Mix one of the world's largest populations of babies with eager American companies to own the untapped diaper market and you have the Times article today about how disposable diapers are slowly edging out traditional split pants. What are split pants, you ask? Reporter David Chen writes that they are "pants with the giant hole on the bottom" so babies in China have tended to relieve themselves anywhere, everywhere. As you ew, Gothamist thinks this makes some sense, when the weather is very hot (thus avoiding diaper rash) but, yeah, split pants seem more trouble than they are worth and thank goodness for Marion Donovan. Of course, disposable diapers still seem wasteful to some Chinese, but marketers, like Yvonne Pei of Pampers, are doing their best to convince otherwise: "Pampers promotes overnight dryness, and it helps baby to have a good night's sleep. If baby doesn't have good sleep, baby doesn't have good mental development." (Plus Pampers has introduced a diaper wearing elephant as a mascot - we wouldn't want to see that in split pants.) Gothamist knows of some babies who wore Pampers but now as adults do not seem to have have the greatest mental development, but that's another story for another time.
Last note, the title of the article: A New Policy of Containment, For Baby Bottoms. God, the copy editor who wrote that headline is good.