Cloth Diapering: Is It Worth All The Crap?

Cloth Cover

I really wanted to like cloth diapers. I know there are some moms out there who swear by cloth diapering (yes, only moms are crazy enough to put themselves through the hassle of cleaning their child’s shit rather than throwing it away). I know this because I read their blogs religiously before my little poop machine was born. I looked at the pictures of their smiling cuties in adorable diaper designs and dreamed of the day when my little one would be crawling around with some googley-eyed animal printed on his tush. I planned to use cloth diapers knowing they are better for the environment than disposable diapers and can be easier on the wallet, especially when using with multiple children. Plus, the designs are just so darn cute!

However, as with many aspects of raising children, these aspirations faded as reality set in and I realized that cloth diapering was a load of crap. So here are my five biggest complaints about cloth diapers:

  1. The mess shoots right up the back instead of being absorbed. Newborns have the amazing ability of emptying themselves with the force of an erupting volcano. This was quite a surprise, especially when the cloth diaper did not contain the mess! We tried all-in-ones, inserts, and prefolds, but none of them had what it took. The waste would always shoot right up the back, soaking his onsie and anything else in its path.

    Cloth3

    So that’s what Mark Zuckerberg meant by, “the force is strong with this one.”

  2. They need to be changed frequently. On top of being storm poopers, newborns leak a lot. In order to keep the moisture under control, I was having to change his cloth diaper every 1-2 hours religiously. Not doing this would result in the contamination of my own clothes and the threat of a diaper rash (for the baby, not me). They just were not able to absorb and wick away the moisture the way a disposable diaper does. With some disposable brands, I even found that I was able to let my son go all night without a change and just air him out in the morning. Call me lazy, but my goodness, this is so much easier! Cloth4
  3. The smell gets old real fast. I’ll admit, I have no desire to do laundry more than once per week. The smell of urine and waste piled in a hamper for even a few days is enough to make the flies flee. Sure, you can soak the diapers in a bucket of solution instead. However, after a few times of splattering the walls, washer, and myself with that dirty solution, I decided I’d rather inhale the dirty diaper scent.

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    Photo credit: The Pigeon Needs A Bath by Mo Willems

  4. They are incredibly bulky. I can always spot a cloth diaper kid from a mile away. Sure, the prints are adorable, but not so much once you’ve squished them into pants or stretched a pair of leggings over them. Jeans were just impossible for us when wearing cloth.diaper bulge
  5. They impact the infant’s range of movement. No, he hasn’t been riding his rocking horse all day; that’s just his cloth diaper! The cloth diapers are bulkier than disposable diapers, making it more difficult for the child to pull their legs together. While wearing the cloth diaper, my son would often just lay on his back with his legs spread out. Once the diaper was off, he would begin to play with his feet, roll over, and become more active in reaching for toys.

Here’s what I love:

What I love about the cloth diapers is the shell/cover. We would put just the cover over my son’s disposable diapers, especially when he was really young, and this prevented blowouts 99% of the time. I have also used the cover as a swim diaper at times. The cover acts just as any disposable swim diaper by allowing liquid to pass through while holding in solids.

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My guy with googley-eyed animals printed on his tush

I also love cloth wipes. We have been using these right along and find that they actually work better than disposable wipes. We just use them with water so there are absolutely no chemicals to worry about and the amount is so little that it hardly creates a smell in the hamper.

So maybe you are reading this and shaking your head saying, “she just doesn’t get it!” If there is some magical answer (that does not require taking up cleaning and preparing cloth diapers as a hobby) then by all means, please share! But as I write this post, I hold out very little hope of joining the cloth diaper advocates in their attempts to rid the landfills of disposable diapers one laundry cycle at a time.

Travel with Baby: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Travel

My husband and I recently took a 14 hour road trip to Florida with our 9 month old that rendered us coffee guzzling zombies for days. Now that I am home and slowly resuming human form, I am able to identify several major lessons learned about traveling with a baby under the age of one.

Prior to having baby co, I was fortunate enough to take several trips within and outside of the U.S. My mindset in planning these trips was to plan a five star vacation on a two star budget. Sometimes that meant sacrificing some time on layovers, driving instead of flying, and hoofing it to main attractions. After several trips with baby co, I’m realizing that the sacrifices that once led to affordable quality vacations will now only lead to a coffee addiction and early female balding.

I know there are moms who exist famously on the motto have baby will travel, but I have to assume those moms are accompanied by babies very different from mine. Babies whose lists of hobbies include sleeping in the car, playing with any toy for more than a minute, and people watching without feeling compelled to scream demands at said people. These slightly less than charming characteristics of my little prince make this motto seem outright laughable.

The things that afford us a five star trip with baby co come with a five star price. The non-stop flights during prime time nap time or bed time with our little love strapped snugly in his Ergo carrier. Accommodations ideally located with limited travel times to main attractions and include a separate bedroom area for baby to sleep undisturbed. And of course, a carefully packed bag of unlimited puffs, creativity, and wet wipes.

Thus far, the mistakes we have made have been failing to take into account the person our son is. He has never been someone who enjoys the car. He struggles to sleep in the car with the bright lights, passing trucks, random bumps, and occasional fuel stops. It was a mistake to think that an overnight car trip to Florida would be met with anything less than a sleepless night and lots of crying and frustration (on his part and ours). Sure, we saved $200, but I have to think a few more trips like that would lead us to re-invest the money into anti-aging remedies, an exchange that’s probably not worth making.

I think it’s time to admit that the days of the affordable five star vacation are behind us, at least until we have an older, more flexible kid.