So I’m going to let you guys in on the ground floor of some of the Melone House crazy. There are a lot of diaper options out there from standard disposables to compostable disposables, from PUL cloth diapers (i.e. FuzziBunz) to flat cotton diapers you have to fold and then put a wool cover over so they don’t leak. Because we’re crazy, we went for the latter. That means that we’ve got about 25 flat sheets that get folded into a diaper shape for each and every diaper change. On top of the cotton diaper, we add a wool cover (nighttime covers are bulkier so they can absorb more without leaking).
I’ve liked using such natural materials, but we’ve been having issues with a persistent yeast infection that is driving us nuts and frustrating our baby. We didn’t know the signs or else we could have taken care of it much earlier, but we went a couple of weeks where our son was just scratching his bum whenever we changed his diaper. Then he had a diaper rash that was so bad it started to bleed! He had never had a diaper rash before so we didn’t really have the tools to do anything about it. We tried A&D Ointment, some natural healing Green Salve, and some other random stuff that I can’t remember, but nothing really solved the problem.
Then one day I took Jude’s diapers out of the laundry, and they smelled like rotten fish. What the heck?! So I put them in the sun and that helped a little, but of course I rushed to google to see what it could be. And all the signs led to a yeast infection! I’m not sure how Jude would have gotten a yeast infection…he gets no processed foods or sugar. Not even juice. I’m still not sure what caused it (too much milk?), but at least we could start trying to solve the problem.
Do you see his irritated buns?? They normally look just fine, but on this day we had played in the yard when he was naked, and the grass seems to be particularly irritating.
Coconut oil is fabulous at killing yeast, and sure enough, as soon as we started using it, we saw immediate results. But it’s been almost two months now and we have to use it with every change to keep the yeast at bay. I wash the diapers with tea tree oil every wash, sun them whenever it’s sunny, and I’ve even ironed them. But still no dice!
So back to the Melone House crazy. We’re going diaper free! That’s right. No more day-time diapers. My husband read the book Diaper Free, and we were just blown away by what kids are able to do. In developing countries where diapers just aren’t fiscally possible, moms teach their babies to go potty on cue from infancy. They just have a word or sound for urinating or defecating, the baby goes, and that’s that! Of course, the mom is in tune to her baby’s needs and doesn’t make the baby go longer than is comfortable. As the baby learns to walk, they just give them crotch-less pants so the kiddo can squat and go wherever is necessary. The theory is that babies know about “going” almost from birth, and then we go and give them this portable toilet in their pants, and they begin to lose any instinct about it. This explains why potty training is so hard later on!
Apparently it’s significantly more difficult to go diaper free after you kid turns 1 because they’ve used diapers for so long. It was interesting to see what Jude’s reaction was to not having a diaper. The first day, he just peed a little here and there all around the house (thank goodness for wood floors!). The second day, he just held it in until we put a diaper on him to sleep or eat, and he’s continued in that fashion for the last few days. Finally, today I caught him going and I used our cue word “pee-pee,” and picked up up and sat him on his little toilet and said “pee-pee” again, to try and start associating the term.
This is going to be a long, embarrassing, wet process. We haven’t yet had an out-of-diaper poop, and I’m not really looking forward to it. I hope you all laugh along with us!