When becoming a dad for the first time I never imagined I would ever be able to handle the ordeal of having to change a nappy. Unfortunately if I ever wanted to call myself a new age hands on dad I would have to get in the trenches, and that I literally did. As with most new families for me there was no compromising it was disposable all the way. Why would anyone want to make an already daunting task so much more difficult?

For a while this worked. I learnt the most important trick of always breathing through your mouth and not imagining you can taste it as well. I became an expert at ignoring the anxiety that comes just before opening a nappy and handling that fight or flight instinct that kicks in. I became professional and ready for any situation in which some I can vividly remember. I got so pro in fact, my wife made the executive decision to start using cloth.

It wasn't all at once, but was this insidious process where at first I was given an option. This worked for me, why would I care if she decides to go all environmentally aware on me.  We were sleep deprived and there was no way I was going to pick a fight. Gradually however there were less and less disposables and I was forced to make a decision, I could drive down to the shop and make a stand, or accept the fact that if I go down it's my wife's fault and I'm blaming her. 

Eventually, she took it a step further and introduced cloth wipes. This was somewhat of a disturbing prospect, but if my wife is anything she is persistent. I think the key to getting me over the line on this one was to make it as easy as possible. Having the wipes in arms reach ready to go it made the transition easy. There really wasn't any downside to using the cloth wipes. In fact, I found it was easier than the disposable wipes, with fewer wipes required making ordeal is over quicker.

Benefits for Dad

I'd be lying to say there is a lot of negatives besides some increase in washing and having to flick some poo in the toilet. The benefits however certainly outweigh the negatives. 

It saved money, literally thousands to date and still counting, keeping in mind our family has grown to 4 kids. This is even despite my wifes nappy addiction. I can't imagine how much room would be taken up in our house with disposable nappies and how quickly the bin would be overflowing.

The kids look pretty cute. I'm not usually concerned too much about how they are dressed, I'm sure my wife can detest to that.  After using cloth for a while there is just something off about see a child running around pantless in disposables. I can be lazy and ditch pants all together on a hot day and still make the children look presentable.

Finally I get to the satisfaction of doing my part in saving the environment. Not to mention fun to flaunt and act all judgy.

Though I was reluctant looking back now I would have it no other way.

Advice for Dads

If your wife is like mine it's inevitable that your wife will get her way. Below are some tips I would suggest to take in hand.

  1. Go for what you will hear referred to as AIO meaning All In One. I still don't understand the point of abbreviating this since there are 3 syllables in either variant. The reason for this is it makes it easier to change and wash so you don't have to piece together.
  2. Pay close attention to the prints. I'm not one for details nor do I care much about the different prints, but I can guarantee at some stage you will have the following conversation. Me: "Is this a new print" Partner: "No we have had that one for ages". I can guarantee this is BS and the behaviour of an addict.
  3. Finally even if it is easier then expected never let this be known and milk it for all you got.

Advice For Mums

If you're looking to convert, and want to make the change as conflict free as possible here are some tips.

  1. A big change straight up is going to warrant some push back make it subtle and a "Choice".
  2. If you are not going AIO then keep the different brands limited. I can't tell you how many times I've been called lazy because i have no idea how to put together 5 different types of nappies. They all look the same to me and I literally just create a too hard pile. The extra washing is enough to get your head around without having to match various different inserts with shells.
  3. Make it as easy as possible the more steps required the more likely your partner will give up. Remember it was as easy as pulling a nappy from a bag and putting it on. So have a box in easy reach so all they need to do is grab one.

The transition wasn't an easy one but I can say for a fact for our family no other alternative would compare.

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