In the beginning, we decided to use disposables for a few weeks so that we could learn our Little Crane’s schedule… and figure out how to change diapers in general. Our plan was to switch to a pre-fold diaper service after the trial disposable period, which was supposed to last for 2 weeks.
We started off with Pampers Swaddlers because someone had brought over a few and they seemed to work well. After a short while, I was totally disenchanted with them. If he wet himself an awful lot, the diapers would ooze bits of the gel inside that contained the wet. The gel was hard to clean off and really grossed me out. What is in this gel, anyway? I didn’t know that I wanted it near my son’s bits. Also, the Pampers had this crazy crazy diaper stink. The kind of smell that comes out of a public bathroom, where they try to contain all that nasty with detergents that we all now associate with more nasty. Every time the lid to the diaper can (which was OH SO CONVENIENTLY next to our bed during the first 3 weeks) came up, my sensitive noise balked and my gag reflex engaged.
Luckily, he quickly grew out of size one diapers and we switched him to Whole Foods brand size 2 (for some reason the ones were not available). These don’t use nasty gel to contain the wet, and do a pretty awesome job without it. I’ve never had a problem with leaking unless our son has been obviously neglected (I won’t get into those afternoons when maybe we weren’t as attentive as we should have been). Also, they don’t try to hide the fact that poop stinks with a fragrance that frankly, stinks. So, in my opinion, the diaper pail was easier on the nose.
By now you’re probably thinking that we used disposables far beyond the reach of 2 weeks, and you’re right! We were a little bit daunted by the idea of cloth diapering during that first month. The second month, I procrastinated a little. Finally, some friends of ours gave us some Thirsties brand covers to try out. My mom also generously offered to pay for several months of our diaper service. I finally started using the pre-folds with covers about a week ago!
I have to say… it’s really easy. I’m sort of ashamed that I didn’t start a little sooner, but at least I know that we don’t have to fear the cloth! A pre-fold service is probably the easiest way to go if you’re turning to cloth. I don’t have to handle any more laundry in our tiny studio; all the dirty diapers magically disappear once a week and get replaced by clean diapers right outside our door! Once I got the knack of folding and positioning the fold, I got pretty darn quick with it.
Sadly, the Thirsties didn’t last more than 2 days. The extra small size was just too small on our gentle giant. Luckily, I had a bunch of Bum Genius covers that had been lent to us from an old friend back east. I tried them on a few weeks ago with the inserts she sent along before we started getting pre-fold service and they were pretty giant on him. We immediately had a terrible blowout that managed to somehow work it’s way all around the house! I put them away for a while, thinking that they would maybe fit when he was 6 months old. But, well, when I decided that the Thirsties didn’t fit and that I didn’t want to buy a whole ‘nother set of 6 diaper covers right away… I tried the Bum Genius covers out again, this time just using the pre-fold against his skin, rather than stuffing the pocket. I know that’s not the way you’re supposed to use them, but they seem to be working just fine! We haven’t had a single accident in the past week, which is more than I can say for any other week with disposables.
Now our guy lets us know EVERY TIME he is wet. IMMEDIATELY. He does NOT like to be wet. Luckily, the wet voice is has a pretty obvious tone. It sounds like he’s saying, “Hey! WTF? I’m not comfortable and you need to take care of it.” It’s not a cry! It’s an uncomfortable alert that will eventually turn into a cry if we don’t change him within around 15 minutes. Now I’m finding that this guy generally needs changing every 45 minutes to an hour during the day. This is actually pretty awesome because I feel as if it will ultimately make our communication with each other much better. I am hoping to start watching for cues during the next few months so we can try our hands at Elimination Communication for a few hours every day and perhaps give him an early start to taking care of business on his own.
Because he gets so upset about wetting himself, we are still using disposables during the night and when we go out for long spells in not very kid friendly venues during the day. I’m just not willing to stress the whole family out by taking on multiple diaper changes during the night. We are enjoying sleeping for a few hours at a time! We are also enjoying the mornings, when I bring our Crane to bed at 5, just roll over to nurse him at 7, and sleep until 9. That delicious morning time wouldn’t be possible without his sporting those disposables.
Here he is just yesterday in a Bum Genius cover, as I swaddled him to take a nap and he thought about how to torture the cat once he gets full control of his hands:
(Please ignore the fact that his outfit does not match. It made sense before I took his pants and jacket off for his nap!)