Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Diapers

I'm done whining and am ready to move on. Everyday in my classes, I share a thought. Last week's thought was one I thought I would share.

"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction." -Albert Einstein

First, I think it's important to note that I got the quote off of one of those websites that provides a bunch of quotes. That means that the quote is probably attributed to 5 other people and nobody really ever said it. Anyway, I like the quote.

Now I wanted to talk about diapers. This is where we make an effort to take a step toward environmentally friendly, but a step away from simplicity...or is it. It sure seems like disposables are a lot more simple than cloth diapers. I can go to the store, buy a bag of diapers and then when my boys soil them I can just throw them away and they disappear forever. It's realy simple, except for all of the petroleum and chemicals used to make the product and the fact that those chemicals and petroleum products will last almost forever in landfills, giving 'eternal life' the poo produced by my boys.

Lets compare that with cloth diapers. You have to do the laundry to get them clean, fold them all nicely so that creases don't produce raw spots on the tender areas of the kids, and then be absolutely sure that you remove the diaper as soon as it gets wet in order to avoid the mother of all diaper rashes. And then if they soil the diaper you have to swirl it around in the toilet and get it somewhat clean before storing it for the next load of wash. Boy, it takes a lot of laundry to use cloth diapers. I still think that using the water to do the wash is more environmentally friendly than disposable diapers.

So here's what we do. Jaguar (the new one) is still in disposable diapers because the cloth diapers just don't fit right. He will be moving up as soon as his legs will fill the hole of the cloth diapers. If his legs don't fill the holes, that is catastrophy waiting to happen. Six-Pense (the 2 year old) wears cloth diapers during the day, but disposables at night. He actually wore disposables exclusively for quite some time because a day in cloth diapers would give him a diaper rash to the point of drawing blood. Don't get me wrong, I'm an environmentalist, but I can't cause my kid that much pain. We've gotten his bum toughened up and he's good all day, but the night will cause diaper rashes, so we still use disposables at night. Mugwump (the 4 year old) is potty trained during the day, so he wears underpants. He wishes he was potty trained at night, so he will often refuse to wear a diaper, which just means that we have more laundry to do (his sheets). When we do convince him to wear a diaper, it is a cloth diaper. He too had diaper rash problems, which is why he is allowed to wear underpants to bed even though we know that means he will have a wet bed in the morning. He does, however, do his own laundry. If he doesn't he has to wear diapers again.

Of course I wish we could use exclusively cloth diapers, but I can't torture my kids like that. I know there are 'environmentally friendly' disposable diapers by companies like 7th Generation or something, but I'm not convinced. First off, there is no way we could afford them. Second, if it is disposable, even if it is biodegradable, I think it's sort of wasteful. And if it's biodegradable, why doesn't it biodegrade when my kid pees in it? Wouldn't that make it a little less than biodegradable? I'm sure they are better than what we use, but I still don't think that's the solution.

2 comments:

Emily Allan Wood said...

You guys are die hard. There is no way I could use cloth diapers. I have a hard enough time just coping with the fact that I have to change diapers so many times during the day. I think cloth would push me over the edge. Kudo's to you!

Road Legs said...

Sorry I am a disposables diaper guy I am not washing one of my kids diaper. Have you considered the cost of heating the water to wash the diapers? I got my oldest son out of pull-ups at night by offering a Thomas the Train coal loader $22.50 if he stays dry for a week. He did and he got it.