Recently there was a humongous uproar over a very small segment about Cloth Diapers vs Disposables which aired on CBS’s Eye on Parenting segment. The reporter, Natali Morris, and her “expert” pediatrician went over the diapering options. It was clear that disposable diapers were the winner for these two, with nary a mention of the modern cloth diapers available. There was more talk of pins and prefolds with a brief “but there are diapers with velcro and snaps available” line at the end. Frankly this whole thing seems poorly researched and a little rushed. You can view this report here: CBS Eye on Parenting
Well….. cloth diaper users are actually pretty techy (there are only a million cloth diaper blogs, myself included) and we picked up on this report very quickly. I actually get ALL the cloth diaper news delivered to my email with an alert. If you write about cloth, I know it! Unfortunately, the response was overwhelmingly venomous. Yes, some commenters on the story simply informed the reporter that there are modern diapers and that the report was a little one sided, but the majority of comments were personal attacks on the reporter and the pediatrician in the feature. There are 370 comments and counting on the original report.
I was very disappointed in this. I have always known the cloth diaper community to be supportive and kind. This was an ugly side that I wasn’t proud of. You always catch more flies with honey!
Regardless, Natali did hear our cry and decided to challenge herself. She made the decision to try modern cloth diapers for 30 days, on her own terms. Her husband and nanny would not have to use them if they didn’t want, but she would.
Immediately the enterprising cloth diaper makers got on the horn and sent packages of diapers for Natali to try. She received Softbums, Rumparooz, Fuzzibunz, Rockin Green, and so on. If nothing else Natali was able to accrue an impressive stash in a matter of days for nothing. Talk about the money savings involved with cloth diapers! She was so gung-ho she actually has to start over because she didn’t have everything she needed.
Natali gave it an honest to goodness try with us as her audience, there for the good and bad. I was watching from the sidelines and rooting her on. If she failed, we failed. Cloth would receive another bad write up. If she converted, we won! There would be good press for modern cloth diapers from a major news outlet!
Natali traveled with cloth. Her husband even got involved. I think by far my favorite part of this experiment was seeing the honest and genuine reaction to cloth diapers her husband gave on his webcast show “Daddy on Board.” In his cloth diaper episode he talks about noticing that cloth didn’t shrivel up his little guy’s balls (what a guy thing to notice, but a valid point and great reason to use cloth, no chemicals!). He also explained the toggle on a Softbums like a man. But the best segment came when he talked about his wife watching diaper tutorials. She told him that she thought a piece of the diaper was missing. She was confused. Where was the white strip she saw in the video?! Well….. that white strip was simply a cloth wipe placed over the baby’s privates. I loled. Only an honest to god cloth diaper virgin would get in a tizzy over this. It was so true and honest and real. As cloth a cloth veteran this is something I would have never thought of.
Finally, the anticipated follow-up of the 30 Day Challenge aired, which you can view here. Tereson Dupuy, inventor of the modern cloth diaper (Fuzzibunz, the first pocket diaper) flew to NYC to help. Together, Natali and Tereson discussed MODERN options. If you want an idea of what went on to get this production together, Tereson posted a note on her Facebook page here.
She showed a Bummis cover with a prefold (this part was confusing because the explanation made it sound like a prefold WAS a cover, but then they briefly showed the inside and then explained a bit better), next came the gorgeous Artist Series bumGenius! Elemental as an example of an All in One, then a G Diaper for the hybrid option, then a Fuzzibunz Pocket diaper. They also touch on laundering (they showed Rockin’ Green as a diaper detergent) and disposable of the solid waste.
The good news is that Natali is a convert! She loves cloth diapers now.
I am extremely happy with how things went. Cloth diapers received great publicity. A few options were presented and explained briefly in a simple way. Natali is right, researching cloth diapers when you have never seen one or known anyone who uses them, is extremely overwhelming. I was drowning information 2.5 years ago when I started my journey too. Every site says something different, especially when it comes to washing. There is just no easy solution.
Thanks Natali for ignoring the negative and focusing on the message of cloth diapers and their benefits. I wish you continued success and look forward to your reviews of the cloth diapers you have tried so far on Mommy Beta.
To see all of her posts from the 30 Day Challenge: