Monday, February 3, 2014

Diaper Duty

"Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible." 

~Cherie-Carter Scotts

Anyone who’s had a child has considered the great conflicting query whether for moral or financial reasoning among use disposable or cloth diapers, right?

Actually, most  people I know haven’t even battled that question as long as it takes them to decide if they’d like skim or whole milk in their lattes. I think I vaguely processed the idea when I was pregnant with my first, playing with the possibilities in my head. I am neither all hug the trees, make my cream and butter from scratch via our family goat or the person who’s throwing garbage out the windows of my Hummer going 80 miles per hour on the highway. I am average. I am a moderate. I understand both sides of most things and generally think people are people, neither saints nor evil. 

I didn’t like the idea of all the waste that would be created by disposable diaper use, but I also knew I was about to enter a whole new world that would involve way more multi tasking than I was ever used to taking on at one time. I was scared of taking on too much and becoming overwhelmed with the unchartered (to me) territory, then backing out after having spent way too much money that would then go to waste. Besides that, i just didn’t know where to start, what I would all need or who to ask about all this. I was overwhelmed at the thought of start up in the same way composting for my garden overwhelms me, though I have a strong feeling it’s really simple and I just need to start it. So, I just did what I thought i could do at the time. I went with disposable.

Many women tell stories of how horrible their kids diaper rash is with disposable diapers. My little one has never had real diaper rash issues. But I’m a firm believer in letting that adorable baby bottom air dry first and if necessary, using a little bit of ointment. The key here is before putting on ANY topical treatment (if necessary), let that bottom get adequate air! I know that especially once your baby starts eating solids, there are foods that can affect the gentle skin of their little tushies in a very harsh way, so that I don’t attribute to diaper choices either. Disposable diapers are convenient, pretty self containing and little to no maintenance. They are costly and that cost grows with however long your babes are in diapers for. Mine started going on the big girl potty four days before her first birthday and is doing considerably well for her age, but I still see diapers in the foreseeable future as I’m not really sure how long this whole process takes. I was motivated to introduce her to the big girl potty, and although I’d like to say it’s because I don’t want the waste, the bigger reasoning is because we’re expecting baby #2 in less than three months and I again don’t want my plate overloaded when the time comes.

On the flip side, I’d heard many horror stories from my mom and aunt about how terrible cloth diapers were when myself, my siblings and cousins were babies. They were cumbersome,  always leaking, messy to clean and forget it if you were out and about and had a big blowout on your hands. My experience using the cloth diapers my friend was so kind to loan me when my daughter was eight months old, was nothing like that. First of all, they are really smartly made. So instead of having diaper sizes NB through 6, needing new diapers with the growing weight of your child, they’re made with multiple size snaps and folds so that one diaper grows with your child the whole way. They also come with varying coverage options. Just like disposable makes night time diapers for the longer and more voluminous amount of leaks, cloth does too. These are larger than a regular diaper and your kid may look a little like a bubble butt, but they do work well. There was no leakage that I experienced of the regular sized cloth diaper or the larger ones and in that alone, I was very pleased. Where I struggled is in the clean up. I didn’t think to just throw the used diapers in my diaper genie that I use for my disposables, so they my guest bathroom sink...over two days. I’m not a disgusting person by nature. My house is usually clean, organized and not cluttered in the least. But, this washing the diaper stuff, I dreaded and as I had a baby who had just started crawling, it got put to the back burner till she went to sleep at night. But then night time would come, and like most parents of little ones, I was exhausted and desperately wanted nothing more than to kick my feet up and take a minute before I started that task. The problem is, once you sit and are comfy, it’s nearly impossible to get back up and back to the daily grind when you’ve been at it for 15 hours straight already in the day. To top it ALL off, maybe I was a rare mess of a first time mom, but I felt frazzled most all the time, like I couldn’t get my stuff together. Over a year later and I still have those moments at times. It’s as though the ropes are in front of me to grab onto, but I’m going a million miles an hour (in my head especially) and feel I’m scrambling to grab the right one before it goes buzzing by as I slip to the ground! So, my bathroom stunk like a port-a-potty for a few days and my husband said if our house may smell like that regularly, then it was not going to happen. I was certain it would, so I let it go at that. 

As we get closer and closer to the arrival of our second child, I’m revisiting all those possibilities once again. This time around, even in pregnancy, I feel much more confident about everything, knowing there’s a path I’ve already forged out there and it’s not as scary as I once thought it was. I have a feeling I can handle this. And, as I consider once again to go disposable or cloth, I now know it’s not as overwhelming as I once thought it to be, when there’s sites like, to guide you and give you insight as to what you’ll need to start out with cloth diapering and cleaning services should you go that route. I’m excited to know that I have options and that maybe I can leave this world a little cleaner AND keep my sanity. 


  1. My brother & SIL used cloth for a while, but have since abandoned it. I think they (ideally) intend to go back, but it does take a lot of time for cleaning. Also my nephews got terrible diaper rash WITH the cloth & the dr. had them go back to disposable, which is why they got off the cloth track in the 1st place. Apparently the ammonia builds up in the cloth after a while and can hurt the skin. Anyway, if you really are interested and want some feedback from my SIL I think she'll give you both sides of the coin to consider. I seriously thought about it, until I spent a week as a new mom and realized how much less time I have now. It sounds like a great idea, but in the end just doesn't work for me unless someone wants to come and volunteer to do my laundry! PS: if you're going to do, I'm told that you HAVE to install a faucet sprayer to your toilet water line. It makes cleanup much easier as you can spray the diapers off into the toilet, before putting them in the washer. :)

  2. Thanks for the info! I hate cleaning any more than I already do, so I have considered the diaper services. BUT then I have to wonder how much of a benefit it really is. A few of my girlfriends use cloth and love it but are very honest about it being a big process. I haven't heard about the ammonia build up. I'll have to research that! I may call you for your SIL info ;)