Ugg. Well, that title didn’t sound the way we wanted it to. But honesty is key and we just have to be direct when discussing this reality because diapers are a huge part of the early years of parenting. As much as we want it to be all sweet gurgles and soft baby skin it’s often accompanied by bad smells and messes. Our mom blogger recalls one particularly fun moment when her six-week-old had what can only be described as a poo-nami in the isle of our local Safeway and she had to abandon her cart and walk shamelessly out of the store covered in what she hoped everyone assumed was exploded tomato bisque (it was not). But such is life with a newborn. It doesn’t last and it is so overshadowed by all the joy of parenthood that we’re not trying to scare you here. Preparation is key and the best defense is, at least when it comes to infant waste expulsion is well, a good defense. That defense for one of our mommy bloggers came in its simplest form in giant Kirkland boxes from Costco and was stacked in closets and next to changing tables. Whether you go for cloth or disposable the fact is diapering comes with the expense and requires space in your home. They were a disposable diaper family and she confessed she had my guilt about that,
“I mean come on, I am a mom, guilt is kind of my thing, but I try to get past that with an acknowledgement of, this was the choice I made and the reasons I made it made sense at the time, good argument for my position? Nope. But there you have it. We make our calls and cut ourselves some slack because Damn guys, this stuff is all hard. That being said I have aspirations of, if I am blessed with any other babies, attempting cloth diapering for all the benefits and motivations I am sure any of the cloth diapering moms reading this could regale me with. I hear you, I’m totally on board.”
So exactly how much diapering are we talking about here. A single child will likely use 6000 disposable diapers in the first two years of life. No you didn’t read that wrong. It is a huge industry, about 71 billion dollars a year and the cost of that is on average a little less than $900 dollars per child. This all means that around 8 times a day, or more if you get unlucky, you will be groping around the changing table for a fresh diaper as quickly as possible and hoping there is nothing left in the tank to soil the changing pad. 1 in 3 mothers cut back on basic essentials to afford diapering their children. There are lots of conveniences to disposable diapers including the lack of laundering and that even cloth diapers have a shelf life (around 50-200 uses). (Side note: Recycled cloth diapers make the best burp rag!) When you think about the major costs of those first two years, diapers should be on the mind. Baby registries will always include them and you can be sure of getting that elusive face time with any sweet new baby in the family by bringing a box of them to the new parents *wink wink*.
With all the need for diapers in a young parent’s life it makes sense that there is some stress involved. What diapers to buy? How many will I need? What sizes do I need to stock up on?
With diapering costs being what they are in the beginning Most moms are willing to use whatever brand they had been given at their shower. We’ve tried them all and they all hold their own so to speak. Each mom has her preferences and my biggest recommendation was always buy the style you like in bulk from warehouse stores because you will use them. If somehow your child never soaks the fresh diaper or you never have to use a fresh diaper to capture the unexpected explosion post bath and you end up with diapers you can’t/won’t be using the National Diaper Bank Network is an awesome place to seek out. You can donate leftover diapers to local affiliate programs and there is a comprehensive list of over 200 locations on their website. We had leftover diapers occasionally after a growth spurt. Sizing is based on weight but if you have a stocky baby you might have to go up a size for comfort. Basically they shouldn’t leave red marks around the baby's hips or they are too small but if it’s leaking or too loose around those inner thighs then that’s too big. Most parents become diapering experts very quickly; remember you are doing it 8 times a day at least. If your baby doubles in size seemingly overnight, as they are wont to do, you can reach out to a local diaper bank member and make a difference. For example in the Seattle area WestSide Baby accepts donations of all basic need items. These affiliates are an amazing resource in every state and if you are like me and sometimes need that type of support getting basic need items the programs in place are there for you guilt and stigma free. The village is meant to be relied on.
With diapering all parents are in it together. Everybody poops right! The great thing is you get good at it fast. Once you have your system in place for however long your child needs them you can provide. So yeah sorry for the bad log joke, parenting isn’t always lovely, It’s messy and real but if something goes really wrong it just makes for a great story later on… after the shower.