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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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Mr.Whisperer's Diapering 101

Hi Ladies!

Grab your hubby, boyfriend, or significant other. This post is dedicated to a "guy's point of view" for first time cloth diapering Dads!"

Written by: Scott Wels - The Cloth Diaper Whisperer's Husband and new diapering Dad!

Guys it has happens to all of us. You’re watching the big game, intent on seeing your team take the win, when a muffled voice from the distance can be heard. You have no idea what was said, yet your survival instinct kicks in, and in an instant you reply in agreement. Ahhhhh…crisis averted, all is good again with the world…now back to the game.

It is not until several months later, when the outcome of the big game, not to mention what you agreed to that night, had faded into the abyss of dim recollect that you are reminded of your agreement. Over dinner your partner reminds you that she clearly remembers, and even recalls the enthusiasm you displayed when asked this important, life changing question….”I think we should----fill in the blank-----“.

Fellas, the question posed to me when we found out we were pregnant, when my mind was otherwise engaged on something other than diapers was “you want to cloth diaper our baby, don’t you?” To be honest, not even Alex Trebek would consider this statement as being in the form of a question. In fact many scholars would argue that my answer didn’t really count because of this simple technicality? Plus the fact that I was not really paying attention to the question, much less my answer, in my opinion voids the discussion entirely.

WRONG! Take it from me guys, this tactic was a loosing strategy especially when it was related back to me over the course of the remaining months of our pregnancy how I enthusiastically and emphatically answered “Yes…Absolutely!” (no longer my standard answer by the way!).

Although I had no Idea what I was answering, what I committed to, nor how this answer, seemingly insignificant at the time, would for the last weeks of our pregnancy be the fear haunting my nights, like COL Kurtz’ vision of a disoriented snail.

Ultimately, the day arrives…the big day…that day D-Day!. No, not the beautiful, emotion filled day that your cherished child enters the world. I mean about 4 or 5 days later when your partner, exhausted from delivering, breast feeding, no sleep, and running on emotion and sheer adrenalin crashes, and asks if you can do her a solid, and change the baby’s diapers. D-Day has arrived… Diaper Daddy Day!

Still clueless as to your commitment 9.25 months before, you bring your beautiful child to the bassinet, reach where the pile of disposable diapers should be, only to be confronted the reality of a rainbow of Velcro and Snap covered cloth diapers with cute names, “Fuzzi Bunz”, “Happy Heiny's”, “Rumpsters”. It’s up to you big guy, remove the soiled diaper, and replace it with a fresh clean cloth diaper. Are you up for the mission???

For a moment you consider going to the Army Navy store to buy a gas mask, and a chemical protective suit. The baby cries, and you are brought back to the stark reality that you are about to tackle your biggest fear, head on….and bare handed!

You stare at the open diaper, the screaming bundle of joy, and the stack of clean cloth diapers. Paralyzed with fear, not knowing what to do next, you panic, instinct forces you to accept defeat with honor by defaulting to you’re your fall back position…playing dumb!

In my case I called for help from my wife Kelly. I asked for a quick demonstration on the safe method for securing and removing the M1-A1 cloth baby diaper. Like a drill sergeant from my past, she taught me in the kind of step by step in detail even a 3 year old would understand. She explained how to position the baby over the folded over soiled diaper, cleanse our baby with reusable cloth wipes, and installation of a new diaper. Finally she performed a function check… ready for action! Then it was my turn! Gulp…here goes, with beads of sweat, and shaky hands (I’ve defused bombs with less anxiety!) I gave it a shot. A little shaky, but I got the nod of approval from Kell…Good to GO!

Although I’ll never admit this to the boys, this whole cloth diaper thing is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Not only that it is far more economical as well. The best part, the money we save, and the “points” I earn by being a good dad, and devoted partner may earn me a “pass” next time I want to head to Vegas for a weekend with the boys!

Next time: “You want to put what in my washer!”


Leigh Anne said...

i love it! dh is so going to read this when he wakes up. great idea for a post!

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

I LOVE this post!!! My hubby wasnt sure about this when I first mention it, but it was enough to show him some videos online of how easy it was...

Cloth wipes was a bit more difficult, though....

Scott: This is a great post and you are an awesome writer!! Looking forward next post!!

Mrs Lemon said...

that's hilarious! I sold my husband on the cloth diapers pretty easily, but the cloth wipes was a no go. More because he was a heavy wipe user to begin with, so about half my wipes supply was "wiped" out with one diaper change. But, hey, compromise is the name of the game in a marriage, right?

Great post.

TN Mom said...

I love the pics of the pack n play- because it looks just like ours (diaper storage!)

Kelly Wels said...

Yes, it ended up as a diaper storage area. We have a changing table upstairs in his room but we rarely go upstairs to change him!

Serena said...

Truly an ingenious article! I'm sure all cloth diapering dads will appreciate this as much, if not more than us moms.

My husband told me this evening, "I don't know how all that stuff works" when asked to put our 2 1/2 year old daughter in her night-time diaper because I was too exhausted to move. I kindly responded, "Here's your chance to learn how."

It's significantly easier learning how to CD a tranquil toddler as opposed to a crying, writhing 7 week old. Even I have trouble getting our little guy diapered sometimes. Besides - our daughter LOVES the fact that she gets to wear the "baby's diapers" at night; she is more than willing to cooperate. (BumGenius one-size diapers are awesome, especially for those with more than one child requiring diapers. Grab. Stuff. Go!)

Kudos to your hubby for tackling the task with courage and a sense of humor!

Erin said...

Great post - I'm surprised at the number of moms who would choose cloth diapers but daddy isn't on board.

I was rear-ended while pregnant with our 2nd daughter. Our oldest was only 19 months old. I had a whiplash injury and couldn't carry diaper pails. My hubby not only did all the cloth diaper changes when he was home but completely took over washing them for about 5 months until I was up to carrying pails again!

Yeah to cloth diapering papas!

Kelly Wels said...

"Kudos to your hubby for tackling the task with courage and a sense of humor!"
There is never a dull moment in our house. My hubby can make light of anything. You should hear him when he changes the baby. It is SO funny!

Anonymous said...

I am experiencing some "daddy resistance". Any helpful words?? We are using BG's but he's a little afraid of the poo and the "reusing". How can I ease his mind that this is a good thing??

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

Anon: Im sorry that you are having a hard time converting your hubby... I think a lot of husbands are convinced by the fact that they are saving money... You print this post (you can email me at 3littleflowers at gmail dot com for a printer friendly version)

Anyway, stay tuned as Im sure Kelly and Serena would have an advice for you.

Serena said...

Hi Anonymous! =)

Some dads can be quite "cloth diaper resistant." My own husband flat out said "NO" when I wanted to cloth diaper my first daughter because he thought it was going to be too much work (however, we both didn't realize at that time how far cloth diapering has come).

What worked for me was to do some extensive research. I honestly spent several hours over the course of 3-4 days researching all about cloth diapers... the different types, aplix vs snaps, washing, even the various online CD retailers (and once I found Kelly's Closet i was SOLD at that point because of the amazing Wee Guarantee program).

While my husband and I generally consult one another before making decision, I took the executive decision to cloth diaper and placed my first big order. THEN, I informed him I would be cloth diapering. (However, I personally don't recommend this approach...) He asked me a few times if I was certain I'd be willing to wash the diapers and I assured him I would, as I genuinely love doing laundry (I'm strange, I know). LOL

Of course, he's still not quite comfortable doing a diaper change (he tried halfway through removing a diaper cover and when he found the prefold and pins he gave up - but he has removed a bumGenius and a Blueberry diaper quite successfully - he's cleaned the baby but still leaves me to put a clean diaper back on).

As for your hubby and his concerns with the poo - you can show him the option for flushable/disposable liners which make poo clean-up really easy... as well as the diaper sprayer which attaches to the toilet and blasts away poo rather easily with very little effort... If nothing else, just let him know you'll do all that stuff and he need not worry about it - then, as time goes by and he see how well it's working then he'll warm up!

I hope this helps!

Andrea said...

I won my husband over by having him put a quarter (about the cost of a disposable) in a jar every time he does a diaper change and promising him that he could use the money for whatever he wants (he has expensive tastes sometimes). The best part is that now he jumps on changing the baby's diaper. It's a little juvenile, but he doesn't seem to mind it, and even I'm surprised at how fast they're adding up in just a couple of months. It just makes the amount we're saving more obviously apparent.

Slee said...

This was hallarious.
My spouse was sold on the idea when he realized how quickly cloth could pay for itself.
But I don't think he's changed a diaper yet. He does stuff the fluffies though.

Megan R. said...

Sooo funny! I wish I had found a post like this when I was trying to get my DH on board with cloth!