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Life as a Cloth Diapering Mom
Posted by Guest Blogger Diana Torres Hawken on 9/17/2011
Written By Guest Blogger Diana Torres Hawken

I didn’t mean to be a cloth diapering mom. I kind of fell into it in the same way I became a proponent of other things such as natural birth, breastfeeding, baby-wearing and co-sleeping…these lifestyle choices just made sense. Before I had Melanie, I had visions of being the kind of mom I saw all around me: formula feeding, using disposable diapers, having baby sleep in her own room in her own crib and getting around with a stroller. But as I got bigger with this new life inside of me, I started to envision my future and those things I had thought about no longer felt right for me and this baby. And so I read a lot about everything related to pregnancy, birth and parenting. And I asked a lot of questions, mostly to a great mentor—my wonderful friend Kate—who encouraged me to invest in cloth diapering efforts to help ensure a world for my future child.

Cloth diapering required me to change the way I thought about my baby’s bodily functions. Unlike disposables, cloth diapering notifies you that your child pees frequently or infrequently by how the heaviness of the pocket inserts. You realize what kind of poop she has and that sometimes it’s watery diarrhea while other times it includes undigested blueberry and carrot bits because you have to scrape off the diaper before putting it in the wet bag. I feel more in tune with my daughter’s body and have to be more hands-on during diaper changes than I could have ever imagined. But the amazing part is that I don’t
mind it! Like other aspects of our relationship, I continue to be in sync with her body and her needs—a reminder that this little girl grew inside of me and continues to depend on me for her daily care.

And on top of that, I no longer have that overwhelming sense of guilt about destroying our environment, kind of like when you are somewhere that does not recycle and you end up throwing a plastic bottle in the garbage bin even though you really did not want to. I believe my daughter and her friends deserve a world that is not full of non-biodegradable trash that could have been avoided. I support a movement that promotes a healthy source of diapering that does not utilize chemicals and agents that could be toxic to her sensitive
and intimate skin. My family promotes a lifestyle that is completely our own and does not impose on anyone else’s. Our choice to cloth diaper does not directly affect anyone’s world but nonetheless supports everyone’s future world.

My life as a cloth diapering mom is about sharing what I know when asked. I have never judged others or pushed my beliefs on anyone else. Like styles of parenting, cloth diapering is a choice that moms and dads make. It’s something that each family must support in order guarantee success. And it’s something that is specific to the tastes and habits of each family unit (Pockets? All in ones? Prefolds?). Yet cloth diapering is also something that is so manageable and can be made so easy—once the learning curve is
endured and the initial shock of change is over. Kate, my wonderful friend and mentor that inspired me, served as my “cheat sheet.” She made me realize that it was not as overwhelming as it seemed and not as hard as I thought it would be. In many ways, I know that I could not have become a cloth-diapering mom without a living and breathing example of someone in my immediate circle that did it so naturally and effortlessly. For Kate, it wasn’t a question of how to cloth diaper but rather how could you not? All the resources needed are available: websites, local cloth diapering stores and even public forums. I ran out of excuses not to not try it. And so I joined the party of cloth-diapering moms. And you know what? I have managed to show other moms that it not something only hippies do. That it is not something that only the really rich or really poor do. That it is not something that is impossible for a family to practice. I am proud to say that as of today, I know three (3!!!) other moms that have converted to cloth diapering…and I would even venture to say that I have made them realize how easy it could be.

So life as a cloth diapering mom is wonderful. Easy. Care-free. Responsible. Lacking regret. I have enough to think about when it comes to what my daughter will eat, what she will wear, what activities she will do each day, what time she will nap and all those other things that are constantly on parents’ minds every day. What I don’t have to think about is how to diaper the wonderful, beautiful, curious and strong baby girl that has inspired me to change a significant aspect of our family’s life.

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