So while we were in Nova Scotia, our diaper service was suspended. This meant that we had to buy some disposables to get us through. We do own a few cloth diapers of our own – gifts from a friend – and they are lovely but we only have the four. That wouldn’t get us through a day. So we went out and bought some Pampers.
When Babby and I arrived in Halifax, I noticed a spot on the back of his jammies when his grandmother was cuddling him. Since I’m not in the habit of lying my baby down in filth, I couldn’t figure out what it could be.
I found out at the next diaper change.,
The splotch was liquid, squirty baby poo which had spurted up through the back of his diaper and into his jammies. It was crusted all along his back.
I was unimpressed.
This became a regular occurrence. Not quite daily, but at least every second day, there would be a blowout situation in which feces somehow escaped Babby’s diaper and ended up on his clothes. It spread everywhere within his diaper – all over his penis and scrotum, all along his butt cheeks and then WHEEEE! up his back. Nor did it have the innocuous and virtually unnoticeable odour of his usual poops. Trapped in the greenhouse of the diaper, it developed a pervasive aroma which had me wrinkling my nose during diaper and clothing changes.
Not only this, but I discovered that the “whisk away wetness” properties of the disposable had the unpleasant effect of somehow desiccating the poop after it had finished its jolly roving ways, so that it was bonded stubbornly to my baby’s skin. I found myself gripping his tiny penis while scrubbing relentlessly at its base, trying to remove line of brown-green crust.
The real kicker happened a few days in, however. Upon removing a diaper one morning, I saw glistening droplets sparkling on my baby’s scrotum, and realized that I was looking at a proliferation of tiny, gummy chemical beads. They were scattered on his scrotum, his penis, his lower abdomen, and even down on his buttocks. The inside lining of the diaper had torn somehow, and the moisture-absorbing chemicals from within has spilled out all over my baby. Indignant, I immediately went to wipe those beads off of my baby’s genitalia, only to find that they wouldn’t come off. They stuck to my baby’s skin like chewing gum in hair, and wiping had no effect on them. In the end I had to take him into the bathroom and dunk his bottom in the sink and rinse the goop away.
He screamed like a stuck pig the whole time, I need not add.
Between the smell, the poop leaks, and the chemical explosion, disposable diapers were not getting a good review from me. Now, don’t get me wrong, cloth diapers leak too. They leak pee. If you don’t cover the cloth with the diaper cover properly, the wet diaper comes in contact with the baby’s clothes and a wet spot appears. It isn’t unusual for me to have to change Babby’s clothes in the morning after a 10 hour marathon overnight, especially if I’m using one of our poorer diaper covers.
But that’s just pee. Urine is harmless. It’s sterile, for one thing. It’s non-staining, for another. Not to mention that Babby is on an all-liquid diet so he pees round the clock, and if you’ve ever drunk a massive amount of liquid in one day, you’ll know how dilute your pee gets, so Babby’s pee is practically pure water. So the occasional wet spot on his clothes has never fazed me.
But poo is different.
Poo (even baby poo, which is the most innocuous of all poos) is GROSS.
And chemicals? Chemicals are CREEPY.
Me = UNIMPRESSED.
I developed a new strategy. On top of the disposable, I layered one of the massive deluxe cloth diapers that PH’s friend had given us. I only had four, but since a poo-splosion only occurred once a day or so, that was fine. It made Babby’s bum a little bulky, but I’ve always like a baby with a pat-able bottom anyhow.
My logic was that the poo, squirting out of the flimsy disposable, would meet the superior friction of the cloth and be stopped in its tracks.
It worked about 50% of the time.
So then I put a diaper cover over the cloth-disposable diaper combo, in the hopes that it might catch even more poo.
Babby’s bottom, swathed in three layers, now resembled a bowling ball and had the disturbingly spheroid look which I associate with very old, fat men in bad pants.
On our last day in Nova Scotia, Babby was sitting on PH’s mother’s knee when he got that George W. Bush-look on his face of perplexed concentration and let a loud one fly. Babby’s grandmother remarked good naturedly that she could feel the warmth of that one, so it must have been a veritable dump indeed.
It took a minute for it to sink through my brain.
Babby is wearing three layers.
NO poo is THAT warm.
“Uh… maybe I should change that diaper,” I said, reaching for my baby. I usually avoid snatching Babby out of people’s arms, because people are pretty good about giving the baby back when they’re tired of him, and I don’t want to be one of those snatchy mothers. But I had a reason for this, and my fears were confirmed when I lifted him off of her knee.
There was a splotch on his pyjamas, running down his leg.
It matched a splotch on his grandmother’s knee.
We did a load of laundry that night and I could not wait to get home to our lovely, fuzzy, POO-RETAINING cloth diapers.