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My Experiences Cloth Diapering a Toddler

image of toddler talking
Our second child is officially a 16-month-old toddler. Actually, her body just seems to have caught up with her mindset; she clearly thinks she's far older than she really is and wants to keep up with her 4.5-year-old brother. If you have any "big kids" like us, you know that mobility changes the parenting game, big-time. Silence means trouble, closing the bathroom doors becomes a necessity, and diaper changes are...challenging. If your little one is still, well, little here are some things you have to look forward to when it comes to diapering a tot - because odds are you've mastered your cloth diaper washing routine and how many you expect to use in a day and the perfect nighttime stay-dry strategy, but things are about to get a little different. - "You want me to stop playing...for you to do WHAT?!" For all the horrible newborn diapers and runny messes you cleaned up over time, seeing your child's smiling, sweet, at times even giggling face made it a little easier. But, suddenly a diaper change has our daughter's eyes wide, thinking in a Blanche DuBois accent, "What ARE you DOING down there?! How DARE you wipe my private bits??" Seriously, child? It has to be done. Neither of us wants to be here right now. - Your odds are 8 in 10 that the experience will not be fun. Did I say "not be fun"? I meant horrible. It'll be horrible. It's not the diaper's fault; it's just the precious kiddo of yours. It is what it is. I find myself dreading diaper changes and super relieved when she actually lays happily and lets me change her. Because it's simply not the norm. - Get ready for the alligator death roll. This is the #1 thing I dread most about a diaper change. When I've taken her away from her happy playtime (or, more appropriately, her "test big brother's patience" time), you'd think I was a murderer the way she shouts and carries on. But then put her on her back to clean up whatever situation she's left me? Psht. Time for the dreaded alligator death roll, with thrashing and pushing and shouting galore. No matter how I hold her down, it just doesn't do. Accept and do your best - quickly. - No distraction is distraction enough. A favorite book? Another clean, bright diaper? A noisy toy? Tickling toes? Nope. Nothing is interesting enough to hold her interest. Only the aforementioned belly roll will do. Homey ain't got time for these diapers, Mama. - God forbid there's poop. Thrashing + rolling + grabbing "down there" + poop = not a fun equation. Ugh. Ick. - You start to curse choosing snaps over hook and loop. This is a huge choice in preference for parents, but I still remember when we first experienced this with our son and we tried to snap our cloth the middle of one of his thrashing moments. We chose snaps for longevity and I still haven't decided to switch out our entire stash to hook and loop (I love my stash as it is!)...but at times like these, I reeeaaaaally consider it. - You ultimately resort to the "vertical change." This has been my go-to change lately. I tend to know Harper's "schedule" so I know what kind of diaper to expect, so I'll have her stand up and have a quick change while I bear hug her from behind. It's not ideal (and doesn't account for #2) and is HARD with snaps, but it's become the norm, unfortunately.
image of toddler talking
Have you mastered the art of toddler diapering? Do you have any tips for those in the thick of it? The one solace that I try to remember is the fact that our son, Hadley, outgrew it in time. Did you hear that, Harper?? Anytime now would be great!
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