Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diapers and Poop - Newborn 3 of 5

Eat, sleep and poop. It's that simple. NOT!

Believe it or not, there is alot to discuss when talking about baby shit. In fact the original topics which I planned to discuss in this single post have seem to have a blow out, and require more than one post to cover. Let's go head and just talk about diapers and poop type today.

The modern disposable diaper is amazing. Soft and leak proof. Scratch free Velcro fixes this high tech marvel around your babies bottom. The gortex like one way membrane wicks liquids away from the skin. A dry powder absorbs the liquid and transforms into a gel. These things cost about a quarter each, can almost hold a gallon of water, and they will never bio degrade. Oh yeah, your baby can go through ten a day. Even the greenest parent, that use cloth diapers, can not avoid using them once in a while: in between wash, travel, longer changing intervals, and dryer skin. We try to use the more environmental disposable, though none are biodegradable. The ones that leak gel pee beads are avoided, though the only reason is I don't want little gel pee bead on my babies junk.

If you do not wish to add to landfill waste, you might chose using cloth diapers. Today's cloth diapers are much improved from the car washing rag with the extra layer in the middle held on by safety pins. Modern cloth diapers can be pretty fancy and easy to use. We use a brand of diapers called Fuzzy Bunz . They are a one size fits all diaper that adjusts as your baby grows. The diapers have a water proof outer and fleece inner. A thick removable fleece pad does most of the absorbing work. Several snaps along the outside allow for a custom fit. Our greatest fault with the Fuzzy Bunz is the fleece material. It tends to hold oders. Extra washing cycles are required in order to achieve a desired level of cleanliness.

Another popular brand of cloth diapers are G diapers . There is a replaceable section in the middle. This section can be reusable or disposable. The outer pants is suppose to stay drier, and not need as many or much washing. These seem like a better option due to the fact that you can throw away the center section or boil them, when they become too stinky. G-diapers however are not one size fits all. Thus you will have to buy several sizes as your baby grows older.

If I lived in an area with a diaper service, I would be very interested in using such service. Around here it is not even an option. Washing diapers is gross. But it is not as gross as if you had to wash your own diapers, if you had to wear them now. I don't know, just something I thought of more than once when washing the little guys stinkies. I believe that overall using cloth diapers have less of an impact on the planet, but not by much. A considerable amount of water, energy and cleaners are required to keep the diapers clean. If you use a diaper service add to it the gas required, to pick up and drop off, to the overall carbon foot print cloth diapers have. For us we seem to use both cloth and disposable regularly. Like everything there seems to be a fine balance of which to use and when. When at home we typically use the cloth diapers. When going out we use disposables for a couple of reasons. One is that you can just toss them instead of having to haul them home. Two, they tend to hold more fluid and are less likely to leak. Because of the second reason, we also tend to use a disposable at night. Finally disposables seem to keep the babies skin dryer. So if diaper rash is becoming an issue we might use the throw aways till the rash clears.

Another reason to consider using cloth diapers is the cost savings. If you calculate the number of disposable diapers needed over the coarse of your babies life, then compare it to the initial cost of cloth diapers, it is instantly apparent that there are some cost savings. What is not easy to factor in are the additional cleaning cost; water, electrically/natural gas, and cleaners. We did not find this to be a noticeable increase however. Finally you need to factor in the cost of partial disposable diaper use. This could vary greatly based on user habits. After all these points have been considered, we still concluded that we were going to use cloth diapers.

Well just how stinky is it, what should I expect. Most of us have some first hand experience with diapers. Either a little sibling, have been around a baby. The first poopie diaper you change at the hospital will trip you out. Instead of resembling something your dog left you, it is a black tarry substance called meconium . That is what was inside your babies gut when it was on the inside. While in the interior they don't poop. Talk about not shitting where you sleep. Meconium is normal and really sticky. It doesn't smell but is very difficult to wipe off. After a few meals of breast milk, they will poop out what is best described as orange yogurt. Texture, ingredients and smell are fairly well match to the description. Not sure about the taste. This stuff is easy to deal with on a grossed out factor. It is all by design to slowly break us into the parenting thing. Wait till they are 6 months old and eating solid foods. The worse part of this yogurt poop stage is that it is not absorbed well by either disposable or cloth diapers and blowouts are common. If your baby drinks formula its poop will be more brownish. This just goes to show that formula is NOT the same as breast milk.

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