Category Archives: Parenting

Cloth or disposable diapers: The debate today

Mothers still have to choose between cloth and disposable diapers.  And the decision that’s right for one mother isn’t necessarily right for another.
  •  Cloth diapers were the only choice, and the only decision was which cute little diaper pins to use.
  • That all changed with Marion Donovan’s invention of the disposable diaper in 1961, when the great debate between proponents of disposable and cloth diapers began.
  • Today’s cloth diaper is not the same cloth square folded into a neat little triangle and pinned at the hips. Modern cloth diapers are available with Velcro strips to replace the pins, and in new shapes. The cloth diapers found today are now little more than absorbent pads placed inside a leak-proof cover.
  • Today, cloth diapers are come in a wide range of styles and use Velcro closures on their colorful covers.
  • The pads are much more absorbent than traditional soft cotton diapers, using multi-layered fiber-filled strips, not unlike feminine hygiene pads.

For Cloth Diapers

  • The two main arguments that proponents of cloth diapers use are cost and environmental friendliness. While the initial layout for cloth diapers is high, since they are reusable, the cost evens out after time. While they make one-size adjustable cloth diapers, many parents prefer to purchase diapers sized for each stage of their growing baby.
  • There is also the added cost of cleaning, including of detergent and running the washer and dryer. Factoring the cost of using cloth diapers must include variables such as the size of a typical laundry load, the cost and type of detergent used, the number of steps gone through to clean and sanitize the diapers, and the efficiency of the washing machine and dryer.
  • There is also some variability in the cost of the diapers themselves based on quality. Higher quality diapers last longer and withstand a greater number of washes, but are more expensive initially. Cheaper diapers might be less absorbent and last for a shorter amount of time.
  • If planning on using cloth diapers for multiple children, higher quality diapers will last longer and may be more cost effective over time
  • Proponents also point to the reusability of cloth diapers as evidence that they are more environmentally friendly. There is less waste going into a landfill, and when their useful life is past, cloth diapers are biodegradable.


Against Cloth Diapers

  •  There are energy costs to washing and drying cloth diapers, and waste-water treatment also has an energy cost. On top of that is the environmental impact of pollutants, such as detergents, in the wastewater.
  • Disposable diapers are everywhere. However, in their attempts to make diapers leak proof, ultra-absorbent, sensitive-skin friendly, and economical, manufacturers have created a product that will preserve the memory of your child’s baby-hood by preserving their poop in landfills for centuries to come.
  • Disposable diaper companies have tried to satisfy consumer demands by making a diaper for almost every conceivable concern.
  •  They come in sizes from newborn through toddler.
  • From sensitive skin to superior leak protection, diapers for newborns, crawlers and walkers, swim diapers, disposable diapers with lines on the surface that change color when wet or that resemble big boy/girl underpants, there are disposable diapers for almost every conceivable need.
  • The most obvious benefit is their convenience and their availability.
  • Disposable diapers are just that: disposable. And so some manufacturers are attempting to address environmental concerns with biodegradable diapers.
  • Biodegradable diapers are designed to start breaking down once they enter a landfill. They are designed to address the environmental concerns associated with traditional disposable diapers while still providing the convenience that is the key reason people choose disposables. But one parent noted, “they start biodegrading on the baby!” That could be a problem if you wait too long to change a particularly wet diaper.
  • Biodegradable diapers do tend to be more expensive than their non-biodegradable counterparts. 


Child care bills rising faster than income

  • Study shows child care costs jumped 7 percent from 2004 to 2010, while wages stayed flat
  • Child care takes a much bigger slice out of the family budget than before.
  •  Single parents took the hardest hit, with child care outpacing income by 14 percent.

“The issue of affordability is huge,” said Bobbie Weber, OSU researcher and co-author of the report. “Families are facing serious challenges and they want to do the right thing for their children, but faced with these unbearable costs, they do what they can to make it work.”

  • Child care averaged $10,392 annually per family in Oregon. Washington County ranked most expensive with an average price tag of $11,880.
  • In rural counties, such as Umatilla and Morrow, costs were lower. In Umatilla County, parents paid an average of $6,360 per year, and in Morrow County, $5,188.
  • The report also suggested that more low-income parents rely on relatives and friends to look after their children for free. The number of parents who reported using paid care dropped 7 percent since 2004.
  • Quality of overall child care appears to have decreased. About 19 percent of parents said their children didn’t feel safe and secure at their day care facility and 46 percent said their children’s situations were less than ideal.

“The cost of getting quality care and education is not possible for many Oregonians, including many in the middle class,” Weber said.

2011: Stories That Changed the Way We Parent Now

Stories that have been popular in 2011 in regards to parents such as the gender-neutral Parenting and the digital classroom – which are both, reacting to the changing trends in society.

  •  Parenting-related topics led Facebook’s most shared list
  • Gender-Neutral Parenting  From the parents in Toronto who are raising their child, Storm, withour revealing teh baby’s sex to the proliferation of parents accepting their boys desire for tutus and their grils fro a mohawk gender-neutral, gender-free and gender choice dominated many conversations about parenting this year.
  • The Digital Classroom: All year, Times reporters have been grading teh digital school with articles looking at the value of technology in the classroom. At best, results have been mixed. For every creative and laudable use of software or gadgets, there’s research reflecting limited success. We asked if a tablet computer for babies was really the worst toy of 2011, and in nearly the same breath considered apps for autistic children, educations apps for 3 year olds and apps for travelling. We’re unsure about how we should, as a society, bring technology into the lives of all children. I wrote here  in November that “digital schooling” seems to mean two different things for two different classes of student. I suspect the benefits are falling across the usual divide: “virtual schools that supplement active students and families learning at home, and virtual schools that substitute for active students learning with teachers in schools.” Many of you agreed. When we see schools, whether or not our children are enrolled in them, investing limited resources on unproven tools, we worry. There’s no doubt we’ll be talking about technology and education into 2012 and beyond.

Why Books Are Better than e-Books for Children

An article in relation to old methods vs. technology with the difference between books and e-books and how children’s reading is better when read to by a parents as the parent interacts with the child while reading as well allows the child to understand the book more clearly listening to their parents and can understand it more. Compared with an e-reader that reads to the child.

  •  The answer, according to Lisa Guernsey of the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative, is that when we read with a child on an e-reader, we may actually impede our child’s ability to learn.
  • Ms. Guernsey interpreted recent research on childhood literacy for Time magazine, and found that parents interact differently with children over an e-reader than over a physical book.
  • That difference may make children slower to read and comprehend a story.
  • Children sitting with a parent while an e-reader reads to them understand significantly less of what’s read than those hearing a parent read
  • Researchers at Temple University, where the study was done, noted that parents reading books aloud regularly asked children questions about the book: “What do you think will happen next?” Parents sitting with the child while a device read to them (like a LeapPad or some iPad apps) didn’t ask these questions, or relate images or incidents in the book to the child’s real life.
  • Children whose parents talk to them about what they’re reading gain reading skills faster, but children reading with parents from digital rather than physical books aren’t getting as much of that kind of interaction.

Do Working Moms Really Prefer Part-Time Jobs?

Some good information in regards to mothers working, childcare and family life with children


  • The less affluent and educated you are, the more likely you are to divorce
  • The more debt you have, and the more day-to-day worries about money, the less likely you are to describe yourself as “very happy” in your marriage (I recognize that this is not a surprising statistic). If you’d prefer to work “part time” but find yourself instead working “full time,” then women, especially, are significantly more likely to be unhappy with their marriage (and presumably with life in general).
  • Both men and women want flexibility in the workplace to support our family lives
  • United States, in 2008, 49 percent of employed men with families reported experiencing work-family conflict (up from 34 percent in 1977).
  • workplace flexibility is just as important to the job satisfaction of low-wage employees as it is to high earners, and just as feasible, albeit in different ways.
  • culture of flexibility appears to be stagnating,” with little growth and fears among employees that taking advantage of flexibility that’s offered will interfere with their employment.
  • In the absence of workplace flexibility, the one way to guarantee that a job will allow you to meet the demands of family life is simple: work fewer hours.
  • issues of available, affordable child care, health care, safe housing and even healthy school meal programs.
  • With those things, the need for shorter hours wanes.
  • Of parents who want to work, do more moms than dads really want to work part time? Or have women just accepted a reality that working fewer hours in the absence of true workplace flexibility for both parents is more conducive to a smooth family life? Would fewer work hours make you happier, or is it the flexibility of the hours that counts?

Group to support new mothers

  • “Families are more isolated now from their extended families. Therefore, women have less emotional and social support, and they behave in the realm of normal and yell at their kids or feel overwhelmed or have days when they don’t enjoy being a mother. They feel there is something wrong with them when it’s actually a normal experience.”
  • “In our society, there is a lot of shame in admitting that we’re struggling and some women fear that they will be judged unfit as a parent,” she said. “I think we need to demystify what it means to be a mother and what it means to be a good mother vs. a perfect mother,”
  • “One major aspect of becoming a parent is realizing all our relationships are defined differently whether it’s our friendships, our partners, our extended families,” Dosher said. “It’s important for women to derive meaning in their life, because it’s not just about being a mother. It means having other components, and they need to explore who they want to be.”

The parenting gap: why French mothers prefer to use the firm smack of authority

  •  First British women came under attack for being chubbier and less chic than their stylish Gallic sisters. Now another critical salvo has been fired across the Channel, this time over our ability to bring up well-behaved children.
  • In her book French Children Don’t Throw Food, out this month, American mother-of-three Pamela Druckerman, who lives in Paris, asks how the French manage to raise children who, unlike many of their US or British counterparts, sleep through the night at two months, are not picky eaters, do not throw tantrums in the supermarket and go to bed without making a fuss, while their mothers “continue looking so cool and sexy”.
  • “What British parent hasn’t noticed, on visiting France, how well behaved French children are, compared to our own
  • Friends in London admire our children’s faultless script – they learn to use fountain pens in the first year of primary school – but are horrified when told that the neighbours’ six-year-old was declared “nul” – useless – by his teacher and marked down, even when giving the correct answer, because their ornate, loopy, joined-up handwriting was not up to scratch.