When I had my first child, I was committed to doing everything the 'right' way. I planned to breastfeed, cloth diaper, make my own baby food, and use only homemade or all-natural baby products. As you can probably imagine, those goals lasted about a week before I had to get real about which commitments I could and could not keep.
I kept cloth diapers around and actually used them for about the first six months, but after that I reached a point where I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to switch to disposables, or else I'd end up throwing a diaper pail through the baby's bedroom window. There are a lot of things I love about cloth diapers, and they're a great option for people who enjoy them, but they're certainly not for everyone. Here are 7 times cloth diapers are seriously the worst:
1. When your parents babysit.
It's exactly like the first time they used an iPhone, but with poop. Either they can't figure out why they're so different from cloth diapers of yore, or they've never seen a cloth diaper in their life and won't stop rolling them up and shoving them in a Diaper Genie no matter how many times you explain the process.
2. When you're out in public.
It's so easy, says the internet. Just bring a wetbag. It works out perfectly until you forget that wetbag and have to walk around with a 4-pound piss bomb rolled up and stinking in a pocket of the diaper bag. Also, public cloth diaper poops are the worst, most inconvenient thing ever. Sorry, not sorry.
3. When you get your water bill.
My water bill doubled when we started using cloth diapers. Sure, disposables are expensive, but you're not really saving money on cloth if it's all going into your washing machine. Or your dryer. Or extra laundry soap. Or a diaper service. Ahh, screw it.
4. When you forget to dry them.
More than once I got down to my last diaper and realized I never moved the clean ones into the dryer. I got wise after the first time and bought a pack of emergency disposables, but if you're at all bad about finishing laundry? Cloth might be difficult for you.
5. When your kid takes a particularly disastrous shit.
You have to pre-rinse the poop out of cloth diapers. We bought a little hose attachment thing for our toilet so we could rinse it down into the bowl. Yeah, that was a complete disaster. First, I had to stash the shit diaper somewhere so I could complete the change, then I had to figure out what to do with the poopy baby wipes since I couldn't just roll them up in the diaper and throw them away. Then, once you get done with that fun-fest, you get to find a place to stick your baby so you can go in the bathroom and spray poop everywhere. If you found a convenient, simple way to do this, you're a better mom than me. I fully admit it.
6. When you're kind of broke.
Cloth diapers are an investment up-front, and not everyone can do that. Sure, over time they end up costing less, depending on washing, drying, and whether or not you factor in your time, but it's hard to come up with a big chunk of money at once when you're broke. It's also a hard commitment to make when you're working, especially if you're juggling multiple jobs or your daycare isn't cloth-friendly.
7. When you're lazy.
You're probably like, wow, this lady is really lazy. You're right. It's important to know your strengths and weaknesses. For some of us, continual diaper washing is the latter.
(Photo: Michael Pettigrew / Shutterstock)