The other day, we went to Costco to stock up on diapers and baby wipes. A box of size three diapers for Iain, a box of size five diapers for Ada, and a box of baby wipes to share cost us $100. I'd love to say that we didn't have to buy diapers and wipes and were using all cloth diapers and washcloths as wipes, but I can't. Our various babysitters prefer disposables, as does Ada's daycare. And when anyone in the house is sick, or tired, or stressed out, disposable diapers get used because they are just easier. They are a major convenience and until cloth diapers become convenient or easier in some way, that's just how it is going to be.
Last night, I was feeling guilty about all of the disposable diapers we have used with Iain lately. I lost track of where his diaper covers were over the weekend. I wasn't sure if the dirty diapers needed to be washed or what their status was. And we hadn't used the cloth diapers in a few days. We were in the middle of sleep training him via the "Cry it out" method and just didn't have the dedication to deal with cloth diapers. So after the nanny went home, I put Iain in a cloth diaper. That would normally be just fine since it was five o'clock. But he fell asleep at six and only woke up at nine for a little snack. He woke up a few times at night briefly to cry for a bit of attention, but we ignored him like the "Cry it out" method calls for and he went back to sleep every time.
You can imagine my surprise when I woke up at six in the morning and found him wet from head to toe. It made me doubt the whole "Cry it out" strategy. Now I want to modify our strategy to include stealth nighttime visits to check on him to be sure he isn't wet and hasn't pulled a blanket up over his head. To make myself feel better, I decided he was only wet like that for a little while, maybe an hour.
We are getting more sleep, or at least we anticipate getting more sleep now that we know that he doesn't really need to eat in the middle of the night. And I won't be putting Iain in cloth diapers past four in the afternoon. At least not until he has a set bedtime and I can add a doubler to his diaper that will prevent the mess we woke up to this morning.
Moral of the story: Cloth diapers take some serious dedication, patience, and a lack of easy access to disposables. And, using the "Cry it out" method to teach your child how to self soothe can really work if you are committed to it, but it is not easy.