I’ve discussed our motivations for using cloth diapers with our baby. It basically comes down to baby benefits, long term cost and environmental concerns. However, we have used disposables here and there and utilized them exclusively on our recent trip to Michigan, which I chronicled here. I’ve got to say, as nice as it was to just toss a diaper in a bag and not have to worry about doing laundry every other day, the experience reinforced my desire to keep using the cloth variety.
My first and foremost problem with the disposable diapers was difficulty telling when Lu was wet. These things are so absorbent that the usual feel test was useless as was the sniff test. How are you supposed to know when your kid’s wet? I’ve got a pretty good idea of how often she goes to the bathroom, so it wasn’t too hard to figure things out, but it was definitely more difficult.
From there you’ve got to wonder how a kid is supposed to learn how to potty train when they barely feel wet. It would be like having someone come at you telling you you’ve got a nasty cut that needs tending when you have no idea it’s there. There’s an idea out there that children actually don’t want to sit in their own filth, but we essentially train them to by using diapers of any variety. I think one of the reasons kids have such a hard time learning to use the toilet is because they’re either used to the feeling or don’t even realize they need a change. Taking into account the communication gap between adults and children, they’re probably wondering what the heck you’re talking about with the whole potty thing when they don’t even realize there’s a problem because they can’t feel anything. If you can feel it and aren’t used to the wetness, you’ll want to get out of it and hopefully avoid it altogether.
For her part, I don’t think Lu seemed to mind too much. I was worried that they’d irritate her either just because they were different from what she was used to or because of those chemicals that absorb the excrement. It’s nice to know that disposables work for traveling, but aside from that, I want to get her used to using the toilet as soon as possible because, frankly, spraying out poopie diapers SUCKS.