You aren’t human if you consistently go through life without ever getting a little lazy, or feeling “done” with any part of your life. Heck, there are some days when I am “done” with just about everything except sleep and coffee ice cream. This can happen with your commitment to your reusable paper towels, your compost pile, your garden, and yes- your cloth diapers. There are some days when a modicum of convenience and an extra day off from laundry can feel way more inviting. Is that ok? I think so.
In the beginning everything is exciting and new. Fluffy mail days are the VERY BEST DAYS and prepping the new diapers is even better. Expecting moms get to gaze at baskets full of perfectly folded cloth diapers in the basket and go to the baby’s nursery the next day to do it again. The miraculous part of that last sentence is that when you go back in the diapers are still there! No baby to use them! Then the baby arrives and reality sets in. Babies are hard, man. They cry, they poop, they eat, they sleep, they poop, they cry, they poop, they sleep. Shuffle and repeat. Whether you are a first time, second time, or fifth time mom newborns are hard. Those once perfect diaper baskets are more often than not- empty. Instead, your laundry baskets are full to the brim with diapers needing to be stuffed or sorted and put away. Even if you are in the later stages of babyhood or toddlerdom this is often the scene. A few of you are reading this and saying to yourself “my diapers are always folded nicely and put away fresh off the line, right after I take out my soufflé from the oven.” Good… good for you. This blog post isn’t for you then! I was able to do that kind of thing too (minus the soufflé), on occasion. Consistency was never my strong suit and for a lot of moms, having a day to catch up is the norm. Being done every day is just not an option nor is it realistic. So how do you get over the hump, and fall back in love with your cloth diapers? A break. *ducks* If it becomes more of a dreaded activity and you find that you’re up half the night just to catch up on your diaper laundry then maybe dip into that emergency hybrid insert stash (or disposable stash if you have it.) Take a day off, maybe three. A little distance, time to catch up on other things, these all make coming back to cloth diapers so much easier. I will admit to taking a mini-break just to get over the “I’m always washing diapers and never even have time to put them away” blues.
I took a break both times I was pregnant with another baby. I just couldn’t deal with spraying poo with my nausea. That and my energy being zapped meant practically all my laundry was on hold as well- Katherine Loichinger
Then there are the times you want to quit because things are just not working out. Leaks, rashes, smell… sometimes it happens and it is beyond frustrating if you can’t pinpoint why! If the diapers aren’t even working, it could be time for a little break to re-group. By using hybrids or disposables you can have all of your diapers clean at once. Take a breather, ask for advice from a trusted friend or from the place you bought your diapers from, and try again in a few days.
I quit cloth for about a month because I couldn’t figure out why they were all leaking. Finally after trying to wash on super hot water the leaks were gone and we’ve been back on cloth ever since and happy. -Angie Hayter
As a cloth diaper advocate coming out and saying that is kind of risky. I’m not saying cloth diapers suck… overall I enjoyed my diapering days and I miss them. I also recognize that we are all humans, and busy humans that have other mini-humans who rely on us for virtually every need. Our days are long, our downtime is valuable, and a rest and reset period can make the difference between giving it ALL up forever and picking up right where you left off. My ultimate goal is to help parents cloth diaper, and to do it successfully. If and when the blues set it, it is better to distance yourself from the problem for perspective than to trudge through and eventually give them up completely. A small break may even make you appreciate the oft forgotten benefits of cloth diapers, like their blow-out holding ability or their fall catching padding that keeps butts bruise free.
I took a few mini breaks with E. We were in a new house, J. was potty training and I just stopped for a day or two. Then the blowouts would get to me and it was easier to wash diapers than poopy clothes. I did it a few times. -Leigh Peters-Fransen
Have you ever taken a break from cloth diapers and started back? Why did you stop and how was it when you started back up?