Hold Me, Daddy

Pocket Cloth Diaper

What is the most likely cloth diaper for a father to reach for? How do fathers approach diapering in general?

When Nature Mom asked for help determining what Dad’s approach to cloth diapering, one tweeting father wrote, “What do you mean what’s my approach? Why should it be any different than a woman’s approach?” Well, thank you for asking. Since the male brain and the female brain are quite different (nature) and males and females are most often culturally conditioned to be different (nurture), it would make sense if we were to find differences in approach to the simple act of diapering. With such different sensitivities to touch, for example, I would wonder whether men and women would look for different textures in diapers.

But, we didn’t go that far. We made a completely unscientific survey of friends and Facebookers over the past several days. The results lead me to believe that there are a couple of distinct ways fathers approach diapers.

What is Dad’s favorite diaper?

FuzziBunz one size diaper

Among the women on Facebook reporting on their husbands’ diaper preferences, all but a couple said that dad’s favorite diapers are pocket diapers, with bumGenius as the clear front runner. Among the reasons for choosing bumGenius were “fit and containment.” One father prefers Fuzzi Bunz because the insert goes in so far that he doesn’t have to touch much when he takes it off. This same father also prefers Fuzzi Bunz because he likes snaps.

Preferred diaper closure. Closure came up for several. Some specifically like Aplix (hook and loop), while others specifically like snaps. One wants the diaper and the cover to have opposite closures, so he likes a snap diaper with Aplix cover. My husband wants no closure on the diaper and snaps on the cover. That leaves me with absolutely nothing conclusive to say about closure except that preferences vary.

Cotton and Wool. Out of 12 who responded to the question, three mentioned that they like cotton diapers and wool covers. One likes them because they are easy, and he looks for natural fibers.

My lovely oddball. My husband also mentioned cotton diapers and wool cover, and he prefers natural fibers, but he is the oddball in his reasoning.

This is where the biggest difference in approach becomes apparent. Most of the fathers are looking for diapers that solve problems. My husband wanted a diaper that would allow HIM to solve the problem.

My husband prefers flat diapers the same size as prefolds. Our first diapers were terry on one side and flannel on the other. Even after many years of trying other styles, he still went back to these. He said that folding cloth diapers is like origami. He wants to stand back and assess the current situation then engineer a specific solution.

Another way his answer differed was that he prefers no closure at all on diapers. He never used pins or Snappis. He found them too limiting. He just used the snugness of a stretchy wool cover and a snap-under T-shirt to make sure the diaper stayed up.

Cloth diaper laundry. We didn’t ask about washing, but a couple of people mentioned washing. One woman said her husband doesn’t mind what diapers he uses “so long as I deal with the dirty laundry part.” In my family, my husband always did the diaper laundry, and he specifically said that AIO diapers were his least favorite because of the difficulty in getting them completely clean. There were too many crevices and blind seams where waste or pilled fabric accumulated. Again, he was looking at how he could solve the problems he was presented with. His job was clean diapers on healthy baby bottoms, so he worked backward to find his solution.

Non-diapering husbands. I thought I would hear more women say that their husbands didn’t do the diapering, but there was only one of twelve who said, “My husbands approach is to let me do it.” For the most part, fathers do their part in diapering. It isn’t clear to me whether fathers diaper differently than mothers, but that doesn’t matter so much. For now, I just have two loose conclusions.

1. So, the two main approaches I saw were those fathers looking for problem-solving diapers and those fathers (or, really, that father) looking for diapers with which to solve problems.

bumGenius pocket cloth diapers

2. Dads’ favorite diaper is clearly a pocket diaper, a bumGenius pocket diaper, but there are a few others who still go for cotton and wool.

Results from 12 responses:

  • 8 like pocket diapers
  • 5 like bumGenius pocket diapers
  • 3 like Aplix on covers or all-in-one diapers
  • 2 like snaps on covers or all-in-one diapers
  • 2 like fitted diapers with wool covers
  • 1 likes flat diapers with wool covers
  • 1 doesn’t do the diapering at all
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