14,000 diapers

~ 14 November 2006 ~

Suzanne and I did the math over lunch some time ago, and we concluded that by the time our youngest son is out of diapers we’ll (read: “Suzanne will”, bless her heart) have changed more than 14,000 diapers among four boys.

I can’t even comprehend the amount of odor particles emitted from, and income dollars spent on, said diapers; “nappies” as our friends across the pond call them.

Do we even comprehend the extent to which moms bestow love upon their little ones? Yesterday as I was off saving the world with pixel and prose, the beloved wife replied to my email inquiry as to how she was holding up:

We’re doing great, the usual poop in the tub, spills on the floor, shrieking and screeching, scabs popping off and blood spurting everywhere. But we are all smiling.

Oh the unforgettable poop-in-the-tub days! Moms rock.



Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.

1   Chad ~ 14 November 2006

Four boys! I can’t imagine! I have one 2 year old girl (and another on the way) and she’s a handful. But, I don’t know what I would do without her. You are right about moms. I know I wouldn’t be able to do half what my wife does if it was just me.

Are you still in Arkansas?

2   Nate K ~ 14 November 2006

This is what I have to look forward to! hehe. My wife is due in January. We don’t know the sex of the child yet, but I have never been more excited in my life.

And, I have no doubt she will be an incredible mother - and that makes everything that much greater.

I can’t wait until January gets here.

So, you don’t do the diaper changing then?

3   Brian B ~ 14 November 2006

Cameron, My wife was out of town last weekend and I was left playing the role of Mr. Mom.

I have a new found appreciation for her. After 2 days of diapers, baths, and meal preparation I was exhausted. Feeding a baby (post bottle) takes forever.

4   dan ~ 14 November 2006

14,000! Incredible - you’ll both be sick of the sight of them! Maybe re-usable/washable nappies are the way to go: they’re 14,000 times cheaper, and create 14,000 times less non-degradable waste to fill landfill sites.
Something to think about…

5   Kim Siever ~ 14 November 2006

All I can say is that I am sure glad my son didn’t come with three others.

6   Tom ~ 14 November 2006

I, for one, welcome our poopy diaper overlords.

7   Scott Schlegel ~ 14 November 2006

I have three boys and I hear you loud and clear. We are in the middle of potty training and yesterday we managed to escape with only 3 accidents. All hail the glorious mom!

8   Amanda Kern ~ 14 November 2006

Ah, yes and did you keep track of how much all those darn diapers cost? I’d guesstimate about 8-10k.

I’ve gotta give it to you guys - sounds like you guys have got your hands full! But you’ve got to admit - through all the diapers and chaos you wouldn’t trade it for the world!

9   Natalie ~ 14 November 2006

thank you. :)

10   Dan ~ 14 November 2006

I am so glad that we, err my wife, is done with our 14K. The youngest of our 4 has been out of diapees for more than a year now. We are looking at buying a small island with all the money we have saved.

11   Russ Hempel ~ 14 November 2006

Being the one to change *most* of those 14k diapers, I sympathize with Suzanne. I have yet to experience pooping in the tub - my son just turned 1, maybe it wont ever happen!

Being a freelance designer and stay at home Dad has its challenges, but mostly it has its rewards.

12   Barbara Ballard ~ 14 November 2006

It’s that sort of math (times even 15 cents a diaper) that make even high-end cloth diapers financially worthwhile.

But let me tell you … trying to write a book, run a business, and have poop-in-the-tub days (he did it twice in the same bath!) all simultaneously is, well, challenging.

Let’s hear it for spousal support.

13   Miha ~ 14 November 2006

Hmm. Is it just you guys over the pond or is it just me? I changed diapers a lot (I have two of kids, one of them still uses them) as I also gave bath to the kids. You know, father child bonding… We also bought the cotton, washable diapers. They are easier on the skin, more ecological but also more work. We don’t use them exclusively, but IMO, it is a thing that you can do for tha planet, eh? Like separating the garbage (cans, bio waste, glass…).

14   Chris Murphy ~ 14 November 2006

Poop-in-the-tub *shudder* - I’ll be there soon - pray for me.

15   Kirk ~ 14 November 2006

God bless them indeed. Now that there’s a political shift afoot and there are people who need to prove that they’ll do things differently, I think it might be the right time to put forth a bill that gives all mothers access to any pharmaceutical ‘happy’ they want. Lord knows they deserve it.

16   Matt ~ 14 November 2006

14,000? For just four boys? I think we’re closing in on that with just our one! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge…) But, at least to me, poopy diapers are waaaay better than the newborn around-the-clock crying sessions we had for the first two months. Thank God those are over!

And moms are indeed awesome!

17   Shane Guymon ~ 14 November 2006

I encountered the poop in the tub, but it was me giving my daughter a bath and not my wife.

Fun Times!

18   Brent D ~ 14 November 2006

I don’t know how much it is considered in America or anywhere for that matter but coming from little old New Zealand it scares me the amount of waste produced byt disposable nappies. Does no one ever think of re-usable nappies? or will give our children the gift of our own laziness soiling the planet.

19   Tony ~ 14 November 2006

Brent D,
What about the chemicals used and amount of water wasted in cleansing reusable diapers? (And, if a service is used, you can throw in the transportation costs of the service’s truck.)

20   ~ 14 November 2006

Shane, does your wife normally poop in the tub when you bathe her?

Sorry, I know what you meant… :)

21   Cameron Moll ~ 14 November 2006

Are you still in Arkansas?


So, you don’t do the diaper changing then?

I’ve done a good share of diaper changing, but nowhere close to the number Suzanne has changed. I did, however, have to deal with a poop-in-tub ordeal last week while watching the boys.

But let me tell you … trying to write a book, run a business, and have poop-in-the-tub days (he did it twice in the same bath!) all simultaneously is, well, challenging.

I can only imagine what that scenario might be like :D

We are looking at buying a small island with all the money we have saved.

Ha, no kidding!

Regarding reusable diapers, I certainly agree it’s a noble cause, but in our particular case we’ve been changing diapers on at least 2 boys for about 4 years now because they’re all so close in age. That’s roughly 10-15 diapers a day and 70-100 a week. With everything the wife already does day to day, I couldn’t imagine asking her to wash 100 diapers a week.

22   Tom von S. ~ 15 November 2006

A good friend of mine has always had the desire to see, right in front of him, all the chickens he has eaten in his lifetime. (In my head I always imagined this as a giant pile of live chickens, but thinking about it now I suppose that is unrealistic since it is unlikely that live chickens are easily stacked.) Ever since I was told about the pile of live chickens I have wanted to see similar representations of things I have consumed, be it cigarrettes, booze, pizzas or soda.

Now, my little time-wasting, day-dreaming, facination-with-the-grandeur-of-life fantasy has been marred with large piles of dirty diapers and straight up poo (how much do we poo in a lifetime, after all?).

I hope you’re happy.

23   Blagoj ~ 15 November 2006

Geez… Four boys!!! Thats hard to picture. We have 21-month-old son, and another one on the way. We just started with potty training. I’ll put it in very simple words ‘NOT EASY’, but comparing to you, Cameron, peace of cake. The good thing is we agreed mom to stay at home, no work, and be a stay-at-home mom… Duhh!

You gotta love diapers, even if they cost a lot. Imagine the smell using something else. I meant like cloth diapers, like in the old days.

Hooray for wives and diapers!

24   Swede ~ 15 November 2006

Everyone talks about moms and wifes… are we really still left in the age where women are supposed to do all this work? It’s seems like that according to the comments here (except #13 Miha).

25   Cameron Moll ~ 15 November 2006

are we really still left in the age where women are supposed to do all this work?

Of course not. Again, keep in mind I’m writing this from my perspective, where Mom is a stay-at-home mom and Dad changes diapers when he’s around and able to help out.

26   Quest ~ 15 November 2006

Now poop in the tub brings back so many wonderful memories for me, not. My wife volunteered me for the poop in the tube duty all the time. She couldn’t quite stand it, so since I have the stronger stomach I was chosen to spring into action and clear the tub of the opposing poop. Wow, what a humbling experience, but it really shows how much we love our kids. Our boys are both in high school now, so those days are far behind, thank God. Thanks for the reminder about how precious moms really are and how even poop in the tube can’t stop us from being great parents.

27   Steve ~ 15 November 2006

Yay for the cloth diapers. We used them 85% of the time with our two kids and they’re great. We used disposables when we traveled mostly. Sure, you spend some $$$ on the water bill, but at least you’re keeping the others out of a landfill. Plus, even when buying disposables, don’t go for the big name brands. Go to Target or Walmart and get their store brands. just as good for half the price.

Plus, as a dad, I pride myself and doing my share of the diapers. I do the baths everynight and breakfast every morning before I go to work. Plus I get up in the middle of the night for glasses of water and post-nightmare soothings. My wife is a full time mom and I like to have as much rest as possible. she deserves it.

28   Chris Dixon ~ 15 November 2006

My wife sent me this SMS last night while I was at a band rehearsal; “Zac is sleeping beautifully, enjoyed his orange and his bath”… Moments to live for.

On the nappies. Where I am from, we are experienceing the worst drought in 150 years, so it becomes, not an issue of how much the water to wash cloth nappies costs, but how much water is left. Different strokes, I guess.

29   Jessica ~ 15 November 2006

Poop in the tub = one less poopy diaper to change. I don’t mind it really. My little girl usually saves it until the water is gone or until she has a chance to squat on the bathroom floor before getting dried off. Gross, but cute, too.

30   John Dilworth ~ 16 November 2006

Keep that statistic handy. I’m sure it will come in useful the day that you’ll need those boys to change your diapers.

31   Thomas Bowcut ~ 16 November 2006

Way to give credit to all those hard working and too often under appreciated Moms out there! I know that my wife puts in a full days work just keeping up with our one little boy. Hopefully it gets easier with experience. Four boys would be great, but man that is a lot of diapers!

32   Kevin Futter ~ 18 November 2006

We call them ‘nappies’ down here in Australia too. (Perhaps it’s actually only you guys hanging around the North American continent who use the term ‘diapers’.) Do you mean to say that not a single one of those 14,000 was yours?

33   Kevin Futter ~ 18 November 2006

Sorry - posted before reading the comments! I see you’re an old hand Cameron with the niaper, er dappy, er, heck - you know, changing the wearable toilets!

34   karl ~ 28 November 2006

thats a lot of nappies, we have a two year old still in nappies & a three year old in nappies at night.
we ahve three girls in all (5,3&2) & my lovely wife is also 28 weeks pregnant i think all you mums are great at how you all cope with the kids & nappy changing etc, yes i do help when home.
one thing she wont do,is change mine

35   Jenny ~ 27 December 2006

That’s a lot-o-diapers! Kudos to mom for all the diaper changing. And for the newest eco-friendly diaper on the block, check out:

36   n [url=http://by_chesney_from_had_hello_kenny.pharma1.info/chesney_from_had_hello_kenny.html]chesne ~ 10 January 2007

n [url=http://by_chesney_from_had_hello_kenny.pharma1.info/chesney_from_had_hello_kenny.html]chesney from had hello kenny[/url]
[url=http://3_phase_electric.pharma1.info/3_phase_electric.html]3 phase electric[/url]
[url=http://best_buy_car_new_time_year.pharma1.info/best_buy_car_new_time_year.html]best buy car new time year[/url]
[url=http://21st_birthday_tiara.pharma1.info/21st_birthday_tiara.html]21st birthday tiara[/url]
[url=http://by_chesney_from_had_hello_kenny.pharma1.info/chesney_had_hello_kenny_lyric.html]chesney had hello kenny lyric[/url]
[url=http://calculus_1.pharma1.info/complete_solution_guide_volume_1_for_calculus.html]complete solution guide volume 1 for calculus[/url]
[url=http://engine_flickr_google_image_picture_search_yahoo.pharma1.info/engine_flickr_google_image_picture_search_yahoo.html]engine flickr google image picture search yahoo[/url]
[url=http://d_day_soldier.pharma1.info/d_day_soldier.html]d day soldier[/url]
[url=http://consolidation_debt_get_loan.pharma1.info/consolidation_debt_get_loan.html]consolidation debt get loan[/url]
[url=http://vantage_pro_weather_station.pharma1.info/vantage_pro_weather_station.html]vantage pro weather station[/url]

37   DadEO ~ 06 April 2007

This is a great segment on Baby Bathtime and the infamous Poop in the Tub from DadLabs.com:

It’s Hilarious!


Authentic Boredom is the platitudinous web home of Cameron Moll, designer, author, and speaker. More…

Come in, we're hiring

Full-time and freelance job opportunities. Post a job...

...view all jobs »


A selection of fine reading, available for a limited time only:

In Print

CSS Mastery CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standard Solutions A solid round-up of indispensable CSS design techniques by Andy Budd, Simon Collison, and Cameron Moll.

Mobile Web Design Mobile Web Design A guide to publishing web content beyond the desktop. Tips, methodology, and resources. Now available.


Letterpress Posters Letterpress Posters The unassuming beauty of a freshly letterpressed print.

Wicked Worn That Wicked Worn Look. Techniques for that worn, aged, distressed look.

Mister Retro Mister Retro Machine Wash Filters Turn the dial to “Instaworn” with these filters.

Blinksale Blinksale Dive in and enjoy shamelessly easy invoicing from Firewheel Design.

Basecamp Basecamp My preferred web app for internal and client project collaboration.


HOW Conference HOW Conference Austin, June 24–27. Pentagram, Adobe, P&G, et al.

Web Design World Web Design World Seattle, July 20–22. Practical sessions on web design.

An Event Apart Stimulate Salt Lake City, September 2009. Entrepreneurship and design conference.

Feed Me
Articles: RSS
Linkage: RSS

Follow me: Twitter