I am a cloth diaper addict. I am also a cloth diaper advocate. I will use any opportunity to talk about my diapers. I have a cloth diaper keychain and I try to take my cutest diapers when out and about where they might be seen.
Occasionally a friend will express interest in trying cloth diapering. Sometimes there are factors that make them hesitate, like the start up cost or a spouse that needs additional convincing. I jump on these opportunities and immediately offer to put together a “Try It” bag. In the bag I try to include a variety of types of diapers to cover at least a full 24 hours of diapering plus some. I don’t want to overwhelm them but not everyone ends up liking the same thing.
Here is a typical “Try It” bag:
- 6 bumGenius sized aplix diapers – some people like sized diapers. And some will prefer Velcro over snaps. These diapers allow them to try both.
- 2 Green Bees One Size Snap diapers – these diapers are inexpensive and available locally. Starting at $6 they are an affordable way to start trying pockets. I try to put a minky and a non-minky. Some people love the soft feel of minky and some think it adds bulk.
- 1 Oh Katy One Size Snap diaper – I LOVE my Oh Katys. I only have 6 so I just put one in the bag. This is the first one size diaper I bought and the first one size that fit my tiny baby girl well.
- 1 AI2 of unknown brand that I received as a hand me down. (There is a big white star on the butt of this black diaper and it has a snap in inner, e-mail me if you know what brand it might be!) – I want to offer the AI2 experience, but I only have a few.
- 1 Flips cover and 3 inserts – I love my Flips and use them all the time. They are often the first diaper my husband reaches for, so I don’t loan all of them out.
- 3 fleece liners. These happen to be homemade, but I have some that I have purchased as well. I use fleece liners at night with a Flips cover and an organic insert. I only have 3 of these, so not enough to loan out, but I often recommend trying a prefold in the Flips cover with a fleece liner over it for overnight if they need someplace to start.
- A couple wetbags, one for the home and one for the diaper bag. These are medium size, I only have 1 large one that I keep in my laundry room and I have a lined diaper pail in our nursery, but these work for someone who is just trying it out.
- My copy of Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels. This might be the most important part of the bag. I have been told it is extremely helpful to first time cloth diaperers. (I had been cloth diapering for a little while before I read it)
Everything packs easily in to a nice reusable tote bag for transport. If they don’t already use a cloth diaper safe detergent (and most don’t) then I also put a baggie of detergent with instructions. Yes it can be risky loaning out and letting others wash your diapers, but generally they agree to follow my very specific instructions or I offer for them to just bring them back dirty and I will wash them.
After they try it for at least a day I ask what they liked and what they didn’t. I ask if there were problems or what barriers they might still have to converting. I offer links to blogs and on-line resources and if they want I will even go with them to either of the local stores that sell cloth. I try and make the transition as easy and exciting for people as possible.
Do you loan out your diapers? If so, what goes in to your “Try It” bag? I am always looking for new ideas. I can’t afford to buy every diaper out there just so others can try it, I really wish I could! I have never sought out sponsorship, but doing this lending really makes me want to, just so I can extend my reach and influence others to try cloth diapering. Every person I can convert to cloth is that many less disposables in a landfill. Every new convert is also another supporter of an industry that values grass roots movements, small start ups and the ideas that some moms take and grow in to wonderful businesses. Just look at Oh Katy and Cotton Babies.
Somer S. Johnson is an accountant in Tulsa, OK who is lucky enough to get to work from home so she can spend time with her new baby girl. She blogs about life, knitting, and her precious little one at http://knit-o-matic.blogspot.com.