When we were expecting our first child, we got all sorts of advice (or “facts” that were way off)… especially from family. Some of the best “facts” were that you need to make sure to let your baby cry instead of picking them up so their lungs develop, don’t hold them while they sleep, put them to sleep on their stomach, etc. We quickly tried to brush these pieces of information aside, as they simply don’t mesh well with how we planned on parenting. We tried not to bring up certain things simply because we didn’t want to start any disagreements with family, but sometimes it was unavoidable. Some things surprised me, however, such as diapers. My mother-in-law told me how expensive it would be, having to diaper our child. I mentioned that we would be cloth diapering, so it won’t be as bad as she might think. She just laughed at me and told me that we wouldn’t last long with that. I insisted she was wrong, but the subject got changed.
Not too long after that, she mentioned diapering again. I told her that we would be using cloth diapers, and again I got laughter. She told me about how much of a mess it is, how disgusting it is dunking them in the toilet, how you have to keep a bucket full of water next to the toilet for them to soak, etc. I tried to tell her they were different, and showed her a picture (online) of a FuzziBunz diaper. I tried explaining that it was different than what she used on her children… I won’t have a bucket to soak things in, I won’t have to dunk diapers in the toilet since I’d have a diaper sprayer (which I also sent a picture of), it wouldn’t really be that bad. No pins, no buckets of water, no dunking. Just diapers and a sprayer. Surely this would open her eyes to the modern diapers.
Not so much. She called up my sister-in-law, and between the two of them I got made fun of for being a “tree-hugger” and a “hippie”, and heard plenty about how we would never last long with the diapers. The “we” quickly went to how my husband wouldn’t do this. He was going to be a stay-at-home-dad, and he was going to have the bulk of the diaper changes after I went back to work. More laughter and “can you imagine” scenarios were exchanged between my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, mostly amused with the prospect of my husband using cloth.
Our first trip to see family after the birth of our son was made with him in disposables. He was born a month early, and we were banking on our tax return to get us our cloth diaper stash. We had a couple diapers, but not nearly enough to be using yet. There were no comments made about how we diapered him while we were there. Perhaps they thought we just changed our minds, or realized how right they were. Perhaps they were too excited to see him for the first time that they paid no attention. Whatever the reason, I was thankful I didn’t have to deal with more ridicule for the time being.
Shortly after that, we received our tax return and we made the switch to cloth when our son was 7 weeks old. The next trip down to see family was definitely different. My mother-in-law was unimpressed with the diapers when she saw them, but didn’t want to talk about them when I tried to. I think she secretly might have realized she was wrong about them. My sister-in-law was fascinated with them, and asked to change his next dirty diaper so she could try them out. She went on about how cute they were.
Perhaps I do have a bit of “hippie” in me, and perhaps there was truth to the comment about how messy diapers can be (*cough* when you don’t do them up correctly *cough*)… what I know for certain, however, is that they were wrong. Cloth diapers are easy, they are adorable, and they can be enjoyable. 14 months later, and we’re still going strong!
Bio: Christine is a baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, nursing, full-time working mother to a 14 month old son. Her husband is a stay-at-home father, and a licensed medical massage therapist. They also practice baby-led weaning with their son. Christine also writes her own blog called: Thoughts Of Fluff.