I recently had a conversation on the phone with my husband overseas while I was folding cloth wipes and he asked me “isn’t that more work for you?”. Keep in mind we have been using cloth wipes the majority of the time for the past four years and all of the sudden he was concerned that I could be causing more work for myself. I am sure part of it is that he knows the burden I am carrying at home while he is deployed, but he surprised me and I did have to think about it longer than I expected. Was I causing myself more work?
When I first switched to cloth wipes after a few months of cloth diapering, I remember wishing I had started from the beginning. I did not need a separate trash bin, did not have little hands trying to get into a trash can of dirty disposable wipes and it was easy to wash them with my load of cloth diapers. Looking back I know it was not easier when I was using cloth diapers and disposable wipes in the initial months of cloth diapering even though I thought I was being easier on myself at the time.
The folding of the wipes can take an extra couple of minutes, but it is not essential when using cloth wipes. I know plenty of moms who just toss cloth wipes in the wipes warmer as is and it works fine for them. I choose to fold mine because it makes me happy to see them in a neatly stacked pile, so it is a personal preference. If I was not folding the wipes I would be taking my time folding and neatly stacking freshly laundered clothing or towels in the same manner.
When I occasionally use disposable wipes I no longer throw them away in a separate bin, but wash them with my diapers. I pull out some to throw away as I am switching the clean load to the dryer, then I have to peel the remaining wipes off of the inserts or covers that they stick to after they have gone through dryer, so it probably takes a similar amount of time as it does to fold a stack of cloth wipes. My husband’s concern triggered a reassessment of my decision and was a good reminder and affirmation about why I love cloth wipes. Personally cloth wipes do not take more time for me than when I use disposable ones, but I realize this may be different for other cloth wipe users. Do you feel that cloth wipes take more time or energy?