Remember hearing about the Huggies Tweet Pee concept last year? As cloth diapering families, most of you reading this know that a diaper should be changed as soon as it is wet – generally every 2 1/2 hours or more often. Both cloth and disposables can be worn for naps or even 12+ hours at night, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change baby often during the day.
When we used disposables, I had no trouble telling they were wet, since they developed a “squish” any time there was measurable liquid inside (they also smelled kinda funky when wet.) Cloth isn’t as easy, so I just aim to change every 2 or so hours.
The difference is that when you change a cloth diaper, you’re not throwing money in the garbage. As much as it pains me to see a child in a swollen disposable hanging down to their knees, I also know it pains that parent to throw away a diaper that could hold “one more pee.” I really do get it.
My first thought with Tweet Pee was that hey, maybe people would actually change their babies when they were wet. However, I doubt anyone would use it if it sensed moisture immediately. They’d assume the intent was just to get them to buy more diapers if it was suddenly telling them to change baby 8 times per day when they typically only changed 4.
So I am guessing that it won’t sense the moisture until the diaper is nearly fully saturated – a point at which any parent interacting with their child should be well aware that a diaper change is required. I have seen parents do the same “squish test” only instead of changing as soon as there was any wetness, they let it go as long as the diaper wasn’t full to the point of nearly bursting.
Of course – wireless signals and any amount of voltage (no matter how “low” or “safe”) beside my child’s genitals? No thanks!
The newest gadget on the block is a USB keychain that detects wet diapers. This is a little less frightening since it is not constantly next to baby, but I still wonder how wet the diaper has to be. In the video where the device worked through jeans, the wet diaper appeared to be swollen to the point that a casual onlooker could look at the baby and know it was wet, without touching it.
My fear would be that people would change baby even less often with these devices, and I can’t help but notice how many products are being made to reduce the need to touch or interact with baby. Don’t get me wrong, I loved our cradle swing for an occasional break (when babywearing wasn’t practical, to take a shower etc.) but babies need touch and at times, new products make it seem like children are an inconvenience to be managed.
I wondered what a doctor might think of these gadgets.
“I don’t know enough about the TweetPee device or USB wet diaper detectors to make an entirely informed opinion as both still seem to be in the testing phase. From what I can gather however, the first device is radio-like in nature and transmits microwave frequencies that go directly in front of a young child’s crotch. The second device is simply placed next to the diaper to run a test. Given that, I would say that the second device would be safer than the first.
There hasn’t been enough research done to declare whether or not such exposure to a young child could increase the risk for disease. The general studies conducted regarding the connection between radio frequency exposure and things like cancer or leukemia provided no clear association, but it could not be ruled out. If there are any adverse effects, those could be exacerbated in young children simply for the fact that their bodies are still in the growing stage. All in all, I’d say it would be a good idea to avoid such devices and to simply check your kids’ diapers the old-fashioned way.” Dr. David Dragoo, Contributor at Money Crashers
I’ll stick to my cloth diapers and change them as often as I like without having to worry about the cost.
Have you had a hard time telling if a diaper (disposable or cloth) was wet? How did you check?