Maybe I am lucky, maybe I have a unique situation, but I do think grandparents get a bad rap when it comes to cloth diapering. Disposable diapers began in Sweden in the 1940’s, but didn’t make it to the United States until the 1950’s. Pamper’s began manufacturing a thinner version in 1961 and the first patent was awarded to Proctor & Gamble in 1973. My mother in law had her first child in 1971 and she used cloth diapers full time and I was born in 1976 and my parents tried to use cloth diapers ( I guess I would break out into a really bad rash). So with both my parents and my inlaws they had experience with cloth diapers; just not the new and improved cloth diapers of today.
My husband and I are both researchers at heart. It will take my husband about 6 months to find the perfect car or appliance and I will take less time; however mine is an obsession while researching. It is the only thing I read or dream about. So when we found out we were pregnant….why would this be any different? After many hours of research, I found the perfect mattress for the crib; we decided to use a midwife instead of an OB, we took every parenting class available, we decided to make our own baby food, but I really didn’t research cloth diapers (I think I was burnt out). I bought a couple FuzziBunz, Grovia’s and some Mother Ease. We used cloth maybe 25% of the time until I started staying home full time when my daughter was 12 months old. Since then, I have since researched every website, read every blog, and bought almost every diaper available on the market.
Our parents have never once turned their noses up at our parenting choices. We obviously got the “what if something goes wrong” when we told them we were using a midwife or “you want me to pay how much for a mattress”, but they bought it anyway. When I told them I wanted to cloth diaper and initially didn’t follow through there was no “I told you so” or “I knew you weren’t going to do it”. There was never a discussion about it and when we started cloth diapering full time, there wasn’t an ounce of push back at all.
Our first test was traveling to Lubbock, TX to meet my husband’s parents for a banquet. My mother-in-law had no problem changing the cloth diapers once I showed her how. We then went on vacation to Orlando with my father and he watched Morgan for an entire day; again no problem changing the cloth diapers. He even used the cloth wipes which completely surprised me. With both scenario’s, I gave the option to leave the poop diapers on the sink and I would take care of them when I returned. They both dumped the poop in the toilet and put the diapers in the wet bag.
Our parents weren’t afraid of the cloth diaper because they have had experience with them. They used pins and all. I would think that most of the grandparents who had kids in the 1960’s and 1970’s shouldn’t have an issue once they see how far cloth diapers have come. I am learning that people who have strong opinions on cloth diapering, but have never used a cloth diaper are just afraid that they will love it. Maybe even become addicted to them, like most of us. I am truly blessed that I have never had to fight with grandparents on our parenting choices and I would hope that most families out there have the same experience. Again, I may have an ideal situation with both sets of grandparents and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
By Liz McGarraugh