I spend a lot of time these days thinking about diapers. It seems to be an area where having certain standards very quickly turns into a major pain in the ass, and I’m left thinking that society is well into its downfall.
Disposable diapers are out of the question. No way. Never. Nuh uh. You see, they cause diaper rashes. Diaper rash was pretty much unheard of before we decided that we should wrap powerful desiccants around baby’s butt, though letting harsh chemicals be absorbed into baby’s skin wasn’t enough — we had to really drive the point home by covering everything with plastic and not allowing any soothing air flow at all. Then, somehow, marketers managed to convince everyone that it was perfectly normal for babies to have rashes, and who-cares-because-it’s-not-like-they-can-feel-pain-anyway, thus giving rise to what we call modern day diapering. Or, as I like to call it, A Child’s First Experience With Abuse.
That said, the desiccants also delay normal development by not allowing the baby to have the feedback of, “When I pee, I get wet.” Toddlers nowadays are toilet training a full year later than they were in the 1970’s. Yikes!
They sell cloth diapers at Babies R Us, so using those shouldn’t be a problem, right? It’s rather unfortunate that the diapers sold in major stores all have a polyester core, which happens to not be as absorbent or breathable as cotton. ‘Cause, you know, selling cloth diapers that were actually good might ruin the whole disposable diaper thing going on — the one where parents spend thousands of dollars over the course of three years so that they can inflict diaper rash after diaper rash on their helpless child. No, we have to make sure that the easy to get cloth diapers aren’t anywhere near as absorbent as they should be. Lets not even go into the idea of using the cloth diapers on the next baby you have, or heaven forbid passing them on to someone else — polyester doesn’t last long.
Hunting down cloth diapers that were cotton all the way through but that didn’t cost us our souls was a month long task, and we still haven’t bought any. My partner and I are hoping that the distributor we found is going to come into some unbleached diapers before we’re out of time. We tossed around the idea of making them ourselves, except that I started to feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of sewing 50 cloth diapers on top of everything else I have going on.
Diaper covers have been another problem. Most of them are made with polyurethane laminated fabric (or PUL fabric for short), which is plastic stuff stuck to fabric to make it waterproof. The problem with these is that they don’t allow for that all important airflow, so they cause many of the same problems that disposable diapers do. Our solution was to go to a nearby Goodwill, buy a few large wool sweaters, stick them in the washing machine on hot so that they felted, and make diaper covers out of those. I’m still in the process of making a pattern before I start cutting everything up, and I’m mainly delaying out of the fear that I accidentally make them an unusable size. Once I get them made, I plan on soaking them in lanolin overnight to soften the wool and make them more water resistant.
Aye, me. Changing those suckers a dozen times a day is going to be the easy part.