Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So Long, Farewell...Cloth Diapers

We had a big day recently.  I did a final strip and wash of our cloth diapers and packed them away for "brother/sister". (If you ask Luke if he wants a brother or a sister he says "Brother! Sister!  Both!" so he's  fully on board with this twins thing too.)  It's crazy to think that stage of our lives is over for now, over for Luke.  And it was surprisingly a little bittersweet!

We really started potty training last fall, when Luke was 2½ and since then we've only done diapers for sleeping: nap and bedtime (because he most definitely still naps, I refuse to let him give those up yet!).  (If you want to completely freak yourself out about potty training, read Oh Crap!.  I did and I was terrified to start, but we did surviveAnd haven't done diapers for any awake time since we started.  So there is that.) We tried to do cloth for both nap and overnight, once our disposable stash ran out (which included emergency diapers from our cars and many in a size 2 below what he should have been wearing).  That worked for naps (when he had been wearing them anyways) but not for bedtime for a variety of reasons.

He recently insisted on wearing his underwear for naps and I kept these out for about a week, just in case, but it's gone well about 75% of the time and I didn't want to have a crutch anymore so it was time to pack them up.

I ordered our main stash the very day we brought him home, while he napped in the bouncy seat next to me.  It took us another month to start, until he was big enough and I mustered up enough courage.  For months we were washing diapers about every 36 hours.  Washing diapers was a big part of my life.  I mean, I was doing that every other day.  We've had this view hundreds of times by now:

More than a few times we'd forget to switch them from the washer to the dryer and one of us would be out of bed at 11:30, when we finally remembered, to do so.  I will not miss those times.  Not one bit.  But as I was getting the tubs out of the attic to pack these up, I had to move aside some of his old baby gear: baby bathtub, johnny jump-up, parts to his booster seat, the napper, boxes of clothes he's outgrown, and it's just another reminder of how old our baby is and how fast it all went.

The days can be long.  Really really long (I write this in the middle of a horrible week which included an extra doctor's visit and midnight 911 call with 7 different medicines on the counter and too little sleep for all 3 of us.  As well as 10+ hours of overtime for Matt.) But the years are so short.  There are blog posts all over the internet and pins on Pinterest reminding parents of young kids to enjoy it all because it goes so fast and you never get these years back.  And that's true.  But also hard to remember and enjoy when you're spraying a diaper for 5 minutes or telling your 2 year old not to turn up the music and then see him look right at you and do it anyways (and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Hello, terrible twos!).

So it's not so much I'll miss cloth diapers but more what they represent.  I have countless pictures of Luke's first summer, when it was hot and he wore onesies almost exclusively, of these diapers sticking out the bottom.  The picture I have from the first time he was up on his hands and knees you can see one of these.  They make appearances in many of his monthly pictures (until he started wearing his monkey suit all the time...we were just reminiscing about that!)  We started these with a baby, 6 weeks old, and ended them with a toddler, getting too close to 3.  When we started and were in the middle of it, it was hard to imagine a time where we wouldn't be diapering.  But now we are (basically) there.  Almost three years in a blink of an eye.  I feel like I could turn around and he'd be headed to kindergarten (which we are closer to than we are to when we started cloth diapers).

We used to talk about how many more we'd buy if we got another baby before Luke was out of diapers.  That part is a little painful, our kids having a bigger gap than we would have liked.  But I have to say, there is something pretty wonderful about being mostly diaper free.  And it's not just getting my dining table back.

I have only very occasionally regretted cloth diapers and those were probably all times the diaper sprayer or the hose was needed.  As long as we debated it, I know we made the right choice for us.  These have held up wonderfully, not a single snap missing and very little visible wear.  They aren't quite as white as when we started but many days of drying in the sun has kept them whiter than I ever expected.

I know we'll pull these out again.  And when we do I'll probably be so thrilled at having kid #2 (or #2 and #3! Just continuing to put that out there...) that being back in diapers won't even be a big deal.  Pulling these out will almost be like seeing an old friend again.  Well done, diapers.  Well done.

(Original cloth diaper posts if you would like more information (especially how much money they have saved us!):  A big cloth diapering post, Updates on diapering, Real expenses: one year in, Cloth Diapering - two years in And, as always, I welcome any and all questions about cloth diapering!)

No comments: