Stephanie's Tips for a Great Cloth Diaper Change
March 31, 2014 9:30:00 AM EDT
You may have been hearing about The Great Cloth Diaper Change lately, and wondering what it’s all about and if it’s worth your time. While it may just seem like a big diaper changing party, it's actually much more. On April 26th at 11:00 am, moms and dads all over the country, even the world, will come together to spread awareness about cloth diapers and to set a Guiness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time. Events will be held in many different cities, but if you will be anywhere near Bloomington, Indiana on that day, The Green Nursery is where you’re going to want to be!
Photo Credit: Venus Leah Photography
A friend and I went to the GCDC last year at TGN and had so much fun! They had GREAT swag bags, giveaways (one of which my friend won!) sales, yummy treats... it was just a great experience. That being said, there are definitely some things I would do a little different this year. There were a few of bumps in the road, and this year I'm planning accordingly to avoid those little mishaps.
Here are my tips to help make your Great Cloth Diaper Change as enjoyable as possible...
Tip # 1. Arrive early...
Many events will offer swag bags to the first so many people through the doors. The Green Nursery had an awesome swag bag last year and I can't wait to see what is in store for this year. If you plan on waiting in line, it would be a good idea to stop somewhere for a bathroom break or diaper change beforehand, particulary if you are traveling from out of town. You'll also want a good carrier so you don't have to deal with a stroller. I was able to nurse my little guy to sleep in his carrier last year while we waited in line. Fingers crossed this year he'll do the same!
Tip #2. Invite your friends to participate...
It's always more fun to do things with friends! If you have friends who use cloth diapers, invite them to do The Change with you. It will not only make for a more memorable experience, but will also help the time pass by while you wait for the doors to open.
If your friends don't use cloth diapers, tell them about the change anyway! Being involved may show them how easy modern cloth diapers really are. How cool would it be if that's how they started their cloth diapering journey... participating in The Change and changing their baby from a disposable diaper into a cloth diaper!
Tip # 3. Don’t cut in line…
Let me start this off by saying that I don’t live in Bloomington. I had only shopped from TGN online and had not yet been to their brick & mortar store. Hoping to be one of the lucky people to get a swag bag, my friend and I rushed to find a place to park. Then I grabbed my son, threw him in the carrier, grabbed my huge diaper bag and booked it to get in line.
When I claimed my spot in line I set down my diaper bag, and looked around… where was my friend? I thought to myself, “Where the heck is she? She better hurry up…” Then I realized the people next to me in line were staring at me. I just flashed them a smile and continued to look for my friend… Then I found her. At the other end of the line. I had planted myself right in the very front of the line...
Photo Credit: Venus Leah Photography
I. was. mortified. “Oh! Is this the front of the line?” I asked. The ladies behind me shook their heads yes. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! I’ve never been here before, I thought this was the back of the line.” I tried to play it off and get a laugh, “I’m just gonna cut in front of you. Haha!” They did not look amused (at least not to me in my thoroughly embarrassed state, haha!)… “I’ll just go back there now…”
Tip # 4. If you are traveling or planning on waiting in line, choose your diaper and/or insert wisely…
Besides leaving the house to go into town for a few hours, at that point, I hadn’t really went too far away from home with my little guy in cloth diapers. I had heard of compression leaks, but we never had that issue before, so I just went about the same routine we always did… pocket diaper and microfiber insert.
Before we got there, we made a pit stop to take a bathroom break and change our boys. After being in the car for over an hour, I was surprised to find that my son, who was a frequent wetter, still dry. “Darn it!” I thought. “I hope he doesn’t soak through when he does go…” I refastened the diaper and hoped for the best. I was going to be changing him soon anyways…
It was a pretty cold day in April. While we were standing in line waiting for the doors to open, I had my little guy snuggled up in a stretchy wrap, with a blanket over top of him. As it got closer to time, I noticed that my belly started to feel colder… I wondered, “Did his diaper leak?” I felt over the top of the wrap around his bottom, but I just wasn’t sure. There was just a more minutes left till 10:30, when they would open the doors. Soon I could get him inside where it was warm and find out for sure.
Once I collected my swag bag, I found my spot on the floor. I spread out his blanket and laid him down. I then realized it had happened… around his thighs his pants were totally soaked, and my shirt was a bit wet too. Luckily I had an extra outfit for him in my huge diaper bag, but no shirt for me. So hopefully I didn't smell like pee...
The problem is that microfiber acts like a sponge. It absorbs a lot, but if it's overly saturated and gets squeezed, leaks can happen. You hear about it happening after long car rides, since being in the seated position can cause pee to squish out if the insert is super wet. My little guy went from the seated position in the car seat and remained that way when I put him in the carrier.
Learned my lesson! From now on, if we are going to be in the car for a while, I use the combo of mircofiber on top to absorb quickly and hemp on bottom to pull wetness down and add extra, long term-absorbency. That's why I love the new Thirsties One-Size Pocket. The insert it comes with is just that, a microfiber and hemp insert that snap together.
Or you can forget the microfiber all together and go with natural fibers to avoid compression leaks. If you are concerned about your baby being in contact with wetness during a long car ride or wait in line, you can use a stay-dry fleece liner on top. Or just stuff a prefold or flat in a pocket diaper since most are lined with stay-dry microfleece. If you want to try your luck with just microfiber, you may want to bring a back-up outfit for baby... and an extra t shirt for yourself. Of course, this may not be an issue for local folks! :)
Tip # 5. Ditch the huge diaper bag…
After the change, I was excited to get a little shopping in, and so was everyone else. Although it is a spacious store, it was kind of packed. Every few feet I walked, my huge diaper bag kept bumping into people... "excuse me... sorry... pardon me..."
Photo Credit: Venus Leah Photography, My huge diaper bag ^ bottom right
In hindsight, bringing that huge diaper bag in with me was kind of a pain in the butt… I think an easier option would be a small backpack with just the essentials: diaper, pre-moistened wipes in a waterproof baggie, small wet bag or sack to store dirty diapers in, small blanket, and outfit. I may just use the bumGenius wet bag I got with my Tiny Socialite Collection and store it all in there or in my purse. By all means, if you are more comfortable with bringing in your diaper bag, do it! You can always make a trip back to the car to put the diaper bag away, then come back in to enjoy the rest of the fun festivities!
Even with the few mishaps I had, we still had a great time! If you happen to have a something embarrassing happen to you, just remember that kind of stuff happens to all of us. As embarrassed as I was about trotting up to the front of the line like some sort of VIP and possibly smelling like pee, it gave me and my friend something to laugh about! It actually made the event more memorable. The best tip I can give is, don't take yourself too seriously, have fun, and make some memories!
Keep an eye on The Green Nursery's Facebook event page to stay up to date on all the inside scoop. The details for this years event are all starting to come together and it is looking to be TGN's best GCDC event yet!
Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.
Leave a comment!
Will you be participating in this year's Great Cloth Diaper Change?
Have you ever been to one in the past?
Ever have any mishaps happen to you while attending the GCDC?