Show 53

Elizabeth – Her Special Needs Cloth Diaper Story

Elizabeth joins me today to share her story, challenges, and adventure of cloth diapering beyond 3/4 years old. This is a show about what she looks for in diapers and the challenges of finding a diaper that works for a bigger kid. 

As a special needs parents, Elizabeths story might bring you some comfort in knowing you are not alone in navigating through diapering past toddlerhood. 



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Elizabeth – I’ve always cloth diapered and started with my son. I originally started with snap in insert diapers and a cover, and with my daughter I ended up with flats and covers. 

Cloth diapering a 5 year old. What does that look like and how does that work?

We cloth diaper our daughter full time, and our son part time (with school, it’s not always so flexible, so we do it part time).

 Do you expect to be in cloth diapers for a long time?

We’re not sure, always working on potty training, but we don’t know. We will see where that go. For now, we are using Nicki’s Training Pant – it’s an all in one like training pant – the weight range goes to about 45lbs. But I’m wondering what to do what next. 

A lot of one size covers match out around 35 lbs, and then you run up to the question – of now what. They do make disposable diapers for older children.

Listen to this episode with Snap-EZ Cloth Diapers who makes larger sized cloth diapers for adults and kids.


Are there any challenges with whats available with the industry?

There are larger options with the pocket diapers like bumGenius big, and best bottom, and other brands with a size 3-4. You also run into an absorbency issues as they get bigger.

 You’re looking for enough absorbency, but also a sizeable insert that will fill the shell of the diaper.


Is absorbency your biggest challenge going forward cloth diapering?

School is big challenge – so depending on how things play out for us about school will influence how our cloth diapering journey will progress.


4 Things I look for in a cloth diaper for an older child

  1. Fit – 40 to 45lbs in weight range at minimum.
  2. Must be easy to wash and dry
  3. Budget Friendly – ideally under $30
  4. Easy to pull up and down – easy for use


Do you have any problems washing older kid diapers?

The smell seems to sit there and need to be wash a diaper.

I immediately rinse out diapers, and then it’s a bit of easier. Sometimes Elizabeth adds a bit of vinegar to her wash routine to help with the urine problem.

Sunning also helps reduce that stink, smell and get things refreshed.


Has there anything that surprised you into cloth diapering an older child?

It’s just been a learning experience and I didn’t think or plan it until he was ¾ and potty training wasn’t working. It’s been a learning experience in regards to communication and what’s out there for diapering options – and then I got to the what happens when he gets older. 

And then wondering what young adults use? And wondering how will the special needs diapering look as the child gets older.


What would be your best advice for a parent who is in that age stage of looking at longer term diapering?

Be open and do your research and see what works for you. Just like any disability, every child is going to have different needs for their diapers.

Be open to trying different things – and just like when you started cloth diapering people will swear that something works, and that’s going to keep happening in special needs diapering.


Does insurance cover cloth diaper costs?

I haven’t asked about cloth – but they do cover disposable cloth diapers.


How do you take care of yourself with all this extra emotional brain work?

Good communication with my team – and I work with person centred services who has a great support person who helps us find answers to questions. Having people you can reach out and support you with the ball game you’re trying to navigate.


I find a support group on Baby Centre, and there’s probably other groups else and local resources that help.

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Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.


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