Once I got started using cloth diapers, I did go through a period of feeling a little regretful that I had held off for so long. I mean really seven years! But if I do that kind of backward-looking reflection too much, I will miss out on the joy of making the right choice at last.
And that is how I felt, sort of savvy and right with the world. I was no longer picking up big, bulky packages of diapers only to later escort them engorged and heavy back out of the house in the form of needless trash to be buried in a local landfill. Score one for team Mother Earth. Nor, was I forking over the big bucks to keep that system all in place. A point for us!
The training pants made a circle from my son, to the washer, out onto the line. They were trapped at our address, never to visit a bin or a dump.
By the time Aaron was seven, he was beyond the largest size category for commonly found diapers like Huggies, Kirklands Best or Pampers. I did stumble upon the Goodnites brand which is a good disposable training pant for night time bedwetting.
He didn’t react well at times to something in the Goodnites bedtime pant which would make his skin red where the colored elastic fits across the hip bone. It might have been the friction of the elastic stretching across the skin that was irritated him. But the diaper itself was very absorbent and easy to get on and off.
We were going through about 40- 60 of those Goodnites a month!
Because Aaron would generally fill the training pant twice a night, we would go through two Goodnites each night, which greatly increased our household waste.
I have been thinking about the years when my older child was constantly bedwetting at night or during naps….
When my son was still a toddler, I didn’t worry about bedwetting because he was still in the common developmental age range of not waking up to use the bathroom.
In those early years, even thinking about using cloth diapers with the extra laundry was overwhelming. Anyway, I always believed that any day now we would be waking up to dry diapers and we wouldn’t need any diapers at all.
Later as the years wore on, I was more anxious that he was was still not waking up to use the bathroom when he was no longer in that ‘normal’ range of development. Thankfully, our pediatrician reassured us that late bed wetting was a hereditary trait that would work itself out in its own time.
But I was also tired in the mornings from helping him change out of overloaded diapers, wet clothes and wet bedding at night. We were managing, but it was still a struggle.
By the age of seven, I had spent thousands of dollars using disposable diapersthinking that each birthday would start the year when he wouldn’t use them anymore. Now he was he was wearing a diaper at night that was significantly more expensive because of the larger size.
And I was personally vexed by the ecological impact of thousands of diapers I had never anticipated adding to our local landfill. I felt that I was eco-conscious in so many other ways, why had I let this consistent stream of waste slip through?
Unfortunately, I was skeptical that I would find a good cloth diaper system without investing in a lot of inadequate diapers. Despite all of these reasons to try, I was still hesitating to make an experimental purchase.
I decided that I had to act in good faith that I was doing the right thing for our future selves. We needed to try a new system. I wanted someone to choose for me, but I didn’t have anyone to ask! Everyone that used cloth diapers in the early years had long left them behind.
I got online and put the hours in to do the research. After musing over this and that brand, I had to press the button. After seven years of ignoring our issue and wavering on making a decision, I finally made our first cloth diaper purchase!
Thankfully, I was fortunate to find a workable cloth diaper system that would take me through the next year. When we realized that we had physically outgrown that system, I went back online to do more researchand then found an amazing cloth training pant that got us through two more years.
Now in retrospect, of course, everything seems more clear. Now that my child is 11 and is not bedwetting anymore, I feel that I can reflect upon this struggle for answers with a little more clarity and experience and less anxiety and sleep deprivation.