Diaper Duty Dilemma

Dear Reader,

My husband rocks.  No, really.  He is a wonderful, attached, gentle, father.  He doesn’t just “go along” with my parenting choices but fully embraces them.  Our daughter is happy and attached.  I couldn’t ask for more.

Well, except I really wish we were cloth diapering.

When I was pregnant and brought it up to him he had the normal “ewwwww” reaction.  Since I knew, as a SAHD, he would be changing more diapers than I, I didn’t push.  Now it weighs on me.  I’m concerned about our environmental footprint.  I’m concerned about the chemicals we’re putting against our daughter’s skin.  And, honestly I feel that this one thing is very incongruous with our other lifestyle choices.

The problem is we don’t know anyone that cloth diapers.  I’ve honestly not even seen a modern cloth diaper close up.  Even I’m unsure about the ins and outs of cloth diapering (although I could learn quickly).  It just seems so many families not only do it successfully but really prefer it.

Can you help me sway his mind toward cloth?  Do you think the issue is worth pursuing now that our baby is over 1 year?  Is it better late than never?  Or, a moot point and I should just let it go?


Diaper Duty Dilemma Mama

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Author: Paige

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  1. It really isn’t as much of a pain as people think, and not only do both Tom and I prefer it, but Kieran practically melts down on the rare occasions I put a disposable on him. “Cloth, mama, cloth!” he says! I wrote a series of guest posts on why we chose cloth – you can check them out here: http://www.gogreenstreet.com/why-we-chose-cloth-diapers-part-4/ (there are links to parts 1-3 at the bottom of that post). Basically, cloth leaves a smaller footprint (when done “right”), it’s safer for our babies’ health, they cost less, and they are convenient enough :) Plus they are super cute!!

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  2. First of all, is your DH on twitter? If he is you should get him chatting with my DH. My DH is a SAHD and we use cloth nappies, we have from the beginning. My husband doesn't just go along with them, he loves them.

    Has DH seen a modern cloth nappy or does he just think they are like the old terry flat style. I know that there seem to be some cloth nappy sellers over there that let you return, (that's from some of the people I follow on twitter, can hook you up).

    Perhaps you could buy a bunch of the really simple, all in one (AIO) velcro nappies, which are really just like disposables. If he can't cope with the poo and cleaning it off etc, you can get flushable liners which may help. He can just chuck the liner, poo and all down the toilet.

    Also throw some financial stats at him. That always seems to help.

    Good luck.

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    • Your DH is a SAHD? I have to get my hubby in touch with him. Plus, I'd love to commiserate with another working mom!

      I honestly haven't seen the all in ones up close but they look so easy and comfy. Maybe I just need to do it one weekend day so he can see how easy it is!

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  3. We didn’t start cloth diapering our son until he was a tiny bit older than one….we rented before then, and didn’t have reliable access to our washing machine/dryer (we shared them with a couple of college kids who lived upstairs). It has been totally worth the change, though, mostly because our son was just SO sensitive to disposables that we could only use the chlorine free ones (which are so much easier to find today than they were even three and a half years ago) and still spent a decent sum of money on diaper rash creams and concoctions every month.
    We use Bum Genius one size diapers….they’re pocket diapers that are adjustable from a newborn size all the way through toddlerhood (my 3.5 year old still wears one for bed, my 15 month old has been wearing them since birth….and both kids could share the same diaper stash, so we didn’t have to buy separate diapers based on size). They are crazy-easy to use….they go on exactly like a disposable, in one piece with a velcro-like enclosure on the front, and are VERY dad friendly. My husband was pretty skeptical at first, but now reccomends them to people all the time. The washing routine is pretty simple- we keep them in a dry pail (or trash can) with a cloth liner until it’s wash time….then I run them all with a small cold water rinse, followed by a wash in free-and-clear detergent, followed by another small rinse (to make sure that no detergent builds up in the absorbant inserts).
    We have a few local stores that carry BGs, which helped me make our decision- touching and seeing them made a big difference.

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      • We actually wash everything in cold- I figured that if it wasn't working, then we'd switch to hot. But this far into it, we've never had a problem with cold washes!
        .-= Emilie´s last blog ..Amazing =-.

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  4. I have a whole series of posts on my blog introducing mamas to cloth diapering with TONS of pics of modern cloth diapers. My little one turned a year old last week and I did a review of our year in cloth diapers. I also did a post on Newborns in cloth for a Carnival. Please feel free to check out all the pictures of cloth diapers there. (click the cloth diapers tag for more).

    If you find a kind of diaper that you'd like to use, go ahead and buy a few. That way he can see them and try them out. If you don't like them, you can always sell them used online (hyenacart.com and diaperswappers.com have boards where you can post used diapers for sale) so you don't have to worry about being out money if he says "no go". But he likely won't say "yes" to something he has no mental idea about.

    Lots of women have convinced dads, even SAHDs, to cloth diaper. Especially if you use pocket diapers, which are one piece that can be used just like a disposable, its hard to argue with that simplicity. My diaper laundry is an extra two loads a week. More water than that is used to make disposable diapers.

    Besides, they're cute. I don't know that will be convincing to your man, but it gets my vote!

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  5. Cloth diapering will save you so much money! It's almost, but not quite, the difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding. Breastfeeding usually ends up requiring a nursing bra or two or three, maybe a pump, etc. Formula feeding requires, well, you know. It costs a lot! Anyway, the upfront cost of cloth is hefty but it pays you back so much in the long run. And then most parents can get even more money back by reselling them. Of course, if you can get them second hand, that'll be a big help. As far as the mess goes, get a mini-shower diaper sprayer. They hook up to your toilet plumbing and with them you will never have to touch any poop the entire time your wee ones wear diapers. It was my life saver and I may have not continued cloth diapering if I hadn't owned one.

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  6. Have you visited a local cloth diaper store? They are uber helpful and the visual is better than having to sort through pages of websites about them. It can be sooo overwhelming to look at the options for cloth diapers, there are so many. I didn’t even bother finding out about all of it and just hopped on board with a few recommendations.
    gDiapers (http://www.gdiapers.com/) have been a big hit with some peeps I know because they are all in one, with the choice of a biodegradable disposable liner or cloth liner.

    Maybe just buy a sample pack or one diaper of a couple types of cloth diapers and tell your husband to just try it out. And I second bringing up the $$ savings-that always gets my husband.

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  7. Many cloth diapering stores sell "sample" packs of 3 or 4 different brands of dipes. For reluctant dads, I suggest the BumGenius All-In-One diaper. It goes on EXACTLY like a 'sposie. The only accessories you really, REALLY need are the flushable liners (by Kushies or Imse Vimse, sold at most cloth diaper stores, also sold at WalMart!) so that you can flush the solids more easily, and a diaper sprayer (like a little shower that attaches onto the toilet so you can spray out solids that missed the liner). With those two things, the EEEEWWWW factor goes away!

    For a bit more high-maintenance, but even better dipe, I suggest the FuzziBunz line. If your babe is 1 year old I suggest going with the Perfect Size. These are my preferred diapers, and although it's a bit more work what with stuffing the pockets and using snaps instead of velcro, my son CAN'T get them off on his own, AND you won't believe how dry-to-the touch they are even in the morning!

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  8. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. You should have him talk to my husband. He was the same way but once we started using the gDiaper system he was sold. Get a few and test them out over a weekend. Let him actually see how they work. He'll change his mind for sure.
    .-= Philippa´s last blog ..What Do You Need My Son? =-.

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  10. We started cloth diapering when my son was 18 months – it was something I wanted to try for a long time.
    At first my husband was VERY anti – he said he'd never change another diaper.
    However, I showed him how to use them and he slowly accepted them. He wouldn't participate in the washing but he did eventually start changing diapers again.
    Now I'm back at work and we've fallen off the cloth diaper bandwagon…this is mostly my fault and I'm sure if I started up with them again my husband would help me!

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  11. I came to the cloth diapering arena late in the game as well. The most helpful thing to me was getting together with moms who cloth diaper. My local AP group held a cloth diapering 101 and the moms were awesome. Most of the moms who came were already using cloth and just wanted to share their experience. I was one of only two women who didn't so I had a lot wisdom offered for many of my rather dumb questions. Anyway, I not only got to look at each type of cloth diaper system first-hand but also gained insight into cleaning and care and in the end, it just seemed much easier than I would have imagined. Though it doesn't apply in you situation, one of the moms gave me a wonderful comment about bringing dads onto the cloth diaper scene. She said that she told her husband that since he had never changed a diaper before, how would he know the difference between cloth and disposables. I thought this was a great way to look at things. Anyway, try to find some moms to give you and your husband a cloth diapering 101 and I believe most of his fears will be soothed. Good luck.

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  12. We are a cloth household. We bought the all-in-one diapers from Kushies with velcro closure. They work just like disposables…except they are not! They aren't the fanciest of the cloth diapers out there, but I would say they are among the easiest to use.

    Diapers with just pee go into a bucket that is lined with a cloth diaper bag. Diapers with poop get soaked. When we're ready to do a load, they just all get shoved in (the bag goes in with the diapers, so you don't even really have to touch them – just turn it inside out and shove everything in).

    Should I mention that I can't remember the last time I did a load of diapers? ….my husband washes them all the time.

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  13. Cloth diapers are amazing. Just do a little statistics research online and you'll find fact like cloth diapering one child is cheaper…and if you hang on to them for subsequent babies, OODLES cheaper. Facts about human waste not going into the sewer system and filling up landfills in diapers that take a kazillion or so years to decompose….facts about occurrences of rashes and infections reducing…Just really try and present the facts in a way that is respectful but he gets your point. My DH did not want anything to do with cloth diapers, but he has shifted to the dark side with me now!

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  14. Yeah, I would just start using them yourself during your diaper time with your daughter. Now that she's getting older, she might start stating her preferences for cloth very soon, and that might sway him. ;)

    We used a diaper service. Sooo easy. My husband and I changed equal amounts of diapers, and it was completely painless. The diaper service did all the laundry for us (prefolds), and we just supplied the covers (we bought ones that had velcro). I really, really hate disposables. I had to use them on trips and for daycare. So scratchy and stinky, and they leak! Hate. But cloth — there's just no comparison. Seriously, you start using them yourself and see if he doesn't come around.

    Oh, also, cloth diapers tend to make kids potty train earlier and easier if that's incentive for him! That's a financial aspect as well.
    .-= Lauren @ Hobo Mama´s last blog ..April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting advice =-.

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  15. I was planning to use cloth nappies but didn't end up doing it for a whole range of reasons to involved for a comment! But I always regretted it and am planning on doing it with my toddler (part-time while we build up our supply of nappies) and with any other babies that come along.

    I did buy the spray thing and it's really great for cleaning out the potty too – once you're on to that stage of things.
    .-= Zoey @ Good Goog´s last blog ..The Real Toddler =-.

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  16. We love our cloth! We use BumGenius OS 3.0. My boyfriend does the majority of the diaper changes and ALL of the diaper laundry. He is also on twitter if your DH has it!

    I also blogged about cloth diapering as well!
    .-= Sarah @ OneStarryNight´s last blog ..<a href="http://onestarrynight.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=Posts+%28RSS2%29&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fonestarrynight.com%2Fwordless-wednesday-chicago-botanic-garden%2F&seed_title=Wordless+Wednesday%3A+At+the+Chicago+Botanic+Garden&quot; rel="nofollow">Wordless Wednesday: At the Chicago Botanic Garden =-.

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  17. I LURVE cloth diapring! Dh does as well. He's the one who suggested it five years ago, and I said ewwww.
    We didn't start with our 2nd until she was 6 weeks, and big sister was 2.5 then, and we used cloth on her sometimes during the day and night as well.

    I have been meaning to do a blog post on cloth diapering.

    My husband loves the All in Ones, and the Pockets. Easy to put on and get off, just like a disposable.
    .-= Darcel – The Mahogany Way´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Riding Around =-.

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  18. We've used cloth since day 1 with our son and we love it! Everyone above has given some great advice, so I won't repeat all the good stuff. But I will second the motion for diaperswappers.com for used cloth diapers (and used clothing and lots of great forums!), and the toilet sprayer. Your husband can even make a sprayer instead of buying one from simple hardware parts. As for brands, don't worry about finding the "perfect" one. Start with something "easy" like the all-in-ones or the pocket diapers. Most cloth diaper users have tried many different kinds and have settled on one kind after a few months. And baby's diaper needs may change as they go from blob, to roll, to crawl, to walk. We like the fuzzy bunz pocket diapers, but we mostly use the Thirsties fitted (or prefolds) and covers.

    At our house, I'm the stay-at-home, and my hubby helps out tons – you could reverse what we do, and maybe that will help. Our system is that when a poopie diaper comes along, I just throw it, poop and all, into the toilet to be sprayed off by hubby when he gets home. (Putting them in the toilet when they're "fresh" is key to help get the solids off later.) Pee diapers just go directly into the big diaper bag along with the wipes. No extra rinsing required. This allows me to continue running after the toddler without having to stop and deal with the poo. For your hubby, if he can just throw them in the toilet and know that you're going to deal with them later, it might take away the ewwwww factor for him. Also, they sell disposable "liners" that you place into the diaper so that you can just peel that off and the solids go with it into the toilet, then you're done. That might also sell him on the easiness factor…

    Laundry is easy, too! You'll get your system down after a few months, and there are several sites for troubleshooting diaper issues like smell, stains, etc. But really for one kid in diapers, it's every 3 days (fewer days if you have fewer diapers, duh). We take all the dipes in the "dry" bag and do a cold rinse cycle (don't want to be doing the washing work in "gray" water). Usually we toss in a cup of vinegar into the rinse cycle. Then a hot wash with good natural soap – we LOVE Charlie's Soap, and it's CHEAP!), and an extra cold rinse to make sure all the soap is out. It's that simple. Don't let people make you think it's harder than that!

    Don't be scared – just jump in and try it! It's soooooo better late than never! Your baby may be in diapers for 2 more years, and if another comes along, you can reuse all this stuff. Maybe convince him of a trial run for 3 months? Good luck! You can do it!

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  19. yes, the sprayer is THE thing that makes CDing absolutely do-able:)

    i'd say it is still worth it at a year. my 2 1/2 yr old is still in cloth, and maybe you'll have more? even if you don't, you'll still save money (and a ton of landfilled diapers.)

    here are my tips: http://www.somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/p/clo

    good luck–it really isn't that hard or gross, and you could probably find some different used diapers on craigslist and decide what type you like before making a bigger investment.

    another selling point–my babies almost NEVER get rashes in cloth.
    .-= suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter´s last blog ..robeez baby shoes giveaway =-.

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  20. I think it's totally worth it to start now! From what I've heard, it makes potty training much easier to boot :-)

    Just an FYI, some people may love their diaper sprayers. And I'll admit I really wanted one when we started. BUT…..you don't really need one. Nor do you need flushable liners. For newborns (which you won't have to deal with, at least for now) you can just throw the diaper in the washer with the poop on it. Well..if you BF. Once they're on solids, the poop is pretty well formed so it just sorta plops out of the diaper. Actually much easier now!

    You might want to try practicing with your 'sposies. If you're not already, you should flush the poop instead of tossing it in the garbage. Ask your hubby to do this for a few days and see how he deals.

    If it's the laundry aspect he has issue with, then maybe you only deal with the cleaning portion. Peter, my almost-DH, has never washed a load of diapers, but he happily uses the ones I've cleaned. If you make sure they're cleaned and ready to go for your guy…they're really just as easy as 'sposies.

    In case you wanted to know, we use BumGenius One-Size. They're pocket diapers, so we have to stuff the inserts into the covers…which takes a second. I love them because we've used the same set of diapers from the time Alexa was 8lbs till now at 20lbs, and they're good till 30lbs (we had teeny ones for the first few weeks because she was a preemie).
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Manic Monday =-.

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    • BTW, we do use disposables at night since my daughter cannot stand feeling wet at all…and the cloth (while they hold A LOT) do not last a full night for us. You can stuff more inserts in to absorb more…but we just don't. We also use disposables while we're out (if it's for any length of time) since cloth can be a bit more bulky to carry with us. I still feel like it's worth it to keep Alexa in cloth at home (which is where we are 90% of the time)!
      .-= Amber´s last blog ..Manic Monday =-.

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  21. I thought the best thing I could do was to ask my husband, since it's your husband that need convincing, and men follow a different logic. Here's what he says:
    * I see it is better for dd, so I wouldn't want anything else
    * The little extra work is worth it, seen its effect
    * It's ecologic
    * It's so much cheaper
    .-= mamapoekie´s last blog ..Quote of the day =-.

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  22. Yes, it's better late than never! You will still save money and reduce your impact on the environment, but more importantly, it's healthier for your baby, and since when is it ever too late to make a healthy change for anyone?

    We started cloth at nine months and never looked back. It was easy. Just a little more laundry but that's about it. We even do it when we're out an about (just remember to bring a wet bag or plastic bag for the wet ones!). One thing about cloth diapering is that it makes me feel more involved with my child (and we EC, so we were already very involved in this part of parenting!).

    Um…so I just say start with anything. We just used his prefolds that we used as burp cloths before, and some flat diapers handed down to us and put them in covers that seemed to fit well. We've also tried pocket diapers from fuzzy bunz which I love.

    And yeah…poop needs to go down the toilet regardless.
    .-= Lisa C´s last blog ..Thankful Anyway & Challenge Updates =-.

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  23. One of the biggest differences is getting the poop off the diaper-you could always make a deal with your husband that you will be the poo remover. My husband loves cloth diapers and it is never too late to start.
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..At A Total Fucking Loss =-.

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  24. We don’t cloth diaper too. I can’t deal with the laundry. I know I’m selfish but I’m cleaning up my carbon footprint through other ways. I’m also for the environment and do as much as I can (segregation, scheduled tv/computer usage, not using plastics for groceries etc).

    If you can’t talk him into it now, perhaps you can make a deal and do it the next time around (baby number two). Don’t feel so guilty.

    Winning a pack of cloth diapers might help. Check out the carnival for that freebie. Sorry, I lost the link but it should be easy to find. Start with Hobo Mama’s blog maybe.

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