And not just any apartment.
I live in an apartment without in-suite laundry.
Gasp. Turns out I'm a sucker for all that eco-friendly BS and I just couldn't stomach throwing all those diapers in the garbage, let alone individually wrapped genie dipes that haunt the world for at least 500 years.
After looking at all our options including supposed ecofriendly diapers (akin to a Big Mac made to 'look' fat free), so-called 'biodegradable' diapers (akin to that same Big Mac being 'fat free provided you don't actually eat it'), and cloth, we settled on a local cloth diaper service.
And that diaper service was a great option while we were still getting our bearings but after a while I wanted a bit more control over our stock.
I realize that there aren't many cloth diapering mamas in apartments without in-suite laundry. The whole 'in-suite' bit seems to be the one exception to everyone's cloth diapering conversations. Like, it's an option until you get that bit of info and then, "No way! No how!" is it reasonable to cloth diaper when you don't have your own washer and dryer.
But then lots of mamas with in-suite laundry don't cloth diaper because they assume it's too hard. Realizing this, I got to thinking, what do other people do in other apartments? Surely I can't be the only douchy ecomom out there. I mean, how do people cloth diaper in NYC - a city of apartment dwellers?
So I Googled it and didn't find a whole lot other than some stuff on mom-discussion boards.
Yes, you can cloth diaper without in-suite laundry!
After all my searching and learning and worrying and blabbing to loads of people who didn't care to hear me blab, I'm here to tell you that it's 1) doable, 2) cheap, 3) doable, and 4) not as hard as you'd think.
Here's how we make it work in supposedly unworkable circumstances:
- We have enough diapers to last for 3-4 days and wash a load of diapers every 3 days.
- Between washes, we put dirty diapers in a large waterproof diaper tote inside a medium sized garbage pail that snaps shut.
- To go out we use smaller waterproof diaper totes to keep the diapers until we get home.
- To get rid of any icky stuff, we first run a load on cold with 1/4 scoop of Country Save laundry powder.
- For the wash, we then run a load on hot with 1/2 scoop of Country Save laundry powder.
- We hang the covers and put the diapers and inserts in a dryer on high.
- If the diapers come out damp we just hang them to dry for another few hours.
- (Note: we don't have any solid stuff yet but plan to use a flushable diaper liner or diaper sprayer to make sure solids go into the toilet right away)
- We spent around $300 on diapers and expect to spend another $200 in the coming months.
- We spend an extra $35 on laundry per month.
- Cloth diapering is shockingly easy, we never need to run to the store for diapers, they look great and they've gone a long way to helping us get The Pea to use the potty about half the time (she's 4 months old now).
And sometimes, when I'm tired and The Husband has The Pea under control (or the other way around), I use the cloth diapers as an excuse to sneak down to the laundry room with my iPhone and enjoy the quiet.
What about you? Are there any reasons you didn't end up cloth diapering? Do you have any interesting solutions to common cloth diapering barriers?