A few months back, I posted about how much we LOVE our cloth diapers. I also said in the post that we created a monster: we had been gifted almost 9 months of a diaper service, and we had never washed our own diapers. We caved and bought another 12 weeks of service once our 9 months ran out, so that got us past Patrick's 1st birthday.
Well, my friends, the time had come to decide: were we going to continue the service (which we LOVE, but does cost us about $16 a week), or take the plunge and wash Patrick's dipes ourselves.
I had two big stipulations IF we were going to wash ourselves:
1. We needed stuff: we needed more of our own prefold cloth diapers (the white squares that the diaper service provides us--the ones we "had" weren't poop-catching quality, more like burp cloth quality), we needed a couple pail liners, and we needed a diaper pail.
2. We would, under no circumstances, wash the dipes in the same washing machine we wash our clothes, bedding, towels, etc... in. I know, I know, most people do this and it's no big deal at all, but I have OCD when it comes to things being "cleaned", and for whatever reason, my mind demands that dipes and clothes be washed in separate machines.
We decided we would start washing our own dipes, starting May 19th, if we could figure out #1 and #2 of my stipulation list.
So #1 was easy: a trip to Cotton Babies and an email to our diaper service about buying some of their prefolds got this done. #2 was a wittle bit trickier. Luckily, we had an extra washing machine (who doesn't?! haha, just kidding--the one we have is probably 40 years old and came with our house--fingers crossed it holds out!)...the question was, "where are we going to hook it up at?" Well, our house had an addition put on about 15 years ago: a secret laundry room that was added to the main level of our ranch house behind our bedroom--yes, our laundry room is attached to our room--THIS.IS.AWESOME...and totally was a selling-point of the house for me. So, before this addition was put on, the guy who lived in the house before us did laundry in the basement--score! There's hook ups down there!--or you think there would be. Well, yes, there are, they were just "closed" and re-routed. Since I'm married to an incredibly handy fella, after much planning and inspecting, Mike figured out how to rig up the old washing machine in the basement to the (what we thought were) not-working hook ups. Yes, it's not the most aesthetic-looking, but darn it, it works.
Alright, so I got my washing machine and supplies: we are officially ready to wash our own dipes! After consulting with a few cloth diapering mamas (and blogs), we figured out what we were going to do to wash them. We did a few test-runs with our current dipes and they all went great--actually, a lot easier than I thought it was going to be!
Is it weird that I am actually excited about washing our own dipes? I mean, I love our service, but there have been several times we've come darn-close to running out of diapers, or forgotten to put the dirty ones out and then had to make a special trip to drop them off. I kind of feel like it'll be liberating to wash our own when we want. And coincidentally our service ends right about when I'm ending school--so we'll have all summer to get into a routine that works for us. The plan for the next kid, whenever he/she comes, is to use cloth again, but wash them on our own from the get-go...so hopefully this "washing our own dipes" goes well and continues into the next kiddo!
We currently use disposables at night, because we tried the prefolds and Patrick got a terrible rash (he's a tummy sleeper) on his tummy from the wet dipe rubbing on him all night. However, now that we are going to be washing our own dipes, I think we might try and do a cloth option (maybe an all-in-one?) at night now that we'll be washing them and we can do prefolds during the day and all-in-ones at night (if we did that now we'd have to keep the all-in-ones separate from the diaper services, and, oyyy, I just wasn't about to try and organize that). Anyways, I'm excited about washing our own dipes! I'll keep you posted with how it goes :) Wish us luck!