The fight about cloth diaper wash routines is destructive, mean, and just down right not-nice. It needs to stop.
And yes, I’m talking about all you keyboard warriors who decide they have something to say about someones routine even if it’s working because it doesn’t align with your recommended guide book.
Over the past few months, I have started to ponder and reflect on the cloth diaper industry as a whole.
And this becomes not just about the cloth diaper market place but also about the cloth diaper community. As I shift my blame for the downfall of cloth diapering in the past few years from cheapies to consumer behaviours, I begin to notice a few really big problems emerging.
The first is our ever demanding need for things from retailers from free shipping to cloth diaper support groups and freebies. That’s a different conversation.
The second is the fight over cloth diapers. One of these prominent fights is the wash routines conversation and the pointing fingers of blame at one group or another. Or one blogger, or one store/brand etcertera.
The thing is we are all just problem solving the best we can and there are a variety of different experiences out there. Nobody really knows what is exactly going to work. We just make best guesses based on experiences we have learnt from other parents, and other scenarios.
I’ve been part of the circle, and I regret it. Fighting about cloth diaper wash routines is destructive to everyone. It creates tensions, and different sides. It creates anger and hatred. It also adds to a lot of chaos and disorganization as we all try to decide what is the best rule, the only rule, and the biggest mistake the other team is making.
Cloth diapering shouldn’t be about sides. Making about sides is how we loose when we try to convince new parents to join.
But Bailey, we need rules for success.
Do we really need stringed rules for cloth diaper success? How many parents do you know that rocked cloth diapering without the nitty gritty obsession over the size of their machine, the temperature of their water, or the hardness of their water? A lot of parents. We just don’t know about it because they don’t have a reason to complain on the internet. In real life, on the internet, and everywhere else I have met parents who have successfully cloth diapered without the over analyzation and precision insisted by not just one popular group, but many others since.
I know many of you will get mad at me for suggesting we should back off on the rules of cloth diaper wash routines. You dream of a future where nobody struggles and every bum is happy and healthy.
However, after just 3 years in the cloth diaper space, I’ve learnt one very important thing, everyone gets burned when we insist there is only way to do things.
It’s hard enough without being told you are incompetent.
Parenting a new child is hard enough without someone telling you that you are doing something drastically wrong that will destroy your diapers and your child healthy bum.
And this is conversation happens time and time again on the internet because whether its a Facebook group of an Instagram post, when someone is successfully cloth diapering with a less than ideal detergent (by whose standards BTW?) and is excited to announce their success, a keyboard warrior attacks them for them for even considering risking their child by using a product that might actually work under the right conditions.
It’s one thing to scroll and by and think, yikes, that didn’t work for me, I hope she doesn’t have the same mistake. It’s another to scroll by and write a comment that alluding to unknown, undocumented dangers of a detergent with complete disregard for the women mental health and capabilities of coming to a conclusion that works for her. In our haste to judge and jump to conclusions we completely disregard her own intellectual capabilities.
People are downright nasty about their language and conversation to parents who wash diapers in ways that are a little different than whatever group they are in. And it’s this nasty, inconsiderate and straight up rude behaviour that needs to end. We need to stop being accusatory and judgemental, and start offering unconditional love and support in a way that doesn’t make her feel like a stupid human. That doesn’t work anywhere.
I’ve made my own fights…
And I’m calling out the community because we all need to shift, change, and move forward with a conversation of “what if you did you this instead of this?” and “in my experience, that really didn’t work for me I needed an extra dose of such-and-such.”
I want the cloth diaper experience to shift from arbritary rules to owning of experiences. I want us to call each other out on our the supposed rules of cloth diapering, and embrace a culture of owned experiences.
I want to know the why behind each decision, and I want to know the story behind each decision. Because those of us who have been in it know that there are a variety of experiences out there and I want the cloth diaper community to acknowledge that detergent brands are changing, that cloth diapering isn’t as complex and scientific as it’s suggested, and the fighting just needs to stop.
Maybe if we embraced a culture of sharing of experiences instead of hatred for products we could shift to becoming a place more people want to be a part of. While I love the cloth diaper community for everything they are to me, I see the incoming cloth diaper community being one of turmoil, and fights. I see parents leaving because they are overwhelmed with washing and the never ending battle between this or that. I see parents not even joining because of the negative attitude left by many, including my own words and thoughts.
I truly believe in the sharing of local wisdom around cloth diaper wash routine. I believe in brands and retailers supporting their customers and that 1:1 support on a cloth diaper wash routine is the place to start.
Let’s hold our tongue, and not be so critical of things that work. Let’s share our experiences instead bashing theirs. Because nobody wins when every feels like an incompetent human being during the transition into motherhood.