31 December 2008

Further reflections on cloth diapers

This is, what, Month 8 of the experiment? I'll be honest, when it got cold I went through a burnout phase and retreated to disposables for I'm not sure how long. I'd guess at least two months. Running the dryer so much was too depressing, and I was also sick of carrying around a pee-soaked baby all the time. But Lil Dude took very slowly to solids, so this place was still Blowout Central, and you may recall the one truly compelling virtue of my homemade cloth diapers from Grandma is that they are blowout proof. So I went back. I was worried about staining now that I can't sun-bleach them any more, and indeed no one's going to mistake them for the driven snow, but what do I expect diapers to look like anyway? I toss in some OxiClean for superstition.

I've called off the wool soakers, though (at least for the winter months). They are too much maintenance for a product that just doesn't work. It wasn't that big of a deal for him to be dampish all the time when the weather was warm, but I don't want him crawling around wet in the winter, and I don't have enough clothes to change his entire outfit every time he goes, and I don't want to create that much more laundry. So he's in the fitteds with internal PUL liner and the old school Gerber plastic pants, and a pox on breathability. The rash factor isn't any better or worse than in disposables or wool soakers. Change him right away and he's fine. Miss one and you're bleeped.

I have a hypothesis about that early toilet training thing. Even housebreaking a kid who's ready for it stinks. You're bound to have more pee on the floor than most folks care for, which gets a girl down (and a dad ENRAGED) real quick like. By the end of the first morning, diapers are looking a lot better than any more of this, so you decide to table the housebreaking for a few more months. It may take several tries, accruing 6 months or more, before loathing of diapers surpasses loathing of toilet training.

But parents who use cloth diapers are used to close, personal interaction with pee &c. Their hands are dirty all the time, so they see that first toilet training attempt through rather than getting discouraged right away and calling it off. Then they get to be smug about how their kids toilet train earlier. Just a hypothesis. I'm interested to test it out--both of our girls toilet trained out of disposables earlier and easier than our older son, so Boy 2 will be a good test case. And, I know, the kid can feel he's wet, blah blah blah.

Bottom line: diapers are gross, no matter what kind you use. I can see being pregnant more times. I can see delivering more babies. I can see more years of nursing. But the thought of toilet training even one more kid makes me want to run straight out of town without bothering to pack a suitcase.

16 comments:

Dakotapam said...

I loved using cloth diapers. For some reason they smelled better than disposables? I did throw a splash of beach in my wash water on occasion. I also decided the best cover was an old school Gerber vinyl pant...who would have known? I had one who was housebroken early on his own and three who were late on their own...do you see the common thread there?

Joy said...

Yeah, Pam--you're the common thread! :D

I say wait till they're almost 3. It'll be quick and painless, and you can still say he or she was potty-trained before 3.

Then again...maybe not. I know a few kids who weren't trained till closer to 4, but that's mainly because mom refused to have anything less than smooth sailing. I also know one who requested a diaper every time she had to poop. As long as it's done by kindergarten!

Dakotapam said...

Silly Joy, the common thread was they had to be ready more than I had to be ready!

Christopher Gillespie said...

I especially concur with the last paragraph! We are currently on day 2 of no diapers with #4, a 99.5% cloth diapered boy. After weeks of him taking off his diaper to take care of business in the potty we thought it was time to get serious. Now he seems not so interested. We are going through lots of pants here! At least I have a while before #5 is ready for all this fun. I've often thought about trying the potty training from birth, but somehow it's always the last thing on my mind until i'm trying to PT a 3 yr old and wish it was all over.

Christopher Gillespie said...

oops, I forgot to log my husband out before posting. The last post is from Anne not Chris:)

MooreMama said...

Have any of you Googled "Elimination Communication"?

:D

Lauriinnc said...

We've used cloth on all of ours. I like using baby-shower-requested-and-given disposables for the first how ever many months I have received..usually three. Then on to the gerber cloth and old-school rubber pants. The best ones are the ones from 30 years ago if you can get them at a garage sale. ;P Never bleach the rubber pants..avoid all anti-germie urges and do not bleach them! And only in the dryer maybe 10 minutes or they will not last.

But I think this is supposed to be a discussion about potty training. Imnsho...every kid is different. How's that? For the most part, mine have all trained by about 2 1/2 at least in the day. But I gotta tell you, the littlest kid usually follows some other family member into the bathroom 10 times a day cause there are so many of us. Always watching..we are always talking about "someday you'll get to do this" and then there comes the day when the toddler learns to take off their clothes at every turn..that is when we start potty training.

Toddler runs around the house naked. Carpets? Oh that is what the shop vac is for. Then there was the time when the youngest one peed on the cat. Can't vacuum a cat....LOL unfortunately all of us screaming in laughter did not send the right message.

The part I hate is when the kid is scared to do the BIG jobs iykwim...and gets constipated. :( The last three have been that way, but as my mom always said, this too shall pass!

(I am embarrassed to say I could talk about this all day)

Blogversary said...

Our just turned 3 yr old is I guess potty trained but prefers to put a diaper on. Anyway, come tomorrow (Jan 1) we are taking her down the only underwear highway from here on out.

BTW...I have a good bunch of really nice cloth diapers if anyone would like them. Seriously, those good ones w/ tabs and hemp inserts. Or maybe they are not good. Most never used. I did not take well to the cloth thing. And, I get free diapers so....

Rebekah said...

Pam, I'm always afraid to try bleach because I heard the diapers will disintegrate if you overdo it. ??

Anne, I always think 95 pairs of stretchy pants in size 2T would be a great shower gift. :P As for EC . . . I really can't see myself having the energy for that any time before 6-9 months. Or at all.

Lauri, I've actually been hoping for more of the learning by example as our numbers increase! (Naturally I don't want anyone following ME into the bathroom.)

Blogversary, check your email! And how on earth do you get free diapers?

Blogversary said...

I get free diapers b/c my mom (who raised four kids in cloth diapers) refuses to go back. :) She helps w/ the kids a lot, mostly weekends, and brings a box of diapers once a week. I also tried to use my own homemade diaper wipes and she was disgusted that she also buys me wipes.

Trust me, I feel guilty. So, I make her use coupons. And, b/c she only buys pampers I collect the points and use them to buy her gifts.

Pam said...

Sorry I'm late folks, I've been otherwise occupied for the last several days. :)

I'll try to keep this from becoming a post in itself that should be on my blog....

Okay, never mind. It's a post. Just as soon as I get the 2yo's pants changed and back to bed.

Stay tuned....:o

Dakotapam said...

I did not use much bleach, just a splash, and it did not eat up my diapers...oh and I never used free and clear detergents...except when I first started diapering, because that is what all of the "gurus" said to sue. But the free and clear stuff would not rinse out well, and morning pee diapers smelled like wet dog...or worse. My best diaper bet...Tide...and a splash (like a Tablespoon) of bleach.

Pam said...

FYI, the longer version of my two cents is on titus24.blogspot. :)

I have stopped using bleach, and yes it can shorten the life of the diapers. My current diapers are holding up for use with an eighth child. I bought them for our second child.

I prefer to launder with vinegar, homemade detergent, and washing soda if needed.

MooreMama said...

If I were the one buying the diapers, I probably would have converted Mr Moore and done cloth. (or done it anyway and let him come around...) but my Most Wonderful MIL buys huge boxes of Pampers every time she goes to Sam's. I actually have about 500 Size 1-2 diapers that Callie can't wear anymore... anyone? anyone?

Gauntlets said...

MooreMama: ME!!! :D

Lauriinnc said...

We only use Free and Clear due to skin allergies/rashes, but throw vinegar into the rinse water to get the detergent out. I do use bleach, but like you just enough to get them white. They do last longer if you don't bleach. I know someone who makes her own diapers out of old flannel shirts! They are so pretty. Honestly, I have used 2 old dishtowels in a pinch! Sometimes there is a pinch if mommy doesn't wash diapers soon enough!