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Monday, July 14, 2014

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Daddy On Board

5 Tips for getting Dad’s (or other family members) on board with cloth diapering:

  1. Make it easy.  At my house my husband often gets confused with different brands, snap settings, adjustable elastics, and is especially mystified by prefolds and covers.  He wouldn’t change a diaper if he had to mess around with a different settings every change.  My advice is to have at least 6-8  (depending on how often he changes the baby) of one type of diaper to avoid confusion with how one brand vs. another goes on.  At my house we have several different brands, but my husband exclusively uses bumGenius 4.0 aplix closure.  I have the rise already snapped to the correct setting, and I pre-stuff the pockets for him.  All he has to do is take off the dirty diaper, toss it in the diaper pail, grab a clean one and Velcro it on.  He even has a drawer in the changing table for all of “his” diapers.
  2. Make it fun!  I wrote my husband a cute card that said “Roses are red, violets are blue.  Now you can change me when I go poo” and gifted him 3 bumGenius aplix and 1 Kawaii in camouflage print (he’s Army) for Valentine’s Day from our daughter.  He laughed, and then asked when the last time she was changed was, so he could make sure the new diapers fit right.  Another idea to make cloth diapering more fun is to buy a diaper with his favorite sports team, hobby, or color.  Surprise him with a special diaper and make a big deal about how you picked it out just for him.
  3. Show him a cost savings chart.  When I showed my husband how expensive disposable diapers would be over the course of several years (not to mention several children) he was shocked.  When I compared it to how much we would spend on cloth diapers he was amazed at the savings.  I also factored in future children and the resale value of cloth diapers when I presented the information to him.  I think just knowing that in the long run we would save so much money was a huge factor in his willingness to do cloth diapering with me.  These sites helped me to make the comparison: and For low income families there are even cloth diaper banks like Giving Diapers Giving Hope and The Rebecca Foundation which give families in need cloth diapers.
  4. Less poopslosions! (You know, when the poop leaks out the legs, up the back, all over the outfit, the car seat, and you). I’d heard that cloth diapers hold poop in better then disposable diapers, so one of my selling points to my husband was that we would probably experience fewer poopsplosions using cloth.  My baby is 7 months, and I think she’s only had poop come out the diaper maybe 2 or 3 times.  Once I was out shopping and got a text “Poopsplosion!!!!!!!” and came home to the baby in the same outfit as when I left.  When I asked what happened my husband said “Oh, it was a big poo, but don’t worry your fancy diaper caught it all” I don’t think he’s ever seen a REAL poopsplosion!  Anyway, less poop outside the diaper was a big selling point for me.
  5. Do the laundry yourself.   We both work outside the home, and share all other household chores, including parenting responsibilities.  He was worried about the extra time doing laundry would take, and thought buying disposables might be faster or easier then doing extra laundry (I wonder if he forgot how long it takes to get a baby in and out of the store?)  In reality, it’s 3 extra loads per week, and takes me maybe 15 minutes to fold each load.  It does take a little bit of extra time each week, but I know that they are washed the way I want, when I want.  This may not work for every family, but if you have a reluctant spouse and you’re willing to do the extra laundry then it just might help to convince them to use cloth.
Bio: Justine Cone is the cloth diapering mama of a 7 month old baby girl.  She is currently working as a Play Therapist, helping children with developmental delays discover the world through creative play.

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