I hope this kid poops on his parents comforter

So The Wife and I are expecting a new arrival next month and the official preparations have begun.  One item that isn’t in debate is the wrapping we will use for our baby’s sanitary needs.  We’re a Pampers family through and through.  They’ve contained many an outburst that otherwise would have been classified as any explosion in most any other wrapping – or so I would assume.  Frankly they’re the diapers we’ve started with from the outset, and aside from a stray Huggie or two over the past two years I don’t know that we’ve experimented around the rest of the market at all.  So I got to thinking about what other options could be available and came upon cloth diapers.

Apparently they still make them.  I know, I was as shocked as you are.  In today’s day and age who in their right mind would go that route?  I’ve done some research and the argument for cloth diapers comes down to doing your part to save the landfills from all the waste of their disposables counterparts.  If that’s all that’s in the positive about going this route and your only sales pitch is appealing to our eco-guilt then I’m sorry friend but I’m not buying.

Diapers are a messy business and I don’t see how it’s something you’d want to screw around with.  Depending on the age of your child you’re looking at anywhere from 6-10 “events” per day and thus I want to put myself in the best position to successfully handle each of them.  I’ve had some long nights in college that resulted in some hands on testing of absorption rates of cotton and I can tell you it is not the platform from which you wish to build your liquid retention system.  Once that barrier has been breached all of a sudden the child’s clothes, sheets, mattress, car seat, and general local environment is now at risk.  A cloth diaper increases the probability that any “accident” increases in scope tenfold.

Additionally, think about how we handle the rest of the waste in our lives.  Our indoor plumbing systems are designed to capture our refuse and take it out of sign as smoothly and efficiently as possible.  You flush your toilet and everything in it disappears – out of sight, out of mind.  Same goes for pouring something down the drain, you take what you don’t want and get it away from you as soon as possible.  Our garbage program is a bit more of a snail mail approach in that there are weekly pickups to make our unwanted items disappear but in the meantime everything gets bagged and put outside of our living areas.  Even the most Earth-friendly amongst us who compost tend to keep our piles as far from the house as possible.

So if you’re using cloth diapers, are you not fighting our natural human inclination by keeping the undesirable mess around for a longer period of time than is absolutely necessary?  I know there are services that will pickup and clean the diapers for you but at that point haven’t you just negated any financial savings found in not having to buy disposable brands?  And if you don’t employ one of these services then what exactly is it that you’re doing?  Putting them in your washing machine?  Where exactly do you think all that excrement goes in the spin cycle?  You don’t think any of those particles stick around in the drum to contaminate your non-soiled garments?  I can’t take that chance.

The world of cloth diapers seems to have evolved as they now offer versions that look much like disposable diapers and use Velcro to secure the waistband, but think about the days of yore when a safety pin served as the lynch-pin between a contained disaster and a domestic Chernobyl.  When was the last time you relied on a safety pin to do anything important for you?  I mention this as the whole premise of the cloth diaper has been flawed from the start.  I appreciate that we live in a modern age and are blessed to have these evolved tools at our disposal to make our lives easier.  I just can’t justify not taking full advantage of these advancements in this particular field.

If you feel differently than I do on this subject I’d love to hear from you.  Maybe there’s something I’m missing.  But I don’t think there is.  There are those out there who continue to keep the cloth diaper industry afloat however and I salute them as my daughter(s) will continue to use their allocated space in the local landfill for the foreseeable future.