One of the popular reasons to use cloth diapers is that they contain poopy diapers better than disposables. In my opinion that is one of the myths of cloth diapers. I was reaffirmed in my opinion this afternoon. My son had one of the biggest “poo-splosions” I have ever encountered in my life. I have 4 children, my son is the youngest. I cannot remember ever having such a horrific stinking mess on my hands as I cleaned this afternoon. Thankfully, he was wearing just a diaper, but that did not prevent other casualties. The diaper, the changing table, the mat on the changing table, the blanket in the playpen he had been playing in, the sheet on the pad in the playpen, a couple of toys, and of course the baby, all covered in poo. It was enough to fill my entire washing machine, enough to make a person wonder where the baby was storing it all! I think he might have even lost a pound. So clearly for me, cloth diapers containing poo better is not a reason to use cloth diapers. However, this incident is exactly why I use cloth wipes.
There is no way that a mess of that magnitude could possibly be tackled with disposable wipes. I knew immediately from the stink that this was going to be a big mess when I picked the baby up to change him. So I put him down and grabbed 5 wipes from the clean wipes pile to wet them down. Normally for us, a poopy diaper change only requires 1 or 2 wipes, but, I already knew this one was of a different sort. I laid out my 5 wipes and set the baby down on the changing table. That’s when I realized the full extent of the damage. I used those 5 wipes before I even had the diaper off the baby. My oldest, a teenager, was nearby so I sent her to the dryer, where additional wipes were waiting to be folded, for some more.
She grabbed about 5 more and wet them down. By this time I had managed to get the diaper off with minimal additional mess, and was holding the baby down so that he didn’t spread the mess all around with his waving hands and feet. I managed to get him mostly cleaned up with those 5 wipes, but still needed a few more. I sent the teen hunting and she managed to scrounge up 2 more out of the dryer. I was able to finish cleaning up the baby with 1 of those, having managed to get the mess of the diaper and changing table pad out of the way. This left 1 more wipe to clean up the table and wipe up any other mess I might have missed.
It only took 12 wipes to clean up the biggest poopy disaster I have ever seen. Just 12. A few weeks ago, I had forgotten to toss some clean wipes in the diaper bag so I had to buy a pack of wipes while I was out. I used half the container on one poopy diaper, and it wasn’t even a bad one! I imagine that I would have used at least one entire tub of disposable wipes, if not two even, to clean up this afternoon’s disaster. That’s only if the disposable wipes could handle it in the first place. In all likelihood, I would have likely ended up having to use other towels around the house anyway.
That’s why I use cloth wipes. There are certainly other advantages to them. They can of course be washed and reused. They are most often larger than the disposable wipes, allowing both better protection for the hand and a greater surface area for cleaning. But the fact that they are sturdy enough to actually handle cleaning up such a horrible mess is the most important reason for me to use cloth wipes. The cloth wipes can actually handle being used to clean up a real mess.