Folks, we’re doing it. Christmas in cloth.
After our last holiday (read about it here), you may recall that we swore “never again” to leaving our cloth nappies at home and relying on disposables. This time, we packed up home and left home for 11 days. That’s a long time in disposables for us, with the longest stretch we’ve done so far being 5 days. Our baby is almost 9 months old and we have used cloth nappies since he was 3 days old.
11 days in cloth, at a caravan park. We’re long past concerns of leaks or spills in our cloth nappies; we trust our ability to use them much more than disposables! The concern with 11 days was primarily cleaning-related. How to ensure our precious cloth nappies get the cleaning treatment they deserve?! In winter, drying time is certainly a factor, but this is Australian summer, in rural Victoria. 35° as the average temperature for our time away… Drying would not be an issue.
We decided to use flat nappies and covers rather than our fancy modern cloth nappy system (MCN). MCNs are great; super simple to use, simple to wash, and really absorbent. But the absorbency comes at a cost; washing. They are absorbent because they are made up of many layers, and these need effective washing to penetrate all those layers. So we left them behind, and opted for flats. Think old-school square towels that were folded and pinned. These are the easiest to wash (and dry) as they fold out to one single layer of fabric. Into the suitcase went (not enough) terry towel and (also not enough) cotton muslin squares, and a variety of covers. Easy peasy.
While we’re away we decided to continue using disposables at night time (night time MCN need more washing or more changes overnight).
Day 1: Friday
Well, today was…interesting. To be contained in another post, at another time. Before leaving for our trip, I put all the nappies into the wash, and we used disposables for the day. Today we also evacuated for fire danger… Leaving half my washed nappies not hung up! Cheers to Julia for hanging them up while we were gone.
We arrived in Victoria at 2:30am on Day 2.
Day 2: Saturday
Jonah had a second crash-course on flat nappies. What a reminder that it’s certainly harder to fold a nappy onto a rolling, crawling, and otherwise busy baby than it is to stick on a disposable! But we persevered. Most changes are now done using the flat nappy as an insert in a cover rather than folded up as an entire old-school nappy. So much easier.
We visited the pool today using our cloth swim nappy we bought from Foodland! $12 and hasn’t let us down yet.
Oh yea, I got peed on in a playground. Context? We’re practising Elimination Communication (EC) with our baby. It’s about understanding baby’s natural instincts to NOT poop and pee all over themselves (I mean, it’s pretty nasty right) and helping them to get somewhere appropriate when they need to go (eliminate). It’s why we brought minimal (not enough) nappies, because we manage to ‘catch’ quite a lot during our daily routine rather than always having dirty nappies.
Back to the story.
There we were with our 2 month old nephew and his parents (who practise EC full-time, very consistently) in a playground park having dinner. Our bub was due for a pee, so bare-bum playing on the grass it was. He didn’t go.
Picture this: two fully grown women holding their babies in the air so that any wee lands on the grass. Husbands watching on. Good family bonding time. Anyway, ours didn’t go until much later and he was BUSTING. Couldn’t wait for my legs and arms to get out of the way…so now I’m holding the baby, inadvertently directing the urine onto myself.
Must encourage. “Oh yay, you pee-peed.” Laughter is heard. Good family bonding time.
At least we didn’t have to wash another nappy.
Day 3: Sunday
Nothing to report, really. The disposable held in the morning poop, so that’s good!
We washed nappies for the first time in the caravan park. The washing machine, while industrial, seems to have been designed and manufactured before custom cycles were a thing. Which cycle to choose? How long will it go for? What is the temperature like? It’s like laundry roulette in here. Russian roulette.
Props to our brother in law for hanging around to hang the nappies up after mystery cycle had completed!
Day 4: Monday
Nothing to report. We started the day with fresh, clean nappies. Oh wait, I lie. Read on…there definitely WAS something to report.
Today morning poop…did not happen. Uhoh.
Now, back to that reportable incident… At home, he usually does his morning poop in the potty in our living space. It’s his routine. His holiday routine? Well apparently it involves pooping randomly. At nans place.
“Ooh, Jonah he’s making poop noises!” Jonah whisks him off to the bathroom hoping to ‘catch’ the rest of the event in the toilet. And, as though a flashback from our last holiday, I hear “Elf, can you come help me, please?”
We had a situation. Poop on the toilet, poop on the nappy, poop on the husband. Lols.
In the wetbag, to deal with tomorrow.
Day 5: Tuesday
Caravan park washing machines are no match for a husband armed with napisan, laundry detergent, $4 in coins and two wetbags of nappies. An early morning gift to ourselves… Clean nappies. Although I usually do this part, and relish in the routine of wash day, it is nice to not have to do it.
We are also starting to realise that maybe, maybe we should have brought more flats. Considering the EC pee -poo routine is a bit whacked right now.
But we will get through.
We still have 6 days of holiday to go.