I turned around from where I sat at the computer to see her standing with her legs shoulder-width apart, as if she were riding an invisible horse. The carpet beneath her was wet and dark splotches marked the inside of her pant legs. I sighed. This was the third time her diaper had leaked today, and yesterday had been about the same.
Holding her at arm’s length to keep myself dry, I marched her upstairs to her bedroom. Pulling off the wet diaper and pants, I tossed them in the laundry bin and opened her dresser drawer. The only pants left were a pair of baggy purple fleece pants which I’d been avoiding because they made her diapers fall off. The velcro closures no longer fasten very securely, so I tried to put Lily in tight pants to help keep her diaper on. If I put her in these baggy fleece pants, I’d be refastening her diaper every fifteen minutes.
I glanced wistfully at the disposable diapers in the top drawer—the “nighttime diapers,” as I’d explained to Sunshine when she asked me why I was putting a strange diaper under Lily’s jammies. Nights were the worst for the cloth diapers, as Lily’s loose jammies and sleepy wiggles were guaranteed to work the diaper loose. On many nights, she soaked her diaper and her jammies and the sheet underneath her as well. Neither of us liked midnight diaper changes, much less when those changes involved changing everything and not just the diaper.
Using disposables at night had been my compromise between my dislike for disposables and my failing cloth diapers. I could keep Lily dry (and hopefully encourage her to sleep through the night) while still using cloth during the day, when I could change her more frequently. Lately, though, the diapers weren’t working at all. Every pee ended up running down Lily’s legs, resulting in wails of “poopy! poopy!”
Our set of Bum Genius diapers have had a long life. We bought them when Sunshine was six months old and the diapers have been in constant use since then (over three years). Sunshine potty trained just around the time that Lily was born, so I went straight from diapering Sunshine to diapering Lily. In Lily’s first few months, I did laundry every day to keep up with her diaper. And I haven’t exactly been gentle with the diapers. We used cloth diapers all the time, even on camping trips or when visiting family, so I’ve washed them wherever I could, which sometimes meant the soap or water was hard on the diapers.
So last week, I packed up the cloth diapers and put them in the diaper pail and put the diaper pail in the closet. I bought a big box of the cheapest disposable diapers I could find. I’m torn about that decision. Lily is 18 months old and could be potty trained by the time she’s two, like Sunshine was, so it doesn’t seem worth it to buy a new set of cloth diapers yet. Disposable diapers are, in some ways, easier to use. At the same time, I wince at the price of a pack of diapers (even on sale) and have already noticed that I’m hauling way more garbage out to the dumpster. It’s hard to give up on why I used cloth diapers.
If you use cloth diapers, what type did you use and how long did they last for you? If you use disposable diapers, do you have any tips for saving money with them? Do you have any diaper stories to share?