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Friday, May 13, 2011

5 Tip Friday: Cloth Diapering When Staying with Family

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we….OH NO!
Let me just say that last night I reached my max. I saw the mound of soiled diapers piled ON TOP of the wet bag in my grandparent’s laundry room, stinking up the place. I saw the couch scattered with diapers to fold. I found out my baby’s diaper had not been changed in hours. So at that point, while nursing my little guy, I just buried my head in my nursing cover and cried so no one can see me (unfortunately – or fortunately -  I have a very intuitive family and they all realized I reached my breaking point and have been trying to help!). So what happened to cause me to reach my max (aside from me losing a KEY recording needed for my dissertation research when a virus just totally WIPED OUT my computer)…
Well, I had not prepared. At all. So for 5 Tip Friday, I decided I would do a post on cloth diapering while staying with family. I would argue that this is TOTALLY different from cloth diapering while traveling and you will see why.
1.) Assign one person to be on diaper duty. When taking a CPR class I learned the #1 rule when performing CPR is right before you do it, to point directly at someone and say, “YOU, call 9-1-1.” Often times when this is not done, everyone thinks someone else is doing it. By giving one person the job, they KNOW that is their responsibility and it is all on them. This applies to cloth diapering when staying with family too. With so many people around to help take care of baby (or, in my case, babies), diaper changes could be overlooked. I wanted to cry yesterday when I found out that my baby (who has been fighting a nasty rash all week from teething) had been in a diaper for FOUR hours. I had left her in the care of her awesome grandparents and one Grandma said, “We need a diaper change.” So one grandma thought that meant she was doing it, the other one thought by saying it the other would do it. Kind of like the “Got the Keys…?” moment from friends. Totally innocent. But totally avoidable. So how do you avoid it? If you are having to do something else, assign ONE PERSON to be in charge of monitoring the diaper.

2. Be organized. Lay out the diapers. I like to stack mine according to baby and naptime/night time. It’s a simple step that saves a lot of confusion. I even created a little sheet of instructions in case my 81-year grandmother needs clarification (although, I should say, she never uses it because she usually knows just what to do!). Make sure the wet bag is in a closeby place and that it is easy to put diapers on (and not on top of!). Have wipes right there with a way to moisten them easily (or have them already wet).

3. Stay on top of the laundry. This is a tough one. And when I mean stay on top of it I mean see it through ALL THE WAY until it comes out of the dryer. Fold it and put it back to be organized. As you know from doing laundry at home, if you don’t do this step, you will have diapers EVERYWHERE all week long.
4.BE GRATEFUL. I am so blessed to have an amazing family who loves to help out. After my little sobfest, my 83-year old grandpa got up and started cleaning up (this made me feel terrible…but it just shows how family wants to help, you just need to be clear about what you want). Be clear, but not demanding, about what you need help with. At 10pm, I finally burst out with:
So be clear about where you need help and express gratitude to those helping you!
5. Last but not least: Relax. Family is usually there to help. So enjoy. Today I am taking a deep breath, enjoying time with family, and enjoying the great view.
What are your tips for staying with family and cloth diapering? Do you have any good stories to share (or bad ones!)?

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