Friday, October 1, 2010

To Cloth or not to Cloth?

(Disclaimer: this is a diaper-related post.) That is the question. With Elizabeth, I used cloth diapers for about 20 months. I tried to keep it up afterward but it got hard. She was drinking a whole lot of milk at the time (think 30-40 ounces a day) for some reason. It turned her bowel movements into huge, soupy-poopy diapers that occurred three times daily. It took a really long time to scrub the stains out of each diaper before washing, and it soon became a huge consumption of time. I wonder if the sprayer that attaches to the back of the toilet that some people use would have been useful here. I'm not sure, since I'd still have to scrub the stain with a stiff brush.

Fast-forward to the present. E is going through 6-7 disposable diapers a day. She's still got the soft poopy diapers (although she doesn't drink anywhere near as much milk anymore) which are like peanut butter, but she's also got rashes too. It just seems like she's near always got a rash. :-( She often has a bowel movement during her nap, which means sometimes she has to sit in it for awhile, but I always change her the moment I notice she's wet or poopy. Her butt looks so sore.

So, I don't think the diaper situation is working for me. I'm faced with the dilemma of deciding to go back to using cloth or to try to get E to use the potty sometimes. I think the latter will be a huge uphill battle, based on my experience yesterday. I felt so bad about E's sore butt that I let her hang around the house naked for about three hours between her nap and all of us going out to dinner. I tried several times to get her to sit on the potty in case she had to pee, but I was only successful once. And then she didn't pee. The other times, she yelled if I even suggested it. I was surprised, however, to see she stayed dry the whole time.

So I'm back to thinking about going back to using cloth. But I still need an easier way to get those poopy diapers clean. Any ideas?


  1. I switched Virginia to cloth a few weeks ago and her sore bum got worse! I think potty training is the best solution but I am just too busy! They are pretty easy to keep clean if you go with Flips or Bumgenius. You just dump off as much poopy as you can and wash the liners separate from the covers so that you can use bleach. I know that most recommend no bleach but in the directions for Flips they recommend it and it gets all the stains out! :-)

  2. If Eleanor's had a bad stain on them, I dried them outside in the sun. The sun does wonders to bleach stains away. I never once took a scrub brush to her diapers, though we also stopped doing CDing at about a year.

    That said, I agree with Tamra that PTing is probably the best route at this point. We give Eleanor a sticker every time she successfully goes potty, which helped her be more interested in it. She still has the occasional accident and refuses to go poop on the toilet, but we've been able to cut her diaper/Pull-Up wearing to just two or three a day this way. She's in undies whenever we're home and she's not sleeping.

  3. Cows milk makes for firmer poop... Any other 'milk' products make for softer ones. does that make sense?

  4. To help with the staining, I have soaked them first, and then they are easier to clean. Then I used to wash with a bit of bleach, I don't know if today's diapers would stand up to it though. Hanging in the sun often works wonders, if you are able. If you don't have a clothesline, laying it in the grass or over a bush works great - something about the chlorophyll in the grass or leaves.

    If she is pooping in her sleep, then potty training isn't going to help yet.

    To help with rashes, when Josh was so sore I could barely touch him, I would wipe him off quickly and then let him soak in a tub with baking soda for a few minutes and then dry him on the cool setting of the hair dryer. You have to make sure that everything is off the skin, and neutralized, which the baking soda helps.

    Then I would put on a layer of diaper cream and then a layer of petroleum jelly to keep the cream on and the wetness and poop away from his skin.

    If he would not let me touch him at all, I would smear it thick on the diaper itself, and then let him sit in it, and it would do the same job.

    Things to avoid - wipes, polyester, diaper covers that don't breathe, strong detergents, too much detergent.