When my family made the decision to cloth diaper I was so excited I couldn’t wait to tell my friend who had been cloth diapering for nearly a year. She spent the next few days constantly reminding me that when she moved to cloth I would ask her, “How’s that going for you?” I honestly don’t remember passing judgment, but apparently I did — something I’m not proud of since I have found that I actually love cloth diapering.
As it is, to get to this point in my children’s lives, my family had to make the leap from disposables to cloth, and it was from an unlikely source, in my opinion, that the encouragement came from — my husband! We took a trip our local Nicki’s Diapers retail store one afternoon to get some reusable swim diapers for my son, and while I was looking for the right fit, my husband wandered off. Looking up, I see him completely engaged in a conversation between a mom-to-be and one of the employees at the Best Bottoms Diapers display.
Ten minutes must have passed before he came up to me and started spewing fact after fact about cloth diapering and how he thinks he might be something we should try with our 14-month-old son before our newborn arrived this fall. I must have looked at him with the widest eyes, because he responded with, “What? Do you know how many diapers we throw away and how much trash we have every week? I actually feel bad about it. I always have. I just never have said anything. And I didn’t realize how easy it seems to be to cloth diaper!”
Still in shock that he of all people was a cloth diaper advocate, I just stood there staring at him. We looked around the store at the different styles, he picked up a brochure at the counter and we continued the conversation during the entire drive home. We talked eco-friendly benefits, health benefits for our son, cost efficiency. You name it, we discussed it, because let’s face it, one child in diapers is expensive, but two? It’s been a rough year, and we needed to make some adjustments.
The thing that surprised me the most about making the decision to cloth was that had my husband and I been a little bit more communicative about things, we probably would have made the decision long before our son was starting the toddler phase. I had seen my friend cloth and it always intrigued me, but never did I think my husband would go for it. (And truthfully, maybe I was slightly embarrassed that cloth was on my radar. My family would laugh at me!) And the bottom line is he had just never been around it, he didn’t know anything about it, so had I brought him in earlier or just mentioned it a bit more, his curiosity probably would have piqued and things would have been different a lot sooner.
The lesson learned: don’t assume anything. For me, I assumed my friend was crazy to cloth, and that my husband nor myself would never try something so “unconventional.” Little did I know he was just unaware of the diapering possibilities and that he did care how much garbage we put into the landfill every week! I still thank him for encouraging us to cloth every time I get online to try and find new fuzzy and squishy material to get on my little man, and he just laughs at me.
Guest Blogger, Jenna, is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Verona, Wisconsin with her husband and 18-month-old son. They are expecting their second little one in late September.