SOLUTION to the COVID-19 “diaper shortage.” (Please share widely for those who are stressed out about this problem.)
Yesterday, as Jonathan and I were driving over to Kalispell for our big stock-up to get us through the duration (food, people–just food; no toilet paper…not that we could have bought any if we had wanted to…) I heard an NPR story about the DIAPER SHORTAGE!
A video of a woman crying over her inability to find diapers that fit her baby went viral and NPR (and probably every other news agency) picked it up. Everyone in the story talked about what a huge problem it is. Everyone listening probably agreed…EXCEPT ME! I saw it as an opportunity to reboot some disposable habits, and am glad to be able to share an EASY SOLUTION if you are experiencing this stressful problem.
I’m sure I”m not the only mother of a certain age who did NOT use disposable diapers when my daughter was an infant. I was poor. Disposable diapers were considered a LUXURY item back in 1982. So I did what everyone else who was poor did: I used CLOTH DIAPERS.
It was EASY! All you need to provide diapers for your little ones throughout the CoronApocalypse is:
5) A plastic serving spoon or spatula from the dollar store
Here’s how you can become your own very affordable diaper service and never run out of diapers again:
1) Keep your toilet CLEAN (you’ll see why in a moment). Make sure whoever is using it is always wiping down the seat (top and underneath), and doing a quick swish with the toilet brush and some toilet cleaner under the rim.
2) Keep a 10% bleach solution in the bottom of your covered, kitchen-sized trash can. You will want to start with a few inches, and as you fill the can throughout the day add a little more of the 10% bleach solution to keep the dirty diapers covered as you add them.
(IMPORTANT: Right now you may be tempted to up the amount of bleach just to be on the safe side. Here’s why that’s a bad idea: it will make your diapers rot and fall apart, and according to a scientist friend who works in an FDA food lab, if you use more than 10% bleach “the bugs will encapsulate and then come back after the bleach evaporates”–10% bleach is all that is necessary, and actually kills the bugs BETTER.)
3) When you remove a dirty cloth diaper from your baby’s bottom:
a) take it to the toilet
b) lift both the cover and the seat
c) let go of all but one corner of the dirty diaper and let the poop fall into the toilet (you might want to use that dollar-store plastic serving spoon/spatula to dislodge stubborn poop; you can store your spoon/spatula on/next to/inside your dirty diaper can)
e) After the toilet tank has completely filled back up, while still holding on tight to that one, poop-free corner of the dirty diaper, submerge the whole diaper (except the part you are holding). PLUNGE the diaper in and out of the water and swirl it around a little to further dislodge any poop still clinging to the diaper.
f) While still holding on tight to that one, poop-free corner of the dirty diaper, and with the diaper still submerged in the toilet water, FLUSH the toilet. DO NOT LET GO OF THAT DIAPER! Hang on for dear life and don’t let the diaper get flushed down the toilet–this would make your self-distancing at home very complicated!
4) Take your thoroughly rinsed-in-the-toilet diaper over to your diaper can and drop it in.
5) At the end of the day:
a) transfer all those diapers that have been soaking in 10% bleach solution to your washing machine
b) wash them in HOT water and whatever baby-safe laundry detergent you like to use
c) DO NOT ADD MORE BLEACH! It is entirely unnecessary!
d) once washed and rinsed, throw the diapers in the dryer, fold, and put away
If touching poopy diapers grosses you out, you can always wear non-latex gloves (such as dishwashing gloves), the same as you might for cleaning your toilet.
It is THAT EASY, people! Don’t stress yourself about not being able to provide the right size diaper for your baby! This is what I and millions (billions) of other mothers did before disposable diapers became the norm, and throughout history before they were available (minus the luxury of the washing-machine, for mothers living before the advent of electricity, running water, and washing machines).
You can DO this! BONUS: by doing this you will also keep mountains of dirty diapers out of landfills, and save a TON of money! You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before.
Finally….breathe in….breathe out…. This is a very stressful time, and you need to give yourself a break and not beat yourself up for not having the “right” diapers. There’s always a way to take care of your children and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. This one is easy, and it’s a win-win!
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate I receive compensation for qualifing purchases. (But honestly, this one was a labor of love. I am a big believer in reusable diapers, and if this helps you get through this crisis I’ll feel really good about it and that will be my reward.)
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