And other things I learned the hard way.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Debacle with Diapers

There are, on average, about a BILLION choices of how to wrap your child's butt up. Do you want regular disposable? How about all natural? Bleach free? Then there's the cotton ones that you wash yourself. Or cotton ones that someone else washes for that matter. Diaper services. Diaper genies (I assume that is some sort of mythical creature that grants parents the wish "Please don't let her crap through *another* one tonight.") Diaper pails...there's A LOT of choices out there.
My husband and I had exactly NO CLUE what we were going to do for diapers. We wanted a diaper service, but money-wise, it just wasn't going to happen. We *could* have purchased the washable ones and done it ourselves, but I've hear horror stories of the first six or so weeks where parents were doing nothing BUT laundry. Or, equally as bad, didn't do enough and ran out of diapers. These were options I did not want to concern myself with. I was having a c-section, my washing machine was in the basement. Do some math. The prospect of getting my child's rear into all natural cotton just wasn't on the horizon.
So, we settled - disposable. Now, for starters, it hurt my soul to use them. The amount of chemicals in them, the amount of waste they produce, the length of time they take to biodegrade in a landfill...none of it was tickling my happy bone. But the alternative of my child being bare-butted and ruining my house...I took the lesser of the two evils. I feel bad for landfills, but do you know how much I paid for my couch? I'm not about to voluntarily smear it with poop.
The baby shower came and went, and about 800 diapers came into our life. Varying sizes and makes. Everything from Luvs to 7th Generation Bleach Free. We got a healthy sampling. I figured, in my innocence, that this would mean we wouldn't have diaper drama. That we would have enough. And that I wouldn't have any sizing issues.
Oh. How Wrong. I was.
My child came home from the hospital with a butt that was 6 pounds and 13 ounces and with two packages of Pampers that they had used on her during her luxury stay. The difficulty ensued almost immediately. You see, the diapers they sent us home with were "Size 1". I most definitely had in my possession a "Newborn". So, being the college educated woman that I am, I naturally assumed "I should set these diapers aside and open up the newborn size we got at the shower." Logical. Cool and collected. Spock would have been envious (the Star Fleet member, not the baby guru).
And that is exactly what I did, I set aside the dubious "Size 1" diapers along with the 700 additional of the same size already in the closet. And busted out my "Pure and Natural Size Newborn". I thought I was on top of things. I strapped it to my child, stood back to admire my handiwork (being the exact THIRD diaper of my child's I had ever changed) and noticed something...amiss.
"Honey, do these look too big?"
"Yeah, a little bit."
Crap. Literally. She filled her pants. Husband changed her and I checked the package for weight requirements (this is what a degree in Liberal Arts gets you. Basic reasoning skills.)
"They say 'Up to 10 Pounds', well she's definitely under that, these should work then."
"Well do we have any smaller?"
"I'm not even sure they MAKE them any smaller!"
And it's true, I had no clue. So what does any rational woman with good reasoning skills do? We go to Walmart and hunt through the diaper section.
By this point, several days have passed and we have continued to use the "Newborn" size diaper, which in our opinion swims on our daughter. The sides puff out, we have to fold the top down so it doesn't brush her oozing belly-nub and the tapes in the middle practically overlap. And she's developed a rash where the leg holes are. Not sure if it's related because the baby book says nothing along these lines. But I decided to lump it in with the obvious reasons this size diaper sucks.
At Walmart we discover that no, diapers do not come any smaller. Which I cannot wrap my brain around. The NICU at the hospital was full of babies that were under FIVE pounds, how can there be no smaller diapers?? But our supply of the newborn size were dwindling and I didn't have much faith in the size 1, so we bought an economy box of newborn Pampers (the brand most preferred by hospitals, I read the box.)
Well, aside from our diaper dilemma, we also were having a sleeping dilemma with out new bundle of joy. Namely, she wouldn't do it.
No, that's not quite correct.
She would sleep in our bed, on the boppy, on the couch, on your chest...everywhere BUT her bassinet. Which, as luck would have it, was where we WANTED her to sleep. See the problem? But, as she was under three weeks old, we reasoned "Maybe she's just lonely?" And brought her into bed with us.
(**Now, I know some of you out there are very anti-co-sleeping. But honestly, STFU. Is this your baby? No. Are you in any way part of this particular situation? Nope. Are you getting your recommended night's worth of sleep at your house? Probably. So shut up. We did it. Because if I didn't get sleep soon I was going to go batshit crazy.**)
The good news was that my little darling angel girl slept in bed with us without making so much as a squeak. She woke up to feed around 3am and my husband and I were almost in rapture that we had gotten four hours of un-interrupted sleep.
And then, we stuck our hand under her to pick her up.
Crap. Literally. All over my bed. And her blanket. And her boppy. Her onesie, oh that thing was such toast. Her diaper, the illustrious "Newborn" size of Pampers (hospital recommended brand) had leaked. But leaked is a mild word. My daughter had saturated an area that was about a foot in diameter on my expensive Swedish foam mattress. Thank GOD I invested in the rubber mattress protector back in October or I would have been REALLY pissed off. But my poor 400 thread count sheets did NOT fair so well.
"WTF??? She's under the limit!! Did we put it on wrong?"
That was entirely possible. Ever change a diaper on a screaming wiggle worm at 3 am with one eye closed? Sometimes I'm amazed my husband doesn't accidentally diaper her skull.
However, luckily for me, I have a forum of mommy friends on the Facebook that I turned to for help. Was it the brand? Was it application? Am I just doomed to have the worst baby luck ever?
The answer: Size doesn't matter.
While I'm sure that answer would please all the men in the room, for me...I was not as overjoyed.
What do you mean the size on the box doesn't matter??? Why even PUT a size on the box if it's total crap? Well, here's something I didn't know:
a.) No two diaper companies have standardized sizing. So "Newborn" between Huggies and Pampers are two different ball games.
b.) Diaper sizes overlap. Newborn ranges to 10 pounds, but Size 1 starts at 8 and ranges to almost 20. What??
c.) Sizes are more of a guide, not a contract.
So what you are telling me, is that even though she is BELOW the weight limit of this size, it's still too small?
I don't know how many of you out there have child experience. Maybe those of you with multiple children don't view this as a problem. I do.
I have no experience, I didn't have younger siblings to play with. The last diaper my husband changed was his little brother's circa 1985. So he's not exactly a raging expert either. Parents? Selective memory and extremely dated knowledge. It took several weeks for my mother to understand that my old crib that's been sitting in the basement for the past 29 years was no longer safe.
The diaper companies do this intentionally so that new parents loose their mind. All my "reasoning" and "rational" go out the freaking window when I get told that I should basically "eye ball" it. And if she starts having "blowouts" it's time to go up a size.
No system. No measuring. Screw sizes. FML.
Diapers. They're full of shit.

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