Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Challenging Gender Roles with Cloth Diapers


My Son (L) and My Daughter (R) in Fluffy Saurus
If you’re like me, cloth diapering with two kids in diapers means using whichever shell is clean on whichever child needs a diaper change.  Even doing laundry every day or two, some of your favorite shells (hello Arthur and Juliet) are bound to be dirty around half of the time.  Chances are, whether you intend to or not, sooner or later your little princess will be wearing Fluffysaurus Rex, and your little prince will be wearing Love Blossom.

While this may be accidental at times, I’d like to make a case for using diapers on your kids that don’t fit into traditional gender roles.  Remember, challenging gender roles doesn’t always mean putting a “girly” diaper on a boy, or vice versa, but rather allowing your favorite diapers of any color and print to make your children look great.

My son’s favorite diaper is Rainbow Connections; the colors and stars excite him, and he asks for it consistently.  And while my daughter certainly enjoys Juliet, she also loves the little red dragon on the Arthur print.  They are both noticeably happy when they see those prints, and love wearing them around the house, or out to the park.  There’s no rule that says girls can’t like dinosaurs, or that boys don’t like flowers: if it makes my babies happy, I’m happy.

My son in Hearts
Not only is it more convenient to swap diaper prints (no more sorting the laundry for boy and girl diaper shells!), but it teaches your kids from an early age that there are no limits to the things they can enjoy.  It frees them from the sorts of constraints offered in Toy departments, where the “girl” aisle is clearly defined by dolls and cascades of pinks and purples, and the “boy” aisle consists of robots, trucks, and superheroes, predominantly in bright primary colors.

On a more practical note, perhaps cloth diapering on a budget means you rely on Buy-Sell-Trade groups, and keep your eyes out for bargains and sales from your favorite retailers.  If you don’t mind which colors and patterns decorate your kids’ bums, you can cloth diaper without hurting your wallet.  Even if money is not a concern, denying typical gender and color expectations allows you to then be excited about every print as it is released, regardless of the gender of your kids, or the color or design on the print.


From a sociological perspective, it is good for children to feel empowered and safe in their homes, and while allowing them to choose any cloth diaper print regardless of gender relation may seem like a small thing, in raising children the small things often have the greatest impact.  By taking this small action, you are telling your children that it is ok to be excited about things they love, that you support them no matter what they decide to love, and, in a way that is not so small for your little ones, you make their world a happier, more colorful, and less constrained space.


-Keely E. 
Momma of 2
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4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading this Keely. Love how you've written it too πŸ‘πŸ»

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  2. Love these diapers! They fit my son from birth really well and just keep getting better! bambo luiers

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