What were you doing 10 a.m. September 13th, 2003? We were changing Trixie’s 500th diaper. 500 diapers. Five Hundred. Trixie hit this milestone on her 44th day in this world. I shouldn’t be surprised, because I knew she was averaging more than 11 a day leading up to that point. Still, it’s shocking to see such a large number. And that number will, of course, grow into the thousands by the end of the first year. Even if she stabilizes at 6 diapers a day starting today, we are looking at 2,448 by 7/31/04. At 8 a day it will be 3,072. If the average climbs to 10 a day, it will be a mind-blowing 3,686 diapers before she even turns one year old.
You get better at changing diapers, but it’s an evolutionary struggle. She’s constantly growing and requires more milk which leads to an increase in the scale of waste. And just as a balance is struck in managing these changes, she’s grown into a new diaper size and you’re temporarily back to square one.
However, all things considered, life has gotten easier as the number of diapers that cause major laundry or clean-up problems have proportionally decreased. These “Hassle Diapers,” which can be either poopy OR wet diapers that have spilled out, can be seen leveling off when compared to the cumulative diaper totals [see above].
On a monthly scale the diaper hassle picture is constantly improving. But the “Cumulative Diaper Totals” chart is misleading because on a day-to-day basis the development hasn’t been nearly as smooth or predictable. The true on-the-ground picture of the diaper struggle is messy, erratic and random [see below]. This daily time-series reveals improvement, but details the setbacks and relapses along the way.
The trend that becomes evident in “The Diminishing Diaper Hassle” chart is that it’s not the number of diapers that matters; it’s the amount of inconvenience involved. You can change 15 diapers in one day, but if nothing leaks or spills out, it’s not that big a deal. Conversely, you could have only 5 daily diapers, but if each one explodes all over the couch, you get a little worn down. Eventually, the blue area should whittle away to nothing, marking the point that diaper duty becomes an invisible, non-issue. This almost occurred for a single day on both September 5th and 12th, when there was only 1 diaper rated “Hassle” on each day.