Thursday, October 25, 2012

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The Conversion Chain: Love Cloth Diapers? Pass It On

When I announced my decision to cloth diaper, my sister thought it was disgusting. Bekah vowed to never change my baby’s diaper unless he or she was in a disposable. But within a few months I had changed her mind. I had only talked about the topic a little bit, not wanting to strain our relationship, but the cloth diapers themselves did the talking. That and all the money I was saving. She soon announced that she planned to cloth diaper her kids. But would her husband be on board? It didn’t take much to convince him, just the numbers showing how much they would save.

A friend of my husband’s called one night. “Doesn’t your wife know a lot about cloth diapers?” he asked. A few week’s later he and his pregnant wife were sitting in our living room while I demonstrated how to use prefolds, covers, pocket diapers and all-in-ones with the help of my daughter’s newborn sized teddy bear. Two years later I still get the occasional phone call asking for advice or seeing if I want to split a Country Save detergent order from Amazon.com. Another friend came over to ask a few questions and see if I could help her figure out the one-size FuzziBunz she had ordered. A friendly barbecue for my brother-in-law’s birthday soon became a forum for discussing how much money cloth diapers can save and the wonder of diaper sprayers. Everywhere I went, the conversion continued and I found myself becoming a cloth diaper authority and advisor to my small circle of friends and family.

Then, last March, just days after my second child was born, my sister welcomed her first child and cloth diapering officially became a family affair. (Our parent’s are probably more comfortable changing cloth diapers then disposables at this point.) Even before her son’s arrival, my sister had accumulated quite a stash of diapers, bumGenius 4.0’s, bumGenius Freetime, bumGenius newborn diapers, Flip, Thirsties Duo Diapers, prefolds, Duo covers and even a few ones she got for free with orders from Kelly’s Closet that she hadn’t thought of trying, like Rumparooz. Yet as her son grew, she couldn’t seem to stop buying them. A coupon here, a good sale there and she would add a bit more to her stash. Even her husband has gotten in on the action. His hours of research have made him one of the best educated men I know on the subject of cloth diapering. When my sister returned to work, he could discuss cloth diapers comfortably with other moms. He can debate the benefits of pockets vs. AIOs with the best of them. (I tell him he should start his own cloth diaper blog aimed at men.) He doesn’t like to use disposables, even when they are free or readily available. They even used cloth during their summer vacation.

Once a self proclaimed cloth diaper hater, my sister has become another cloth diaper evangelist. Bekah’s best friend is expecting a baby any day now, and with Bekah’s support, her friend to cloth diaper too, purchasing a few bumGenius 4.0 and Freetime diapers to start her stash. So the conversion chain continues.

Bethany Vitaro lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with her husband and two cloth diapered children; Althea age 3, and Robin age 7 months. She blogs at thelaundryblog.wordpress.com, knits compulsively, gardens optimistically and writes in between.

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