From A Daddy’s Perspective: Cloth or Plastic, Sir?
Justin “The J Man” Holton
The changing of diapers is something that most parents share a strong dislike for. Paraphrasing St. Augustine’s “Love the sinner - hate the sin” - we love the child and hate the poop. So it only seems right that the quickest way to dispose of the refuse is the plastic receptacles that in a few years will have every parent doing the potty dance in jubilation.
For the first few months of my son’s life, I always answered plastic with excitement (especially since plastic meant free – entrance into our baby shower was a pack of those poop holders!). But then, my wife brought me the idea of cloth diapering….
WHOA! STOP! HOLD THE PHONE!
Horrific ideas started entering my psyche like:
“You want to wash poop filled diapers with my clothes? I can see it now – ‘Hello Fellas at Work…these aren’t decorative designs on my jeans I paid $100 bucks for – no, they are refuse stains out of my kid’s butt!”
“Cloth diapering – doesn’t that mean it’s just a glorified burp rag with safety pins? I can see the drips of blood from my fingers on your pristine white changing pad now…”
“What is everyone else going to think? Maybe we’re weirdos!?”
Yeah, that’s it “weirdos!” – like the Bald Eagle from the Muppets used to say…
That’s where I was mentally with this suggestion - which brought me to the immediate conclusion of “No!” After a little explanation from my wife, I started warming to it after I realized no poop will be swirling with my jeans, and I won’t be donating blood against my will…but I still leaned toward plastic.
Then, my fellow fathers, she pulled out the big guns that bring down any man anywhere. How much will it COST????
Easily a box of diapers can run $30 - $40 WITH COUPONS from your favorite store of choice. Okay…now we’re talking…she hits me with an initial investment of around $300 with a $20 - $40 freshening up “the collection” every once in a while. Interpretation: Every time my wife sees an adorable cover she can’t resist!
So do some math with me and for easy numbers we’ll say the child doesn’t potty train until age 3 (God forbid!). Most experts will say that diapering a child over a year will cost between $1,000 to $1,500. We are up to $1500 a year times 3 = roughly $4500 or more for the duration of your child’s diaper wearing career.
Cloth diapering is $300 per kid with maybe $100 a year for “refreshing the collection”. So per child I’ve basically saved you the part time income you would need to buy the diapers and supplies. PLUS, ladies and gentlemen, you can resell the diapers after Johnny or Susie literally runs out of them toward the potty.
And let’s talk about nature for a minute…if you get two of each the price goes down by reusing them. But like almost any father our there, if we get a combo I’m okay with another $400 – don’t want my Little Princess in Superman covers or my Boy Adventure donning Pretty in Pink either!
Did I just see light bulbs pop up over Daddy heads everywhere? Yep - I think my fellow fathers are starting to see the light. See, ladies, you just have to put it on our level. No poopy jeans, most covers use Velcro instead of pins, and your kid gets themed underwear way before they wear the real thing. Throw in the money and we’re caught! Hook, line, and sinker!
I’m so hooked now I was at the grocery store the other day and the bag boy looked at me and asked “Paper or plastic, sir?” I answered back, “Cloth.” This was received by a puzzled look from the bag boy, but in the back of my mind it made me chuckle. Yep, I’m a cloth diapering daddy and proud of it!