Dudes Love Cloth Diapers Too!


Dudes Love Cloth Diapers Too!

The following interview is from Kristen Columbo. Kristen leads the Real Diaper Circle of Rhode Island and interviewed her husband for this post in our School of Cloth blog series.

Kristen & Joseph Columbo live in Rhode Island with their 2.5 year old twins, a boy and a girl.  They feel like they won the lottery when the babies were born and stay at home with them.  Kristen is a teacher and Joseph is a videographer and a CNA.  Their twins were born at 36 weeks 3 days weighing 6lbs 4oz and 5lbs 8 oz.  The babies have been wearing cloth diapers since they were 6 weeks old.  Kristen & Joseph never purchased a disposable diaper and are now helping their twins through potty learning.

Kristen: “When did you first start thinking about cloth diapers?” 

Joseph: “I watched a news show with all these diapers in a landfill.  It was 2012 and I think you were pregnant.  We didn’t even know we were having twins yet.  The news said that the diapers never decompose or it takes something like 400 years for them to go away.  That’s awful, so I thought about cloth diapers.  There had to have been improvements on them since we were kids.  Cloth diapers today could not be just a piece of cloth and a safety pin with a giant plastic bag over it.  I just wanted to not have to throw them away and make all that garbage.  It had to be easier than it used to be. If anything, it could be better than throwing them in the trash.  It seemed like a good idea, so I told you.” 

Kristen: “How did I react?” 

Joseph: “You brushed it off.  I don’t want to make you seem rude for your article, but you had an attitude.  You thought it was a stupid idea.  Ugh, Joey, you said….  You and your crazy ideas.  You always think I come up with something that will never work out.  You let me worry about those things, Joey, you said.  Cloth diapers...  For TWINS?  What is he thinking now, you said.  My husband is so cheap. You said those things.”

Kristen: “When did it change?”

Joseph: “After you looked cloth diapers up on line, you were sold harder than I was.  You were like, OMG these diapers are so CUTE.  I felt like oh no, we are really going to do this.  Maybe we shouldn’t.  I was talking about them and I was thinking oh no, I have a lot of bad ideas and now she is actually listening to me… oh no.  You showed me pictures of the diapers and they were cute but I was not as nuts as you were about them.  Look at this one its pink.  It’s green. You went up to the diaper store and saw them. New cloth diapers surprised me.  I knew they would be newer and different than a pin and a piece of cloth, but those ones we got are nice.  Snaps.  That was nice.”

Kristen: “When did you start using them?” 

Joseph: “The cloth diapers we had were way too big when the babies got here.   We used disposables at the beginning.  Is that bad?  We had a baby shower and no one knew about cloth diapers. People gave us diapers plus the hospital did too.  We had twins!  It was crazy!  I do not think I was quite ready for the cloth when they came home.  They were basically pooping water and mustard seeds anyways, so it was messy.  I wanted to make sure we had our heads wrapped around everything before we started cloth diapers but, I did not want to buy any disposables.  Once we ran out of disposables, that was it.  We were going to start cloth.  We started cloth diapering when the babies were just a few weeks old.  We never bought a disposable diaper ever.” 

Kristen: “How did the diapers work on little babies?”

Joseph: “I was surprised at how small they snapped up for little babies.  Sammy’s chicken legs did not quite fit at first, but that is because she was skinny.  Remember her chicken legs?  Mason had a problem with his butt for about 2 weeks when he was in disposables.  He liked the cloth diapers better.  They made his butt less red and I oiled him up with the coconut oil.  The diapers worked a lot better than I thought when the kids put on a few pounds.  Sammy was little.  She rolled over a lot and it was tough in the beginning because she pooped all over the place.” 

Kristen: “How was cloth diapering when the babies started eating solid foods?” 

Joseph: “Solid foods make poop firmer and less like watery mustard seeds.  This is what you do.  Hold the diaper up and shake the poop right off.  The bigger they get, the easier it is.” 

Kristen: “How is it to manage illnesses with cloth diapering?” 

Joseph: “Diarrhea is really hard.  Well, it is watery, but hard to manage.  You know what I mean.  It is probably hard with disposables too.  It must be terrible with disposables.  One good thing about the cloth diapers that I can say is that they really can hold a lot of diarrhea.  Wow, the diarrhea.  Make sure you write that.  You really don’t think there is any poop in there until it hits maximum capacity and then wow.  Sometimes, it overflows and I have to make a sprint for the nearest changing area.  Then, I have to go on a scavenger hunt looking for poop in the house.  Disposable diapers I don’t think those are the same.  You know when they are wet because they gap when they are full and babies look like little gangsters walking around the house with saggy pants.  Stay dry layers are great, no saggy pants and they keep babies from getting rashes.” 

Kristen: “What is your laundry routine?” 

Joseph: “I don’t mind helping with the laundry at all.  It makes me feel more responsible. My routine is actually the best.  I use my rubber gloves and a bag and make sure I clean the diapers really well before they go into the machine.  Once I learned to dump the poop before washing the diaper, it washed much better.” 

Kristen: “How do you troubleshoot problems with cloth diapers?” 

Joseph: “I follow my wife’s lead on this.  She does the research and development.  I‘m the guy who said ‘take a plane’ and my wife says, ‘Jet Blue.’  That’s what we go with.”

Kristen: “What type or style of diaper do you prefer?” 

Joseph: “I don’t like Velcro because the kids can get Velcro off easier and there is nothing worse than cleaning poop off from behind the couch.  Leave the diaper on.  Snaps are convenient.  Cleaning poop off the couch is inconvenient.  I only like pocket diapers.  Nothing else.  Those flippy diapers (all in ones) drive me nuts and take forever to dry.  The pieces are all over the place.  The stay dry layer is great because you can leave babies in the diaper for a long time before changing them if you add extra adsorbent layers.  That’s a dirty look.  I change them frequently.  That stay dry layer keeps them DRY.”

Kristen: “Do you have advice for dads regarding cloth diapers if they are unsure?” 

Joseph: “They will save a ton of money.  You do one load of laundry every 3 days for twins.  After you baby is done with them, take the diapers and sell them or use them again on another kid.  Learn how to sew and fix them.” 

Kristen: “You learned how to sew diapers?” 

Joseph: “Fixing diapers, yes.  It is a piece of cake.  They sell these little kits.  I bought a giant spool of elastic for way cheaper at the craft store and I can fix diapers now.  I do the pocket ones and the flippy ones (all in ones).  Watching TV, I am doing nothing anyways, so I pull out the thimble.  Then, I don’t have to worry about loose diapers. After, I fix them with my wife, I can sell them for a good price or hold my kids without getting wet from pee.” 

Kristen: “Any last words?”

Joseph: “Sometimes, I come home and I see that my wife just did a whole load of diapers start to finish and she is the hero.  Other times, I do a whole load of diapers start to finish and I am the hero.  It really is a team effort.” 

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