Sunday, June 13, 2010

Article #104 Baby # 2

A year or so after I’d weaned my first child, I discovered I was expecting child #2. Although I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge of nine months of pregnancy and childbirth again, I didn’t want my first son to be raised as an only child as I had been. Now the problem was to get my toddler potty trained so I didn’t have two children in diapers. That was easier said than done. No one prepares you for this experience before mother-hood either. I found it was extremely time consuming to potty train a child or a pet. And I’d never done either before. Time to go back to the Dr. Spock books plus ask questions of other inexperienced first time mothers like myself. (Photo-my oldest son Frank was almost 3 when his brother Daniel was born.)

At that time there were no disposable diapers, unfortunately they weren’t commonly used in the 1960s. So I had the memorable task of rinsing out any soiled diapers in the toilet, then soaking them in a covered diaper pail until washday. Modern mothers certainly are missing a unique experience, as few today even know that cloth diapers once existed. They are busy contributing to the filling up our many landfills.

My cloth diapers had to be washed, then dried on a clothesline. I know most moms today don’t even know what a clothes line or pins are for other than closing off potato chip bags. After air drying outside unless you had a modern electric or gas dryer, diapers had to be meticulously folded to fit the ever-changing size of your baby’s bottom.

I was motivated to get my toddler out of diapers, but discovered that potty training techniques was dependent on me being an observant mother and spending all my waking hours asking my son if he wanted to sit on the potty. I think I was the one being trained. What had seemed fun as a little girl playing with my dolls and pretending to be a mom was now only hard work and tedious.

Babies grow and change so quickly, that many sets of clothing for different sizes were required. Seems I was always changing my son’s clothes for some reason or other, then they needed to be washed too. Of course all these clothes when out grown were carefully stored away for the next little one. (Photo-Daniel and big brother Frankie-it helped having all boys to pass down their outgrown clothes.)

5 comments:

Linda Reeder said...

My kids are two years apart so I had two kids in diapers, cloth diapers by choice. But no clothes line for me, ever.

Babies are a lot of work, but also much joy.

kavita said...

I have similar experience like yours...my daughter was 2yrs 9 months old when my son was born.Luckily,i had potty trained her before that.Our elders don't allow us to use disposable diapers for the first two months because they think that cotton cloth diapers are softer.Here in my country we get trained Ayahs (lady helper)at very low cost to help new moms in taking care of all the wash work and in addition a half hour body massage for the new mom.Bliss !

But we do gift them a complete set of new clothing at the time of ending their services(its customary)...which is always a joy because during that difficult phase of new motherhood they are of great help .

Kay said...

My kids were three years apart and I did have a hard time toilet training my first. The second was loads easier but maybe it's because I was more experienced. I hope my granddaughter isn't made an only child as it looks like she will be.

Your post really brought back memories. I used cloth diapers for only a couple of months and then guiltily switched to paper.

Rambling Woods said...

I remember cloth diapers being used for my brother who is 12 years younger.. and what a mess as I did a lot of them......

SandyCarlson said...

My daughter, who is 11, never new a plastic diaper. She was in cloth diapers from the get go, and she never had a rash. After she was potty-trained, I had the best dust rags and polishing cloths!

I used to say it took less time to wash and dry her diapers in the machines than it did to drive to the store and lay down a load of money for another batch. I think it's true.