Saturday, August 08, 2009

In Which I Discuss Cloth Diapers

I would like to say that I was completely driven by my inner hippie tree-hugger to go the cloth diaper route. While this is partially true, our decision to use cloth diapers on our baby was solidified with a 7-months pregnant trip to Big Lots (cheap stuff cheap). I picked up 700 diaper wipes for $5 and went to grab some diapers. Then I fell down on the floor and died when I saw the price. $20 for a 60-count baggie of the fancy Pampers for newborns, with the little notch cut out for the navel. That's thirty cents per diaper. We received a couple packages of those as gifts and let me tell you, he peed through them in about 2 days per package.

Diapers are freaking expensive. I know there are less expensive versions and my son won't always need like 15 diapers per day (he likes to poop, get his diaper changed, then immediately pee in the clean one). But we aren't made of money here. I'm a writer, after all.

So cloth diapers. I started doing copious research on them. I know this is shocking for some people, that I would heavily research something. But I found that I was interested in these diapers. Like they may not be as awful as older people make them sound. They might even be cute. I mean, the covers come with cow patterns or frogs even.

In March, I was in Phoenix visiting my sister, who had 1.5 children at that time and had decided to cloth diaper. We went to this really cool diaper store and I got to touch and hold and feel the various kinds of diapers. There are more than 3 kinds. Did you know that? Cloth diapers are not all the same. I decided I liked them. I practiced putting a few of them on a baby doll in the store and I was darn good at it.

So Corey and I started stocking up on cloth diapers. We bought a whole sampling of them, registered for some from Target, and started telling people about our decision. To which they universally responded, "That sounds like a lot of work" with a wrinkled up old man face or, "Will you be using a diaper service?" with the same wrinkled up old man face.

But I persevered beyond the old man faces, talked to friends who were successfully cloth diapering, and built my confidence. I just had to decide that of course we would do this. And now we are! Want to know what it's like?

Here is what a poopy diaper is like when you use disposables (as we did until MW passed his meconium and healed from his circumcision): you pull off the diaper, use it to mop poop off the baby's butt, then have to touch it with your hand while you throw it in a receptacle that, in July, begins to stink like...well a bin full of shit in the heat. You have to take the trash out every day or you will die. Then your trash smells like a bigger, darker bin full of shit in the heat with a lid.

Here is what a poop is like with the cloth diapers: You take off the diaper, use it to mop extra poop off the baby, and throw it in a pink bin we stole from the hospital. When MW is calm, we take our new kitchen tongs and plunge the diaper in the toilet. We use our new vegetable scrubber to break off the clingy poop. Then we put the quasi-clean diaper in a big bag dangling from the bathroom door knob. We have enough diapers for 3 days, so on the third day we haul the bag to the basement and shove it in the washer, dump in 1 Tbsp of detergent, and wash it all on hot with an extra rinse. We stick it in the dryer and that's it. Not really that much work.

If you keep in mind that we are NEVER running to the store to buy more diapers or worrying about how many diapers we have, plus the fact that we paid $250 for 3 months' worth of diapers (we'll get more when he's put on more weight...those will last us the next 3 years), I think we're coming out on top.

Plus, the cloth diapers are cute. We have a cow print one and some pretty blue ones. We have one with guitars on it! Plus plus the snappis we use to hold the diapers shut beneath the rubber pants double as swaddling fasteners so MW can't break free in the night. By this point, we know which kinds we like the best, too, so when he weighs more we can buy diapers we really love and, since he'll excrete fewer times per day, we'll do even less dunking and laundry.

Bottom line, I feel happy about my choice. Yes, it's work. But I'm doing laundry all the time now anyway and Miles gets to look super damn cute rocking his stylish dipes (as people in the know call them).

Still unconvinced? How about the fact that his little bipper reaches to the top of disposable diapers, so when he pees it goes up and over the diaper and all over everything else. In the cloth dipes, his big baby schlong just pees into the thick folds of cotton, contained by his diaper cover like urine should be.


PeaceLoveMath said...

I am extremely happy to hear that you're giving cloth diapers a good verdict, it gives me hope that I will be successful using them too! Hopefully I will get to practice on Kelly's baby.

Also, the last paragraph? In which you refer to your infant son's penis with the word "schlong"? Funniest. Thing. Ever.

Is he still too small for his wool soaker? I hope he's not too big already!! I want it to get peed on at least once!

PS: the word verification right now, no lie, is "messest." MW after his biggest poop yet, perhaps?

Emily said...

awesome. Love the links. These things are cute!
(and $20 for 2 days worth of disposables?!)

Valtastic said...

From an enviro perspective cloth (water/electricy) net disposable (material in wasteland) out. So you can't feel badly for either option.

As for the disposable diaper.. were you not rolling them up and using the tape to seal them before disposal? With my mom's daycare if never smelled and we always had 2 under 2 pooping relentlessly...

Em said...

My brother and I both wore cloth diapers. They make great dustrags when you're done with diapering.

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