When my wife approached me about cloth diapering, I was quite skeptical. I wasn’t sure that it was for us. Or rather, for me, because she seemed pretty convinced. Cloth diapering seemed a little old fashioned. Something my mom would have done (She did actually). I had the impression that it was lots of gross hard work that required some special training to do it right (a credit to my Mom). We had three kids under the age of 5 when my wife started cloth diapering. Life was pretty full as it was. I just want to try a few she said. We’d save a lot of money she said. Finally she got my attention.
It’s been a year now and my attitude about cloth diapers has changed completely. I’m a pretty typical husband. I work a full time salary job, which pays most of the bills. My wife, other than her web business, is a full time mom. I help around the house, with chores, laundry, dishes, diapers, putting the kids to bed, reading stories, I'm trying to make the list sound long here :), but quite honestly she does most of it.
I don’t launder the diapers. She handles that part and even though there is a pang of guilt that I don’t help with that part of it, I let her do it. She has tried to convince me that it isn’t complicated; it’s the same as a regular load of laundry, etc, etc. Someday I may take on that part. But for now, with my stereotypical male involvement, I’m just a diaper changer.
And for the typical diaper changer, cloth diapering is not any harder than using disposables. For our newborn the process goes like this: I take off the diaper, clean the baby’s bottom with wipes. I then wrap the wipes into the cloth diaper when I’m done, and walk the soiled cloth diaper to the diaper pail. The distance isn’t any farther than to the trash, where I would have taken a disposable if we used them. I get a new cloth diaper and put it on her. The Velcro tabs work identically to disposables and putting the new diaper on is just as easy. The whole process isn’t any smellier, messier, nor does it take more time or effort.
That is it for me. It is pretty much exactly the same effort for me since my wife started using cloth. I have not been affected by the switch to cloth. On the other hand, I have noticed that there have been zero blow outs. In disposables for a breastfed newborn the probability of a blowout for us is about 50/50. I also have noticed that we don’t cover the diapers with pants or a skirt as often since they are so cute by themselves. That makes the diapers easier to get to. You don’t have to undress them to get to the darn thing and then redress them afterward.
Most importantly for me is that I don’t see us as fanatics, crusaders, etc. I definitely don’t feel like one. It just made sense on so many fronts to switch. I do recognize that look others give when they find out that we do cloth. The stare is a little longer and you can see the wheels turning in their head. Maybe they are thinking that you’re their newest hero for “doing your part to save the environment” or just a little nuts. I can tell you I won’t feel nuts when the money we saved and invested over the coming years pays for our child’s college.