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Monday, August 19, 2013

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Dad To Dad -- Ten Cloth Tips

Dear dads,

You thought the most life-changing words you could hear from your partner were, “I’m pregnant.” Then you learned (or soon will!) about breast pumps and umbilical stumps and more unfamiliar terms and gadgets than you ever thought possible.

I don’t remember the day it happened, but late one evening my wife peered over her computer screen and said the words that brought you here today: cloth diapers. What? Poop in our washer? I couldn’t get passed that for a few minutes, maybe longer. Now, 20 months and two kids in, if I can help at all, here is what I know:

1. Don’t be afraid of poop. Soap and water defeat poop. Even with sposies you have to deal with the poop.

2. The nice thing about cloth diapers is you will save money, and usually your wife will do the laundry.

3. If you really want to be a smart dad, get the filters (which my wife tells me are actually called “liners”). They work like a charm to defeat the poop.

4. And by the way, diaper changing goes better if you make a game of it. Tickle your baby! The time at the changing table is a time for us to bond as well as give mom a few minutes of a break.

5. Star Wars fan? Sports fan? Video gaming fan? Ask your wife to get you a custom diaper or two!

6. Even when diapering on a budget (did I mention you save money?), if you can’t afford a fancy custom diaper, there are stellar prints at any price point. Dinosaurs? Math equations? Trucks? Airplanes? Solid black? Flames? Aliens? Got you (diaper) covered.

7. Velcro is more convenient for you, but it’s also more convenient for your child. Once you get the hang of it, jump into snaps. If your heart is willing they aren’t that hard to grasp, and your toddler is less likely to pull the diaper off.

8. Aside from the money savings (did I mention the savings?), there are many perks to diapering. Think about it. Disposables involve strapping chemicals—known carcinogens— to your child’s reproductive organs for two years, give or take a few months. I’ve got two boys, and I’m not ok with that.

9. Cloth diaper research and investment does not necessarily end when your fluffy mail arrives. Prepare yourself. This can be good—what to get your lovely lady for her birthday? Stocking stuffer? Cloth diapers. I know. I don’t get it either, but why question what works?

10. Most important, support your partner. Trust me—if she’s anything like mine, she has stayed up late completing thorough research on all things fluff. She knows her stuff. Even if you aren’t gung ho, it never hurts a relationship to be encouraging, helpful, and willing to learn.

Bio: Dan is a high school math teacher and father of two. He enjoys taking long strolls with the 19 month old, diaper time with the newborn, and diaper talk with his super wife (also can be written as Superwife!).

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Michelle said...

Great post! I agree at this point I think I get way more excited about fluffy mail/packages than I do about flowers. Lol!

Anonymous said...

Kuddos for embracing (and using the word) fluff!! As the wife of a fluff friendly dad, I can say amen to all you've posted here, and confirm that supporting your wife in her fluff obsession is the way to go- you wouldn't win the fight anyway, and she'll love you heaps for being supportive.

Laura B said...

Sending this link to my husband. We are just starting our cloth stash for our first baby due in Dec!

karenanndale said...

I think my favorite is #7! My husband is on board with snaps, too.

The other money saving factor is the resale value! We bought a bunch of different brands and are now selling back the kinds we don't uses. It is easier for all of us to have 1 brand. I was always having to re-explain the different kinds to my husband. Now we have all BG 4.0 and a couple of Flip covers.