Sunday, August 2, 2009

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Gasp! You Use Cloth Diapers???

A guide on overcoming negative reactions to going cloth and ultimately converting non-believers.

I remember not long after I made the decision to go cloth I was telling my Mom about it and the first words out of her mouth were "Are you really that bad off that you can't afford to buy diapers?". Immediately, I felt myself get defensive but, I took a breath and calmly laid out my reasons...which were many and saving money was only a part of it. We all know the top 3 reasons to go cloth...

  • Better for baby

  • Better for environment

  • Better for the wallet

Then there are more personal reasons too...

  • My daughter had a rash 24/7 in sposies.

  • My daughter got a UTI from the sposies.

  • I used to be President of the Environmental club in High School...what a shame that I was adding SO much waste to the landfills.

Still, my Mom did not seem quite convinced until the day that she witnessed me changing my daughter's diaper (a One Size Bum Genius diaper). Once she saw the new way to do cloth she was pretty impressed. However, she remained slightly skeptical of the fact that I would continue to do cloth long term since I had to launder them. (Despite the fact that I assured her that it's not that much work).

She recently asked me if I was still doing "that cloth thing". My only response at that point was that I wouldn't do it any other way.

It's common for people from my Moms generation to raise their eye brows when you mention doing cloth because when they had babies, disposable diapers were all the rave and you only did cloth if you were poor or a hippie.

However, my Aunt, having done the traditional pins and prefolds w/ all three of her children, because she had too, was more than impressed when she saw our cloth diapers. She thought it was wonderful that there are so many new options that make cloth diapering actually enjoyable and wished she had those options when my cousins were babies. She & I both have even been trying to convert my cousin to use cloth because her son has a constant, painful rash.

My mother-in-law did not seem to sure about the cloth idea until she came over and changed a diaper. She is generally the only one who watches Mikaela if Adam & I go out. She thinks they are great as well and she tells her friends and co-workers all about them.

I have even convinced two of my friends to go cloth and one of them is not even pregnant just yet. And of course, I will be referring them to the Diaper Shops for all of their cloth diapering needs.

So ladies (and gents too), ultimately, if you share your enthusiasm for cloth diapering with others, you will have less likelihood of raised eyebrows and maybe a few converts too. If however, you come across someone who is just down right skeptical and can't seem to be swayed on the idea, then you know that they are the ones who are missing out and as long as your happy and confidant with your decision to give your baby the very best, then that's all that matters in the end.

- By: Amanda G

31 comments:

Tiffany said...

I have had a lot of skepticism regarding my desire to cloth diaper my newborn son. My hubby refuses to discuss it (which is interesting since he rarely changes his diaper). But I am a rather stubborn individual and I am determined to begin using cloth on my son...even if it means I have to do it part time for a little while. Great post!

Jenney said...

Great post! It is hard to hear the naysayers ALL the time, but I've also converted some people. It is weird in public to have people come over and stare as you change your child. Hello! 30 years ago, this was what MOST people did :o) We just get to do it in a cuter (b/c ANYONE has to admit a cloth bum is totally adorable), easier way!

James, Andrea, and Clara Smith said...

Great post. There is a weird feeling in the church nursery when the cloth diapers come out. I don't want to seem like I'm judging others, too "out there", or an absolute moron for forgoing the sposies. I'm glad others understand!

Crissy said...

When my future MIL found out we were going to cloth diaper she was a huge naysayer. She did it 'back in the day' with a couple of her kids and she kept saying the folding and pinning gets really annoying after a while. I told her times have changed and cloth diapers now can go on as easily as a disposable without contributing to the demise of our planet and our wallet. My fiance was the same way when I told him I wanted to switch to cloth..but he came around. Thanks for this post!

Amanda said...

It is amusing how our mothers' generations things we're nuts for using cloth. My mom's big thing is she hates "how much extra work" I have to do.

I am blessed, though, to have an amazing supportive husband. My sister in law and a number of friends at church also use cloth and so I am glad to not be all alone!

Christina C. said...

My whole family thinks I am some sort of hippy for cloth diapering my LO's! I have been trying to convert my SIL who is due with her 3rd in November. Money is REALLY tight for them right now and even though they will soon have two in diapers she is still very skeptical! I think it is sad because she has seen how much it has saved us!

a2editor said...

I'm impressed that you were able to prevent yourself from getting defensive. I seem to be on a constant loop re-explaining the reasons that cloth is good and fun and green and ... I really enjoy changing my daughter's diapers! :)

Laura C

laurakcowan/at/gmail/dot/com

Camille said...

Although it was my mom who originally encouraged me to CD and it was ME who was reluctant, I've embraced it fully and am now a CD "addict." :) My hubby, too, was incredibly anti-CD but he has come around now that he sees how easy it is and how much the rash has been reduced. I'm floored that the church nursery is not 100% on board in the Smith post.....in my church nursery the lead caregiver uses cloth, too....so i guess I'm out of the ordinary! I have, however, had an issue with daycare....but that's another whole post. Thanks for posting your experiences! Keep up the great work, cloth mommies!

The McDougles said...

I've encountered a lot of skepticism but most of it is from people who think it's only prefolds and pins. When I show people bumgenius 3.0s they are less skeptical. My family all will change cloth for us when they watch our son.

Sarah J. said...

I haven't encountered a lot of skepticism to be honest, but probably because my family never expects to do the "normal" thing...lol. Great post!!

Stacy Whalen said...

In a related note, when I dropped off my daughter in the nursery at a church we visited this morning, I explained there was a cloth diaper and a disposable in her diaper bag, and to use whichever they preferred. To my surprise, when I picked her up, baby girl was in her blueberry pocket! Just goes to show how the public's impression of cloth is changing/being changed.

Sarahjenne said...

I have nothing but support from my family because my parents and my in laws were poor AND hippies! My friends, however, are a different story. They think it's gross! I think all those sposies in the landfills for 500-2000 years is what's gross.

Amber Liddle said...

When I said I was switching to cloth so many people were saying how crazy I was, how gross it was, how I'd be covered in poo from then on. I just want to shout from the rooftops how easy and CUTE cloth diapers are! I hope to convert all my friends that haven't had babies yet :)

HappilyDomestic said...

I have noticed that most people react negatively to things they wish they too were doing! I think using cloth is the best choice for our babies health, not because any of us are too poor to buy disposables. Some people just need to get a grip! :-)

Alicia said...

I get so much flack for being a cloth diaperer. But I'm completely and utterly satisfied and have been converting the masses. There's quite a few people who are interested but intimidated and having a support group really helps. My biggest statement is that I like doing laundry more than I like emptying the trash. And the "new" way is so easy.

Upstatemomof3 said...

My MIL had a very similar reaction. She actually offered to pay for disposable diapers for us - forever. I tried to explain it to her but she just doesn't really get it. Oh well I love cloth diapering.

dannyscotland said...

I am lucky that my mom and grandmother were both supportive about my choice to use cloth. In fact, everyone I know has been supportive, even if they were curious as to why I was doing it. No one has been negative at all. Very much the opposite. I must be very lucky indeed!!

smilingsherpa said...

Like some of the PPs said, it seems like people freak out about the CDing until I show them the BumGenius! and then they are fascinated and impressed. It is so surprising to me that so few people have seen them and that they still think you still HAVE to do the prefolds, pins and rubber pants thing (not that there's anything wrong with that), not to mention swirling poo dipes in the toilet (YUCK!). I love CDing, but I especially love changing other people's opinions about it. :)

jhainlin said...

I get gasps when I proudly say I cloth diaper my baby! I don't mind preaching the pros of cloth diapers and try to convert as many as will listen. I was once a skeptic and had my hand held through the beginnings of cloth diapering and I will gladly do the same to anyone who is willing to give it a shot. I have gotten 2 people to switch. I find it hard to believe that so many people just think that paper diapers are the only diapers at all! I even have a friend that cd's and her pediatrician scolded her for using cloth diapers claiming it was not sanitary!!!!

Ashley said...

I experienced some strange reactions at my baby shower this last weekend when I mentioned I'd like to cloth diaper. Everyone likes to tell you how much work it will be, how dirty etc. but I have hopefully converted some of them (or at least made them less skeptical)!

Jennifer said...

My mom was very supportive when I showed my interest in using cloth diapers. She had cloth diapered my sister and I so she thought it was a great idea! I did have alot of people though that thought I had lost my mind. I just explained to them that it's better for my baby, my wallet and I'm also doing something really great for the environment! I love using cloth on my son and I have no problem doing the laundry (which is probably the worse part). And if your hubby has a problem with it just remind him...you change most of the diapers and do most of the laundry...it won't cause any more work for him and it will save money!! :D Thanks for the great post!

Jennifer said...

I'm surprised that so few people even know cloth diapers exist anymore. But when people see my adorable little girl's fluffy butt, they usually show some interest. Then when I explain how easy it is and how cost friendly, they start thinking about it. I don't think I've really converted anyone, but I want to!!! My mom and husband are both pretty impressed with my "discovery". :)

meganbhulsey said...

I always get weird looks when people find out that I use cloth diapers - that is until they see one! They are always amazed at how easy they are to use and also how cute they are compared to how they used to be.

Erin said...

This blog has been wonderful! This will be my first child and after much research, I have decided to go with cloth diapers. The dilema was that there are so many options to choose from. It seemed everyone liked something different, so I guess you can't really go wrong. After mths of research, the top 3 best reviews were for fuzzi bunz, bum genius, and applecheeks(didn't have many reviews yet since they are fairly new, but the few were great). There were lots of other great brand reviews as well, but after finding Kelly's Closet, I decided to try a few from what I consider the top 3. I loved hearing what other moms are actually using! Plus, I loved that Kelly had put together a package of her favorites! This was great. I got all in ones, pocket diapers, and then a few applecheeks(which inserts can be placed in or out of the pocket). The best is that most of the diapers will fit until my child is potty trained (one size diapers), so we save money there too! Thanks so much for all the posts!!

hosiewosie said...

I've been pretty lucky to not have very much criticism, even though people thought I was crazy when I was pregnant, and didn't find out if it was a boy/girl, had natural labor AND used cloth!

Katie said...

I got SO MUCH flak from people when they heard I was going to "try" cloth diapers - and I still get asked if I "really did it" or still do...
YUP. And I love it. And just like you - wouldn't do it any other way.

Slee said...

Every time I read about the skepticism with which we cloth diapering mothers are met when people first learn that we are chosing cloth, it irritates me. if i hear "it won't last" one more time, i think i'm going to scream!
i loved this post, btw. and props to you on converting the naysayers, one at a time.

Anna said...

Most everyone is skeptical when they hear me say I use cloth....until they see the diapers. Everyone is amazed at how different they are from what the previous generation used. I've had several "cloth diaper converts" too!

Jennifer said...

It is hard to convince the skeptical, though! Both my mom and mother in law used cloth, and they were still skeptical (why would you want to do it? so much work, etc. etc.). Like other commenters, though, I'm not afraid to do something nobody else around me is doing, and I think we've figured out a system that works for us.

Amanda said...

Wow! I have been w/out a computer for a bit so I just now saw that my article was posted. Thanks for all of the comments!

Since writing that...I have converted 4 Mommies-to-be (1 going on her 2nd and 1 with twins on the way) to cloth. I think it definitely helps when you know someone else doing it. After all, I switched to cloth after finding out that a friend of mine was doing cloth and she was able to tell me all about it and show me etc.

That's a bummer that some of your hubbys have not gotten on board. I was very blessed that my hubby got on board and he always changes & rinses diapers and he would help me stuff them when I had pockets etc.

I surprisingly never had any skepticism at the church nursery...I was usually met with comments like "Wow! Why didn't they have this when I cloth diapered my kids?". The only problem I have ever had w/ the church nursery was that several of my cloth wipes got tossed in the trash by mistake...I guess they thought they were disposable or maybe just did it out of habit. Thankfully, I have recently learned how to use the overlock stitch on my sewing machine & now I can make my own wipes. I picked up a soft flannel blanket at a thrift store for $1 and got 18 wipes out of it. Woo Hoo!

KMJ said...

I thought this was the stupidest thing in the world until I did some research on it. I knew they cost less than buying disposables all the time, and it's less environmental waste. But what really swayed me is the health effects on the baby when using disposables. It actually seems like a pretty good idea, and the ones in those pictures are pretty cute. How exactly do you go about washing them though? I can't imagine putting dirty diapers in our washing machine where I wash my own clothes, even if I hand washed them first. I'm a slightly OCD germaphobe and I'm still debating whether to have children or not.