Monday, January 16, 2012

Cloth Diapering Support Group

Like anything in life, if you don't know what you're doing, you're not likely to continue. And if what you see on TV or hear from your loved ones puts you down, makes you feel like you're complicating your life, or makes you feel like the minority, you're also likely to move to something where you have more support.

This happens when it comes to baby sleep habits, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and disciplining your child. How many times did you have a well-meaning friend or relative tell you that their baby slept through the night after three evenings of bawling his or her eyes out? Then, as you sat and rocked your baby to sleep for the umpteenth time, lay him down in his crib, and walk away only to hear him start crying again, did you picture just how easy your life could be if you only let him cry himself to sleep?

When you were breastfeeding, did your mother-in-law tell you that a little formula wouldn't hurt and would help your baby sleep through the night? Did your friends urge you to give your baby a bottle because you needed a girl's night out? Did your husband encourage you to use the free formula sample from the hospital so you could get a good night's sleep?

Or maybe you were adamant about not saying "no" too much as your baby grew into a toddler, but your mother told you that she said "no" plenty of times, and you turned out fine.You are against spanking, but your friend tells you that a little pop on the hand is what every little kid needs when they misbehave. Your preschool teacher makes you feel as though your son's separation anxiety is a discipline problem.

When it comes to parenting advice, sometimes a little bug in your ear can make you change your whole tune, whether you meant for it to happen or not. The devil on your shoulder is pretty persuasive. If everyone you know thinks you're crazy for nursing your baby to sleep every night, it's not hard to just try letting your baby cry it out one night. If you have a sample of formula lying around, it's easy to fall back on that when breastfeeding gets tough. If you're encouraged to use a less-than-gentle form of discipline on your child, you might end up following that advice, especially when you're frustrated and short on patience.

Cloth diapering is very much the same. Maybe you have your routine down pat, but your husband has no idea how to get a prefold onto your squirmy baby without pinching himself with the snappi. You go to visit a friend who thinks cloth diapering is dirty, and she isn't too keen on you using her washing machine to clean your diapers. You keep a stash of disposables in the house for when your mother-in-law watches your baby, because you feel guilty asking her to learn how to use cloth diapers and watch your child.

And if you keep the disposables in your house, chances are, you'll use them. You'll tell yourself, "just for emergencies." And then that pack runs out, and you cringe at shelling out more money for more disposables, but you buy yourself another "emergency pack." And before you know it, you're using fewer and fewer cloth diapers and wasting money on disposables (not to mention adding significantly to your household waste, filling up landfills, and supporting not-so-environmentally friendly manufacturing processes).

It's just like the mom whose free sample pack of formula sabotaged her breastfeeding relationship. The lack of support combined with the general consensus that everyone is doing it a different way than you are can make you join the pack and drop your way of doing things, no matter how adamant you were about doing things your way at the beginning.

Green Baby Diaper Service doesn't only sell and wash diapers; it's also a place where you can get support for any of your cloth diapering challenges. Just when you feel like you've tried everything and are exhausted from lack of sleep, tired of holding down a squirmy baby with your feet, and confused about how to handle your baby's diaper rash, Liz will come up with a new piece of advice you've never heard before. Or another customer in the store will share her story, giving you new ideas about how to manage your cloth diapering needs.

We have also started a cloth diapering support group on Facebook. If you would like to join, friend Liz (Elizabeth Soffera) or Gaby (Gaby Merediz) on Facebook, then send one of us a message letting us know you would like to join the group. It's a closed group, so no one outside the group can see your posts, and although it doesn't have to stay local to Wilmington cloth diapering mamas, many of the group members are right here in town. It's an easy place to post a question, a tip, or talk about a new style of diaper you've come across that you would like to be able to buy locally. Feel free to chat about anything. Hopefully it will help us all push through hurdles and find out things we never knew about cloth diapering.

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