Thursday, August 31, 2006

To cloth or not to cloth....

For the majority of Jackson's first 9 or 10 months I diapered his bottom in classic, soft, simple cotton cloth diapers. I didn't mind washing them, even pre-rinsing the poop kind. I felt good about the choice and enjoyed being a cloth diaper mom.

Then at about 9 months, at the same time he decided he wouldn't sit still to nurse anymore, he also became too wiggly to diaper most of the time. Wiggly actually doesn't come close to the twists, turns and maneuvers that this boy executes while I try to diaper or dress him. He is downright combative and I have seriously had to restrain him to get a diaper on him. It became almost impossible to get a cloth diaper - with safety pins, mind you - onto his butt. So I gradually began using more and more disposables. You can get one on a resistant child in about 30 seconds with one hand if you are good. This is not possible with a cotton square and diaper cover. I have been almost exclusively using disposable for almost three months.

And I feel bad each time I put one on him. And each time I throw one away. Sigh.

I made a commitment to myself today to try to get him back to cloth. This will be a challenge. He was a cloth boy again today. I managed to wrestle him into his diapers, sans pins. I am using a Snappi fastener now. A snappi is the same idea as one of the closures you get with an ace bandage. Neat invention. It takes away the risk of poking the baby with a sharp pin, at least.

But there are those damned cloth diaper drawbacks. First, his clothes don't fit him, or fit him well, in cloth. This wasn't a problem when he was younger. But it seems that the clothing companies cut the seat area of the clothes way too small for a cloth diaper. They are bulkier than disposables and require room. So half his clothes are now outgrown. And it is hard to know that they would still fit perfectly if I just put him in a disposable. Grrr.

Second, the boy eats a lot more solid food now than he did a few months ago when I was still using cloth. This means that messy pants needing rinsed are that much more heinous than they used to be. This once unpleasant task has doubled in odor and the nasty factor is huge. Yay. It is so easy to think about those disposables while I rinse the radioactive-green paste from the cloth diaper.

I almost wish I had never started using the disposables. Before I got into this terrible habit of disposables, I was so content with the cloth. I didn't know the seductive power of poop you can throw out without ever touching.

Good things to remember are the money savings and the environmental impact. There is also the fact that cloth diapered kids tend to potty train sooner because they can feel it when they are wet and learn to associate the need to go potty with the consequence of being wet.

Also, I get to feel virtuous. And I like to feel virtuous. I am holier than thou. Really, I am.....Sigh.


Julie said...

You were using pins? You poor thing! Honey, you have got to check out Fuzzi Bunz! There is just a microterry insert that goes into the diaper, which you can already have pre-loaded. The diaper is fleece and the wetness is drawn away from Jackson's booty onto the insert. Then the diaper just snaps onto Jackson's wriggly butt. When it's done, you just shake the insert out into a dry diaper pail and also put the cover in there. If there's poo, it just shakes off the diaper into the toilet, then the whole thing goes into the pail. They are awesome! Check out the details at: I bought mine from
They are a pricey initial investment, but in the long run much cheaper than disposables. Also, they are not as bulky as the old-fashioned cloth. And you get to feel superior again. (I'll admit it. I do that too. When I see a Mom with a baby in disposables or using formula, I feel superior and smugly hug my cloth diapered, breastfed baby. I'm awful!)

Fire Berry said...

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha,

What? You haven't become a wasteful Republican have you?

Go for Fuzzi Bunz!

The Holmes said...

Nothing new to say, just wanted to second, er, third the motion for Fuzzi Bunz. They rule.

jooley_ann said...

Marsha, don't beat yourself up! You're an inspiration to me, m'dear. Breastfeeding, cloth diapers, nap/sleep patterns (I *must* get the name of that book from you), the whole nine yards. Going from disposables to cloth has *got* to be a challenge. Hang in there!

I'm bound and determined to use cloth. The last person I told replied snidely, "Yeah. Good luck with that." *sigh*

Tim said...

I love cloth diapers. The disposables we used when she was a newborn leaked constantly. I've got the fuzzibunz or the diaper covers we used before down to 10-20 second changes. You've got to use the new technology though. I wouldn't wish pins on my worse enemy. I remember hating them from when I was a 3 or 4 (I was a slow toilet trainer).