Infiltrating the Cloth Diapering Community
This post is in honor of Husband, Baby Ecklet, and I all surviving one week of (mostly) successful cloth diapering! And also of me winning a diaper photo contest (Yes, you heard me right. Those exist.) with the below picture of Baby Ecklet.
We started cloth diapering because Husband is incredibly frugal and we now have a nice washer and dryer in the apartment (and not the creepy, can't-believe-they're-still-semi-functioning appliances in the basement of our last place).
The actual diapers themselves aren't that bad. But the whole cloth diapering community, is somewhat terrifying and overwhelming. They're like the hipsters of the parenting world.
And now a stupid amount of my Facebook feed is people raving and arguing about eco-friendly, small-business made diapers. And I actually care! (My, how parenthood changes you.)
And in this community filled with cheery, advice- and opinion-filled, cloth-diaper commentary, I am trying not to stick out like a sore thumb.
So, for the sake of anyone else who is also into cloth diapers but not into them (yet), here is a helpful guide.
How to Infiltrate the Cloth Diapering Community
1. Treat diapers like trading cards.
Baseball, Pokemon, Yugioh, Magic, whatever collectible card floats your boat. I used to be way into Pokemon and these moms are as rabid about completing collections and finding rare items as any 13-year-old with a binder and a Gameboy that I've ever met.
So to fit in, you must constantly talk about your bumGenius "rainbow" and how you must have an even number of every color ever made. Obsessively organize and photograph your diaper "stash," which can be anywhere from 20-150 diapers. Post about how you're dying for that rare, early edition, World-Series inspired baseball diaper but also how your DH (dear hubby) would kill you if you spent $65 on a diaper. Confess a week later that you found one on Ebay for $50 and couldn't pass up such a steal. Curse Ebay a week later when you get your package and realize that it's a fake--someone just took a white diaper and added their own red stitching around the edges. Pause existentially and wonder how there can be people apparently making a living in this world by forging diapers.
2. Make flashcards.
Cloth Diaperese is a confusing language (and this is coming from a linguist, y'all). It appears to be a dialect of English, but obscenely overuses acronyms. Common topics of conversation include butt creams, fabric, detergent, and diaper brands and styles. You will need an entirely new vocabulary. Capitalization rules appear to be nonexistent (as is true of most internet languages).
Example 1: Help! My dd soaks AIO oBGE with FST insert overnight and lots of wicking during the day. DH is ready to throw in the towel and switch to sposies. Advice?
Example 2: FSOT 3 NIP gn FT, 2 VGUC gn NBGE, and 1 EUC FT (not in picture, OTB). Only used while EBF. Make offer.
Once you can translate those examples, you'll have it made. Here are other helpful things you'll need to know.
Popular Brand Names:
BumGenius, FuzziBunz, Thirsties, Rumparooz, AppleCheeks, Bumkins, Bummis, Kissaluvs, OsoCozy, Happy Heiny, Best Bottoms, SoftBum, Punkin Butt,
and my personal favorite: SustainableBabyish. Do you guys think the "ish" suffix is supposed to go with the word "sustainable" or the word "baby"? Because either way it's hilarious.
Cloth Diaper Vocabulary:
sposies, wicking, stay-dry fabric, microfleece, all-in-one diapers, all-in-two diapers, prefolds, diaper covers, aplix, flour sack towels, freetime, elemental, 3.0, 4.0 (thank heavens no one talks about 2.0 anymore or things would just get ridiculous), diaper sprayer, Pul, stripping, pocket diapers, inserts, snappis, doublers, wet bag, dry/wet bag, wet pail, fitted diapers, flats, liners, hook and loop, contoured diaper, one-size diapers, birdseye, terry, velour, lanolin, babylegs, Sherpa, soakers, BabyKicks, suedecloth, delaminating, minky, fluff,
and (my personal favorite): fluff mail. Seriously. Fluff mail either sounds like (1) a lot of fun to play with but a pain to ship or (2) illegal.
Cloth Diaper Acronyms:
Just check out this list. There are a lot.
3. Know your reasons.
Because people will talk about them a lot, mostly in the context of questions like "My husband hates cloth diapers! How can I convince him that they are worth it/that my addiction is justified?!?"
Here are the three most common arguments, and counter-arguments you'll run across.
1. Cloth diapering saves money!
This is my main reason (just Google "cloth diaper save money" and you'll quickly see why), but it's also used to justify people's cloth diaper addictions. People post about hiding diapers from their DH (dear/dang hubby, depending on context) all the time. If you've reached this point, cloth diapers are probably no longer saving you money.
2. Cloth diapers save the environment!
Yes, it is true that using cloth diapers for one child will prevent approximately a bajillion gross, stinky, probably-not-biodegradable diapers from ending up in landfills. In fact, some people take it so far as to using cloth wipes as well (for the baby but also for the whole family, as in to replace toilet paper). And people rave about organic materials like cotton, hemp, and bamboo like nobody's business (parenting hipsters, remember?)
The only anti-environment argument I can think of is that doing the pre-wash, actual wash, post-rinse routine recommended for every batch of cloth diaper laundry (with a load to wash at least every other day) seems not very environmentally friendly (plus all that detergent!).
3. Cloth diapering is better for my baby!
Some babies are actually allergic to the chemicals in disposable diapers and wipes. And lots of people say that cloth diapered babies are less likely to get rashes or become sterile, so there's something. There's not a ton of research on this, from what I can tell, but there might be something there!
4. Cloth diapers are just so cute!
A little shallow? Perhaps. But if it floats your boat and you can afford it, why not? There is no question that cloth diapers are generally cuter than those weird Sesame street ones you get at the hospital. Although then you may never want to put actual clothes on your baby because they'd cover up your designer diaper. First world problems, am I right?
5. Cloth diapering will help my child potty train faster!
Conjecture? Hearsay? I'll take anything anyone's got to convince myself that this one's true. Using unorthodox diapers to get my kids out of diapers faster? Sounds legit to me!