Big Disposable Diaper Companies make a big fuss over the convenience of disposable diapers. It makes sense as a marketing strategy. Think about it. Cloth diapers win on each of the following traditional selectors of baby products:
- Is it soft on my baby’s skin?
- Is it safe and non-toxic?
- Is it durable? Will it hold up to repeated child use?
- Does it have good value or is it inordinately expensive for the amount of use I’ll get out of it?
So how could disposable diaper companies sell their plastic, chemical-filled single-use diapers? They had to introduce another category – convenience.
Now, I don’t know about you, but my children are anything but convenient. I’m constantly going out of my way to satisfy their needs. I frequently choose inconvenient solutions to best satisfy those needs because convenience is not my highest priority. Would it be more convenient to leave them in the car on a hot day while I ran into the grocery store? Yes. Would it be more convenient to serve them prepackaged junk food? Possibly (though I might then have to deal with stomachaches.) Would it be more convenient to set them in front of the television all day long? Perhaps. But I value their well-being and their development over convenience.
Besides, it takes a lot to call cloth diapers “inconvenient”. I have a washing-machine in my house and I line-dry my diapers out front. I couple my laundry responsibilities with opportunities for the kids to play around me (frequently with soft, clean-smelling diapers), lessons on independence and personal care (they’ll have to learn to do their own laundry sooner or later), and lessons on the value of reuse and taking responsibility for our impact on the earth. Having these built-in opportunities is pretty darn convenient, in my opinion.
And did I mention how convenient it is for me not to have to earn the extra thousands of dollars it would cost to use disposable diapers instead???
Executive Director, Real Diaper Association