Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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Cloth Diapers and My Family, an Unlikely Love Story

Everyone has their own story on how they decided on cloth. Mine starts several years before I was even considering having children, before I had even met my husband. I was teaching science to a class of teenagers. They were incredibly wasteful group, mostly due to lack of education and understanding on the impact of "waste". I decide the best way for them to understand their impact on the environment was to watch a documentary that showed the waste one American typically accumulates in his/her life time. I found a great one called, "National Geographic: Human Footprint." It was watching this documentary that I saw the huge amount of products that go into manufacturing disposable diapers, and the enormous mountain of disposable diapers that go to a landfill. It was also there I heard how long that mountain of diapers stays in the landfill: 500 years. I was horrified! It was at that moment I decided I would use cloth diapers when I eventually had children.

Five years later I found out I was pregnant. The documentaries visual of the 500 year diaper mountain polluting several generations lived in my mind. I couldn't forget it no matter how hard I tried. At that time I still thought the only cloth diaper option out there involved pins and big plastic pants, like my mother had used on me and my sisters. I knew convincing the husband of this option was going to be difficult, so I started doing some research.

A simple google search showed me adorable prints and colors, and many diapers that closely resembled disposables, with out actually being disposable. I began to feel like this sell would be far easier than I was anticipating.

I spent hours and hours researching cloth diapers, finding on-line sales, getting user reviews, price comparison, etc. I was finally ready to show my husband what I decided would be "our" cloth diapers. I decided on bumGenius, because they looked like"regular" diapers, they had won several awards, and I found an amazing sale on-line.

We had one more issue swaying us away from disposables. I have a very serious latex allergy. Most of the big brand disposables contain latex. This meant the only disposables we could use would be 7th generation or comparable brand. This would nearly double the expected cost of using disposables.

I went to my husband armed with the simple cost comparison $3,000+ or $350? It seemed simple enough. I showed him the adorable pictures and videos demonstrating the ease of putting on, taking off, and caring for these diapers. He was still hesitant, a bit afraid of them, simply because we didn't know any one that used cloth. I pointed out on-line forums where daddies could ask questions. He was almost convinced. I finally sold him on the idea by making a very bold claim: if he hated cloth, he wouldn't have to change any diapers, I would do all the diaper changes for our child. He then agreed to making the purchase of 24 bumGenius 3.0.

When the diapers came in we washed them, tried putting them on stuffed animals to get a good idea of what they'd look like. My husband's anxiety was lessened, but clean diapers are much less intimidating than messy ones.

Eventually we had our beautiful boy and as soon as his umbilical cord fell off we started with cloth. I was excited and nervous. Then I quickly realized how silly easy it was. My husband quickly came to the same realization saying over and over again "that's all we have to do? Are you sure?"

Since his frightened beginning, my husband has now become the biggest advocate of cloth diapers in the family. If some one asks about them I'm happy to tell them, but I try to avoid pushing cloth on someone who seem uninterested. My husband, on the other hand, when talking to families with babies or expecting babies, will get out our diaper bag and go into lecture mode explaining all the benefits and touting the ease of cloth diapers.

We have successfully convinced 5 other families to use cloth at least part time. Which is wonderful for the environment, but it also means we now know families that us cloth other than us.

Our son is now 15 months old, and we are all still in love with cloth! We will certainly use cloth for any future children that may come as well!

Bio: Megan Lockwood lives in Vermont with her husband and 15 month old son. The whole family is crazy about cloth!

2 comments:

tracysday said...

That's so funny. My husband was very hesitant at first too. Now he's telling everyone he meets about them.

Amber Liddle said...

I love the transformation when people finally see how easy it is to use cloth! I think so many people think it's prefolds with pins and plastic pants. Yay for converting some friends, too :)