Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Thrilling Discourse on Diapering (Wk 24: PREGNANCY)

October 10, 2005

I've decided to use cloth diapers.

It's an economic thing. I could diaper a child from one-month-old to potty training for a grand total of $400 or spend close to $2000 on disposables. If we diaper future children in cloth, those savings multiply. With a husband still in the training process of his career, this one's a no-brainer.

The hardest thing is convincing people I'm not insane. Most people give me the same response when I share our plan: a wrinkled forehead and a scowled mouth. Then come comments that imply I've never changed a diaper. How to respond?


"What?! Babies poop? I had no idea. I'd better rethink this."

Sarcasm doesn't win a lot of friends, though.


I've tried passing along little-known facts about cloth diapering in the 21st century: that hemp doublers can add whatever absorbency you need, that microfleece inserts pull moisture away from baby's skin and repel poo (for an easy drop into the toilet), that throwing away the poo in disposables is actually illegal (human waste product), that cloth diaper covers provide better protection against blow-outs than any disposable on the market (Update: How true this is!!), that safety pins are no longer necessary.

This sort of response leaves me breathless and worried that I left something out.

Fire with Fire

When my sister-in-law gave me a putrid look and said, "Eww"-- to which I responded with the educational approach described above-- only for her to say "eww" again with the same amount of vehemence, I was tempted to respond, "Well, those landfills are getting pretty gross too. And by the way, beware of research funded by companies that make disposables saying that cloth diapering wastes water. It takes much more water (and fossil fuels) to create the materials needed for disposables."

Trouble is, when it comes to the environment, I can't cast stones. I mean, I still use aerosol cooking spray. Among other things.


Wearied by the constant need to defend myself, I'm tempted to give up trying. Maybe I just need to smile and think about all the money we'll be able to spend on babysitters. Or the college fund. I'm just so darned egotistical, silence doesn't come easy to me.

None of my defenses fuly cuts it. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that I live in a part of the country where a baby in cloth is assumed to have an allergy problem.

I want to scream from the mountaintops, "Yes, cloth diapers are gross. So are disposables. Poo is poo is poo, regardless of what it lands on!" Changing poo-ey diapers is that least attractive aspect of parenting, no matter how you slice it.

All I want is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. Never once have I chastised my friends for using disposables. Why should I be so hammered?

Belly Pic, Week 24:

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