I've had over four years of diapering experiences to reflect upon (and am looking at at least another year or two.) I have been blessed in that many of the changings have occurred simultaneously, as my kids are close together, and diapering is a family affair. You'd think that I'd welcome the chance to save a buck or two on a pack of diapers. (I did, as a matter of fact, use cheapo $1 pregnancy tests to learn of each of my children's creation.) But when it comes to the containment of bodily fluids, there is no substitution for quality.


Huggies and Pampers top the list of more expensive and highly-advertised diapers. I concluded early on that by paying more for these brands, I was paying for expensive advertising budgets, promotions, and character branding. I scoffed at their worth, and stocked up on all the store-brand sizes I could fit into my closet.


With my first child (a girl) this was OK for a time. She was formula fed, rarely had a containment breach, and was changed 10-14 times a day (I had a lot of time on my hands.) With my first son, born 5 years later, it was a different story. Mr. Breastfed had those icky, squirty kind of bowel movements that made their way up the back of the pants, into the shirt, and all over the car seat. If this wasn't bad enough, he pooped every time he ate, necessitating frequent changings of the #2 kind. Couple that with the fact that he was a boy -- This meant that his “equipment” often shifted during the night, causing pee to escape at strange angles from his cheap diapers. We were through with that strategy.


By the time boy #2 came along, we were getting the hang of things. We upgraded to the middle-class Luvs. They were branded (which meant processional coupons) and seemed to have all the offerings of their pricier counterparts. We tried them for a while, but the changings seemed to be more frequent, as the diapers drooped almost immediately after putting them on. We went back to the big brands again soon after.


We have now entered a new era of diapering with my third son. In an effort to go “green”, I thought about cloth (for about 5 minutes.) I couldn't forget that with 4 kids, a homeschool schedule, and a busy freelance business, I could barely keep up on regular laundry, and the thought of letting poopy dipes sit for any length of time (especially the time it took me to wash clothes) was unacceptable. We tried a few semi-disposable options, including the gDiaper. We finally settled on a preference for Seventh Generation (they work very well) and Huggies (which are available at my local grocery.)


What does this all mean for you? It means that as much as we all would like to save a penny, I would also like to save my couch and car seats. Is cheap diapering for everyone? Of course not. If it works for you, GREAT! Just don't feel like a schmuck if you cave in to brand-name reliance. Sometimes it is not about the Benjamins – sometimes it's about the poop. Seriously. (But if you are still driven to save the most on diapers, consider checking out the very cool BabyCheapskate.com. They are a lifesaver.)