I don't know about you, but I'm sort of a pack rat. I keep things "just-in-case" and also for sentimental reasons. Over the years (and I do mean years) I'll slowly and repeatedly weed through old boxes and thin out stuff I no longer need or stuff I finally decide I can part with, but I never really get rid of all of it.
I kept my cloth diapers more for practical reasons than anything. We tried for a long time to get pregnant with our second child and even when I'd given up and accepted that maybe God just wanted to give us one child, I wasn't going to part with my stash quite yet. Maybe had 5 or 10 years passed before our family size finally increased I may have seriously destash, but as it stood, even fully accepting the fact that God may not choose to give us a second child, I held onto my diapers just in case.
However, I found that they were more useful than I thought they would be. Even though my daughter was fully potty trained a couple of months after her second birthday, we found occasion to use them for her now and again.
The first time we used a diaper on her was when we went on long car trips. My family lives a 7 hour drive away from us and, though Bunny was fully capable of making it to the potty, there are long stretches of that drive where there is no place to pull over, so we put a diaper on her as a preventative measure. She never actually used it, but it gave us peace of mind to know we wouldn't have a mess to clean up. For the next couple of road trips, we continued to put diapers on her just in case. Then, we wised up and just put a little potty in the trunk.
Soon after Bunny turned 3, she and her father were hit with a stomach bug, complete with uncontrollable diarrhea. Poor Bunny. She didn't even know what vomiting and diarrhea felt like until that point. My husband recalls that she came up to him innocently and said incredulously, "Daddy, my underwear is wet and it smells like poop!" He had to explain to her what had happened and that it was because she was sick. We immediately swapped out her underwear for a diaper for the next few days to save her outfits and to give us a little extra security against messes. She walked around like she'd been riding a horse while it was on, but sweetly obliged in allowing us to put a diaper on her.
Last week, Bunny suddenly started having inexplicable accidents. She had seven accidents in only four days. It wasn't the kind of accident she started having frequently when I first got pregnant and had severe morning sickness and she was desperate for attention, it was more like she was peeing and had no control over it. All seven times that it happened, she was on her way to the potty. I took her to the doctor who tested her urine and found a bit of bacteria in it. She was immediately given antibiotics as her urine was tested more thoroughly over the next few days, but the accidents continued to happen for four days. Finally, I went downstairs to our large tub of cloth diapers and chose a few that would fit her easily and be trim on her and she wore one of those the rest of the day. I think it made both her and I feel better about the whole situation.
I love that, on all three of these occasions, people said, "Oh, you'll probably need to get a couple pull-ups to help her out" and I was able to say, "No, I'll just use one of her old cloth diapers." It was nice to know that the diapers were there and still saving us money when we got into a potty pinch. Using them also made me feel much better about being a pack rat. If I hadn't been hoarding my stash, I would have had to go out and buy some wretched, disposable pull-ups.
Now, many of you used cloth trainers for your little ones as they potty trained. I made my own and, ironically, they no longer fit, while some of her cloth diapers still do. For this next child, I might consider buying the cloth pull-up diapers made by brands such as bumGenius and Grovia because it was a bit tricky getting some of those diapers to slip on and off just like underwear, but it was possible. I found that the following diapers work find as pull-ups for my 32lb three year old when snapped to the largest settings both at the waist and in the rise: Grovia One Size AIO, bumGenius 4.0 with snaps, and Best Bottoms One Size. I'm sure there are even more that would do well, but those are the ones that I happen to have in my stash that work well for my daughter.
So, think twice about gifting, selling, or tossing all of your cloth diapers once your baby is potty trained. They may fit your growing preschooler for a couple of years yet and you never know when they'll come in handy.