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Thread: When did disposable diapers become commonplace?

  1. #1

    Default When did disposable diapers become commonplace?

    I was just wondering really, about when disposable diapers became more commonly used than their previous equivalents (in the West, at least).

    They had been in common use for a quite long time by my time (I was born in the U.K. in the late 1990s)

  2. #2

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    Well, I was born in 76 and it was pretty common even then for parents to use disposable diapers, at least for in big cities and suburbs. There were, and still are, a lot of cloth hold outs at that time though, but I'd say disposable were probably more used than cloth sometime around the late 70's or early 80's.

  3. #3

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    I think in the 1960's it became common. You could change and just throw away and not having to wash them and dry them or even soak them or boil them. My grandma used to boil cloth diapers to kill the bacteria and to keep them from smelling. My husband wore disposable too and he was born in 1975 and my parents used cloth on me but found it too much work so they switched to disposable. But back then they only came in boxes than cases so there were like 12 diapers to a box so I can imagine that must have been a lot of shopping trips they've had to do or buy multiple packs of them. I didn't start to see diapers being sold in cases until maybe 4th grade because I had a next door neighbor that had a little boy and she bought Pampers cases.

    Plus I think the 1960's because I have seen old black and white photos of Vanessa's Redgrave's children from when they were toddlers and their diapers looked disposable and in Bewitched you sometimes could see baby Tabatha's diaper and it also looked disposable so it might have gotten popular then too when everyone was switching to disposable.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slomo View Post
    Well, I was born in 76 and it was pretty common even then for parents to use disposable diapers, at least for in big cities and suburbs. There were, and still are, a lot of cloth hold outs at that time though, but I'd say disposable were probably more used than cloth sometime around the late 70's or early 80's.
    I was born in '76 too! Both me and my younger sister wore cloth diapers. I think they were common back then, but most (>50%) parents had probably switched to disposables by around 1980, I reckon. (Although I really have no idea!)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    I think in the 1960's it became common. You could change and just throw away and not having to wash them and dry them or even soak them or boil them. My grandma used to boil cloth diapers to kill the bacteria and to keep them from smelling. My husband wore disposable too and he was born in 1975 and my parents used cloth on me but found it too much work so they switched to disposable. But back then they only came in boxes than cases so there were like 12 diapers to a box so I can imagine that must have been a lot of shopping trips they've had to do or buy multiple packs of them. I didn't start to see diapers being sold in cases until maybe 4th grade because I had a next door neighbor that had a little boy and she bought Pampers cases.

    Plus I think the 1960's because I have seen old black and white photos of Vanessa's Redgrave's children from when they were toddlers and their diapers looked disposable and in Bewitched you sometimes could see baby Tabatha's diaper and it also looked disposable so it might have gotten popular then too when everyone was switching to disposable.
    I think that the early disposables (c.1960s), although available in most places, were not nearly as reliable as the later ones. Also, they weren't so cheap.

    My parents were both born in 1967 (in Scotland and Italy) and I'm pretty certain their parents used the cloth diapers on them.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I think that the early disposables (c.1960s), although available in most places, were not nearly as reliable as the later ones. Also, they weren't so cheap.

    My parents were both born in 1967 (in Scotland and Italy) and I'm pretty certain their parents used the cloth diapers on them.
    Maybe only wealthy people used disposables and Bewitched is just a TV show.

  7. #7

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    My girlfriend's sister was born in 1990 and she claims that, by that point, disposables were used by everyone except 'environment extremists'.

  8. #8

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    We raised 5 kids all born in the 70's all in cloth diapers, we always bought 2 dozen new cloth diapers for the babies when they were born and thats all we ever had to buy, God bless my wife for doing the laundry back then.

  9. #9

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    I was born in 79, and believe i was in cloth mostly, don't know if i used disposables cant remember. As i told older i remember seeing old cloths around the house (used as rags).

    I was also the youngest of 4, so i also suspect i used hand me downs

  10. #10

    Default

    If I had to guess, I'd say disposable diapers were more common than cloth probably by the early to mid-1980's.

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