One of the biggest deterrents for parents from deciding to go with cloth diapers is the fact that daycare and caregivers are not willing to take it on. Up until now, I’ve never tried too hard to argue anyone’s point of view if they feel uncomfortable with something or don’t understand it. But I’m coming to realize there are two factors that seem to be changing my mind about how much you may be able to persuade someone to go with cloth diapers and those are:
1 – Everyone who sees the diapers asks about them…and the children in my extended family seem excited and fascinated to do the diapering themselves when they see them. They say “Oh I want to put those on him!” or “Those are cute! I want those when I have a baby!” But until recently I’ve been too busy worrying about a 10 year old talking about having a baby one day, to notice that they were embracing the diapers and not grossed out at all. This goes with my theory that touching/feeling them and seeing them in action makes ALL the difference.
2 – Our caregivers are falling in love. Not just: “Oh this isn’t so bad.” Not just: “Okay I get the hang of this now.” NOPE. All the way: “These are awesome. I tell everyone about them. I really love them.” These are people who before cloth diapering my baby never saw a cloth diaper before and their not-so-thrilled look of “oh cloth diapers” didn’t escape me when I first told them about it. Our regular babysitter even said to me the other day “This may sound strange but I don’t wanna use disposables on a baby anymore. After doing it this way I really like it. I don’t wanna go back. I don’t know why.”
So why DO they react like this and why did they fall in love?
Hey I’m as surprised as you are…sort of. I thought about it and I think I’ve come up with the answers. It’s two-fold.
One is the cloth diapers make them HAPPY.
Happy?! How or why do they make them happy? Well because they see them really working well, they look much cuter than expected, and they are a natural item. Imagine if you saw a child eat a plate of vegetables with relish. That would make you happy right? You’d think “Wow, that’s awesome.” It’s way more awesome than for example watching a child dive into a box of donuts and wash that down with a tall cup of soda. It’s awesome because veggies are cheaper to buy, versatile, natural and incredibly nutritious. It’s similar with cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are the vegetables of baby diapering.
And the second answer I came up with is they were EDUCATED by someone with experience
My babysitter got to see my baby already diapered when she first met him. Then when he needed to change, I slowly removed the diaper and talked through that process, and then showed her different types I had and put them on him to show her. It took about 5-10 minutes total. In addition I showed her my cloth wipe system which I partly describe in my post about everything you will ever need to know about cloth diaper wipes. I also showed her how swishing the diaper in the toilet if soiled or using the spray worked and how it all goes in the wet bag. Now, IF a diaper was soiled and a daycare worker or sitter do not wish to deal with that on any level, you can still have them simply throw it in the wet bag for you to deal with at the end of the day. They throw a disposable in the trash – so in this case they are just throwing a cloth diaper in a wet bag – what’s the big difference?
Accessibility to cloth diapers
Another issue is not everyone lives in places where cloth diapers are at the stores. In fact, most people wouldn’t notice there are cloth diapers even at baby stores. So having MOST cloth diapers sold online makes it a little trickier to educate people and show them in person how it works. Fortunately there are youtube, vimeo and us bloggers.
Some people think anything you buy should be easy to understand in 2 seconds.
That’s simply false. You couldn’t work your smartphone, computer or tablet in 2 seconds if you’ve never used them before. By the 2 second rule, you’d probably not want to buy something for $500+ that you’ve never used before and are not sure how it works. But we do because it looks cool, we know how useful it will be and everyone else is doing it and we figure “hey we’ll figure it out!” We have a positive attitude about electronics – but with baby diapering somehow our imagination fails us. How silly.
We’re all being silly because modern cloth diapers are NOT computers and not NEARLY as complicated. They are a simple accessory baby item. But an important one. You will use them many many times a day for potentially years. So 10-20 minutes’ education on such an important item is no big deal in the large scheme of things. I happen to think baby carriers for babywearing are much more complicated to figure out! And don’t get me started on baby car seats! So you may be asking…
How do I convince my daycare or babysitter to use the cloth diapers?
First, see if you can find a daycare or babysitter that is open to doing it or learning. Why should they be so limited? Here’s a cloth diaper friendly daycare list including the US and Canada. If you put an ad for a babysitter on a babysitter website, make sure to mention cloth diapers. You will find a sitter or nanny who is absolutely fine with it. In addition, you can offer to teach a daycare or a babysitter how to do it, like I did. Here is a daycare tip sheet that describes how to introduce cloth diapers to a daycare center. One thing they mention is that many parents have success bringing all-in-ones and pocket diapers and showing them to the daycare in their first meeting, as well as bringing a wet bag to show how they’ll bring the diapers home. In addition you can print out a cloth diaper fact sheet that describes the benefits of using cloth diapers and have them read up.
The thing is, I never expected to want to spend the energy telling someone else how to cloth diaper. I figured cloth diapering is my business if I want to do it. But now that I’ve had such positive reactions to the diapers and my babysitter has done it and has fallen in love with it, I’m convinced it can be done and the world can soon learn how to do cloth diapering as easily as they do disposable diapering. Okay I ran away with that last part a tad, but a little encouragement does that.
Thanks for reading “The Babysitter Fell In Love With Our Cloth Diapers.” Did you have a similar experience or opposite? Are you worried about trying cloth diapers because you think caregivers will not want to do it? Did you have success showing or convincing a daycare or other caregiver to accept your cloth diapers? Let us know, we want to hear from you!