How much time do cloth diapers require?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what prevents new parents from trying cloth diapers.

One reason that kept coming up in my conversations with parents was “I don’t have the time for it” or basically, that it was going to take a lot of time to do cloth diapering.

So I decided to break it down. How much time DOES it take to do cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers?

Once you’ve bought the cloth diapers, got the hang of correct fit and correct wash routine (which is a one time thing if you follow manufacturer’s recommendations), on a daily basis, I arrived upon this:

1. 30 seconds to rinse each diaper after use. At 6-8 diapers a day, we’re talking about a maximum of 4 minutes.

2. 1-2 poop diaper cleaning per day (on average). Assuming 3 minutes per poop diaper cleaning, a max of 6 minutes per day.

So we’ve arrived on 10 minutes per day.

Now, laundry day.

1. If you are doing machine laundry, like we suggest, you basically have to load the machine, choose settings, add detergent and start the machine. If you have separate cycles in your machine for prewash and main wash, you’ll have to choose the settings again. A total of 5 mins at max?

2. If you are doing hand wash, is an estimate of 45 mins fine?

3. Time to hang out the diapers – 5 mins. Time to fold dried diapers – 5 mins.

So if you are machine washing, we are really looking at a total of 10 mins each day 15 mins on laundry day. Add 45 mins of actual labour and time to those who are hand washing.

If it’s a question of time management, or remembering to start the load at the right time etc, you can always set a reminder on your phone for the same time every day to finish up these tasks. For example, set a 10 PM (or any other time) reminder everyday to ensure that the used diapers are rinsed (if they haven’t been already) and to load the machine every alternate day.

This doesn’t seem like its too much work or time spent in order to keep your baby comfortable, save money and save earth from unnecessary landfill waste, does it?

What do you think? What are your tips and tricks to save time with cloth diapers? How does this compare to the time you spent in using disposable diapers before moving to cloth?

I personally feel like 45 mins of hand washing is a fair bit of work, which is why we officially recommend machine washing.

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