Cloth Diapers: A father’s Point of View
To this day, I consider my experience with fatherhood as one of the most extraordinary blessings I could ever encounter. From the moment I witnessed my first born Jalissa’s arrival into this world, my life was forever changed. I knew from that moment on, all I wanted to be was the best dad that I could be, the best husband a wife could ever ask for and I wanted to always be there for my children. As a first-time dad, there was so much information about parenting I didn’t know about, and so many different ways out there to raise your children. When my daughter was two and a half years old, my wife brought up the idea of cloth diapering Jalissa. At that point in my life, the only experience I had with Cloth diapers came from when my when my youngest brother was a baby. Being that I was born in Central America 30 years ago, it was common back then to cloth diaper your baby mainly out of necessity. My siblings and I were all cloth diapered until potty trained, and when I say cloth “diapered”, I mean just wearing flats and plastic pants.
My first thought to her sudden suggestion was to turn her idea down, because I felt like I could afford to pay for disposable diapers. I also thought cloth diapers would be an inconvenience or a nuisance. At that time, I didn’t know there were additional benefits from cloth diapering your baby other than to save a buck. I learnt early in my parenting career to respect and take into consideration my wife’s recommendations that concerned our children. I remembered being astonished at how natural it was for her to breastfeed and nurture our daughter; I also knew my wife was very determined to cloth diaper and it could turn into a losing battle if I was to oppose to this idea.
When we first introduced my daughter to cloth diapers, she was at the stage of potty training. I remembered being stunned by how much cloth diapers had improved since my brother was a baby. Not only did they look modern and trendy, but they were also absorbent. During the time my wife took to learn the ropes of Cloth Diapering, I still had my doubts about them and hoped she would soon lose interest. What really changed my mind and put everything into perspective was noticing how much my daughter’s skin improved after switching to cloth. Before making the change, (no pun intended) I remember having to constantly apply diaper cream to my daughter, as she cried hysterically from awful blistered diaper rashes. This is not a biased opinion from a cloth diapering father or even a sales pitch from a business owner, my baby’s skin truly made a remarkable improvement after switching from disposables. There was no need for more diaper cream because the rashes completely disappeared. After you noticed something like that, as a parent, you start to question what kind of chemicals you’re exposing your baby to.
Despite the fact I had considerable doubts about cloth diapering, my whole attitude soon changed, and I was fully on board with this parenting decision. I was more supportive of my wife and often offered her help with diaper changes as much as I could. I even hung cubbies that stored all her diapers on top of the baby’s changing table. A few months went by and we were pleasantly surprised to know that my wife was pregnant again with my 2nd born. This time around, we agreed to start cloth diapering him full time from newborn on. When Jayden arrived into our lives, we had put together a stash of pocket diapers plus whatever hand-me-downs Jalissa had grown out of. These one-size diapers have adjustable snaps that can work for most babies and toddlers. Yes, a full diaper stash of 30 or more diapers may be pricey, but soon you start to notice your investment pay for itself, after you consider all the savings due to the diapers’ sustainability.
A year goes by and my wife tells me she is pregnant again with baby number three. At this point in my life, cloth diapering has become the norm in our household. The fear I had of the “inconvenience factor” was diminished and proven to be less work than I originally thought. With the help of items like wet bags, diaper liners and a good ol’ washer and dryer, cloth diapering was breeze. By the time Tino was born, we had doubled up our stash count. I continued being supportive of this lifestyle with Tino as much as I did with Jayden. Fortunately for us, Tino is now fully potty trained and only uses cloth diapers at night as a precaution. Among many things, I credit my wife for making me cognizant of the importance of maintaining a low carbon footprint. My advice to new dads contemplating cloth diapering, is to weigh in the benefits against disadvantages; I understand this parenting choice is not for everybody but I’m very happy I gave it a chance. Whether you and your significant other agree or disagree on a parenting choice, you should always do the research and keep an open mind.