A Diaper Malfunction


A couple weeks ago I changed Owen’s disposable diaper and found him covered, under his footed pajamas, in the gel-like substance pictured on our diaper pail above. There was a least a cup’s worth of the substance directly on his skin.

Not knowing what it was, I, perhaps stupidly (it was early morning), assumed it came from him—not the diaper. I sort of (OK, really) freaked out.

Andy, who immediately knew what it was, calmed me.

I had no idea disposable diapers used a substance other than cotton to absorb wetness. Here’s this, from Luv’s:

“We use absorbent gelling material in the padding of our diapers to absorb wetness. This material has a long history of safe use in a variety of products and has been in Pampers and Luvs diapers for more than two decades. Absorbent gelling material (AGM) is closely related to ingredients widely used in cosmetics and food processing. When added to our diapers, the AGM is dry and granular, but it forms a gel as it absorbs liquid. It’s perfectly normal to see some gel on the skin from time to time, especially if the diaper is heavily saturated. It might help to know the Institute for Polyacrylate Absorbents has researched the safety of consumer products containing absorbent gels and found them to be safe.”

Owen was fine—no rash, no discomfort, nothing.

Still, I put him in cloth diapers for the rest of the day.

“Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.” —Marshall McLuhan