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Being a new parent means you have your work cut out for you. Midnight feedings, daily baths and constant diaper changings make it almost impossible to get a minute's relaxation time. If you are environmentally conscious and don't choose to go the disposable diaper route, you can add cleaning dirty diapers to that routine. Fortunately, there's an alternative. A diaper service eases the burden of cleaning cloth diapers by picking up your baby's dirty diapers and replacing them with a clean set.
A diaper service is a professional cleaning service. They are paid to do the job for you. Instead of going out and purchasing countless cloth diapers, you can rent diapers from the service. Included with this rental are laundering, pick-up and drop-off service. Since the service has to follow strict standards set by the board of health, your diapers are much cleaner than they would have become in the household laundry. When a diaper service cleans soiled diapers, the water is frequently changed and they're dried with air so hot they're sterilized.
When you sign up for a diaper service, you will be provided with a special air tight hamper. This ensures that the smell of dirty diapers doesn't permeate your home. Some services also supply liners for the hamper and special deodorizers. On pick up day, just remove the dirty diaper-filled liner from the hamper the same way you'd remove a bag of trash from your garbage receptacle. Neither you nor the service attendant has to touch the dirty diapers.
Some diaper services request that you rinse soiled diapers before placing them in the air tight hamper. When you call to interview a potential service, be sure this is one of the questions you ask. Other questions to ask include cleaning methods, type of diapers, the time of day the service attendant can be expected and, of course, cost.
Many busy parents choose to have their diaper service come on a daily basis. While this is preferable to many, it doesn't have to be the rule. You can also choose for the service to come every other day or only once or twice per week. Keep in mind that if the service comes less often, you'll have to order more diapers so you don't run out.
Being a new parent can be an overwhelming experience. Hiring a diaper service to handle the cleaning of your baby's unmentionables will give you more time for the things that really matter.
@ElizaBennett - Until recently, I had no idea that diaper laundry service still existed! I don't think they're available in all areas.
Something you didn't mention was the possibility that a parent might want to cloth diaper, but not have their own laundry! In that case, a diaper service might not be exactly the *only* option, but it's certainly the most appealing!
My cousin got into cloth diapering by accident. Her son is very chemically sensitive and every brand they tried made him break out in a rash until finally the pediatrician suggested going with cloth.
But they don't have a washer and dryer. So they were very fortunate to be able to locate a diaper service that
can do that job for them. They said the only downside is that they only have once a week pickup, so when you open that airtight container to put more diapers in, the smell is *incredible*! It's probably much less an issue if you wash more often.
I'm sure that a cloth diaper cleaning service is handy, but I want to assure any prospective parents out there reading this that it's not the only way to go!
One thing to be aware of is that with a diaper service, your choices are going to be pretty limited; they will bring you prefolds (thick cotton diapers) and covers. But there are a lot of other options out there, including many that have a stay-dry feeling which some babies seem to prefer.
And washing your diapers at home isn't all that hard once you develop a routine for it. I did mine every other day and bleached once a month; if they get an odor or any stains, you can find a lot of troubleshooting ideas online.