Monday, December 12, 2011

Cloth Diapering in the 80's vs. today? A cloth diapering mom interviews her mom!

Guest Post by Bert

My mom always comments to me how she thinks it’s so funny how cloth diapering today is really turning into this hip cultural thing to do. She used cloth diapers on me in (and now you’ll know my age!) 1982 and apparently she hated them. She’s changed my son, Buggie’s, diapers and my daughter, Lady Bug’s, cloth diapers in the new millennium. I thought I’d ask her what her thoughts are on cloth diapering today. Remember the diapers of today are not your mother’s cloth diapers!

Me: Why did you cloth diaper me?

My Mom: We made this choice because of cost. When you were an infant, pampers had just come on the market and they were expensive, a luxury item. Everyone used cloth diapers. I was staying home and had the time to wash and fold diapers.

I also recall that my friends who used pampers said they leaked so it was still necessary to use plastic pants.

Me: What do you think about today's cloth diapers?

My Mom: First of all, I think they are 100 times better than they used to be due to the elimination of the pins and rubber pants. I think they are cute. I like the variety of pattern and design. They are easier to use with the addition of velcro and snaps. I used gigantic pins and poked my fingers often and I think I occasionally poked you too. Today's cloth diapers are pretty chunky. I have also found it difficult to describe them to women my age, they have a hard time understanding the "pocket" until they see it. It seems pretty time-consuming and complicated to launder them today. I just threw mine in the washer and then into the dryer, because we weren't worried about preserving their water-proofing ability.

Me: If you had a baby now, and you were younger, would you use disposable or cloth?

My Mom: I did use disposables for your sister and loved them. Use it and toss it...done! I would probably use today's cloth diapers, especially if I had a laundry service. Actually diaper services were a very popular baby gift in my day. This nice man in a cute truck came once a week to your house, took away a week's worth of stinky (think ammonia smell) diapers and left you with about 60 clean ones, all folded and ready to use. Is there such a thing as a diaper service now?

Me: What are the things about cloth diapering in the 80s that you loved? Hated?

My Mom: What did I love about cloth diapering in the 80's?.........................Not one single thing, see the following list to understand why.

What did I hate about cloth diapering in the 80's?............................

1. The horrible smell of the sloshing wet heavy diaper pail, the fumes made my eyes water.

2. The BIG pins, even the cute ones with bunny heads on them or little flowers. They were weapons.

3. The leaky plastic/ rubber pants. Those things never did the job, especially overnight. It was nasty when the leaky pee

and poo got caught in the creases of the pants and slipped out when you had to take them off the baby. YUK!

4. How the plastic pants got hard and crunchy with repeated washings. I can't imagine they were very comfortable.

5. Hauling the sloshing wet heavy stinky diaper pail to the basement and then removing said stinky diapers to put them

into the washing machine.

6. Folding the diapers into neat thirds and doubling some of them for overnight.

7. The fact that the dirty diaper laundry never stopped.

Me: What would you say to those who are thinking about cloth diapering but aren't quite sure?

My Mom: I would say try it. It is less expensive, it is more ecologically sound and it seems that they do a better job than disposables. They are cute and kind of like a cool baby accessory. Today, using disposables seems like the easy, albeit expensive, way out.

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son. She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things. This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl! Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything! Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.


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