Thursday, April 28, 2011

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Cloth Diapers Over Time for Changing and Special Needs

Husband and I were elated when we learned that Baby J was going to be a big brother. We were also a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of parenting two children under two. I started looking for ways to save money. Cloth diapers topped the list. It also didn’t hurt that cloth would lessen our carbon footprint, be gentler on our little ones’ bottoms, and the diapers are just so darn cute.

Husband wasn’t convinced at first but he agreed after trying some all-in-2s and pockets and seeing how easy they are to use. Our family favorites are Gro Via, bumGenius, FuzziBunz and Happy Heinys. Husband is fully on board now and he even does diaper laundry.

I am thrilled that using cloth has saved our family (a lot of!) money but my motivations have changed over time. After Bean’s birth, it quickly became clear that he was different than “typical” children. He had a number of health problems and global developmental delays. After many months, countless therapy sessions and even more doctor appointments, we pursued genetics testing and learned that Bean has Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is a rare genetic condition characterized by heart defects, kidney abnormalities, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and distinctive facial features. Individuals with Williams Syndrome are unique because they also possess striking verbal abilities, an affinity and talent for music and have very outgoing and endearing personalities.

Having a child with special needs has changed my perspective on a lot of things. There’s so much uncertainty and so many things I can’t control. But there are some things that I can do to impact Bean’s life in a positive way. I consider cloth to be one of those things. It feels good to know that I am using a gentle and safe product against his skin. He is not sitting in chemical-laden diapers day in and day out. He has had a lot of pain in his life but diaper rash has never been a factor.

Cloth has also had a positive impact on his brother’s life. Baby J was in cloth diapers until we started potty learning. When he first learned about pull ups from his peers, he insisted on wearing them. We really only used them outside of the house and at bedtime. I found them to be essentially useless in helping him to learn about potty time. He would wet the pull up and continue about his day. So, we made the switch to regular cotton underpants at home and cloth trainers when we are out and about. Our favorite, by far, are Blueberry trainers. They are very trim and feel like underpants. They protect his clothes but he can feel when he has an accident. As a result, he has made a lot of progress.

This is also encouraging because we expect that Bean will be delayed in learning to use the potty. We hope that cloth will help him meet this milestone and gain more independence sooner than expected for children with Williams Syndrome.

Cloth has grown with our family as we have grown and changed. I am confident that by using cloth, I am doing the right thing for my children and our family and meeting our evolving needs by using cloth.

Biography: Heather is the proud mama to two charming boys and wife to an amazing husband. She can be found blogging about Baby J, a wonderful and spirited three year old, and Bean, her sweet 20 month old living with Williams Syndrome at www.babyjandbean.blogspot.com.

8 comments:

phroggie said...

thank you for sharing this. i have a three year with autism and we really aren't sure when he will be able to pl. i am hoping that i will be able to find larger cloth diapers in the amazing wahm community if and when we get to that point! your son is very cute in his dino undies!

Skye said...

Awesome post - and so true, cloth helps in so many ways besides just "saving money". Hugs and lots of positive thoughts for you and your incredible family <3

Amanda said...

Wonderful post, mama! You're such a good mommy.

Sarah said...

I have read of so many others who haven't suffered any diaper rash from cloth... and I can't help but be jealous! We seem to suffer one diaper rash after the next and so often the only thing that will clear it up is thick diaper cream in disposables (cause I don't want to gunk up my cloth) I have having to use disposables so often because I do LOVE cloth diapering... but diaper rash is no fun, either and I can't seem to shake it. I am interested to read how many benefits other than cost savings there are out there, though!

mama to j and bean said...

phroggie - Thanks! PL will come when it comes. There's lots of great products out there now for bigger kiddos - some are pull up style and some with side releases. Good luck!

Skye - Thanks so much for your sweet words!

Amanda - Thanks to you, too and I think you are a pretty awesome Mama, too!

mama to j and bean said...

Sarah - No judgement here! Every kid is different and we all do what's best in our indiv circumstances!:)

Lara + Chris said...

Such a touching post. Good luck on everything!!

mama to j and bean said...

Thanks, Laura and Chris!