I was a little slow to the whole cloth diapering thing (I started with my second child when she was about 9 months old), but since I’ve switched, a whole new world of better, cooler solutions to everyday problems has opened up. And like you, I want to share this new world with people all around me. Only, I’ve come to find that cloth diapering is harder to talk about than I thought. It is not that people won’t listen as much as it is that people don’t even know what to ask, where to start, or that they don’t already know everything there is to know about it. And as a newbie to the overwhelming options of cloth diapering, I sometimes don’t even know how to give them the run down without ending up confusing them, losing their interest, or reminding them of their misguided assumptions about cleaning poop off diapers.
So, I’ve come up with a fool proof approach to talking about cloth diapering. I think it opens up the conversation a bit so that those who are at all interested can better formulate their questions and so that I don’t start rambling about things they aren’t interested in. It’s my, “surprised?! me too” approach.
When I mention that I cloth diaper and I get that puzzled look like “really, are you off your rocker, why would you do that to yourself.” I express that I am just as surprised as they are. I admit that I never thought I’d cloth diaper and that not only did I surprise myself, but that cloth diapers have surprised me too!
It is a great segue into discussing what is so wonderful about cloth diapering while avoiding the all too condescending discussion about disposables. Depending on the time and setting I then go on to explain the following surprises:
– After 6 months of cloth diapering I am still surprised at how fresh and dry my daughter’s bottom is when I change her. I didn’t expect it, but after a day of cloth diapering I knew I couldn’t go back.
– I am surprised that cloth diapering feels more like pampering my daughter. Not only does she stay so dry and fresh, but I feel so good about wrapping her in a soft fluffy diaper after bath time or before bedtime.
– I am surprised at how much I like having different diapering options. I love being able to tailor my girl’s diaper to her situation. I can put her in a breathable fitted if she has any sign of irritation, or use a less absorbent diaper for those filler times between bath and bedtime.
– I am surprised at how liberating it is to not care how many times a day I change a diaper. When my daughter poops in a diaper only minutes after changing her I’m surprised at how little it bothers me (unless of course we are trying to run out the door, but I guess no one can have it all)
– I am surprised at how good it feels to do the budget each month and to leave the diaper line empty.
And the list could go on. As long as I don’t make unrealistic claims (such as over exaggerating how little time it takes to wash or how those extra changes throughout the day just get done by themselves) I’ve found that most people I talk to are intrigued and recognize my sincerity. While I haven’t won anyone over yet, I can tell that in some friends a seed has been planted. Where they used to think that cloth diapering was uncomfortable for the baby or that there were very few options, they quickly learn from my “surprised?! Me too” approach that cloth diapering isn’t what they thought it was either. And maybe they’ll ask more questions the next time they meet a cloth diapering mom, or maybe, just maybe they’ll surprise themselves and cloth diaper their next kid too.
Bio: Toria is a stay-at-home-mom who loves playing with her very active 3-year-old boy and delightful 18 month-old girl. She started cloth diapering when her little girls was 9 months old thanks to a friend who wasn’t afraid to say that she liked cloth diapering, and who directed her to Kelly’s closet.