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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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My husband and I are amongst the last of our “friend couples” to have a baby. For everyone else, they have children that are already over a year old (whereas our son is four months). So in many respects they are the “wiser” and more experienced parents. Now, all of us are fairly young (26-32), college graduates – many with our MAs, and most of us are working professionally in some sort of capacity. I say this not to sound haughty but to give some background, so please bear with me – though I am sure many already know where this is going!

With all of this wisdom and success, none of these “smart” people use cloth diapers except for my husband and me. And it not even something any of them have considered! Granted, a year ago I felt much the same way but it was for different reasons. I had thought cloth diapering was gross, but for some of my friends, they have so much misinformation! Take one friend for example. She believes that cloth diapers are old-fashioned, unsanitary, cause rashes, and people who use them are dumb! It is her continued unwillingness to investigate and find the truth that is amazing. I researched and found out the truth about cloth and how easy and healthy it actually is for babies! Yet she continues to be dismissive.

Recently, another friend was proudly talking about all the things she does for the health of her family – specifically, buying organic-only food because as she put it, she would rather have to spend more money initially (i.e. on food) as opposed to later (i.e. medicine and medical procedures). And while I applaud her desire to keep her family safe from toxins, I watch her put disposable after disposable on her toddler. She does not even see the contradiction of putting chemical-laced disposables against her little one’s skin all day long for the past 2.5 years!

For many of the others, they have no interest in cloth, even though they know we use cloth diapers. One looked with feigned interest when I showed them to her; while another claimed it would be too time consuming due to all the extra trips up and down stairs to the laundry room. Sounds to me like an easy way to get some exercise!

Granted I have those who are more supportive as well, though they are few and far between. One friend who only uses “eco-friendly” disposables asks how cloth diapering is going for us, but that’s as far as she will go. Or my favorite happened just last week at an area pregnancy “center” where we had gone for educational classes during my pregnancy. Since no one else was interested in cloth diapering, they gave us all cloth diapers they had in stock –which were 7 brand-name pocket diapers, 300 compostable liners, 20 flats, 2 sets of pins, and even a few pairs of the traditional plastic pants/covers! And everything was brand new! I was amazed at their generosity, and they were just glad to have someone to finally give them to because no one else wanted the items! (For some reason, I have a sneaky feeling The Cloth Diaper Whisperer’s readers are going to be raiding their local pregnancy centers! :) .

All in all, the thing that has amazed me the most from my friends is the general disregard most of them have for it. For the most part, there is no malice or ill-will, they just don’t care! And these are the people who love fuel-efficiency in their cars, recycle, turn off lights, and do many things to be “green friendly!” While I am glad to know that this is not the case for many of you (in fact, it sounds like there are many friend groups where the majority use cloth!), I am curious about those who are in similar situations like me. What sorts of experiences (good and bad!) have you had as the “oddball” of the group?

Rebecca Brown is proud to be breaking cloth diaper myths in her area; while covertly working to switch people over to cloth in hopes that when they do, they’ll give her diapers as thank you gifts!


Traci said...

sounds like me! i get comments like "whatever works for you, traci", but yet they want to know how it works, but after i show them, they change the subject! i just can't wait for someone to full convert like i did. i was convinced in 5 minutes! oooo the money poeple would save, and trashbags, and ect. and i broke the myth of "it increased your water bill, and electricity from dying". water bill is the same, and line drying saves electricity! hehe

Serenely said...

I'm exactly in the same situation as you. I'm the one and only mum in my circle who uses cloth. I get a lot of curious questions and remarks from fellow mums and sometimes some words of 'admiration' on how I find time to manage with cloth. But nothing more beyond that. It just doesn't enter their world that cloth can be for anyone. I'm probably seen as the oddball who's just a little bit more 'out there' with my parenting choices. So yes, I can definitely relate to this post.

Donna Jean said...

I have a pretty mixed group of friends. About half use cloth and half don't. Some of those that don't have tried them and just felt that it wasn't for them. But some of them just think that it will be too hard or too much extra work. I wish I had the money to buy those doubter a couple diapers and say "Here, try it out. If you like it (which I think you will) then keep the diapers and happy cloth diapering!" If only. I know I have a few friends that would realize how easy it is and how much money they will save by switching. I wish I had enough diapers in my stash to just lend out a few here and there.
Some people look at me like I'm crazy and others want to know more (although, they usually aren't the ones with diaper-aged kids) but I'm happy to share with whoever wants to listen (as is DH, which I think is totally awesome!)

Happy Cloth Diapering and I hope some of your friends come to realize that a fluffy bum is totally where it's at!

Sara said...

Wow, this makes me VERY grateful for our friends. While only one (without kids yet) has expressed interest in CDing, those with kids smile and nod and we move on without judgment being passed.

Way to lead the way!

Rach said...

I've found out that many people think you get "more dirty" from having to "touch/clean the diaper", when in reality, I had more diaper blow-outs and got more pee and poop on me with disposables than I have with cloth! Just goes to show you that people are very misinformed.

Mandi said...

When I told my family that I was not going to be using "conventional" diapers with my daughter they all laughed! The mere idea of "going backwards" as my mother said was insane! I had done plenty of research and had built quite a admirable fluff stash all on my own due to the fact that no one would gift the adorable pockets I had registered for because no one thought id stick to it! Even my earth mama mothering group would stare in complete confusion when I would change my little one at our breastfeeding meetings. It blew me away that so many people either completely thought the idea was crazy or just plain disgusting! Well here I am. 9 months of exclusive CDing and building up my stash again for our second daughter due in January. I am so proud to be a cloth mother. I know that what I am doing is better for the environment, my checkbook and most importantly my children.

Nicole said...

Good for you! I'm lucky enough to have found a group of cloth diaper mommies that I hang out with. I love it! Can you even imagine putting anything but cloth on your baby's tush now? i couldn't!

jasminew2010 said...

We are the only people we know who use cloth diapers or have any idea about how cloth diapers are different from the past. We often get hippy comments or things such as "that's gross". We don't mind at all. We know that what we are doing is best for our little one and us. At the end of the day that is all that matters. When they see his cute little diapers they tend to be amazed but still can't get used to the idea of a reusable diaper that has to be washed. I can't get used to the idea of chemicals on his bum. My breaking point was seeing those crystals from sposies on his little tush and it being all red. That was enough for my heart to break and switch to cloth and I haven't looked back since!

me said...

I went to a baby shower for a good friend that had an "eco Friendly" theme, they encouraged us not to wrap presents to save paper, had edible favors - delicious cupcakes I remember, so I sort of thought they would be cloth-diapering, nope! oh well to each is own!

Brittany said...

I love the title of this post! That is what 99% of our friends and family have initially said. While I am not quite in the same outsider group as you, we are in one. My husband and I are the first of our friends to have a baby, so many of them have not even thought about diapers, let alone cloth!

One of my friends was certain that I would change my mind about cloth once our baby was here. Nope! Still loving cloth & were 2 1/2 months in.

Did I mention one of our friends and her husband have started building their cloth stash after seeing how much we love it. And they haven't even started trying yet! :)

Gotta love it!

Momsense3 said...

While I actually HAVE made the switch to cloth, it was the attitude implied within this post that made me react the same way. The choice to cloth diapers is just that - a choice. While some make the choice to do it (as I did after my 3rd child and not until he was 15 months old) for various reasons, some make the choice NOT to do it for various reasons. One commenter referred to her friends who don't not "passing judgment" but that is what I feel this article has done - pass judgment on those who do not. Let's make this CHOICE a two way street. :-) Best wishes.