Our guest blogger this week, Brandon Laws, is coming to us from www.ParkerLaws.com. Brandon is one of the increasing number of dads that has changed his perspective on how babies should be diapered.
Dads on Diapers
A Cloth Diaper Experience from an Open-minded Daddy
Months before my son, Parker, was born, my wife and I decided to use cloth diapers. In reality, my wife, Angela, coerced me into using them. Truth be told, in hindsight, I am glad she made that decision for our family. Before we began using cloth, I could care less about diapers; however, I have since developed a strong opinion about them. Regular diapers are ugly, hard to get rid of, loosely fit and hang really low when there's a nice present for mom and dad (that present is poop, by the way!). Cloth diapers are cute, soft, easy to use and cost-effective for our family.
I admit, as skeptical as I was about cloth diapers at first, I still remained open to using them. Particularly because my wife spent, oh, about 10 hours a week researching them via Facebook groups, blogs, videos and other forums probably found by search engine. I'm not being hyperbolic, mind you; she developed an obsession around cloth diapers that was sort of frightening from a man's perspective. Perhaps some of you can relate to this! That funny tidbit aside, I am fiscally conservative and I couldn't bring myself to purchase disposable diapers on a regular basis only for them to be peed on once and thrown away. I think that's why cloth was intriguing to me, they seemed to be cost-effective if you did all the washing yourself, of which, I rarely do! :-)
What I couldn't stand about using cloth diapers wasn't so much about the product itself, it was the opinionated people around us who thought we were crazy for using cloth diapers. We got asked a lot about diaper services and pins holding the cloth together, as if cloth diapers are the same now as they were in the 60's. It is comical that people would still think that, but, in truth, cloth diapers have come a long way, and even I had no idea what they had become until my wife began researching what they are-high quality cloth with varying patterns, buttons, Velcro and interchangeable inserts.
The biggest hurdle for me to get over was understanding how to get rid of the clumps of poo stuck to the diaper after an explosion. The handy sprayer installed and attached to the toilet, I was told, will get the job done; that is, if I somehow spray it into the toilet and not onto my hands, the walls, or the floor (which I have done plenty of times). In reality, it's actually really easy to do once you get the process down. It has since been a non-issue for me.
Up until a few months ago, Angela had washed every dirty diaper load. So panic set in for me when there was a week she traveled to Florida and I was responsible for the boy and keeping the house clean-meaning I was I charge of washing diapers, too! I was anxious about what I was going to experience, no doubt. The most challenging aspect of unloading the dirty diapers into the wash was the awful smell. Through this first experience, I found that it is much easier to put the entire pail liner full of diapers in the washing machine and fold it inside out so I don't have to take in the big whiff of poop remains or touch the soiled diapers. Oh the things you learn while your wife is away... As it turns out, I am very capable of helping with the entire process (but don't tell her that!).
At home we now have an efficient system in place, and I can honestly say I love using cloth diapers. I much prefer them over disposable, and we will continue to use them for our son, and daughter when she is born in a few months. Like I mentioned earlier, the styles are unique and we think our son looks so cute in the different colors and patterns of diapers. Oh, yeah, and we've saved hundreds of dollars in the process. Perhaps I will save that discussion for another time!
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