A few months ago I took a break from using cloth diapers.
Yes, you read that right. I wrote a 200+-page manual on how to use cloth diapers, and then I took a break from using them.
Is that hypocritical? Actually, I don’t think it is at all.
Is it ever good to take a break from a good thing?
In my book, I talked about how sometimes it is good to take a break from using cloth diapers. I’ve always struggled with being an all-or-nothing gal with a LOT of things in life, but I’ve made a conscience decision that I will keep a balanced view on all things green and “natural”–including my beloved cloth diapers.
Why would you take a break from using cloth diapers?
There could be several reasons, really, including:
- Your child has a stomach virus (been there, um, last weekend!).
- Your child has leaky gut/food allergy-induced diarrhea (been there, too!).
- Your child has a yeast infection. Actually, in my book, I recommend you switch to disposables during a yeast infection because it will be VERY difficult to rid your diapers of yeast if you do not.
- You’re traveling: It is completely possible to travel with cloth diapers, and I have taken two 10-day trips with them, but, sometimes, it may be best to take a break from cloth diapering during this time. If your host is squeamish at the thought of tossing poop into her washing machine, it may be best to pull out the sposies. 😉
- You’re in the middle of a stressful life season. This could be a move, a major work project, the birth of a new baby, etc.
- You’re behind on laundry. Don’t laugh: I think this is a valid reason to take a break! There have been seasons when it seemed the only thing I was washing were cloth diapers. Then I realized it was really sad that my husband had to wear dirty boxers to work since I had washed the diapers instead of his underwear. If you’re that behind on laundry, give the diapers a rest.
Why did I personally take a break from using cloth diapers the summer after I wrote my book? Easy, we were in the middle of a big move. I needed to spend my time packing–not washing diapers. But at one time or another I’ve actually taken a break from using cloth diapers for all of the above reasons.
It doesn’t make me a bad cloth diapering mama. That’s just silly.
How long should you take a break from cloth diapering?
Well, I really hope you don’t give up cloth diapering altogether ;), but only you can know how long of a break you need. Perhaps you just need to take a few days off to catch up on laundry. Or perhaps you just need a 24-hour break while your child has a tummy bug.
For a yeast infection, I recommend staying away from cloth until a full two weeks has past after the rash has cleared. After my baby kept infecting and re-infecting her cloth diapers for several months, I no longer take any chances.
If you are in the midst of a stressful life season, you may want to just put the diapers aside until you finally feel you are in a good groove again.
How I got back on board with using cloth diapers:
During this past break, I told myself that when I felt we were mostly unpacked from our move, I would bring out the cloth diapers once again.
Other ways to get back on board with using cloth diapers include–
- limiting yourself to just one pack (or so many packs) of disposable diapers: Once those diapers are gone, your child will go right back into cloth.
- setting a time limit: i.e. When my child has been well for an entire week, I will put him back in cloth diapers. When I am all caught up on laundry, I will add cloth diapers back to my rotation .
- buying yourself a new diaper: some new fluff might be all you need to motivate you to get your baby back into using them!
- giving your diapers a fresh disinfecting strip: Perhaps you stopped because your diapers were leaky or stinky. A good strip should do the trick.
De-stashing has actually helped me as I have put our youngest back in cloth diapers. I realized that I was using a very large stash for basically one child, and I was just overwhelmed with all of it. It was easier to put off washing them when I had so many!
To boot, some of my inserts really need to be replaced. They have lasted through nearly three children, but no matter how many times I strip those microfiber inserts, they leak.
So I went through all my diapers and picked out the ones that I know do not ever leak. It’s a much smaller but much more manageable stash–and it’s taken us back to cloth diaper bliss once again!
There are a lot of stressful things in life. Cloth diapering shouldn’t be one of them. Don’t let yourself get legalistic about using cloth diapers. If you need a break, then, by all means, take that break, sister!
That’s grace-filled natural living for you. And that’s what we’re all about.
Have you ever taken a break from using cloth diapers? If so, how did you get back on board?
My eBook, Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert, is a 200+-page handbook that will tell you all you need to know to have a successful cloth diapering journey!