Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diapers, diapers, diapers!

Here is Shiloh in his brand new Poquito Pants that I managed to make using the pattern at: Wonderbaby DesignsLinkPoquito Pants are designed for families who practice Elimination Communication with their babies - so it's kind of a hybrid between underwear and a diaper. I think this is going to be a great solution for us because although we do catch a lot of pees and almost all poo, we also miss a lot because this guy is just a pee machine! It wasn't too hard to make so now I just need to get crackin' and put 23 or so more together and then we'll be all set. Like I said, we do "miss" a lot.

Here is my current diaper "stash." We have 24 fitted diapers (the stack on the left) that I made with my mom when I was expecting Allegra. They are terry on the outside (good for use with a snappi) with a flannel print on the inside (good for containing runny infant poo) with a soaker layer made of an old Gerber prefold that I used with Cymbre before making the move to 8x4x8 DSQ prefolds once I learned about them and needed more absorbency. They have elasticized gussets around the legs which have worked great to keep the poo off of covers. Of course, now that we are doing EC, there usually isn't poo in the diaper at all, which is a very nice perk. Anyway, I'm using Bummis super print wraps with these and it's been a good system. Shiloh is growing out of the diapers now, though, which is where the Poquitoes will hopefully come in!

The right stack is All in One diapers, which I like to use when we are away from home for more absorbency when I am unable to take Shiloh to the toilet as much as when we're home. We have 5 Bumkins AIO's, which I really treasure because all 4 kids have worn them. They have obviously seen better days but I like to think about how Eli called the farm animals ones the "Foof" diapers because that's how he said "moo." Those were his favorites. I do love their prints and I love the feel of the outer fabric on these, however I always use the Bumkins diapers with a doubler - either a Gerber prefold or a couple of cloth wipes. They are just not absorbent enough on their own. I also have 5 Kushies diapers in this stack. I bought them because they are extremely affordable and I hoped having a few more AIO's around would be helpful. They do serve the purpose. However, the shell is more thick and rubbery than I expected and their hook and loop tape leaves a lot to be desired. The laundry tabs always flop open in the wash and I end up with all the diapers stuck together, which is a bit of a pain, especially when they get wrapped up in a cotton prefold and basically shred it!

It's been so interesting to look back at my years of cloth diapering and see how my needs and perceptions have changed. I started off cloth diapering because I was raised to see it as being the "right thing to do" plus we were pretty poor and I couldn't see paying 18-25 cents for each diaper my child would use. But I didn't have a very good attitude about it and was pretty overwhelmed with the whole thing. I was using antiquated practices, like a wet diaper pail, as well as antiquated equipment, like pins and vinyl covers. Add to that the fact that Cymbre was a very turbulent baby (we called her "thunder pants") and it was miserable indeed. I never went anywhere without 4 changes of clothes for her because she spit up and blew out her diapers so often and in such quantities that it was necessity. I learned about modern cloth diapering options and began the quest for MORE ABSORBENCY in the diapers and better covers to keep everything in.

By the time Eli came along, I had learned so much and had adjusted my attitude so that I found real satisfaction in honoring my baby by keeping him as clean and dry as possible. I had nice, Chinese cotton prefolds by then which I fastened with snappis and covered with more breathable options like Bummis wraps and Alexis nylon covers. I also started using wool covers, which were a great tool for this pee-machine boy.

With Allegra, I wanted infant diapers that would contain poo so that I wouldn't have to be washing wool covers all the time since they need to be washed by hand and take as much as 2 days to dry, depending on the weather. So I made the fitted diapers pictured above and spent my pregnancy knitting cute wool covers for her. That system worked wonderfully. Then, when she was 6 weeks old, I got brave enough to try EC and *it worked!* So she used the potty a lot and always knew what it was for, even when we weren't very successful in "catching." Because we were doing EC, having a lot of absorbency in a diaper became much less of an issue because it was my goal to keep her diaper clean and dry as much as possible, changing as soon as it became wet instead of changing every couple of hours as I had done before. Suddenly it wasn't important to have as much absorbency in the diaper and as much moisture-resistance in the cover as possible, rather it was helpful to be able to get the diaper on and off with as little fuss as possible so that I could quickly get her to the potty when she wanted to go.

With baby #4, that's pretty much where we are. I started EC with him as soon as I could after he was born. I try to keep him clean and dry and give him the opportunity to use the potty (that's a pottytunity) as often as I think he needs to go and whenever he wants to go - which he tries to tell me by fussing, grumbling (kind of a low cry sound but not a cry really) or arching. Sometimes he squawks a bit when he really wants to go - that's a weird sound too. And when he's sleeping, he will toss his head around and pop on and off as he nurses. That's my cue to get us both up and take him to the toilet, as he likes to poo first thing in the morning most days. So I can often be found holding Shiloh over the toilet around 6am, bleary eyed but glad that at least I don't have to turn on the lights to wipe it all off his little bum.

If all this sounds kind of extreme, let me put this perspective on it: I know my baby is going to pee and poo and I can either do something about it when I know it's going to happen or I can wait and wipe it off later. It's just another way of taking care of a baby and I happen to feel that this way is a nice way of respecting his needs and showing him I care enough to respond. Plus, it's fun!

To illustrate, during the course of writing this post, I took Shiloh to the potty 4 times and he also used 2 diapers. That's what EC is in our house. =)

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Ah, Serenity! You crack me up. Where else would I hear of the term "Pottytunity". :o)