“I really want to use cloth, but my husband/wife/soulmate/mother-in-law/dog is reluctant. This sounds familiar? You’re likely to have encountered resistance from family members or partners if you’ve ever looked into cloth nappies. Cloth nappies may not appeal to everyone.
The good news for those in this situation is that most relatives will eventually accept the idea. They can even be the greatest advocates for reusables. You might be wondering what you can do in the interim to make it easier. To help you get started, I have a conversation with Phil, my husband.
Let me give you some background. Phil was initially skeptical about the cloth’s value, but he quickly accepted it. Although he isn’t as enthusiastic about pretty nappies as me, he is at the point where he would happily recommend them to his friends. Here’s his response to a few questions I asked about his feelings toward reusable nappies.
WHAT FELT YOU WHEN I FIRST SUGGESTED CLOTH NAPPIES TO YOU?
I was worried about them. I also thought they might be more expensive than disposables. They would take longer to wash and put on, so I thought they might be more complicated than disposables. Living sustainably has been our view that no change is necessary if it’s good for all. It shouldn’t cost too much and shouldn’t take too long. This seemed a bit too much for me.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE NAPPIES?
They were much easier than I expected. They were much easier than I expected, especially the Velcro ones. The popper ones took some time to get used to. It felt more like there was more trial and error. It was frustrating to deal with all the washing and poo. I believe that this is partly due to the fact that we didn’t know how to properly manage it. This was the most difficult part of it all. It took us a few weeks to find the right system. It was when we found liners that it was a game changer. We first used disposable ones, then switched to fleece ones. They made a huge difference.
DID YOU CHOOSE A FAVOURITE NAPPY RIGHT FROM THE START?
Some nappies were easier to use for beginners and more reliable. The ones with Velcro [TotsBots Easyfit] were the best, but there were also larger ones that didn’t require you to reach into the creases. They were best if they could be used in a similar way to disposable nappies.
Because they had poppers, I was the most fearful. I also didn’t know how to fit them because they were different from disposables. Although it took some time, I now feel confident that I know how to fit each one and what to watch out for. I attribute this to a YouTube video that was very helpful! You can find that here. It really does make a big difference to spend five minutes figuring out how the different fits fit together. It’s not that you don’t know how to do this.
HOW HAVE YOUR FEELINGS AROUND CLOTH NAPPIES EVOLVED OVER TIME?
Over time, my feelings have changed. This is mostly due to the fact that we’ve found ways to make it easier. There are solutions to the most frustrating problems. Moving to fleece liners dramatically reduced the time required to clean dirty nappies. It’s also important to learn how to do things like how to face the willy, how tight you should put the nappies down, what to do with the boosters, and other such details. It’s also possible to learn time-saving strategies, which makes it even easier.
It’s a big difference not to throw away mountains and mountains’ worth of disposable nappies that don’t decompose. I love that they are sustainable. This is the most important thing. They are probably the same price as disposable nappies, but maybe slightly less if you take care of them. [Me-That’s if your wife stops buying more!] That’s the main point! It is important to avoid purchasing too many.
Although it is more time-consuming, it is still worth the effort. It doesn’t take too much time, isn’t expensive, and makes a huge difference. It makes a big difference when you consider how many diapers you use and how much stuff is thrown away over the lifetime of a child and possibly multiple children.
It’s the most challenging thing about washing dishes that I find difficult. You’d have a disposable napkin in your drawer all the time. Reusables are great for when you have a hectic week and run out of nappies. It takes effort to ensure that you wash your clothes regularly. Even if you don’t need a lot of nappies. Although we don’t seem to have any problems with washing, it can sometimes take us a while before it is done.
WHAT INSPIRED COMMENTS WOULD YOU GIVE PARTNERS OR FAMILY MEMBERS RELUCTANT TO START?
There are many ways to start where you don’t need to spend a lot of money on nappies. To test them before buying them, we did a trial and found the best one for us. There’s no risk and it’s not too difficult. Even if you are hesitant, it is worth your while to get involved. It’s worth it. See what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy.
Like all things, it will be difficult to get started. It can get easier, but it is possible. You can make it easier. As you become more proficient at fitting them and feel more confident, there are many things you can do. It won’t be difficult if you give them a try for a few weeks.
Talk to your partner about what is working and what isn’t, and work together to find solutions. If you feel your partner is driving the problem, tell them and ask for their help. If they are really interested, they will likely want to help you work it out.
WHAT INSPIRED COMMENTS WOULD YOU GIVE A FAMILY MEMBER OR PARTNER WHO IS HAVING STRUCK TO CONVINCE THEM TO MAKE THE SWITCH?
Let’s make it as simple as possible. Because I have always been able ask for help, I’ve never felt overwhelmed. If you are the partner in this endeavor, it is important to be open to finding solutions. Be patient, if possible. Although it may take several weeks, things eventually get easier.