It’s been 7 months since I wrote about Sir’s potty learning progress. At that time, it seemed like we were very close to being completely, truly diaper-free! In addition to a few months of daytime dryness under his belt, Sir had started staying dry at nap time and overnight, some nights.
That was in late August and early September. After a few weeks, he reverted to wet diapers every morning and almost every nap time, and my diaper-free dreams went down the toilet. ([Awake] daytime is still fine — he’s been daytime dry for almost a year now!)
As of a month ago, Sir is back to being dry at some nap times, i.e., the short naps (about an hour) that he takes at child care. He is SO consistently dry at child care that Mrs. L puts him down for his nap without a diaper. Brave lady, but zero accidents, so far.
On the other hand he almost always wakes up wet when napping at home, but he naps longer (about 90 minutes), so I don’t mind. Nap time diapering is easy: a thick prefold and a Thirsties diaper cover.
Night time diapering is trickier. Sometime after Sir’s first birthday, we discovered that fancy pocket diapers, with their feel-dry material, helped Sir sleep better and longer. Good for him and good for us. We bought four pocket diapers (3 bumGenius, 1 Fuzzy Bunz) which we use exclusively at night.
Except! After awhile, I noticed that regular washing was not getting the stink out of those pocket diapers. And the trick that so nicely and simply de-stinks my prefolds (a vinegar rinse) doesn’t work on the pocket diapers (vinegar would ruin their absorbancy or waterproofness or something).
Instead, you have to “strip” them. Unfortunately, these instructions from Cotton Babies (an StL-based company and the makers of bumGenius diapers) are just a leeeeeetle bit off.
First, it does not take just two hot water rinses to get the stink out. It takes many. Like ten. And all that time you’re using HOT water. Suddenly the “environmentally friendly” cloth diapers are seeming much less so.
Second, the directions claim that, AT MOST (i.e., worst case scenario), you should have to strip your diapers “once every 3 or 4 months.” In my experience, that is complete and utter B.S. After following their instructions to. the. letter (plus eight more rinses), the stink went away for about two uses. With four pocket diapers, two uses = eight nights, so barely over a week after stripping, I’m stuck with stinky covers again.
Unfortunately, whatever causes the stink also irritates Sir’s skin, and he’s had some nasty diaper rashes, despite the fact that he barely wears a diaper, except for overnight.
The diaper rashes necessitate using disposable diapers, since diaper creams and lotions are generally a no go with pocket diapers. So we just cycle back and forth. Disposables and cream to get the rash under control, then back to the pocket diapers until his skin gets irritated and forces us back to disposables.
On a side note, Sir almost always poops in the potty, but two weeks ago, we were a little off schedule, and he woke up in the morning with a poopy diaper. Of course it was NOT a night when he was wearing a disposable diaper, but I swear I almost threw that $17 pocket diaper away anyway. It was horrible, and I was literally in tears by the time I finished dealing with it. If I never have to do that again, it will be too soon!
Anyway, I really prefer cloth diapers to disposable, in general, but not when they require this much work (and hot water) to keep decent. I guess we could go back to the basic prefolds for nighttime, but I don’t want to sacrifice sleep.
It’s tempting to just stick with the disposables at night, and be done with the stinky pocket dipes, but for someone who’s used disposables very minimally, the idea of going through more than a handful of diapers a month is hard to swallow, both environmentally and financially.
I’m not sure where this leaves us. There is really no end to night time diapering in sight. It could be any day, I suppose, but it could also be a year or more from now, realistically. I keep hoping that maybe this will be the last pack of disposable diapers I ever buy, but that dream has yet to be realized.