The New York Times, And Parenting, Jump The Shark Simultaneously

From the nation’s paper of record: Baby’s Latest: Going Diaperless

And, sadly, this is not from The Onion.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    That is admittedly extreme. BUT, the terrible phenomenon where we keep kids in diapers until 3 or 4 or even later is almost entirely an American epidemic. And it’s mostly because diaper companies in the 50s tried to convince people that potty training was psychologically damaging to children. My mom still believe that horseshit.

  2. Franklin says:

    Oh, and by the way, that paragraph at the end that acknowledges that they wouldn’t go so far as to let their kid poop on the sidewalk walking down 5th Avenue … from my understanding, that’s *exactly* what they used to do in some parts of China. The toddlers would wear special pants that opened just for pooping.

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    This is pretty absurd. My wife and I used a diaper service and rarely used the paper type although that is expensive and not an option for many. The paper ones disposed of in the garbage may actually be illegal in many states since it is against the law to dispose of human waste in a land fill.

  4. @Franklin:

    Okay, admittedly, keeping kids in diapers until they are 3 or 4 is just as bizarre IMO.

  5. @Ron Beasley:

    I was born in 68 which I guess was just at the beginning of the disposable diaper era. Apparently, it was all cloth diapers in my house. I have no personal recollection.

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I was born in 46 and I don’t really remember either but I doubt there were any disposables back then. My oldest son was born in 72 and they had just started pushing the disposables – as I recall we got a free package when we left the hospital. By 75 when my youngest was born they were all the rage but my wife and I resisted but we were fortunate enough to be able to afford the diaper service.
    It’s all about marketing – many of the consumer products we have today would have never taken off without TV. We didn’t know we needed deodorant until there was deodorant to sell and TV to convince us we we stank. I remember when I was in the 7th of 8th grade we watched a film, from a trade industry I’m sure, reminding us that now that we were adults we would smell bad without deodorant.
    I lived in Germany from 68 until late 71 and since they did not have much TV advertisement they had not gotten the message on deodorant. It took me about 3 days to get used to it and I never noticed it again.

  7. @Ron Beasley:

    Dude, in any case we can both remember not being forced to crap into a bowl by faux hippies.

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Indeed, my wife and I were real hippies. Her doctor had her smoke marijuana for morning sickness.

  9. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Okay, admittedly, keeping kids in diapers until they are 3 or 4 is just as bizarre IMO. ”

    Shorter Doug (on this and all social trend stories): Anything that doesn’t precisely match my personal experience is just weird and wrong.

  10. Jim M says:

    Well, I guess if you have absolutely nothing better to do with your time you could sit around watching your kid to see if he was ready to poop in the bowl. Personally I find it disgusting to think someone would not diaper their child whether with disposable or cloth diapers. I bet their whole house and car smells of baby poop and or diarrea. Not a very healthy environment to say the least. I would have a coronary if I saw a person in a restaurant letting their baby poop in a bowl. I would inform the manager asap to see what they would do. I am not paying to go out and eat to see someone letting their child defecate into a bowl at the table. This whole pooping in a bowl stuff is pure hogwash..

  11. JKB says:

    It’s an upside down world. Scoop you dogs poop but let your kid run wild.

    Can’t smoke a cigarette in the city limits, but you can light up a joint

    Oh and they are probably going to put in metal detectors and add more cops to improve security at the next Denver “Weed Day” where the pot smoking is illegal.

  12. MstrB says:

    @Franklin: When I was in Beijing they kids had the outfits with the split in the butt. They would just squat and drop one, you didn’t see poop everywhere just the occasional kid dropping one in a planter.

  13. Franklin says:

    @Jim M: I think your first sentence sort of sums it up for me. And I’ve read a book that suggests that method works – but whether it’s the baby being potty trained or the parent being trained to detect signs that the baby is about to go, that’s up for debate.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    The split pants thing in China is still around, at least in Shanghai. It was all i could do to keep from laughing out loud the first time I saw a toddler in heavy jacket, hat, boots and heavy insulated pants and that little pink tush bobbing in and out sight as they trotted down the sidewalk holding granpa’s hand.

  15. Pepe Le Pew says:

    I tried to go without pit perfume years ago. My girlfriend told me I smelled like a skunk and cut me off.
    Since then I carry an extra Speed Stick in my truck at all times.