Ive noticed that cloth diapering spreads a lot like wildfire. I think its because after shopping at retail stores and finding only disposables and low-quality prefolds parents just dont realize that there are more options than the expensive generic brand disposable diapers and the more expensive name brand ones. Once you give sensible moms and dads out there the new option to cloth diaper, many of them jump on board because they just hadnt realized that they could save so much money! And when this happens, one solitary cloth diapering family suddenly becomes a part of something bigger than themselves, they become a community.
My friend and I were independently toying with the idea of cloth diapering before our babies were born and once we found out that the other had similar ideas, it seemed a whole lot easier and more plausible to take the cloth journey. She came to me with some ideas she had that might be helpful to me, and I, likewise, told her about the different cloth diapers I was thinking about to get her opinion and input. Somehow, knowing that I wasn't alone in this new and solitary journey made me feel like I could do it. Knowing that someone else was ditching disposables made me feel less crazy and people do make you feel crazy when you tell them you've switched! Ive found that having a friend who cloth diapers means that I have a cloth diaper support group of sorts.
Soon, the babies and mommies in our church multiplied and thankfully, the cloth diapers did too. When our pregnant friend watched our little ones crawling around in their fluff one day, she was interested and we were eager to share the little knowledge we had with her. It wasn't long before shed decided to jump on board, and we helped her out with a cloth diaper, shower. Now that there are three cloth diapered babies in my group of friends, I have two other mommies I can go to for their opinions on whether or not they like Flip diapers and what they think of Rockin' Green Detergent. It means that when I was tentative about trying fitted diapers and prefolds for the first time, I knew I could ask my girlfriend who used both on her son when he was too small for one size diapers. It means that if one of us runs across a problem like sudden leaking or smelly microfiber, another of us is bound to have dealt with that problem before and can give helpful advice. I think my favorite part of cloth diapering in community, though, is that there are three of us looking out for deals and when we find them, we usually share them with the others.
As nice as it is to have real, in-person friends who cloth diaper, that's not always the case for cloth diapering mamas. Most moms still don't know anything about modern cloth so that leaves us in the minority as far as parenting choices go. However, it does not follow that you cant have support as a cloth diapering parent. In addition to my friends from church, I have found much support from my online friends. Places like Facebook and Twitter make it possible to have ask questions or give advice to cloth diapering moms and dads all across the country and they open up a treasure store of information for people just starting out. Personally, Ive found blogs to be a wonderful place to learn about cloth diapering. From blogs I learned that bumGenius and FuzziBunz aren't the only brands of cloth diapers out there and how to conquer the complicated task of folding a flat diaper four different ways.
As parents, we realize that the support of other parents is sometimes crucial in being the best parent we can be. Its so nice to know that other people have been in our shoes and that even though we lose our tempers sometimes or forget to brush our children's teeth before bed once or twice, we aren't terrible mommies and daddies. Its also great to learn new tips on discipline that our friends and mentors have tried successfully, or methods of feeding vegetables that aren't met with green beans smashed into the carpet. Cloth diapering support is just one more need that we have as parents who have chosen to go the environmentally sound diapering route.
So, whether you're new to cloth or an old pro, use the resources you have. Check out blogs and facebook pages, and let all your friends know about your fantastic decision. Even if you don't convince your face-to-face friends to join you, you'll still be able to find the support you need online.
Contributed by Becca, Cloth Diaper Mommy