A Cloth Diaper Baby Shower
After all the baby showers I’ve attended recently, I’ve come to this conclusion: If you really want a cloth diaper stash from your guests, don’t just register for it, include the request in your invitation.
I’ve been to a lot of baby showers of moms who registered for and/or requested cloth diapers, including mine. Without fail, they receive either no cloth diapers (like me), or only a handful, and I’m usually the one giving that handful which makes sense since I’m a cloth diaper fanatic. I feel like a big contributing factor to this is that people often forget to buy shower gifts until the last minute, myself included, so they don’t generally opt for online shopping, which is where the majority of cloth diapers are found. I suppose that another reason this happens is that people don’t know about cloth diapers and/or aren’t interested in them personally so buying a cloth diaper is either boring to them, or they assume the cloth phase won’t last and they get something cuter and “more useful” such as clothing or teething toys. I also think that many people buy baby gifts for themselves—meaning, they get the cute things they want to buy, which is why both of my kids are so well dressed! I’m not knocking this. Every mom loves tons of cute outfits to choose from. Now, all these things are really great, but if a mom asks for cloth diapers, she’s really asking for you to help her save thousands of dollars so she can put that money into her grocery budget, gas budget, or even college fund. You may spend only $15 on a diaper, but in the long run you’re putting $40-$200 or more in her pocket. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
The first time I went to a successful cloth-diaper-stash-building baby shower, it was one I threw myself. I bent over backwards to make sure the couple had a plentiful stash. In the invitations I suggested that people either buy the diapers themselves or that they give me some cash and I’d get them. Most people opted for the latter and I was able to stack coupons and incentives from various cloth diaper retailers to get a stash of about 15 cloth diapers. Another group of friends teamed up together to buy 6 bumgenius and the couple was set with all they needed for the diapering years of their baby daughter.
The second successful stash-building shower was for a friend of mine and I had nothing to do with it. From the start she told me she was very interested in cloth diapers so I knew I’d be getting her some as a gift. I invested in a bunch of different kind of diapers for her, hand-making some fitteds and covers, buying a handful of newborn prefolds and snappis, and getting a pail liner and a couple of one sized pockets. As usual, I didn’t think anyone else would actually get her these things, so I got as many as I could afford. Then, I got her invitation and in it her mother had written the cutest little poem about how the new baby was so blessed to have many, wonderful things already and what the couple really wanted was cloth diapers. If was adorable and it made me feel quite justified in including only diapers and diaper accessories in my shower gift. I got to the shower—a very well-attended affair—and I was delightfully surprised to see that nearly everyone had bought one or two cloth diapers! After a lovely time of fellowship, food, and presents, this blessed couple had an entire stash of cloth diapers, and then some. They’ll never have to spend another dime on diapers again if they so choose. For someone like me who 1) had to pinch, save, and deal hunt over the course of months until my cloth diaper stash was complete and 2) is kind of in love with the fluffy stuff, this was amazing and I was both happy for them and a tiny bit jealous. But the cloth diaper awesomeness didn’t stop there. They had a super fun shower game where two guests teamed together to use only one arm each to diaper a baby doll. First, we used a disposable diaper, and then we used a, bumGenius 4.0 that had to be adjusted to the correct size and stuffed during the course of the game. I participated, might I add, while baby-wearing my sleeping two-month old—and me and my partner got the best time! The game was hilarious and educational. The guests, too, were a fun group of women! Most of them had babies or toddlers and almost all of them were closer to the all-natural living, attachment parenting side of life. There were Ergo carriers, cloth diapers, and amber teething necklaces everywhere, and the guest of honor had a gaggle of us surrounding her and giving her our natural birthing stories and advice. It was definitely the most awesome shower I’ve ever attended.
Lesson learned? I’ll say it again: if you really want a cloth diaper stash built for you, you should tell those people arranging your showers to include something about how you really need diapers in your shower invitations. You’ll have a lot less diapers to buy in the long run, but you’ll also get the same awesome stashes of clothing, burp cloths, pacifiers, and teething toys that is generally expected since most people really enjoy getting those things no matter what the mother says about not needing them.