Tuesday, May 27, 2014

GCDC 2014: Did we scare off a newcomer?

I had a rather unsettling experience at our 2014 GCDC event.  The event itself was beautifully planned, wonderfully organized, and a fun family affair.  However, it was a fellow cloth diapering mom who left a sour feeling in my stomach. 

Our event provided free Charlie Banana diapers to all participants (limited to the first 300 people), so parents were lined up and anxious to get in and get their diapers.  I found myself at the back of the line since I wanted to make sure the newcomers had an opportunity to get a free diaper.  As time approached, I entered the Change area and found a location to settle down with baby E.

I overheard a conversation from a nearby mom.  She was talking with someone who wanted to use the new Charlie Banana diaper for the Change.  "It's not going to absorb.  You have to wash it first. (and then an aside to her friend). New people just don't understand how to do this."

What!  My heart pounded in my chest.  First, newcomers should be welcomed at these  events: newcomers should not be made to feel foolish for entering into some type of elite group.  We're not elitists, are we?  Second, the information that this woman was going on about was totally incorrect.  Charlie Banana diapers are made with microfiber and synthetic fibers: microfiber does not need to be prepped before use because it's not an oil-containing natural fiber.  Refer here for when and how to prep diapers for first use. 

My mind was whirling with frustration, and I really wanted to correct the woman and enter into a discussion about fabric types, prepping diapers, and the fact that she was incredibly rude to the other woman.  However, I was distracted by another newcomer who sat down next to me and was struggling to figure out how to use the Charlie Banana diaper.  I helped her size the diaper, stuff the insert into the pocket, and showed her how to snap the diaper onto the baby.  The official announcement was made, and we all changed our babies into their cloth diapers.  The newcomer I helped used the free Charlie Banana diaper she received: great!  That's exactly what those diapers are for!  After the change, everyone immediately dissipated and I did not have a chance offer some supportive words to the other newcomer.

Although it's been a month since the event, I'm still very saddened by this display of a rudeness and incorrect information.  Stacy's recent post also made me determined to share this story. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to help another parent who was new to cloth diapering, but I'm still frustrated that I couldn't stand up for that other mom and make her feel welcomed.  Maybe the cloth diapering community could use a little bit of humility and a reminder that everyone is new at one time or another. 

Are you new to cloth diapers?  Did someone make you feel welcomed?

If you are new to cloth diapers or a veteran, you are welcome here at Cloth Diaper Guru.  Share your stories and your questions on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@Clothdiaperguru).


  1. The cloth diaper change was our first attempt at cloth diapers. We went with only our disposable and an Internet education, but I was eager to soak it in. At our location there were no diapers given out and only pre registered were guaranteed to receive anything. We were early and ended up getting a wet bag as some registered guests did not attend. At the event we ended up purchasing our FIRST cloth. We were warned it might just leak, but not to give up (actually the inserts are micro fibre). Star struck and clutching my first cloth I entered the raffle to start our stash and tried not to stick out like a sore thumb while trying to figure out just what was the front of my new purchase (tags go in back). After leaving the event we ended up doing a trial rental of different cloth diapers (highly recommend) and have since been mainly cloth diapering. Overall the experience was great, though not overly educational and overwhelming for a newcomer. I would still do it again and enjoyed the experience, but could have benefited more.

  2. Its unfortunate to hear this and I wish I would have been asked questions because I love chatting about cloth. My gcdc was chaotic and crowded and so cramped. None of the moms were friendly and nobody talked to me. Glad my husband was there after the change or I would have felt severly socially rejected!

  3. The www.itsybitsybums.com website was an awesome resource for me when I was a noob. I even emailed them some questions and Abby, the owner, emailed back. She was very helpful and definitely patient and welcoming towards my questions which I'm sure were questions she gets from people every day.

  4. Love this article! Just wanted to give you a heads up that Charlie Banana recommends to wash the inserts 4 to 6 times before using. It is really confusing to first time users because everywhere else says to wash one time before first use. http://www.charliebanana.com/Care-Instructions_ep_50-1.html

  5. oh my goodness yes!
    When I was first looking into cloth diapers and tried to ask questions I felt like I was back in high school and I wasn't one of the cool kids. I feel like there are two types of cloth diapering parents... the elitists who think it's their way or the highway and those that provide a community. Thankfully in my story I was able to find a great community of cloth diapering moms where I can ask questions without feeling less just because I don't know the answers. Hopefully that mom will find a community and that the one elitist won't have ruined it for her.

  6. I don't know if I would have thought to attend a GCDC event when I was just starting out, but I definitely would have hoped to find someone like you that would have helped answer my questions if I was there! The world of cloth can seem a bit overwhelming to start, but it's not that bad if you have someone to show you the ropes or answer your questions!

  7. That's incredibly rude. I am so glad to hear that the other newcomer found you and was able to get some help and I really hope the other woman was able to brush off the condescending attitude. What a bummer that these things happen instead of rallying together to offer help. She was a newbie once, too.

  8. There's no reason to be mean to newbies. Honestly, it's why I really, really love finding my old blog posts from when I was first investigating cloth. It's a reminder that I, too, once had no clue. I learned through time, experience, and conversation. Other people will, too.