At the time of publication we are currently enjoying the longest stretch of uninterrupted, leak-free diaper usage in the history of Trixie’s life — 318 hours, approximately 13 days. It’s taken us a long time to get here and the road has not been a dry one.
As new parents quickly discover, new babies go through a lot of diapers. They can use up to 15 a day in the first couple of weeks. In Trixie’s case, we came home from the hospital on Saturday morning, and I was at the store buying our second 40-pack on Sunday afternoon. In that first month we went through 383 diapers. It’s a large number, but that’s not the shocking part. The real issue is the number of those diapers that leaked. And for that month it was 160. Put another way, two out of every five diapers leaked on us. Or in the bed. Or on the couch. Or the crib…
Sometimes leaks cannot be avoided. No matter how well you try to fit the diaper, it’s not going work optimally until your baby gets some booty. That’s right, new babies are very bony (editor’s note: upon reading the comments, it seems that this might only apply to some babies.) Without a butt to hold the diaper in place, the pee is free to shoot anywhere and everywhere. And it did.
Fortunately, after about a month or so, the baby fat gets distributed to the right places and diapers start to fit much better. We believe this single factor accounts for the 50% decrease in leaks during the second month. We also got much better at anticipating, intercepting and changing once we had a couple hundred changes under our belt. Further working to our advantage was the rapid decrease in the daily number of diapers from an average of over 12 a day in the first month to about 6 a day currently.
So we had experience, the daily diaper counts had decreased and Trixie had a butt. Why did we still have a 20%-plus leak rate through the third month? Well, there are 2 kinds of leaks: those that occur while the baby is wearing the diaper and accidents that happen on the changing table. Our problem had shifted to the latter.
I can really only blame myself for this. Early on I had read about the horrors of diaper rash. Babies scream enough as it is; I certainly didn’t want to get her any more ammunition. As a result, I always (even now) let Trixie air out during changes in order to stave off any rashes. Was this necessary? I don’t really know. Trixie has never had any, but who can say if it’s because of the diligent air-drying. So if you see a leak spring up on the accident record, you are probably seeing a breakdown in my reflexes. It’s Trixie taking advantage of my diaper-rash-o-phobia and her love of peeing “al fresco.”
But why have the Leak Record at all? It’s fun and it gives us something to shoot for. It’s like a real addictive video game and we’re always trying to get a new high score.