Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reducing Our Debt, One Diaper at a Time

My wife and I live fairly frugal lives, which is helping us in our attack on eliminating our debt. So far we have paid off our car debt 3 years early and are working towards getting rid of our student loan debt in the next 2 years. (If you want some good advice on how to get out from under your mountain of debt, I'd recommend dropping by DaveRamsey.com for starters.)

Obviously, trying to get out of debt and having our first child at the same time would probably not be the ideal way to go about things, but here we are pressing on and living on the cheap as much as possible. With a little mouth to feed and small body to clothe, some things are just plain expensive. Recently, Lisa has begun making some of the baby food at home, which has saved us a bunch of money.

One other way we try to save money is when we purchase diapers. When Lydia came home from the hospital, we tried using cloth diapers for a couple of weeks. While we were fairly pleased with this endeavor, we quickly realized that this method of diapering was not very travel friendly. I mean, what do you do with all the diapers when you are out of state for a week? So we switched to disposable diapers for our Christmas trip to Michigan and decided on our way home that the cloth diapers had to go.

Since that time, we have been purchasing disposable diapers and have been enjoying their convenience and wicking ability. We primarily have been purchasing the "Up and Up" Target brand disposables and have been really pleased with them. They were cheap, strong, absorbent and didn't leak very often for us at all.

A month ago, Lisa and I were at Walmart buying some baby food and other various necessities and we needed some diapers, so we grabbed a pack of the "Parent's Choice" Walmart brand disposables and tossed them into the cart. This is a mistake that will not ever be repeated in our house. Since I noticed last night that our stack of these diapers is almost gone, I am celebrating this fact today by informing you all of the nightmare you are signing up for if you ever purchase "Parent's Choice" diapers for your little one.

To say that these diapers do not fit well is kind of an understatement. It would be a bad thing if they were tight around the legs and loose around the waist or vice versa. The reality extends much farther than that. In fact, these diapers are lose in the legs and do not fit around the waist well at all. This dastardly combination inevitably leads to having huge problems keeping all of your sweet baby's "presents" wrapped and under cover.

In addition to any smelly mess that might come from this powerful tag-team of inability to contain anything solid is the diaper's seeming refusal to hold much more than a few ounces of liquid in its "absorbent" fabric construction. This soggy development will undoubtedly lead to numerous opportunities to see how fast you can not only change your baby's entire outfit but also the crib sheet as well. I understand that a baby might overwhelm a diaper from time to time and I won't hold the rare failure to retain against any brand of diaper. However, when you have to change your child's outfit every other time you have to change a diaper, it can begin to seem like a pattern. And when you have to change your little girl's crib sheets twice in a day because her cheap little diaper wouldn't keep her rear end dry let alone the rest of her outfit and crib safe from the moisture, then you will find yourself feeling something akin to how I felt yesterday afternoon.

I do not want to be unclear in this at all. I know that I am not buying the highest quality of diaper for my child to scoot around on and some of you might try to shame me for it. Talk to me in 6 years when my kid is doing fine in school and we are debt free and able to go on some really fun vacations - at that point I am sure Lydia will forgive me for wrapping her tush in cheap diapers.

A cheap diaper does not need to be a poorly designed diaper. Whoever thought that the idea of having the Velcro tab come already attached to the back of the diaper has either never actually changed a diaper when a child is screaming or just plain hates parents. There is no good reason for why the diaper is designed in such a way. It causes you to first open up the diaper in its entirety and then attempt to unlatch the Velcro so that it won't be stuck under the baby's rear end when you slide the diaper up under them. I found that most of the time these best laid plans fall short of flawless execution and I end up having to go hunting for the Velcro tab that is now attached to the back of the diaper somewhere behind my little girl. It also seems that the tab lengths can vary a bit from diaper to diaper, which really makes it hard to get used to the insanity of the design and packaging.

So, the moral of this long tale is this: Buying cheap diapers is fine, but don't buy "Parent's Choice" diapers from Walmart. Unlike some people, I do not believe Walmart is the devil or anything like that. However, I do believe that whoever designed the "Parent's Choice" diapers for Walmart may very well indeed be the spawn of Satan or one of his minions.

Thankfully, we are almost finished using these little white misshapen nightmares. I'm looking forward to getting back to using the "Up and Up" Target brand diapers almost as much as I was looking forward to using the disposable diapers over the cloth diapers.

It's okay for us to be cheap and save money and work on reducing our debt. In fact, that's a great thing to be trying to do, especially in the current economy. However, I beg you to learn from our mistake: Do not use the "Parent's Choice" diapers from Walmart. It's not worth your time, frustration and numerous laundry loads that will result from attempting to use this diaper for what it will supposedly do. If you need a cheap, solid, practical disposable diaper, I'd recommend using the "Up and Up" Target brand.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it ironic that such lousy diapers are called "Parents' Choice"? What a way to remind parents that they made a poor choice in diapers.

    Target's rock, and so do Luvs.