no time just rinse with water. No there is no superstition here, she gave very practical reason to support her statement, she said if you keep soiled or wet diapers lying on floors, or anywhere dumped in laundry bags, it will spread foul smell, and it’s nothing but smell of bad germs feeding on your baby’s poop/pee, and then these germs will cause illness to your child.
She also warned me not to let the diaper dry out in poop or pee as it becomes difficult to clean later and again that will spread germs in the house creating unhygienic atmosphere for your baby.
3) After washing the cloth diapers in water and keeping it soaked in antiseptic solution, take it for normal mild detergent wash. I used to use baby laundry detergent (there are many available now) as it’s very effective, mild and anti-bacterial. When I travel I do wash cloth diapers with a hand wash with around 3-4 rounds of laundry later.
I use washing machine at home. No I do not put the soiled diaper in the machine! Yes I do not have separate machine also (I need not have it). I wash all water rinsed cloth diapers in separate loads from our laundry clothes. Yes it all goes in the same machine, but in different loads! You must run a pre-rinse cycle as mentioned above, and then follow it by a long hot wash with mild detergent, then a rinse, and lastly a second rinse.
4) After a detergent wash just make sure you dry all cloth diapers under the sun and in a well-ventilated area. Also see to it that there is no water dripping while you spread all diapers to dry, just squeeze out all extra water and spread it neatly.
5) Do not forget to wash or sanitize your hands during and after this session.
When using the disposable diapers I thought it would be easy and no more washing baby diapers for 5 times in a day. But there was a catch which I was informed by my aunt (a medical practitioner). My mom is pro cloth diaper mamma; she did not have much knowledge on disposables. So my aunt helped me with it. Here are few pointers she asked me to take care while using disposables:
1) Earlier I used to just roll up the soiled diaper with the poop and trash it into dustbin. But I was corrected by my aunt, that it’s not the correct way and it’s harmful for home environment and others. Soiled diapers release ammonia and are the perfect breeding environment for germs; this may cause illness to your baby. She suggested me to first put all the solid waste (if any) in a toilet if one is accessible. This prevents foul smell and slows-down the growth of germs.
2) Fold the soiled diaper inwards and close it in a roll by using the sticky tape on side wings of diaper
3) In India we do not have easy access to a diaper pail specially made for this purpose. So what I did was to wrap it again in small plastic bag and tie it tight. You can also wrap it tightly in an old newspaper – the environment friendly way.
4) I have had kept a separate dustbin for putting used disposable diapers. Make sure you line your dustbin with huge plastic bag, and then keep dumping all the used diapers in the same bin. Whenever you notice that the dustbin is full, remove it from its container and put it in an outdoor trash can.
Changing diapers could be more difficult if you are not at home. So you may carry plastic bags (use fragrance ones, if available). Even the zip-lock seal bags works wonders. Carry all used disposables in them until they can be disposed in a dustbin. This is easy and hygienically safer and also courteous to others who will use the same washrooms.
5) Make sure you clean and sanitize the dustbin inside out each time empty its contents. This kills harmful bacteria and helps prevent foul smell in your home.
6) You can also use baking soda in your trash can and diaper pail to help keep these containers smelling fresh.
7) And do not forget to wash or sanitize your hands after this session.
So whether you use cloth diaper or disposables, both has to be cleaned and disposed with right manner to maintain pleasant and healthy environment for your little one and the people around. So here, I wish you a mess-free and pleasant ‘Used diaper disposing session’!!!