#8: Dad’s expectations

First time parent who wants to use cloth nappies
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Read Time:10 Minute, 38 Second

Today you get to meet Jordan, who penned his views on his impending fatherhood and expectations with using cloth nappies in the days leading up to becoming a first-time dad. Jordan wants to inspire other dads and future dads to be more involved, so we grabbed him to share his thoughts before sleeplessness was able to take a hold of him.

You’ll be able to hear the excitement in Jordan’s voice as he talks about what it means to him to be a dad and the biggest challenges he expects to face in the early days of parenthood. We’ll catch up with Jordan again in the coming months once he’s had a chance to spend some time with his new family, learn to get comfortable with poo, and work out the advice on which he is going to act. It will be so good to find out how his cloth nappy plans played out, and what his favourite nappy brand turned out to be.

Welcome, Jordan @jordanthebossdad

You’re about to become a dad – congratulations! What are you most looking forward to?

My wife Ebony and I have always loved the idea of being a ‘young’ family and have both always loved the idea of parenting together a lot. We aren’t super into gender stereotypes and gender norms – I am useless with power tools and love florals, and Eb is terrible with many traditional home chores, yet is a brilliant worker. Along with this, I have always loved the idea of being super invested in parenting – I don’t want to just helicopter in and out and go back to work, I want to be there and cherish every single moment with our children. To be honest we don’t know how it will play out, but we are so excited to be going on the journey together, and now with a beautiful child.

What does it mean to you to be a dad?

What a big question! Like, nearly any dude out there can be a dad, but it takes someone super to be a good dad. My dad was amazing, and I’m so blessed to have him as my Dad, so I am going to try and be as much like him as I can. A strong and selfless man, who would do anything for his family. I say strong, but I think our culture does have a tendency towards toxic masculinity, and being ‘strong’, whatever the cost, I want to raise our child seeing strength and love held in tension. I want them to see that strength isn’t about never having emotion, never crying, and never being vulnerable, but about supporting others’ needs, loving fiercely and passionately. I’m going to spend every day trying to be the best role model possible, and I know that I’ll stuff up but hope that I don’t do too much damage.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge of parenthood for you?

I honestly have no idea how to parent! I have all these great ideas about how I want our child to behave and learn, how I want them to interact with the world and others, but I really don’t know how to get there! But I think that is everyone. Someone once told me that no one actually ever knows what they are doing, some people are just better at pretending. This really stayed with me, I can tend to feel inadequate, and like I don’t have the qualifications and capability to do this, but actually no one does, everyone is just trying. Sure, I’m going to stuff up sometimes, everyone will, but so long as this little human knows that they are loved regardless, then I’ll classify that as success. Besides that long winded answer, I’m also pretty sure I’m going to struggle with sleeplessness and poo! I love my sleep way too much, and don’t think I will ever be ready to get less than 20 hours sleep a day. And I am not a clean freak, but poo has just never really been something I’m ‘comfortable’ with. I never liked poo jokes, never liked farts or anything like that, and find the smell so disgusting. So, bring on cloth nappies and early toilet training!

What plans do you have for managing sleeplessness/ fatigue?

Oh no! Yeah, look, that is one that as previously stated, not super ready. Any extra advice on that would be absolutely ace. But I don’t really think there is much you can do about it; you just have to try and stay positive. Our entire life and routine will change, so sleep is just part of that. I’ll say this now, and probably regret it and it will come back to bite me, but the fact that we will love this child will make it easier, and will give a purpose to the sleeplessness and fatigue which will help to deal with it.

How do you see the early days of parenthood playing out?

Ha ha, they are going to be a huge blur. We have so much information available, but there is still going to be a huge reality hit when another human is dependent on us. But we are so incredibly fortunate in our current situation. Let’s just address the elephant in the room – coronavirus. It’s such a horrible situation, and thousands of people around the world are losing their personal battle with this awful disease, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time. Eb and I have been ridiculously blessed and privileged with our personal situation though – we live in a country where, despite political views, we have a great health and financial support system. We live in a house with land, so we can go out for walks safely and easily every day. And because of lockdown, we are going to get to spend the first couple of weeks all together as a new family, which is going to be some really precious time together.

How are you handling all the advice you are being given right now?

This is one where gender stereotypes has worked in my favour. I have not been inundated with information, and instead just get to ask Ebony anything I want to know. And due to the fact that being a mum was always her childhood dream, she is a wealth of knowledge, and has scoured the internet for information, and then gotten heaps of help from others.

Why you are motivated to use cloth nappies?

There are actually so many different components into why we chose to go with cloth. The environmental impact of modern disposable nappies was just something that neither of us really loved. Babies use a lot of nappies, and we couldn’t accept the idea of using something that is harmful for the environment when there is an alternative right there that doesn’t seem to be that much harder. They are kinder to the baby’s skin, and I have sensitive skin, so our baby will probably inherit that fantastic trait from me. Also, cloth nappies are way cuter, as you can find some with much nicer patterns and fabrics than disposable nappies. And then there is the finance side as well, while cloth nappies have a larger outlay, they end up being cheaper in the long run, particularly once you start having more than one child.

Do you know anyone who already uses cloth?

We have a couple people around who use cloth, my older sister uses cloth nappies for her children, and we have a couple friends who do as well, but besides that nearly everyone else is using disposables. But we are ok with being the trend setters on this one.

Will you cloth nappies part or full time?

We are open to either option at this stage. While we would love to be able to go cloth full time, we aren’t going to beat ourselves up if we need to use some disposables. We were given a lot of disposable nappies from lovely friends and family, so we will have a stockpile that we can use sparingly when the time needs it.

From birth or later on?

We will probably spend the first couple weeks in disposables, just while we start settling into the new routine, but also want to be able to jump into cloth pretty quickly so that we haven’t fully established a routine that we then have to break anyway. Also, with lockdown at the moment, we are super fortunate to have a bit more time on our hands so will hopefully be able to use cloth earlier and more often.

What nappies do you have ready to go?

We read an article that said it is best to try a couple different brands to start off with as different people like different brands, so in our first collection we have:

  • Peapods
  • Hippybottomus
  • Baby Beehinds

And we are about to get some Bum Genius and Bare and Boho.

Which nappy do you think looks the easiest to use?

Hard to know yet, but it currently looks like a toss up between Peapods and Baby Beehinds for ease of use. The new Peapods design with elastic on the inside to adjust the size rather than the press studs looks like it will be easier to adjust, and more comfortable for the baby to wear. The Baby Beehinds with velcro looks like it will be easier to do up, which will be a huge win when dealing with a squirmer.

What other cloth accessories have you bought?

We have got a whole heap of bamboo liners, to help make tidy up easier. We also bought some extra liners for rotating, or if they are a heavy wetter. We also have a wet bag and then an amazing nappy bag from JJ Cole, which looks incredible and also super practical.

What do you think will be the easiest and hard parts of using cloth nappies?

As such we know that cloth nappies will be harder and involve a lot more work than disposable, but the positive impact outweighs the effort.

What are you looking forward to most with regards to using cloth nappies?

We’re looking forward to the super cute prints and knowing that we are playing a small part in minimising waste.

How do you think others will speak about your decision to use cloth?

A lot of people already question us about it, as it is more work and some people really struggle with that concept, but that’s ok, it’s their decision and this is ours.

What advice have you been given about using cloth nappies to date?

Have lots of wet bags (which we still need to get more of) because they mean that you can deal with the dirty nappies heaps easier with wet bags that you can just throw in the machine as well.

What do you think you still need to learn?

Is everything too much of a vague answer? Ha ha. But we will definitely need to learn how to efficiently do this for ourselves, how we will be able to store dirty nappies even just for a short time without it smelling too bad, how to get through the ever-increasing amount of washing and so much more.

How many nappies a day you think you will use?

8-12 as a complete stab.

How often you think you will need to wash?

The baby or the nappies? We will wash the baby whenever it’s dirty, and probably the same answer for the nappies! But probably have to be every couple of days.

How will you get nappies dry in winter?

We have an indoor wood heater which we will definitely be using more throughout this winter to warm the whole house and dry the increased amount of laundry. And then just try and get the clothes out when the sun is shining.

About the author

Jordan is a 25-year-old dude living near the Melbourne coast, with his wife of four years, Ebony, and their two miniature dachshunds and five alpacas. One of the couple’s dogs synched up with Ebony’s pregnancy and they are now expecting puppies and their first-born child at the same time. Jordan works a couple of jobs that he says are amazing – events coordinator at Crossway Baptist Church, after school drama teacher with 3d Arts academy, and budding freelance photographer. He says he absolutely loves travelling and adventure, and cannot wait to share heaps of incredible experiences with his growing family.

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