Diaper Decisions

The sheer number of decisions that need to be made when having a baby is breathtaking.

Take yesterday, for instance. It was Sunday and we were at the kitchen table. Balduino was happy in his embryonic fluid, pleased this week to learn that he is now avocado-size. Meanwhile we were poring over information on the Internet about diapers. Plastic diapers versus cloth diapers. Cleaning your own cloth diapers versus paying a diaper-cleaning service, such as “Soggy Bottoms,” the local Iowa City provider.

We learn that diapers are the third most common form of waste in U.S. landfills. I pound my fist on the table and say we’re definitely going for cloth ones then. Marta reminds me how stinky baby poop is and yet how tiny our apartment is. I am resolute. Then less so. “We’ll call Soggy Bottoms!” we finally decide. Except where do we find the money for that?

Meanwhile, Balduino sleeps. Not even really a baby yet. Only a fetus who is just growing the muscles that will one day be necessary to help him make those horrendously stinky poops we are anticipating. At this stage the guys is still drinking his own urine (another fun fact we’ve learned from all those baby sites). And yet here we are fretting about what we’ll do in six moths when we have to dispose of all that baby waste.

It is one of many, many decisions that one has to make before having a baby. And I am not a fan of decisions. It’s why I detest those epically long menus that all restaurant chains have. It’s why I will sometimes stand naked staring at my closet for ten minutes before picking something to wear.

And, yet, babies birth decisions. You need to decide: doctor or midwife (midwife), doula or no doula (doula), hospital birth or home birth (hospital), epidural or no epidural (I’ll quote Marta on this: “Drugs! Drugs starting today!”), which registry to use for the baby shower (Target, Babys R Us, Amazon.com, Baby Earth, Pure-rest and Ecobaby Organics), and on and on and on.

We are like decision-making factory workers. It’s exhausting. Grueling. Inhuman.

And the little guy sleeps on. So peacefully. So unaware.

5 thoughts on “Diaper Decisions

  1. Oh my god.. all those decisions, I would struggle so much…
    and about the diapers I have a question from this external point of view: with that service, do you have to accumulate the dirty diapers in your house for a week?
    Lets agree then that dinners will be serve at my place from baldwin birth!
    besos a las dos


  2. I just visited friends who have an 8-month-old boy. They use cloth diapers and I was impressed by how (relatively) easy it seemed, and how well the diapers were made (the fit adjustable as the baby grows). They had a little sprayer hooked up next to the toilet to rinse out the poop. And their house did not stink. I’m sure you know all this, but jus’ sayin’. xoxox!


  3. I use cloth and trust me, it’s really not as bad as you think! Modern diapers are supposed to be kept in a dry bag and washed every couple of days. and as long as it’s shut, your house won’t stink – I live in a small apartment too, and you would never even know the diapers were there. You also don’t have to rinse them off before they go in the washing machine, as long as you set it for a pre-wash and an extra rinse. Although I admit I would still at least use the diaper sprayer.
    And even though it seems expense to pay a diaper service, it is still cheaper than using disposables.
    I know the decisions are horrible, aren’t they? And there are people out there to criticze everything you do no matter what you choose. Just follow your gut and everything will be fine! Love your blog by the way, and congratulations on your growing family!


  4. You’re my only baby with whom used cloth diapers. I felt as committed as you (though had no diaper service, just a washing machine). Your siblings arrived too quickly after you for me to continue my commitment, but you were definitely raised in cloth diapers. Probably why you’re so cool!! (though of course they are too, for other reasons)


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