Since I love using cloth diapers so much, and since (to me) it seems like an obvious choice when it comes to baby care, it's only natural that I want to give them to friends of mine who are expecting, or who have children in diapers. Maybe part of my reasons for giving cloth diapers away is because I no longer really need any more, so it's a way for me to feed into my little "diaper obsession". Mostly, it's because I just love sharing anything I can that will make taking care of a baby easier for a mom I know and love. Giving cloth diapers poses a risk.
Cloth diapers are an investment - one well spent if they're used, and money wasted if the recipient of the gift lets them sit on a shelf, unopened and gathering dust. I can't imagine a bigger waste of a baby gift than unused cloth diapers.
So, which is better? Ask the potential recipient if they're willing to try them, or just give them as a gift and hope they fall in love with them as I have?
If you ask first, the parents may immediately think of putting poop in their washing machine or sticking themselves with a diaper pin and say a resounding, "No!" Or, they might just ask you questions like, "What do you do with the poop?" or "Aren't they kind of difficult to use?", and you can let them know how things have changed over the past couple of decades.
The best-case scenario is that they've already considered it and don't know where to start - in which case your help will be more than welcome. If you don't ask first, they might get those beautiful cloth diapers you carefully picked out for them, smile and nod, and then forget about them, using only disposables despite the good intentions of your well-thought-out gift.
Or, they may take one look at the cutest diapers ever and decide to give them a try.
Or, they may, like me, be delighted that someone gave them cloth diapers because they really, really wanted to try them and thought that the start-up costs were too expensive to make cloth diapering a realistic option.
So which do you choose?
That depends on the recipient. In all the cases that I've given cloth diapers to friends, I either already knew they were interested, or asked them if they would be interested. Each time, they had either seen my daughter's cute diapers already, or I had taken the time to show them her diapers.
And yes, one time, the answer was "No, we're not interested." But a few people have said yes and are now using cloth at least part of the time for their cutie pies. The best part about talking to people about cloth is that you can give them a little bit of an education so that you know what sorts of diapers will work best for their lifestyle.
I recently asked a daddy who is expecting his first little girl if they'd be interested, taking the time to show him a bumGenius! and how it stays mostly dry against her skin and how you stuff the pocket in the back. I was so excited when, after asking me a couple of questions, he said he would be interested in trying them.
"Do you want me to get neutrals in case you have more children down the road or do you want pink?"
"I think she deserves pink," he said.
That's nice to know. He and his wife are going to get a basket of the girliest cloth diapers and diapering accessories imaginable!
So, go ahead, and give the gift of cloth.
Ask if you think it necessary or surprise them if it seems appropriate. Either way you have a good possibility of helping out a family financially while dealing a blow against the growing problem of pollution. Seems like good odds to me!