But they certainly aren’t the only way to diaper your baby. That’s sort of a no-brainer statement but I wasn’t always so graceful about it. I once wrote a post about only using cloth diapers that now makes me cringe. I used poor judgment and turned away readers I’m sure. Not that what I said was untrue, but it was not written from love. However, God always has a way of humbling me.
For me the big turn in my “high and mightiness” came with the birth of Sterling. Before Sterling, I snubbed my nose at births in a hospital. I had birthed 3 children at home, if I could do it why can’t everyone else. *sigh* How prideful.
Sterling ended up being born in a hospital with the help of the vacuum. I gave it everything I had but the kid was not coming out. Pretty much any pride I had over birth choices flew out the window as we drove up the the ER at 5:30 in the morning.
After that, I had friends tell me how they went through the same humbling experiences. One in particular told me how she was a breastfeeding nazi with her first. She would shoot you down if you dared bottle feed near her. Then came baby #2. Despite everything she found to do, she wasn’t producing milk. Talk about eating your words. Now she’s the one bottle-feeding. She was just as grateful for that experience as I was with Sterling’s birth. (article that inspired this post)
I’m in no way excusing the parents that make bad choices out of laziness or convenience. **ETA: Although quite clear to me, I need to explain this statement. Without this statement there are many parents who would see all that I said as a free pass to do whatever they want behind the reasoning “it’s best for me/us”. That is not what I would want people taking away from this post. Just because one wants or has to formula feed doesn’t mean they are innately bad (or lazy! Breastfeeding is much better for that route, or so I always say ). I am simply stating a fact that the choice to formula feed is not as healthy as breastfeeding. I’m not stating an opinion or judging or being mean. In an ideal world we would all accept our decisions for what they are and move on but instead we are so ready to ponce on someone for insinuating that they did something “wrong”. I would have loved for all my readers to read this post knowing that my heart was filled with love as I wrote, not condemnation. I am not hurt that some have chosen to attack me but it does hurt that some saw this as an attack. I pray others who read this post will have a different perspective.**
Recently, I attended a baby shower. The mother received more packages of disposable diapers than she could possibly use. When I saw this (honestly, I still cringed) I thought how hard it would be to choose cloth diapers when you have free diapers right here. I know this mom and I know financially they didn’t need the diapers but what about those that are financially in a bad place?
There are families, many families that couldn’t buy a single prefold without sacrificing a necessity. Organizations like the Cloth Diaper Foundation do their best to help these families but can’t help them all. I know these families have to buy diapers of some kind but many places will donate disposables.
As cloth diapering parents we have a choice: we can be snobby about cloth diapers vs. disposables, potentially turning friends and family away because we’ve become so dogmatic about it or we can be loving and educate those around us why we choose to cloth diaper. People respond so much better when they learn why you do something as opposed to being told that they need to make a change because they’re harming their baby.
Really, how can anyone resist the cuteness of cloth diapers anyways if you present them in a gentle, non-obsessive, non-forceful way?
That’s my public service announcement for the year Every time you are in a situation where you can present cloth diapers (I’ve done it in a public restroom while changing Sterling on a counter!) to others, remember that most have bizarre preconceived ideas. Education is most effective when presented in a non-offensive way.