The Biggest Myth About Cloth Diapers

Photo: Veer / The Bump Photo: Veer / The Bump

I remember vividly the first time my husband ever changed a diaper. We were visiting my sister and brother in law who had a beautiful new baby girl. As we planned to start a family in the near future, I encouraged my husband to help his brother in law change the baby’s diaper, as he’d never done this before.

Well, you probably know where this one is going.

Not only did the little Miss do more than pee, but she decided to partake in that activity after the diaper was off– all over the nursery, changing table, herself, my brother in law, and my husband. As a novice at baby diapering, I’m pretty sure my husband was about to be sick after witnessing the whole ordeal.

At some point when we become parents we all deal with the inevitable “poopsplosion”. This could be in the car seat, while baby is sleeping, and honestly — probably a few times on your lap. Babies poop. And they poop a lot.

There are not many things you can do to avoid this phenomenon, unless you have a paid, live-in nanny and housekeeper to clean up the messes you deem unsavory. I don’t have any of those services on hand, and I’m guessing most of you don’t, either! As a parent, you just have to plan on being knee-deep in it sometimes because you just love your child that much.

Because of the possible messes involved, when we made the decision to cloth diaper our first child most people we told thought we were nuts. We were asked many questions, like “Wow, do you realize how gross that will be to handle? or But do you realize there will be poop in your washing machine?”

I try to politely answer those people in the kindest way possible, but in the back of my head it just doesn’t make sense to me. If you can find me a parent who has never accidentally gotten poop on themselves (and realized it then, or hours later, more disgustingly!) or never put a soiled item into their washing machine to be cleaned, then please, direct me to that person. If that is possible I must be doing something completely wrong.

Modern cloth diapering can be extremely easy and in our case has proved to be much less prone to poopsplosions than our use of disposables for daycare or grandparents. For a newborn taking only breastmilk or formula, there is often no need to rinse the diapers of solid material prior to a wash. And, with new equipment such as a diaper sprayer and the Spray Pal device, you don’t even have to touch the diapers of an older baby to rinse them.

If you’re on the fence on whether cloth diapering is a possibility for your new (or older) child and your family, I’d recommend giving it a shot. But, if your only hesitation is that you’ll have to deal with soiled diapers, you may consider that nanny and maid — regardless of the diapering style you choose!

What do you think of cloth diapers? Would you use them?