Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What to do when your friends say, "Eww."


Picture it:

You’ve taken the leap. You’ve looked at and touched all your options, weighed them, chosen what you wanted—and now you’ve placed your very first “fluff mail” order online, in your local cloth diaper store, or with your local rep. You may have even gotten to bring an item home to show off the cuteness and ease of modern cloth diapers to your husband or partner, your parents and in-laws, and the daycare. You anticipate their "oohs" and "ahhs" with great relish.

"Hey, Grandma! Check out these cloth diapers!"
You post this Facebook status update: “Just ordered our stash of cloth diapers!!! I’m excited and nervous, but I can’t wait to see my little munchkin with a cute, fluffy booty!”

Then the barrage of comments hits:

“Why would you want to do that?”

“You’re a better mommy than I am!”

“I tried that, but it was stinky, and I hated pinning!”

“What do you do about the poop?”

“How do they not leak?”

“Ew.”

How encouraging, right?

Here's my take: your friends don’t mean to be ugly! (Ok, maybe that last one did.) Their incredulity is the product of a skeptical mixture of curiosity and misinformation, and it’s totally understandable. Think back a few weeks—you may have felt the same way!

So what do you say when you’re put on the spot for all your skeptical friends and family to see? You haven’t actually begun cloth diapering yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show off the knowledge and confidence you’ve gained from doing research or consulting with your eLeMeNO-Pee representative!

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Let’s tackle these one at a time. Here’s what you can say when someone asks you:

“Why would you want to?”

"Because I’ll be saving around $2,000 - $3,000, avoiding contact between my baby and chemicals that are linked to serious health conditions, and not contributing to the 27.4 billion disposable diapers that will be tossed into a landfill this year—to remain for the next 250-500 years, not decomposing until after our great, great, great-grandchildren have passed away. Plus they're way cuter, and I can match them to the baby's outfits! You should see some of the cute colors and prints they come in!"

“Supermom! You’re a better mommy than I am! I could never do that!”

"This isn’t a choice I’m making to be better than anybody else; rather, it’s the option that we have decided is best for our family. I promise it sounds like a much bigger deal than it actually is! I was scared, too, but after doing research and talking to other cloth diapering moms, I feel this is something we can definitely handle. Besides, ALL moms are super!"

“I tried, but I had so many problems.”

"I have read about people having problems with leaking or with getting diapers to fit correctly, or even with getting them clean once the baby gets older. I can’t blame you for giving up when you ran into problems and didn’t have anybody to help you troubleshoot! Fortunately, now there is a plethora of knowledgeable support within the cloth diapering community, including online forums and local cloth diaper companies that I trust to help me if I have any problems!"

“Be careful. I used to always poke my babies with the pins until they came out with the paper ones.”

No pins... and no leaks!
"No pins! Today’s cloth diapers go on and off just like a disposable and secure using either easy snaps or Velcro."

“What do you do about the poop?”

"Poop goes in the potty! If the baby is exclusively breastfed, then you don’t have to do anything to the diaper before it goes in the diaper pail and then into the washing machine. Breastmilk poop has very little bacteria in it, and it is 100% water-soluble.

"After that stage is over, I’m going to buy a diaper sprayer and attach it to the water line on my toilet. I can quickly spray the diaper off into the toilet and then put it in the diaper pail until it’s time to wash. I don’t have to touch any poop, and I can limit how much of it ever touches my washing machine."

“How do they not leak?”

"You may be picturing a burp rag, which is a prefold--a type of cloth diaper that requires a waterproof cover. Modern cloth diapers have elastic around the legs and around the waist at the back. Not only does a properly fitting cloth diaper not leak, but it also prevents “poo-splosions” because of that elastic at the back! As long as you’re changing the diaper every 2-3 hours, per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for ANY kind of diaper, you should never 'max out' the absorbency of a cloth diaper. No leaks!"

“Ew.”

"If you’re already a parent, you’ve probably had to touch poop. And vomit. And snot. If you haven't yet, you will.

"Bodily functions are gross. Modern cloth diapers are a way healthier, greener, more affordable, cuter way to deal with the gross!"

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So there you have it! Easy answers to the FAQs that all new cloth diapering moms will hear when they introduce the modern cloth concept to their families and friends.

And there’s one more thing you should say to them once you help them understand the benefits of modern cloth diapers. Turn their questioning on them, and ask: 

“Why wouldn’t I use cloth diapers? And what’s stopping you from exploring the idea? Come on, I'll help!”