In a perfect world, babies would come out of the womb toilet trained. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in. And in my world, specifically, my 3-year-old is still happily prancing around in his Pampers (and will probably still be going strong through college). There was a time, long ago, when I felt conflicted about using disposable diapers, but I chose my own sanity over the environment. I am sorry, trees. I think there are things every mom who uses disposable diapers wants you to know, though, and I might as well be the first one to say them.
Honestly, my dabble with cloth diapers almost ruined my relationship with my husband. He wanted to do the cloth diapers, and I wasn't so into it. His pitch about protecting our environment and how they were better for our baby's sensitive bottom won me over, though, so I decided we would give it a try.
Our first cloth diaper experience was probably the most extreme you could get without having to buy your own loom and weaving them yourself. My partner and I had organic hemp diapers that came delivered as square fabric shapes that we had to twist and fold into an approximation of a diaper on our actual baby. It was hell. Each time I needed to change my squirming, screaming newborn, he would have already peed or pooped on his changing pad (or me) by the time I'd gotten the hemp diaper even remotely near his tushie.
The one selling point that got me was that a delivery service would come and pick up the soiled diapers form an odor-trapping (ha!) diaper pail once a week, to wash them at some off-site facility. The smell of wet, rotting, newborn poopie diapers stewing in an enclosed space for a week? Yeah, that got old fast.
In the end, I made the executive decision that cloth diapers were not for us. And I'll never forget the first time I put on those wonderful, magical Pampers with the stripe. I felt like I had emerged from olden times into the Space Age. I haven't looked back since.
We Are Not Monsters Hellbent On Destroying The Earth
Every mom who uses disposable diapers is not a crazed Devil Woman gleefully hoarding styrofoam containers for the hell of it and exclusively feeding her kids out of those baby food pouch things. Unless she lives under a 24-carat gold rock, she also is probably aware of the toll that her disposable diapers take on the environment and doesn't take each and every diaper her kid wears for granted. Also, that ish is expensive. She doesn't throw out a diaper if she has to ask herself if it's wet.
I know I'm not alone here, right? When my diaper-wearing son is about to take a bath, and I know I just changed his diaper a 30 minutes ago and it is basically dry, that sucker (the diaper, not my son) is going right back on after that bath is over. Sorry, but I want to save the Earth and my wallet from destruction. As long as we don't have any rash problems going on, my son doesn't protest anyway.
We Are Also Not Interested In Your Articles About Landfills
Moms who use disposable diapers have probably had to listen about the glories of reusable and cloth diapers from all of their holier-than-thou mom friends and well-meaning relatives. Believe me: they know. So those casual forwards you keep sending about the damage she's doing to Mother Earth is just annoying.
Also, can I just point out one thing? When I was using cloth diapers, I used a service that sent a truck to collect my stinky pail of used diapers, and laundered them before bringing them back for another round. I imagine the fuel used for the truck and the energy used to do the laundry didn't come out of thin air and also had some environmental cost. Maybe not the same as all my disposable diapers, but still.
Some Of Us Didn't Knock Cloth Diapers Them Without Trying Them First
I know a handful of moms who tried either cloth diapers or disposable inserts with reusable diapers before abandoning the cause and switching to disposables. I know I tried. Don't assume that there wasn't at least a little effort on a mom's part to try to be the "good citizen" by giving it the old college try, as they say.
We Really Wanted To Love Cloth Diapers
Reusable diapers are not for everyone or every baby. The cloth diapers we tried on our son resulted in leakage every single time, no matter who put them on his little tush (me, dad, grandma, grandpa, a friend, an aunt, you name it). And the diaper rashes he got from them were horrific. I couldn't have gone more organic than the hemp diapers we used, either (the premise being that organic and natural would mean healthier for baby). I have no idea why, when we switched from cloth to reusable and finally to disposable, his diaper rash situation completely resolved itself.
We Secretly Write Odes To Odor-Trapping Diaper Pail Liners & The Magic Stuff In Diapers
She knows it's "bad" but she secretly writes haikus and love songs about how amazing those odor-trapping diaper pail liners and the stuff that soaks up her baby's pee for 12 hours are. I mean, you guys, this stuff is basically magic. She doesn't really want to know how it all works, because it probably has something to do with killing innocent woodland creatures, but the bottom line is her house doesn't smell like poop and her baby's crib isn't a cesspool in the morning. These things are important.
Maybe We're Just Not That Fast At Laundry
If she was a whiz at doing laundry, or maybe if she lived on a beautiful commune where people did laundry by hand and hung things up to dry in the sun while toddlers ran around naked and played in nature, things would be different. But she lives here, in real life and in a walkup apartment with laundry in the basement. The idea of hoarding stinky cloth diapers for periods of time in a 600 square foot space is about as appealing as, well, smelling poop while being trapped in a shoebox.
We Think Those Cloth Diapers Look Great On Instagram
Those cute little diaper inserts look so sweet and adorable in people's Insta shots, and we won't lie. In real life, however, we're not so sure they actually do the job of defending against blowouts. In fact, many of my own clothes know from personal experience that products like G-Diapers have not stood up to to even the mildest explosions.
The Heart Wants What It Wants
Moms who use disposable diapers can't help what they ultimately love. The heart is a strange and mysterious thing, and our hearts want a diaper with velcro straps and a little stripe that changes color to indicate when it is wet. Does that make us so bad?
We Are Grateful For Moms Who Use Cloth Diapers
Most of all, disposable diaper moms would like to tell those moms who only use cloth diapers: thank you. We are really glad that you are making this sacrifice and going the extra 100 miles with every single damn diaper change so that we don't have to. We hope we can make it up to you somehow. Maybe coffee in a biodegradable cup?