And so it seems we have reached the end of an era. After five years, two months and about a week, we no longer have any children in nappies. At all. It feels good!
I had absolutely no intentions of using cloth nappies. The few I had come across on babies at work seemed incredibly bulky and awkward and it seemed way too much like hard work. But during my first pregnancy my husband was pretty keen on the idea for environmental reasons, and I started investigating, and I totally admit to getting drawn in by how stupidly cute the designs are these days. I had a lovely friend who used them on her baby, and let me drool over hers, and then I was hooked. I had bought loads by the time my daughter was born.
She started her days in pampers though, first when I got taken off to theatre just after she was born, and then her first nappy change was done by me, alone in a dark ward, balancing her on my still completely numb lap, whilst what seemed like fountains of meconium poured out of her, all over me with my blood covered inco pad and catheter. I couldn’t move to reach my bag which had newborn cloth nappies and wipes, along with some eco-disposables to use for ease. I pressed my buzzer for help, and I sat there waiting, surrounded in my blood and her poo, until somebody came, threw a Bounty bag at me, told me it had everything I needed, then left. So Pampers and wetwipes it had to be. It wasn’t long after that that I self-discharged at two in the morning. Pretty much as soon as I could feel my toes again.
For the first few days we used our eco-disposables whilst we all settled back into life, but around day five, here she is in her first cloth nappy. I enjoyed the moment far more than she did!
We got on really well with cloth after that. Got used to the cycle of washing and hanging out and putting back together. There were some of the brands I’d bought which really didn’t suit her body shape, with her narrow little thighs, and those got out away pretty quickly. The ones that suited her, mainly TotsBots and BumGenius were great though, and hardly ever leaked. We used disposables sometimes when away on holiday, but mainly stuck to cloth.
She toilet trained, with some stress on all our parts, at around two years, nine months, and came out of night nappies too at about three and a quarter, just after her brother arrived.
I am quite proud to say that my son has never worn a disposable nappy. He went straight into teeny tiny newborn cloth nappies. Even when our washing machine broke we kept strong with the cloth, though this did involve me hand washing pooey nappies in the bath, not something I ever hope to repeat.
I have talked before about Elimination Commnication which we used from when my son was eight months, and ever since he has been nappy free in the daytime at home, with remarkably simple success. To keep life easy though we always used nappies when we went out, and nappies at night time. More and more though we found those nappies were consistently dry when we took them off, and he was beginning to be really peed off when we tried to wrestle him into a nappy at all.
The main barrier to getting rid of the nappies entirely were his nudist tendencies. He was a star at going to the potty when he was naked from the waist down.
However, put pants and trousers on him and he seemed to lose all ability to know when he needed to go, and would consistently wee in his pants. I enjoyed seeing his little bare bum around the house, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do the school run with him like that!!
These last few weeks though, just as he turned two, things just seem to have clicked. He is now dressed all the time, with pants, and still sitting on the potty great. He is in pants at night too, and no accidents so far. It is lovely not having to think about nappies anymore. About time! He may regress at some point, and I won’t be throwing the nappies away yet, but really pleased with this step forwards, all with very little stress for any of us, which makes a change!