Cloth Diapers: Hard Pass

I like my diapers like I like my OC housewives: plastic.


When Mrs. Philyodaddy and I attended our one and only pre-baby child-rearing class, the instructor took about 15 of the allotted 180 minutes to wax poetic about how great cloth diapers are.   Mrs. P. and I were in full agreement as we laughed off that horrendous advice.  We haven’t agreed that hard since we chose Team Gale. Now I don’t want this space to be about judging people, but forgive me just this once.  Cloth diapers are for hippy jerks.  If that viewpoint offends you, THERES THE DOOR.

The ONLY somewhat-reasonable argument in favor of cloth diapering is that its better for the environment, but you know what, unless society as we know it crumbles, I’m not going down that road.  I’ll save the environment just about any other way.  I’ll walk to work every day through the Holland Tunnel.  I’ll go a full August week without an air conditioner.  Fuck, I’d rather commit to a life of urban foraging like Andre on The League (S3E6) or Shailene Woodley on the real life. Cross-section of people who recognize those references might be 0, go me.

Point being, cloth diapers are for fools or hipsters with zero in-between.  If you have considered buying organic, artisanal Sycamore beard oil, then cloth diapers may be for you, else: No.


So for those of you diapering neophytes, you have two main choices in diapering: cloth and ‘traditional’.  I believe traditional diapers (see: Pampers) are made of  cutting-edge composite of plastic and chemicals.  Just what you want on your babies genitals. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Cloth diapers feel like your clothing.  Now what happens when your clothes get wet?  We change Philyodaddy Jr.’s diaper about every 3 hours, give or take.  So if he was wearing cloth diapers, he’d be sitting in wet clothing for about 21 out of the 24 hours in a day.  Oh and when you poop, it’s even more fun! Party time!  Nothing beats washing poop out of your clothes.

So why in the world would anyone do that?  Glad no one asked. I used the old google to find out what other reasons people have for cloth diapering, they’re all terrible.

  1. They’re Cheaper Counterpoint: you get feces everywhere.  The only way this is true is if you wash them yourself which makes cloth diapers even worse.  At least you can get services to clean them for you, but then they’re not cheaper any more.  No, no, no.
  2. They’re reusable and can be saved for your next baby. Counterpoint: Child 2 gets to play in Child 1’s feces.  Have a third child too you maniac.  Then everyone plays in everyone’s feces.  It will be a bonding experience.
  3. It’s better for the baby, lots of fancy research by the pro-cloth lobby.  Counterpoint: False. Look at how great I turned out.

I did enjoy this claim though:

In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis. (source)

4. Cloth diapers are organic.  Counterpoint: Philyodaddy Jr. doesn’t give a fuck and neither should you.

5. You can have cute diapers!  Counterpoint: cute, feces-covered diapers.


After Philyodaddy Jr. has beans, the red on this diaper doesn’t pop as much.

Baby poop is gross.  It’s cute-ish gross I guess since it’s your baby’s poop, but it still smells and looks gross.  Here’s a relevant anecdote: When you take newborn pics, the baby is naked. Now that I mention this, that’s super weird and I didn’t even bat an eye when it was going down.  Anywhoo, we were just wrapping up and taking the “family” pic, when Philyodaddy Jr. pooped all over Mrs. P.  The camera caught it all.  It was glorious.  Maybe you had to be there.

Also the cloth diaper world is super culty.  Cloth diapering has over 57,000 posts at (sample topic “What are your favorite fold(s) for newborns?”) making it one of the more popular forums.  And you get people like this  trying to shame normal people into joining.  It’s like Scientology but worse.

Apparently you can buy used cloth diapers too (or sell your own).  Assuming someone in the world actually does this: What the fuck is wrong with you?

I guess if you really can’t afford it, then I am not judging, do your cloth diaper thing. However, imho there are plenty of other things to save money on (expensive strollers, etc.).  But if you’re concerned about spermatogenesis then, cmon now…

Philyodaddy official diaper recommendation: cheapest normal brand.  Usually they go, on sale at Costco or Amazon, so we’ve used all of Kirkland, Pampers, huggies, etc. They’re all the same shit.  (zing!).  We used Mexican “Pampers” in Mexico, they worked the same as their American counterparts.

p.s. In researching for this, I came across this article from the Paper of Record.  Apparently the newest thing (in 2013, shocking this movement never left Williamsburg) was going diaperless and leaving pots around your house for your baby to piss and shit in.  Fucking hipsters.  I almost think I wasted this blog entry not addressing the diaperless movement.

Still, even the most ardent practitioners observe some limits. “I don’t think you can walk down Fifth Avenue and just let your baby poop on the sidewalk,” she said.

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