Diapers

Diapers

In looking through the Wednesday grocery ads. I came across one for diapers. “So what!” you probably will say. Let me tell you what. Without the store coupon, the price was $24.99 for a super pack.

Nowadays in this fast moving world, mamas only use disposable diapers. After all, they work outside the home so their time is limited. You probably can't even buy cloth diapers anymore. My daughter Anne said she used about 4 or 5 disposable diapers per day when her son Larry was a babe. Of course, with disposable ones you don't need rubber pants or their homemade knitted counterparts, called soakers, to keep those little bottoms dry. That makes life easier right there. Diaper rash is a thing of the past if you promptly change soiled diapers. That is another upside for disposable diapers.

I didn't work when my four children were babies. It was a different time, not like today when it is necessary to help support a household. I used cloth diapers to cover their tudder ends. The cloth ones came in two kinds, either flannel or a birdseye weave. The birdseye held up longer than the flannel. That is about all I can say about them except they were much cheaper to use than the disposable ones. They certainly were a lot of work.

I haven't seen a diaper pail in years. Maybe you could find one at a thrift store. It was a necessary item when you were having babies back in the day. Thank goodness we had a flushable toilet. Before those came along, women rinsed the goo from the diaper in a pail of water, then put them in the diaper pail. That pail had a cover, but it still had to be deodorized. I used a tiny amount of bleach but you could buy a fancy scented one to add to the soaking water.

When the word got out that there would be an increase in your family, if it was your first one, your friends would give you a baby shower. Someone might give you a years subscription to a diaper service. Cloth diapers were always at the top of the welcome list. You would also collect used cloth diapers from family and friends whose babies had graduated to underpants. They were far better gifts than those cutesy newborn outfits that were already too small when the baby arrived. It's easier to keep a newborn in a nightgown or undershirt and diaper those first few weeks than to dress him up.

Back to diapers. Hopefully you had a good supply of cloth diapers or you would be washing more than once a week. It was not a fun job. First, you wrung out the sopping wet partially clean diapers and placed them in the washer that had been filled with hot water, soap flakes and a little bleach. I always had a washing stick nearby to snag the diapers from the hot water, (We didn't have fancy washers like we have now; not the ones that you load with diapers, add detergent, punch a few buttons and come back in an hour to throw them in the dryer with a dryer sheet to dry.)

Then after fifteen minutes or so when I hoped the diapers were clean, I would shut off the agitator and snag a diaper with my stick, holding it above the hot sudsy water. If it looked clean, I proceeded to put the diapers through the wringer into the rinse water. Then it was back through the wringer again. My next step was to head out to the backyard to the clothesline where I hung the diapers to dry. When they were dry, I removed them from the line, putting the clothes pins in their basket and headed for the house with my load. Dumped out on the kitchen table, I folded the diapers into the shape they would need to be for a usable diaper.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I'm jealous of your disposable-sized-to-fit diapers. Enjoy the convenience of them, but shed a tear for those of us back in the day that suffered through using cloth diapers and all the work they caused us. The babies were worth it, but the cloth diapers were not. This is called progress.

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