I’ve been cloth diapering my children for over 3 years now. When I first started, my husband hated cloth diapers. He thought they meant we couldn’t afford disposable diapers, that they were too much work and that cloth diapers were too difficult to use. I figured that eventually he’d come around. I mean, how could you not love cloth diapers? Okay, not love is a bit gentle. Some days, I’d say my husband hates cloth diapers. I’ll say “will you put a diaper on the baby, I’m washing dishes” and he responds “No, you’re the one who wants to cloth diaper.” As if he’d change a diaper if they were disposable. So, what do you do when your husband hates cloth diapers?
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, that even as a huge ambassador for cloth diapers, my husband still doesn’t love them. Just yesterday I asked him to diaper our toddler while I was nursing the baby and he refused…since I’m “the one who wanted to cloth diaper.” He said, “Why don’t you just pick up some disposables.” As if he would suddenly start changing diapers if they were disposables. As if I’d walk into the house with a giant box of some mainstream chemically laced product and he’d jump for joy and change every diaper from there on. Truth is, he wants to get out of changing diapers and in his mind, it’s a great excuse.
Another reason my husband hates cloth diapers is that he doesn’t view diapering as his job. He doesn’t view caring for the kids and household chores as his responsibility either. For example, when the laundry is piled super high, I have 4 XL bins that need to be put away, one load in the washer, one load in the dryer and three more waiting to go in…he doesn’t help with that either. It’s an all around disconnect from household chores and responsibilities. It’s my “job.” This is why I know that he wouldn’t use a disposable diaper either…and I prefer cloth. So we’re going with cloth!
A third reason. In the back of my husband’s mind, we cloth diaper because he doesn’t make enough money. Truth is, my husband is a “man’s man.” The go to work 100 hours a week and chop wood kind of man. On occasion he’s mentioned, “We make enough money, why don’t you buy disposables.” As if he didn’t know that our baby is wearing a $35 handmade hybrid diaper. That .25 disposable diaper doesn’t compare! But, our society has created the notion that if you’re financially secure, you buy disposable diapers. Disposable diaper companies even campaign on the notion that other people should buy disposables for “poor” families because everyone should have disposable diapers. It’s a huge marketing campaign and draws lots of attention!
Possible solutions? How to get your husband to love cloth diapers? Here are some ideas:
- Remind your spouse that cloth diapers bring you happiness. He wants you to be happy, and cloth diapers do that! He should at the bare minimum be supportive. Let him see you jump and skip when fluff mail arrives, don’t hide your joy!
- Go it alone. In my case, DH (dear husband) is just not going to cloth diaper. I do it all myself and am joyous for the occasional diaper change and remember the times I catch him bragging to others that his kids are cloth diapered. I know that while he doesn’t show it, he’s super proud that I go the extra mile for our babies.
- Make a compromise. ” I know that you don’t love cloth diapers. I don’t love your ______.” How about football. It’s football season. “I know that you don’t love cloth diapers and you know that I don’t love watching football.” If you agree to cloth diaper with me I’ll watch every game your team has on this season, and smile…even yell things at the TV.”
- Let logic and science be your guide. Show DH articles, reports and facts about the chemicals in disposable diapers and the money you’re saving. Facts! Just go with science if you are splurging left and right on new fluff. Remind him of the 2012 “chemical plant” closure in Japan that crippled the diaper market (1). It was a major producer of acrylic acid, Acrylic acid is produced from propylene which is a byproduct of ethylene and gasoline production (2). Yes, that’s just one of the chemicals in disposable diapers….
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While not everyone is going to love cloth diapers, IMO they should! But no, really, don’t let cloth diapering be a sticky point in your relationship. If you can’t come to a compromise then look for alternatives and if you can’t meet in the middle then you may need to go it alone like I do. I’m cloth diapering my babies for them and I hope that any long term health benefits are appreciated…okay for me too, I just love them! I plan on 100% reminding my kids when they’re older that I cloth diapered them and I will save some diapers for proof! Because hey, when I had the option to contribute to environmental pollution and buy disposables, I washed cloth diapers with awesome prints that make me smile. While my spouse may not share my love for cloth…I know my kids do! And that’s what matters to me.