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Getting to the Bottom of Things: Exploring the options for diapering your baby.
Remember those days when you marveled at parents who were so interested in their children's waste? You laughed and wondered how they could possibly discuss bodily functions at length. You giggled at their seeming obsession with the volume and frequency of their baby's bowel movements. Let me be the first to say, welcome to the club.
Your baby isn't here yet, so you may think you are immune to the pull; but, just look at the options for diapering your newborn, and you'll see the need to think about waste. Talking about your diapering choices is just the first step on a journey you never thought you would take. Join us.
Consider that the average newborn will require about 10 to 12 diaper changes in a 24-hour period. If you figure that the undressing, cleaning and creaming, diapering, and re-dressing of your infant takes roughly 5 to 10 minutes each time, depending on the level of mess and cooperation, you could be spending about 14 hours a week changing diapers. That is practically a part-time job, with 24 hours a day, on-call requirements. Before you know it, you'll be a professional – and their ability to fill diapers will slow down a bit – but diapers will still be an important part of your daily routine. So, what are your options?
Disposables are easy to pick up at almost any store, easy to clean up, and a convenience used by most diapering parents. However, in these days of environmental awareness, it must be conceded that they do not score well on their environmental friendliness.
The next step on the ladder is a cloth diaper with a flushable inner lining. These diapers are pricier than the disposables, make some demands on your plumbing, and require a bit more work in the clean up department.
Finally, you have the washable cloth diapers. These aren't the old style cotton squares with safety pins. A quick internet search will reveal the various styles, folds, and patterns available. Of course, cleaning cloth diapers is the most time consuming of the options, and the purchase requires the biggest initial investment (although, the cost should be factored over the usable life of the diaper).
As with all things baby related, you don't have to decide now to commit to an all-or-nothing diapering plan. Some people start out using one type of diaper, and then gradually shift to another type. Others send disposables to daycare, but use cloth at home. Any combination that works for you is the right combination.