Guest Post By Patricia
Wow, baby you’ve come a long way, haven’t You?!
Becoming a new parent in the 1970’s – 80’s was a transition from the “old school” choice of using cloth diapers (with rubber-plastic pants over the diaper to prevent leaks), to the new concept of disposable type diapers, which their claim to fame was to be more hygenic and less time consuming. (But yet back then they cost more!).
With my first child born in 1978, I decided to opt for the old stand-by cloth diapers. They were bought “cheaper by the dozen” with no added perfumes or powders. No doubt, anyone with a newborn will confess – the numerous times in one hour that this tiny little touche has to be changed is a lot more than we’d expect as a new mother. And it was more so, with using cloth diapers.
Using cloth diapers, they would become quite saturated very quickly, therefore not to have a scalded, red bottom (diaper rash), the diaper had to be changed right away. There was no quick change, the baby had to be properly washed, dried, powdered, a clean fresh diaper put on all pinned up – with safety pins. Then the rubber-plastic liner pants to keep from springing leaks.
Afterwards the soiled diapers were wrinsed out in a pail of fresh clean water, with bleach (if you so chose), and laundered as usual. You could also take it one step further, so the old wive’s tales say, the cloth diapers could be boiled for sanitary reasons. I lived in a rural area, so there was no diaper service. Drying, if you were so blessed to have access to a clothes line, was the best policy. The sunlight would bleach the diapers naturally, and drying outside would freshen up these rectangular cloths. Otherwise, into the dryer.
Well, I thought I had it all pegged! Until my second child came along…
With the liberation of women working out in the workforce becoming more and more, and the division of labour in the household, not having met its full capacity yet, ( and will it ever?), my mindset switched suddenly from soggy diapers sitting a pail of water, waiting to be re-invented to…the competitor!
Disposables – A growing concept that was catching on like wildfire!
Convenient and sanitary, no washing, no soaking, no bleaching and oh they smelled nice. Perfumey, some even had the baby powder already in them. What more could you ask for?
I must agree, by the time my second child was born in 1981, that was it! I already had a three year old at home, already toilet trained. I was working full-time and managing a household to boot, the idea of cloth diapers was the furthest thing from my mind. I was taking the easier way out!
No contest, I went with the disposables! What a difference – self adhesive tabs! So I thought, until they no longer stuck!! Or there was always a chance of the tabs ripping or somehow getting loose, and springing a leak!
So goes the Diaper phenomenom! What it once was, to what it is today!
Today, everyone you see, mostly, are packing disposables or better yet those new organic and environmentally friendly disposables that they’ve come out with. Life is fast and the days are long, most families have two working parents all the time. Rushing all the time! (And still, many young moms like to take the time to rear their children). I say good for them!
No matter how you look at it, it’s your choice. Whether you choose to diaper your baby in cloth, just because you like the whole concept behind it, or whether you choose to go the route of using disposables even organic ones, whichever makes sense for managing your changing time for baby, convenient, less fuss, it’s all up to you!
It’s all in the way you live and learn!
® 2010 – Patricia OCallahan for A Motherhood Experience Blog. Only to be used by A Motherhood Experience – explicit permission from the author, Patricia O’Callahan, of “Diapers 1970’s to Now”
Diapers 1970’s to Now
Guest Post By Patricia