So you've made the decision to cloth diaper, but your friends and family are full of horror stories, negativity and try to persuade you out of using cloth.
Is it possible to succeed without the support of people around you?
It is! I was in the same boat as you when deciding whether to use cloth diapers before my first baby was born. Even my darling (environmental scientist) husband was sure that cloth would be way too difficult and expensive for us to tackle. Here we are 4 years later, have cloth diapered two children, and loved it so much that we run Bumbini! So it can be done.
Here are some ideas to help you if you aren't getting support in your decision to use cloth diapers...
1. Arm yourself with information
A lot of the fear and negativity surrounding the use of cloth diapers is based on false information. There are so myths floating around - from "it'll be way more difficult" to "your laundry costs will be more than just buying disposables" all the way up to "the value of your home will plummet because you washed dirty diapers in your machine." Yep, I have heard all of those arguments, and not one is true.
I am not saying that you have to do battle with everyone who doesn't agree with your choice, but it does help to get the facts. Even if it doesn't sway their opinion at all, at least they won't be able to change YOUR mind with misinformation.
There are tons of great resources on the internet, including on this site. A previous blog post My Favourite Myths looks at some of those arguments, while the first segment of our Online Workshop explains some of the very good reasons for choosing cloth. Some of them (e.g. saving $2000) are compelling enough to open anyone's mind. As well, if you have our workshops in your area, come and join us for one, and feel free to bring some skeptics!
If your family or friends are willing, talk to them about it and show them some of these articles or videos. They may have a change of heart when they learn some more about cloth. If not, they may see the proof in the pudding when you have great success using cloth diapers.
2. Remember who will be doing the changing
If your nosy neighbor down the street thinks you are a nutty hippy for using cloth, let her think that. Unless she is going to be the one changing wee one's bum (or shelling out for ANOTHER box of sposies) then she should not have a vote.
This is a toughie if your partner isn't thrilled about trying cloth, but some of the other ideas here might help to at least get them to give it a whirl.
3. Join a group that'll have your back
There are tons of online groups dedicated to cloth diapering, as well as local diaper groups. These are groups of people who use cloth diapers and are there to give each other advice and encouragement. They are an awesome place to start if you feel that your friends and family are looking at you like you have a second head for even considering cloth.
One of my favourites is the Cloth Diaper Experiment on Facebook. It is a very positive (and very large!) group that is really passionate about cloth diapering. It has a really cheerful, supportive vibe, which I love. (I hate drama on social media!)
And you always have me. I answer my emails quickly, and am happy to be your enthusiastic, cheerleading safety net.
4. Consider doing a diaper rental program
If your partner is really skeptical about using cloth and hesitant to make an investment in them, consider a compromise. Try out cloth for a short time to make sure you love it. Seeing how easy cloth diapers are up close and personal may change their minds.
5. Make the decision that makes you happy
Parenting is hard, I won't lie. Every day comes with thousands of decisions small and large. If you try to please every family member, parenting expert, pediatrician and random stranger at the mall, you will be crazypants within a week, trust me. It really comes down to deciding on what works for you.
So that is my advice. We have had incredible success with in our cloth diapering career despite the fact that just last week my mother-in-law loudly announced that "cloth diapers are disgusting" while I was merrily packing up an order for a customer while my two cloth diapered kids played happily at my feet. Ummmm.....?
I feel your pain, and always know that you have at least one steadfast supporter - me!