1. Finding A Big Enough Diaper
The biggest challenge of cloth diapering an older child is finding a diaper that actually fits! After all, you can’t deal with any of the other issues of diapering an older child if you don’t have an actual diaper that your child can wear, right? I have a 2 year old wearing diapers at night and nap time, and an almost 5 year old wearing diapers at night. We use the Hiney Lineys Big Kid system to keep them staying dry. The Big Kid diaper fits 30-60 pounds and has a snap down rise. It actually fit my 7 year old as well, as he is 58 pounds.
**This is my 2 year old in his Hiney Lineys Big Kid diaper snapped down in the rise.**
Once you have an actual diaper that fits and you have diapers to wash, getting the diapers clean is one of the BIGGEST problems people have with big kids in diapers. We have struggled with it for many years. Big kid urine is just not the same as little baby urine. Soaking or rinsing your diapers before tossing them in the wash definitely helps a lot. I know this might sound taboo, but bleach is your friend! You just might have to use it every now and again. I’m not saying that you need to bleach them every wash, but with the nature of these loads, bleach tends to really make a huge difference. Separate your covers from your prefolds or inserts and toss them puppies in the wash and put some bleach in the bleach dispenser. I resisted bleach for 6 years. I will honestly tell you that it is helping!
**This is my almost 5 year old in her Hiney Lineys Big Kid diaper. The diaper is snapped down in the rise here, but she can use it either way and it fits her well.**
3. Staying Dry at Night
As your child grows, so does their bladder! It can be a struggle to find the right amount of absorbency especially at night. This is what we have used with huge success for all three of our children: A premium prefold such as these that Everything Birth sells HERE, along with a microfiber insert. A cheap way to get microfiber inserts for night time use, is to go to your local Sam’s club and get the BLUE version of these: DO NOT get green or orange or yellow. Those colors will bleed for 100 washes and you won’t be happy with the color of your diapers! The blue ones do not bleed. Get blue!! You will have to fold them in thirds, but you also fold a prefold in thirds, so it is no biggie! This combination is fail proof in my house.
**This is my 7 year old in the same Hiney Lineys Big Kid diaper with the rise unsnapped.**
4. Keeping Your Nose Happy
Clean diapers with no detergent build up is key, however, you’re still going to battle with some potency specifically in the night time diapers . There are a couple of things that you can do for this one. You can rinse the diapers under the faucet of your bathtub and then toss them in your pail or wetbag, or you can do a wetpail method. A wetpail method involves filling your diaper pail with water and borax. If you’re opposed to borax, I am sure there are other things you could add to the water.
5. Potty Learning
If you’re not dealing with a special needs child who is going to be in a diaper for the long term, potty learning can seem to be a daunting task. This might not be the most popular way of doing it, but it worked with my kids. We just skipped the trainers and kept them naked. It worked GREAT!! Once they started using the potty regularly, then we started with the underwear. If you want to do a pull up and down diaper/trainer method, the Hiney Lineys Side Snap cover can be pulled up and down with ease.