Have you ever faced nappy judgment? It might go something like this:
You: “Oh, you’ve just had a baby! You look great. I have a two month old at home.”
Other mum: “That’s lovely. My Johnny is three weeks today. It’s hard work isn’t it.”
You: “It really is. You can never be fully prepared. The lack of sleep is tiresome.”
Other mum: “Tell me about it. Johnny is always hungry and I spend forever changing nappies.”
You: “Actually, the nappy brand I use is great! Nothing leaks and I go through as few nappies as possible.”
Other mum: “Oh…well I use cloth nappies.” *(casual eye roll)* “I started out using organic disposables but the thought of all the landfills… it killed me. Did you know that around 2.5 billion nappies are thrown away in the UK each year (about 7 million a day), which accounts for 2.4 per cent of all household waste. Reusables are much better for the environment.” *(expectant stare)*
You: “Uh… I hadn’t really thought about that. Thanks for the lecture ehem information. EXIT CONVERSATION.
The judgment is all in the ’how can you be so inconsiderate’ tone. Whilst ‘other mum’ has a very valid point, ‘you’ probably already knew that and have made the choice of disposables for a number of probably equally valid reasons.
I have used all of the above; regular disposables, organic disposables and reusables. If I find myself in a situation where a little ‘nappy judgment’ is going on, I just say that I have tried reusables and I found that in my experience they leak easily and are not at all absorbent, which is both annoying and time consuming. I try to use organic disposables but budget doesn’t always allow for it.
Nappy judgment also works the other way around. Some ‘other mums’ are totally grossed out by the whole cloth nappy thing, which does involve a little more ‘gross work’ – throwing away pooey liners, rinsing soiled outers , soaking and then washing. In this instance the nappy judgment can come across in a ‘how engage in an activity so filthy when there is an easy way out’ kind of tone.
Okay – so I may be exaggerating for effect. That said; nappy judgment is real but it’s probably a bit more subtle.
It’s all pretty hilarious. I love that we have such strong opinions on such things as nappies, dummies, feeding… pretty much all things baby. And the reason I love it is because the resultant attitudes and ‘casual’ debates can be greatly entertaining. When we become parents, nothing is trivial anymore!
Should we have to defend our nappy choices?