Cloth diapering with an active toddler

Doesn’t work. I gave up when Obiwan was 20 months. He moved around too much. He climbs, rolls, tumbles, toddles, twists and defies the staying capacity of the cloth diaper and insert. It doesn’t help if you have a boy because if he’s draining the lizard while it’s pointed somewhere other than straight down the middle of the insert, the pee’s going to come out front and/or sides. And now that he’s a big boy, drinking lots of fluids, there’s a lot of it.

So I gave up cloth diapers and went back to disposable. I tried. And saved almost two year’s worth of disposable diapers from the landfill so that’s all right. Right?

Obiwan is two and a half years old now. My aim is to have him out of diapers before age three. Will let you know how that goes. He seems perfectly content to continue playing with a pot’o gold packed in his bum.


Toddler words

21 months Obiwan

Obiwan is a bilingual Cantonese and English speaker. We speak Cantonese as much as we can to him but he’s hearing more and more English as NN speaks more English, now thanks to preschool, plus we’re using more English with her as our Cantonese vocabulary for more complex expressions and emotions is getting limited. He also hears us speak to each other in English. We’re going to try to hang onto this bilingualism as long as we can. It’s harder when there’s no grandparents present to speak to them. Here’s the words he’s saying now:

  • Family titles : Mommy, Baba, jeh jeh (big sister), yeh yeh (paternal Grandpa), mah mah (paternal grandma), gung gung (maternal grandpa), poh poh (maternal grandma), Yee Yee (maternal auntie), goh goh (older brother), mui mui (younger sister), dai dai (younger brother, and also self reference)
  • Vehicles : Cheh Cheh (car), bah bee (should be “bah see” for bus but he can’t make s sounds yet), bay day (should be “fay gay” for plane but he can’t make f sounds yet either)
  • Body parts : baybay (nose), an-an (eye), yeeyee (ear), papa (should be “hapa” for chin), ngah (teeth), tao (head), sau (hand), momo (eyebrows/lashes)
  • Boh boh (ball)
  • Animals : gok gok gaii (chicken, including the clucking sound), ma (horse), moo (cow reference bc he can’t say “ngow” yet), wohwoh (dog, but also refers to squirrels), mao (cat, but also refers to rabbits and bears), behbeh (bear, though if cuddly he’ll call it a mao), yiyi (should be “Yu” for fish), hai (crab), ngap (duck), bibbit (should be “ribbit” in reference to frogs)
  • Momo (dust, hair, loose thread, string, fuzz, feather)
  • Baby
  • Fruit : Behby (berry, in reference to anything berry size), jiji (should be “tai ji” for grape), Apple, yang yang (should be “chahng” for orange), jiujiu (should be “herng jiu” for banana)
  • Snacks : nak (snack), nupnup (reference to seeds and nuts), cheese, fi-bar (fig bar)
  • dok (read, a request to read a book)
  • up-see (a request to help him climb up)
  • poe-poe (a request to be picked up)
  • hi/bye bye
  • peese (please)
  • jehjeh (thank you in Canto, different tone from the word for big sister)
  • doe (as in “goh doe” for directing you “over there”)
  • poo poo (sometimes to tell us he needs to poo, sometimes as a tactic to get out of his highchair at meal time)
  • NO
  • moon
  • baba (should be “fafa” for flower….again, the f sound)
  • mut mut (socks)
  • hai (shoes)
  • All done

A decent list I think. He hasn’t started to put words combinations together yet. We’re working on colors next. It’s pretty amazing to see how he’s absorbing two languages. He understands most instructions in Cantonese and when NN tells him something in English, he also responds to it. I do feel having two languages to sort out makes his speech a little slower to develop and at an age when his emotions and thoughts are forming, it’s frustrating for him to not be able to voice it. Anyone else with bilingual households? How are you and your kids handling it?


I get a little bit sad…

When my kiddies were infants I marveled over their little hands and feet. My fingertips delighting in touching their soft and perfect skin. (Apart from the cradle cap, baby acne and mild eczema anyways.) The palms of their hands and the bottoms of their feet were beautiful. Nibbling on their backs to get some baby giggles was the best. These perfect little humans were ours. That itself boggles my mind sometimes.

Then they get a little older. They start rolling, crawling, toddling, walking, climbing, running….and with that comes tumbling, tripping, crashing, falling, smashing. I see torn nails, cuts, raised bumps on their heads, bruises, scrapes and scratches. And I get a little bit sad that they’re growing up. With growing up comes the owies that mark up their skin. Which makes my heart ache little bit more knowing one day there’ll be owies that won’t be seen because it’ll be hurts of the heart. Or of the spirit.

So I pray. I want to pray they’ll be protected from all of that but I know that’s not how life is. Life, this fallen life with fallen and broken people, will bring pain. So I pray for strength, for courage, for bravery, for perseverance, for patience and ultimately for assurance that they are secure in Love. God’s love and our love. May they always be able to rest and trust in that. But I’m still a little bit sad thinking about it.


Want to know how cloth diapers work at my house after baby started eating solids?

6-16 months, Obiwan

The poo gets much stinkier. Much. Stinkier. Especially after the introduction of meat. But thankfully, Obiwan continued his cue from pre-solid days of grunting and getting all red in the face when about to go, usually during every meal, so we can get him on the toilet in time. Cloth diapers became a breeze. Nearly 95% of his poos went into the toilet. I didn’t have to worry about “wasting” a diaper because it’d be washed and back in use in no time.

His diaper change schedule is something like this:
8am – diaper with big insert
Noon – diaper with big insert
3pm – diaper with big insert
5pm – diaper with small insert
630pm – diaper with small insert
8pm – disposable

Around the one year mark, his cues became more stealth. He didn’t grunt as loud and he stopped going during the meal. He’d go after a meal, while playing, somewhere, out of earshot. And I’d find him in, literally, really sh*tty situations. He didn’t produce patties you could shake off. Nope. It’d be a jar of Nutella, or peanut butter mixed with whole pieces of fruit, corn, peas, grains of rice smeared all over his bum, squished up the front, and out of the legs. (I have to say however, that cloth diapers kept blowouts from going up his back, which disposables cannot do.) Oh how I wanted to just throw the whole thing away….but couldn’t because a single cloth diaper is $25. So I’d scrape everything into the toilet with a plastic spoon, throw the spoon away, and then wash the rest out before putting it in the pail. I’d say 50% of poos were in his diaper. Rough days I tell you.

While cleaning such poo-nami’s off, I’d repeatedly tell Obiwan he has to communicate when he needs to poo. He could already sign “please” and “all done” so I suggested fisted hand signals with a loud grunt to him. My hubs would shake his head and tell me he’s ready to go back to disposables. But I hung on and tried to watch for cues better, also asking Nessness to tell me if Obiwan ever grunts while they’re playing. This helped us get up to 75% of poos making it into the toilet.

Then last week, he grunted and said “foo”. I looked at him, “Do you need to poo?” He grunted again and said “foo”. So I took him to the toilet and he went!! I thought it was coincidence but he did it several more times. And sometimes he’d grunt, say “foo”, and then go to the toilet and pull his potty seat while I followed him. We’re back to 90%! Imma pretty proud Momma. ūüôā

I’m hoping the cloth diaper will help in toilet training for pee as well since more moisture can be felt compared to disposables. We’ll see how things go.


Want to know how cloth diapers work in my house?

1-6 months, Obiwan

I wanted to start cloth diapers with Nessness but being the first born, and possibly because we were renovating a house right after her birth, I never got into the head space to research/purchase/use cloth diapers with her. But I wanted to considering how quickly the disposables were flying out of the boxes we were constantly buying. And considering how she tended to poo right after I changed her.

With Obiwan, a friend just sent me a Craigslist post for a set of cloth diapers and after calculating that they would be paying for themselves after 6-9 months of use, I jumped in.

Brand: Funky Fluff
Number of Covers: 24
Number of Inserts: 18 long, 18 short
Number of days to use up the diapers: 5-7 days

I still used disposables when going out and for overnight. But otherwise, I’m only doing an extra load of laundry once a week.

Before solid foods:
I didn’t use the cloth diapers until after Obiwan had passed out all the dark, gooey¬†meconium poop. While I’ve read that you can just put the yellow goopy diapers into the wash, I really didn’t like the idea (real or imagined) of residual poop being in my washer and possibly getting into the next load of laundry. I rubbed and rinsed out all the diapers, whether just wet or soiled, before putting them in the wash. It took 30 extra minutes.

At the 4-5 month mark, I started toilet training with Obiwan, putting him on the toilet for five minutes after every feed. This saved a couple diapers from getting soiled. Then I noticed that he would fart and grunt when about to deliver solids so I’d wisk him to the toilet and catch it all there. So for a while I barely had any poo diapers to rinse. It was lovely.

I also decided rinsing out pee diapers weren’t worth the extra time so I set up a rubbermaid diaper pail under the sink and all the wet stuff went straight in. Of course anytime I opened it, a wall of putrid stink threatened to overwhelm me, especially at laundry time, but I’ve gotten good at breathing through my mouth. Small price to pay for less washing. And for keeping diapers out of the landfill!

Cloth diapering after introducing solids in the next post.



3 yr 6 mo, Nessness

This “threenager” thing is real. The two’s presented some challenges but the three’s….I feel it’s harder than the two’s were. It’s infuriating. Maddening. And will probably make me a better person if I figure out how to deal with it properly. Whatever that means.

As I was instructing her on something, she says, “blah blah blah blah blah”.

NN: I don’t want to stand in front of the mirror!
Me: Why not?
NN: <in tears> My hair looks bad.
Me: <Serious?? It starts now??>

Me: Here, eat these vegetables.
NN: No I’m good.
Me: I’m not asking you. Eat the veggies.
NN: No it’s okay. I’m good.

Me: NN, you need to apologize.
NN: I’m not talking

NN: Read this book!
Me: I need to put the dishes away first.
NN: No read first then you can do whatever.

Me: Okay two more minutes and bath time for you
NN: Okay how about 10 more minutes?
Me: Two.
NN: Okay six more minutes. Six okay?
Me: Two.
NN: Five minutes.
Me: Two.
NN: No, five more minutes.
Me: Two. Or nothing.
NN: Okay okay two.

NN: Stop talking Mommy. I’m not listening.
Me: <wtf>

Me: Are you listening to what I’m saying?
NN: No. I’m not paying any attention. You talk but I don’t care.

Me: Okay it’s time to go home.
NN: No! I don’t want to go home! I’m not going to eat. I’m not going to sleep. I’m not going to play. I’m not going to do anything. I just want to go out!!

Me: How was preschool today?
NN: Good. Where are we going now.
Me: Home.
NN: No! Where are we going?
Me: Home.
NN: No! Where are we going?
Me: Home.
NN: No!! Where are we going?
Me:¬†Answer is still “home”
NN: No!! If you say “home” one more time I’m going to scream loudly!!
Me: <burst out laughing>


I Love…

3 yrs 6 months, Nessness

  • The quirky things she says that reveal her personality a little more, like “this is my hand, you don’t move it for me”
  • When she expresses appreciation without being prompted, like “Mommy, thank you for making scrambled eggs today”
  • Her laugh when we have a tickle fight
  • Her love for places like Costco and Ikea
  • The way her eyes and face light up when she’s excited about something. I hope she will always find things in life to be excited over.
  • When she entertains Obi-Wan and they are laughing together. I hope they will always be good friends to each other.
  • When she says, “Mommy give me a hug!”
  • How she offers to kiss my or daddy’s owies better and pray for us
  • Her eagerness to have a turn at saying Grace at mealtimes
  • Watching her run and scream to the door when Baba comes home from work
  • Looking at “Where’s Waldo” books together. She notices interesting things as she searches for the different people or objects.