Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh poop

Yup, this is a post about feces. So if matters of excrement make you squirm, you may want to wait a few days for a new post from me. Otherwise, we are going to dive right in, metaphorically speaking. I have no desire to actually swim in any dookie.

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Shanghai was the abundance of bare baby buns. Why were these exposed fannies so prevalent? Because many parents do not use diapers here. Instead, children wear pants with a slit over the bum, allowing them to go to the bathroom when needed. Sometimes this will occur over a trash can but more often, it happens right on the sidewalk.

Exhibit A
Now, I know what you are thinking. Ew. Gross. We would never do that in the US. Although I have not seen any split pants while out and about in the good old USA, I've spent enough nights in college towns to know that public urination (and even defecation) are not uniquely Chinese. I've also been rather mystified on numerous occasions as to why American parents think a restaurant table is an appropriate changing spot for their little ones. I didn't order a side of baby poop stench, thank you very much. So while Americans may not leave their tiny tushies permanently on display, I can't really argue that American practices are anymore superior.

And in case you were wondering, the reason for the slit pants isn't entirely economical, though eliminating diaper spending certainly doesn't hurt. Many Chinese just prefer the split pants. I'm told it eliminates diaper rash and that it even helps to accelerate potty training. And any method that hastens the process by which humans start to use toilets is okay with me, because really, who wants to think about poo that much anyway?


  1. I am totally speechless, honey.... Just shared this post with my entire staff, BTW!

  2. They're called summer pants, and I saw them all over China as well. Definitely weird.

  3. Do they come in adult size?

  4. I still think it's unsanitary. I mean, cloth diapers (which we use, along with disposables) helps to prevent diaper rash and accelerates potty training. THAT would be a better choice in my opinion.

    1. Unsanitary yes. But considering most homes here do not have a washing machine, cloth diapers aren't really an option for Chinese families.


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