In Which We’re Terrible People: Cloth Diaper Edition

We’d fully intended to use cloth diapers with Charlie. We’d read that something like 116% of the earth’s landfills was comprised of disposable diapers. Plus, who knows what poisonous formula the super villains at Huggies use in their patented diaper formula.* I have a delicate baby’s ass that I’m in charge of protecting, and washable organic cotton seems like the way to go. Andy’s mom & step-dad very graciously gave us a cloth diaper service subscription for my baby shower, and paid for the first month in advance. We got the diaper pail, a million cloth diapers, and the rubber covers all ready to go by the time we got home from the hospital. The service is run by a local, independent business in Alexandria, VA, so it’s good for the local economy as well as good for the environment and my baby’s ass.

At the hospital, they have disposable diapers, which makes good sense. I had no desire to be fiddling with cloth diapers while recovering from major surgery and dealing with the new baby learning curve. (For the record, Andy and the nurses took care of all the in-hospital changes, since I was too out of it; this was a good system.) I hadn’t changed a diaper in about 15 years. In that time, miraculous advances in diaper technology have apparently taken place. Did you know, for example, that Pampers, Huggies, and the Costco generic brand of diapers (and probably some others) all come with a wetness indicator stripe, so you know when your child has pissed himself without having to investigate too closely? It’s brilliant! Did you further know that standard-issue diapers now come with velcro-like tabs, instead of those plastic adhesive numbers that tear the diaper apart when you readjust them or go to remove the diaper? Did you further-further know that a box of 136 disposable diapers can be purchased at Costco for $20 (which, according to my parents, is about 1/3 what they were paying when diapering their last child in 1987)? I didn’t know any of these things. And the hospital sent us home with a bag of Pampers.

We still wanted to try the cloth diapers. The service sounded great (and, again, was already paid for). They would come every Monday to swap out the poo diapers for industrial-strength-pressure-cleaned fresh ones, so that we wouldn’t have to put any poo in our washer. It came with all necessary accessories. All we had to do is shake out the poo on the cloth diaper into whatever portion of our home or yard we were excited about shaking poo into, and put them in the pail.

We used exactly one cloth diaper. It didn’t even have any poo in it. We just weren’t excited about handling that much pee. Or about having to guess when it was pee time. Or about the prospect of shaking out any poo. Or about learning the proper folding technique. Or about Charlie going about town looking like this:

Stay Puft Marshmallow Pants

Stay Puft Marshmallow Pants

So we cancelled the diaper service, and resigned ourselves to the fact that we’re not as good of people as we’d like to be. It turns out that caring for an infant is already pretty challenging, and switching to easier diapers suddenly seemed like a no-brainer.

We did find a solution that absolves us of some of our eco-poison guilt, though. My mother-in-law switched us from the cloth diaper service to a monthly delivery from Honest Company, purveyors of fancy hippie diapers and accouterments. They will arrive in two days, and I’m pretty excited. [UPDATED: I should note that these are chlorine-free, plant-based, hypoallergenic diapers, or else this post doesn’t make as much sense.] It’s $5 less a month than the cloth service, plus we can order diapers with anchors or hearts or skulls on them. One way or the other, the gift of diapers has proven to be the greatest gift an expectant parent can receive. Charlie goes through about 18 diapers a day right now, no foolin’. He’s a poop machine. (As well as a peeing barf machine. He has many talents.)

If this service appeals to you and your little poop machine, here’s a link that will get you $10 off your fancy hippie diaper order and give me a $20 credit towards more diapers: If the cloth service appeals to you instead, you are a better person than me.

*Whatever they use at Huggies is probably fine, and I have no reason to believe them to be any more villainous than any other purveyor of baby goods.



  1. haha you made me laugh reading your post. Is the new diaper service offering organic cotton diaper without chlorine or something? (I don’t have any baby, just curious as to what makes them special)

      1. chlorine-free is always a good thing for babies (and feminine products), cuz no one wants any chlorine on their skin, especially in those sensitive areas! Yuck!

  2. Um, you could have told me, I would have given you my referral code and gotten my cash off. Helpful hint- plan for you baby to be bigger as you order, they do start to run a little small beyond size 2.

  3. Oh my gosh, Charlie will forever be indebted to you guys for not sending him out in those “Stay Puft Marshmallow Pants”! He is adorable even with them on, but you know how cruel those other babies can be!
    ❤ Linda

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