You’ll get no mommy-points from me!

I have been dealing with some late pregnancy insomnia lately so I was up at about 3am reading forum posts and blogs. I came across a forum post about poop-explosions and how to deal with them in public and one response read “well I use cloth diapers so we don’t have this problem because we never get blowouts”. I’ve seen similar posts in the past from mothers who feel that they are somehow superior because they use cloth diapers and think that they are doing somebody a favour by discretely suggesting they do the same.

Well… I will not do this. I honestly feel that we all have our reasons for parenting however we choose and no parent is somehow better because they are a “breast feeding mother” or a “cloth diapering parent” or a “co-sleeping family”. In regards to cloth diapers, they are just not right for everyone. While I am very excited to give them a go and think that there are a lot of benefits to using cloth, I would never even attempt it if I didn’t have my own washer and dryer. I am not sure I would attempt it with twins or if my husband wasn’t also on board with using them. If I had not known anyone who also uses them, I probably would never have given them a second thought and if I didn’t have some extra cash to invest in buying my stash without knowing if I would like it, I probably would have started with disposables. If I was grossed out over bodily fluid, I would have said ‘forget it’!

What I am trying to say is, while I think people should consider the option, I don’t knock people who choose disposables. We are all parents of different situations and to feel like we are not good enough because we chose disposables (or we make any other parenting choice) is just not right. Do what is right for your family and don’t act superior because you think your choice is somehow better than the alternative. At the end of the day, it is only better for you!

High-tech diapers

Today I will diverge a little from my cloth diapering posts to express my opinion on some up-coming disposable diaper trends, specifically the new ‘smart’ diaper by Pixie Scientific (read about it from FoxNews.com) and the Huggies TweetPee device (learn more from DigitalTrends.com). While I generally think that new technology always has a use in our society, I feel that these products have missed the mark.

 

Pixie Scientific ‘smart’ diaper:

If I understand correctly, this diaper has an embedded QR code on it and when your child pees, the code will change colours. If there are any abnormalities, you can scan the code with your phone and find out more precise info to determine if you should bring your baby to the doctor. While I do think this sounds pretty cool, the idea in general worries me for a number of reasons.

First of all, has technology allowed us to become so far removed from reality that we cannot tell that our children need medical attention? What will happen if the technology in the diaper fails and a parent does not notice? Will parents ignore other medical symptoms if their child’s diaper is still telling them that all is well? Regardless if your diaper is designed to tell you that your baby is sick, parents should know what to look out for and be actively keeping an eye on their children’s health. If they are doing that and they suspect a problem, properly trained medical professionals will be able to run the appropriate tests to get the same info the diaper could have told you (and likely more). Perhaps at that point, when a problem has been suspected, this diaper could be used to gather preliminary data on the baby to help expedite diagnosis but I don’t feel that it is an adequate every-day replacement for watching out for changes in your child. I worry about the families that may use it as such and possibly miss or ignore other medical symptoms because they have become dependant on their diapers.

Secondly, disposable diapers are already full of chemicals! In order to create this colour changing QR code that is supposedly precise enough to measure bacteria levels, chemical reactions are needed. In other words, chemicals are added to the diaper that react with urine to create the colour change. Our babies are exposed to enough and now we want to add more exposure in order to track their health (which we have been able to do all along without the help of a diaper)? It just doesn’t make any sense to me, even if the chemicals used are currently considered safe. By ‘currently considered safe’, I of course mean ‘for now’ as many products are considered safe for a long time to be promptly pulled from the market due to causing detrimental health problems.

Learn More: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/10/new-smart-diapers-track-babys-health-alert-parents/

 

Huggies TweetPee

Moving on to the Huggies TweetPee, which is currently being tested in Brazil. This is not so much a diaper as it is a gadget that works with your diapers. Huggies has launched an official website for this diaper gadget but since it is in Portuguese, my understanding of how it works has come from the news. Basically, it is a device that attaches to baby’s diaper and it sends your phone a message whenever baby needs to be changed. It also tracks how many diapers you use to tell you when to buy more.

My concerns with this device mostly circle around the idea that parents need to be told when to change baby. Shouldn’t we be in regular enough contact with our baby to know if it is time for a change? Huggies already has a colour changing wetness indicator to tell you if baby has peed but now we suddenly need our phones to tell us too? Is that a sign of the times that we are spending more time on our phones than with our babies? Perhaps if you think this product is an awesome idea, you should be asking yourself “why do I not know my baby needs a clean diaper?”.

I will give this product a little credit however. Some parents tend to leave their children in disposables longer than they should, simply because it saves money if they can stretch a few extra hours out of each diaper. Personally, this practice irritates me because if a baby is wet or dirty then they need to be changed as soon as possible. Adults wouldn’t want to live in a dirty or wet diaper for any longer than necessary, why should a baby? So I will credit TweetPee for helping to reduce this problem if it works to remind parents to change baby as soon as a diaper is soiled.

Learn more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/tweetpee-sends-tweet-when-baby-pees/http://huggiestweetpee.com/

The Magic of the Sun

UV rays make stains disappear (they also help kill bacteria)!

smartbottoms

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Stains happen. Even the most faithful cloth-diaper-laundresses are not exempt from this unsightly truth. Cloth diapers, and all clothes for that matter, will get dirty and they will stain. That’s (laundry) life.

In such desperate times, many will turn to bleach. However, this is definitely not the safest option and we cannot in good conscience recommend it to our nature-loving, crunchy mamas.

  1. It’s not good for the environment. Though it is up for debate whether dumping it into your machine is actually harming the environment, the bleach-making process is extremely detrimental (read up here: http://bit.ly/19rE486). This is enough reason for many tree-hugging parents to avoid buying it altogether.
  2. Bleach is bad news bears for you and your baby (well, for basically any human being). It can cause problems in your respiratory and nervous systems and can cause pretty nasty burns. Ick. And that’s just bleach as a solo artist…

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Excuse me while I shake my fist in anger

Eye opening blog post! Worth a read!

Diaper Parties by Crystal

Every once in a while a great idea just presents itself to you.  I had this moment not too long ago after reading a highly disturbing article about low income families who, when faced with the decision of choosing between buying food or buying diapers they bought food (obviously!) and then cleaned up or dried out the used disposable diaper and reused it.  I was horrified.  Having a 7 month old baby myself it broke my heart to think of what a fellow mom must feel when making this choice…watch your children go hungry or put a diaper full of dried piss (or worse) back onto your baby’s bottom.  Being a cloth diapering mama myself I thought, “Well, how simple is this problem to solve?!  They need cloth diapers!”

A few days later I read another article, this one about how Finland gives a box to every expecting mama that…

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Snaps vs. Velcro?

Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size 1 Storm Cloud) in *Snaps*

Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size 1 Storm Cloud) in *Snaps*

Most cloth diapers and covers come in either snaps or velcro (also known as aplix or hook and loop). Everyone will have their preference but like anything else, there are pros and cons of each type.

First of all, most all adjustable-size diapers and covers will have snaps to adjust the rise (vertical size) of the diaper. Some come in two settings, some come in more but most all of them have snaps. It is in the waist size and closure that you need to make the decision on whether you want velcro or snaps. Here are some things to consider when making this choice:

Snaps:

Pros: last longer, can be easily replaced, looks better, harder for a toddler to undo

Cons: can fall off (but most don’t), not as adjustable, may be harder for somebody not accustomed to CD (like occasional care givers), some daycares only want velcro

Velcro/Aplix/Hook & Loop:

Pros: very adjustable, easier to secure, easier for occasional caregivers and those who are not knowledgeable in CD

Cons: must secure to laundry tabs before washing (or you will get a diaper chain), wears out faster, harder to replace (sewing required), easier for a toddler to undo

Personally, I feel like more people choose snaps and that is why my whole stash is snaps. We all know that the more velcro gets used, the less sticky it can be and this is a problem true to CD as well. If you are handy with a sewing machine it should be no problem to replace the velcro when it wears out but if you are like me, and don’t even own a sewing machine, snaps may be a better option for you! They rarely fall off but if they do, they are simple to replace and you can get replacements at any fabric store.

There is one major draw to velcro however! I’m told it is much easier to get a good fit on baby with a diaper that closes with velcro. Sometimes babies are too big for one snap setting and too small for the next. I do not really have a solution for this problem, but if anyone has any great ideas, I would love to hear them. Nonetheless, most snap users love them and have no problems.


What do you prefer, snaps or velcro? Why?