Why is it that as soon as we become parents, our conversations start revolving around baby dance classes, sleep (or lack of it) and poo?
Before I had kids dancing was an activity confined to a Saturday night after copious amounts of fizzy wine. Now I think nothing of dragging my arse out of bed for a 10am Funky Feet class where I’ll sing and dance to The Wheels On The Bus with hordes of other sleep-deprived parents.
Pre-children I’d never have dreamt about discussing poo, or any toilet-related topic for that matter, with anyone other than a medical professional. Now barely a day goes by when I’m not swapping notes about my sons’ motions with my partner, nursery staff or mummy friends.
I used to write a weekly parenting column in the Hull Daily Mail, and over the course of four years the feature that sparked the most feedback – by a country mile – was one about nappies.
A quick poll revealed just under half of parents swore by Pampers. The rest sang the praises of own-brands, with Asda, Tesco and Morrisons leading the pack.
But the best piece of advice came from a reader who suggested it didn’t really matter what brand I went for, because at the end of the day no nappy on earth can hold back a ‘poonami’ (- her apt description of those explosive poos that end up EVERYWHERE). That was enough to convince me to downgrade to own-brands.
Parents have become accidental oracles on all things nappy-related. Which is why I wasn’t surprised to see celeb mum Sam Faiers receiving a bit of stick on Instagram after saying she’d turned to Huggies Pull Ups as part of her son’s potty-training regime (click here if you missed it ).
Critics were quick to claim Pull Ups would “confuse” Baby Paul, with some suggesting it would be best to let her toddler go nappy-free until he mastered using the potty (which from my experience results in lots of wet floors and crap-stained cushions).
The criticism was vastly outweighed by followers telling the former TOWIE star to do what worked best for her, but it did make me wonder why nappies are the topic du jour in parenting circles? I don’t consult my best friend about what pants I should be wearing. That would be weird. So why do we treat babies’ bottoms with a one-size-fits-all approach?
As a mum to two young boys, I’m totally with Sam Faiers on this one; I think Pull Ups/Easy Ups/Easy Ons/Anything that doesn’t come with sticky tabs are the cats pajamas. This isn’t because I believe they help with potty training – my eldest son would happily use his potty, until I put a Huggies Pull Up on him, at which point he would deposit his waste in there instead.
But as soon as your child reaches a certain age, they are soooo much easier than traditional nappies. It’s bad enough trying to get a wriggly baby to lay still on their changing mat; as soon as they progress to crawling, walking or running then faffing about with sticky tabs becomes a tedious, pointless exercise.
And it would appear the Instagram brigade are not the only critics of training pants. When I picked up my 18-month-old, Bear, from nursery this week his key worker asked me if I could take in some different nappies. I was taken aback, because the ones I had supplied them with were the ‘real’ deal. They were Pampers.
I should point out I never usually buy Pampers. I did with Eric (three and a half), because as my first-born, money was no object and only the best would do for his delicate derriere. By the time Bear (aka Second Child) crashed into our lives, I’d started to care less about what kept his crap in check and downgraded to own-brands.
The only reason I bought Pampers on this occasion was because they were half price in Tesco. When I asked my son’s key worker what the issue was, it turned out it had nothing to do with brand. Instead, it was because I’d supplied Pampers Easy Ups. She claimed those fasten-at-the-sides nappies are much more effective when it comes to preventing leaky poos; pant-style nappies just don’t cut the mustard, apparently.
So if you’re looking for ease, I’d say go with Pull Ups/Easy Ups/pant-style nappies. If your baby has a tendency towards explosive poos, go for the adjustable sticky tabbed ones. Either way, the brand seems largely irrelevant.
And if you’re after an easy life, don’t post your choice on social media, because there’ll always be someone ready to tell you that you don’t know sh*t about dealing with your own baby’s sh*t.