In July 2008 I discovered the world of modern cloth diapers. I know because I was adorable and kept a pregnancy journal because I was a newlywed, first time mom with a lot of time on my hands. I’m almost 7 years from that time in my life and a lot has changed. For starters, I didn’t keep my baby’s milestone book past 6 months and for my second I didn’t even buy a book. And the cloth diapers I started researching over 6 years ago? Well those have changed a lot too and so has the public’s awareness of them.
In 2008 I didn’t know a single person who cloth diapered in any of my circles- not my co-workers, not my cousins (all 50+) or any of the parents I went to school with. I only learned of them online in a mommy forum for those of us pregnant with babies due in November 2008. The idea struck a chord with me since I had read about how many diapers a baby would use in their life and how long they took to break down. As soon as I realized I could use cloth diapers that were not the “old style” I had my mind made up.
I was sailing in uncharted water! I had to search long and hard to find a place to buy my diapers and even drove 2 hours to a store in Ithaca, NY in order to see those diapers in person and get hands on with them before making my final decision.
Parents these days have no idea how lucky they are! While it can still be hard to find cloth diapers in stores in some areas, things are getting much better. In 2008 it was rare that cloth diapers were mentioned on TV segments or in news articles. Now my google alerts are so long they don’t fit into one daily email! Mainstream newspapers and webpages like Huffington Post mention them on the regular. Sometimes it’s still in the “well there is this other option the weirdo parents like” but hey, at least it gets the word out that it is an option.
bumGenius diapers are now in select Babies ‘r Us stores on the shelves (and not just online) and they have an exclusive print for the stores. I think their packaging is in need of some changing in order to prevent the utter chaos that has been happening but otherwise this is very exciting news. Just passing by modern diapers as a pregnant mom can put the idea in their head.
Even celebs like Ciara are helping to #makeclothmainstream (thank you Spray Pal for that hashtag!). Ciara’s baby has been spotted in cloth at least twice, once in a photo and once in a video while wearing a cloth swim diaper! And her then 7 month old was swimming! Even Anna Duggar has cloth diapers, I just hope she uses them and they make an appearance in an upcoming episode of 19 Kids and Counting. If they used cloth even half of the time it would cut down on a great deal of landfill waste for the future children they intend to have.
Big brands are taking notice too! Gerber, makers of the diapers most of us in the know refer to as “gerber trash” or “really good burp cloths” has come out with a sized All-in-One diaper. So far the diaper is online only but with their weight in the baby industry it could come to a store near you and Gerber is carried in every single Wal-Mart, Target, Babies ‘R Us, and Buy Buy Baby in the country. Early reviews are mixed on the performance but I’ve purchased one for Lara to try out and DDL will have a review of them soon enough. Honest Company (disHonest company) has a reusable swim diaper now. I wouldn’t be surprised if a cloth diaper is in the works.
Cloth diapers are becoming more mainstream, right before our eyes. Though we may not be there all the way the progress is there. The disposable diaper companies are sweating, I promise you. Today when a pregnant mom says she is going to cloth diaper more people know that she isn’t planning on beating her diapers on a rock in the river. More magazines know that if they talk about diapering a baby they had better include cloth diapers too or else their readers will lash out on social media to ask if they were paid by P&G not to say anything! We are mighty and fierce and are not to be messed with. That scrappy attitude has helped grow the industry from the roots and the brands are doing a great job of keeping up with and fostering that growth.
I see more ginormous butts on the playgrounds now, and yes, I am always still watching even though my kids are now out of diapers. It’s just in my blood.
Image credit: Amanda Spans