Let’s Talk MCN: Cloth Nappies During Illness
Modern cloth nappies are often hard to keep on top of when everyone is well, but how do you stay afloat when everyone in your house is sick with a short term illness?
When you’re sick, rundown, and tired, the last thing you want to do is laundry. Especially when there’s gastroenteritis involved. There’s bedsheets, pyjamas, and cloth nappies all to wash urgently. I’ve learned this last week to just get through the bare minimum needed for the house to run, and to catch up after.
If your stash of cloth nappies allows, utilise extended dry pailing. Hot hand wash all night nappies and any faecal matter, then leave them in the dry pail for 2 days. After 2 days, run your prewash at 60° with a booster. Once they’ve been prewashed, leave your cloth nappies in your dry pail for another 2 days. You will need to run your next main wash at 60°, just to ensure everything is clean. This gives you 4 days of minimal cloth nappy work for you to recover. If your stash of cloth nappies isn’t large enough to extend out your wash routine, run main washes overnight. That way if you have other more urgent pieces of laundry to run, they won’t get in the way.
Once you’ve cleaned your cloth nappies, do you have the energy to sort and stuff? If yes, do it. No? Don’t stress, my cloth nappies are in a pile on my living room rug, waiting for me to fold them as we speak. I’m making them up nappy by nappy to put on the bum. I’ve used my entire stash of cloth nappies 3 times in the last week, and I just don’t have the energy to stuff almost 70 nappies 3 times each.
Change mats are also your best friend. They can be used to protect couches, mattresses, carpets next to beds, pillows, everything. Use them, love them. They are your saviour.
If you’re woken up to vomit in the middle of the night, run the sheets and pyjamas then and there. Don’t leave them until the morning, no matter how tempting it might be. That way you can go back to sleep and they’ll be clean and ready to be dried as soon as you wake up. If you’re running a main wash at the time and you don’t want to, or can’t, delay your cloth nappies, run the bedsheets as soon as possible in the morning. Maybe with some diluted bleach just to be safe. For a 7.5kg machine, I suggest 50ml of bleach in 2L of cold water tipped into your detergent drawer.
Leave regular clothes until the very last, does it really matter if you’ve got a small mountain in your laundry at the end? In my opinion, no. If you’re barely keeping everyone fed and clothed, regular laundry can wait.
Short term illnesses leave quickly, and things do return to normal. Being overwhelmed with household duties won’t help recovery times, and it’s okay to let things go while you’re sick.
written by @morganaveril.mcn