July 8, 2012

Oops I Split My Pants!

Apple bottom baby. 

Despite the research I did to educate myself on China before I visited, I was still in for quite the special treat. During my first few days in the massive country, I followed dimple-bottomed babies around trying to capture their split pants because I was so fascinated. Children ages 0-potty trained wear clothes with splits in the private part sections. That’s right, diapers do not exist in China. Kids pee and poo in the streets due to the easy access fashion style encouraged by all citizens. Yes, the clothes are purchased with the split already in the pants because I asked. When you have to go, simply squat whenever and wherever!

Popping a squat on the sidewalk. Casual.

In some ways it makes a lot of sense. Think about all the waste in western countries from diapers. Think about how economically efficient this is for your wallet. Americans spend about 7 million USD on diapers each year and an estimated 27 billion diapers are sold and disposed in landfills each year. Only thing is, this is where the ‘ol hygiene factor comes into play. No one picks up the child’s poop on the streets so you just have to dodge it like dog poo. Not exactly sanitary but you’re saving a few yuan.
As a newcomer to the split pants world, I had a few interrogations concerning these kiddos: “How does one hold a split pants child?” “Do they mark their territory like doggies?” “Does their tender vegetation get cold?” “Are they more injury prone since their parts poking out?” A few of these questions were unintentionally answered.

Watching monkeys at the Beijing Zoo. 

I was in Luoyang, following a split pants child and his mother crossing a 4 lane street. The kid had to go so he stopped in the middle of the street and just went for it. Like I said in Quirky Qualities of the Chinese, drivers go on red, so cars whizzed by this kid while he whizzed in the middle of the street. It scared the daylights out of me, I nearly picked him up and ran across the street to safety but he finished his business and continued to the other side unharmed.

Babysitters Club at the Longmen Grottoes.
While I visited the Longmen Grottoes, young couples handed me their children for pictures like I was the Easter Bunny. I wasn’t exactly sure how to hold these babies since their privates are sticking out all over the place. Do you hold them a special way so if they have to go the mess doesn’t go all over you? There were bare butt cheeks and tiny wee-wees in my face all day, but luckily I stayed clean and dry.

Attempting how I'm going to hold this baby boy with his parts exposed.

There’s nothing like seeing a chubby tushie waddling in front of you. The sight never became humdrum during my visit in China. As much as I enjoyed chasing after these bare bottomed beauties and snapping as many revealing photos as possible without getting reprimanded by parents, I’m not sure if split pants is the best solution for un-potty trained children. Overall, I think the split pants trend has its good and bad aspects but when I have kiddos of my own I’ll stick to diapers. 
Just a stroll with dad and an 80's sweater.
Playing on a fountain in a park in Xi'an. 
Peace, Love, and Split pants children.


  1. It's all true! Thanks for reading!!

  2. Somehow ran across this blog and shared it on Facebook - very funny and so odd! I had no idea this practice existed.

  3. I didn't know it existed until I saw it with my own eyes!! Thanks for reading and sharing!!

  4. reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee