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RDA & Cloth Diapers in Mothering Magazine

Have you gotten the latest issue of Mothering magazine yet? It features a HUGE spread on cloth diapering - comprehensive, thorough, and clearly in favor of 100% reusable cloth diapers! Lori Taylor, President of the Board of Directors, and RDA member Angie Gregory, of Mother Herb Diaper Service in Northampton, MA, were quoted in the article. Supplements include a 2-page pictorial explanation of the different type of cloth diapers, a page of troubleshooting advice, a listing of cloth diaper resources on the web, and an excellent article on elimination communication, particularly in conjunction with cloth diapers.

Jennifer Margulis, author of the article, is following up with a week of cloth diaper-themed blog posts at mothering.com. So far she's written three: "I Heart Cloth Diapers", "Cloth Diapering 101 or Everything You Need to Know About How to Get Started with Cloth Diapers", and "Can You Really Travel with Cloth Diapers?" (her answer, like ours, is YES!  Learn more about our efforts to support parents in using cloth diapers on the road here.)

In support of the article, mothering.com has also introduced a series of video resources on cloth diapers and a Q&A Forum related to cloth diapering.  All this follows a long tradition of support for cloth diapers from Mothering magazine, highlights of which include editor Peggy O'Mara's "A Tale of Two Diapers", Lindsay Evans' "Dumping Disposable Diapers", and "The Politics of Diapers".  There have been more published, and a number of additional articles and resources available on the site. Many RDA business members also advertise in Mothering magazine, connecting readers to sources they often cannot find locally.

Want to spread the word about cloth diapers? Buy a few copies and give them out to family and friends!


Cloth Diapering in North Carolina

Heather Bradley has been accredited as RDA's newest Real Diaper Circle Leader in Goldsboro, North Carolina!

The Circle already has an on-base home (at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base), but is working on an off-base location to serve the local civilian population as well. Heather is also in training to be a La Leche League Leader, and does a lot of local babywearing support as well. She hopes to bring all three together in a common space and time to help spread interest and support across the natural parenting spectrum. With three children that she is homeschooling, Heather is quite busy, but she is also dedicated. When she began cloth diapering, she was completely on her own, knowing no one else using cloth diapers. Being persistent, and convinced that cloth diapers were the right answer from environmental, health, and financial standpoints, she struggled through it, and now wants to share her knowledge so that other people won't have such a tough time figuring it all out.

If you (or someone you know) are in the local area, check out the Facebook group for the Real Diaper Circle of Wayne County, NC. Join the group to connect with cloth diaperers and find out about upcoming meetings and other local resources!

Congratulations, Heather, and thank you for joining RDA in advocating for 100% reusable cloth diapers!!

If you are interested in helping with cloth diaper advocacy and support in your area, find out more about Real Diaper Circles in this blog post.

If you are looking for local support outside of Wayne County, NC, check out the Real Diaper Association's local resource directory.

Heather McNamara

Executive Director, Real Diaper Association


Cloth Diapers during Earth Week

 The San Diego Real Diaper Circle is awesome! Allow me (its leader) to brag for a moment... This was our third year hosting a cloth diapering booth at the EarthFair, an event that draws upwards of 80,000 people. Each year, I have organized the booth with the help of volunteers. This year, THEY pretty much organized it with the help of ME. Roni managed the entire booth design herself, getting all the materials in place (with the help of her design crew) and managing booth setup AND takedown.

 

 

 

Jenn devoted her considerable graphic design skills and printing contacts to get us a BEAUTIFUL, professional-looking brochure to hand out with basic cloth diapering information and tips about local and online resources. Wendy contacted a variety of manufacturers and retailers who donated diapers and accessories to give away at the booth and sell in our silent auction to cover our expenses (and probably make enough extra to allow us to do some more events this year!). And a number of Circle members came through to fill holes - lending a changing table (Jenny) and a diaper stash for showcasing (Serena), providing gorgeous pictures of their babies in cloth diapers to attract people to the booth (a huge draw!), and, of course, STAFFING the booth!


Sixteen of us put in a couple of hours or more at the booth throughout the day - - including one dad! And thank goodness there were so many of us there - we were kept busy with interested visitors! San Diego granted us one of its perfect days, and I think each of us left both exhausted and really fired up about all the excitement over cloth diapers. Having had two previous EarthFair experiences that were positive, it was somewhat surprising how even MORE enthusiastically-received cloth diapers were this year. It seemed that we talked to more non-parents than usual - all of whom expressed real appreciation for our message, and an intent to spread the word to their family and friends. I'm still on a high over the whole thing, though that may be due to the fact that my week didn't end there. My co-leader, Rachel, and another Circle member (Jenni) staffed another booth for us on Earth Day itself at Hewlett-Packard's fair, getting a lot of interest from the several hundred attendees.

 

And, of course, the #GetRealDiapers Twitter party that night capped it all off with 1700+ tweets in one hour amongst the 400+ preregistered attendees! There was a lot of fantastic information provided! Prizes were awarded EVERY FOUR MINUTES throughout the hour, including entire diaper stashes for some parents new to cloth diapers. Preregistered attendees were also subsequently provided with discount codes from the sponsors as well as information from the Real Diaper Association to help them realize their commitment to cloth diapers.

Did you take advantage of Earth Week to advocate for cloth diapers? How? We'd love to hear about your experiences!!

Heather McNamara

San Diego Real Diaper Circle Leader

Executive Director,

Real Diaper Association


Expanding the Real Diaper Association Board of Directors

Are you passionate about 100% reusable cloth diapers? Do you have experience soliciting big donors and writing grants? Real Diaper Association is looking for a volunteer fundraiser to join the board of directors and help the organization grow.

The current board members have diverse backgrounds in areas such as project management, small business management, social media, education and advocacy, and accounting. However, we lack significant experience in the area of fundraising.

As a board member you would

  • have an opportunity to use your knowledge and experience to help the Real Diaper Association grow.
  • help set priorities of our organization and adopt policies and procedures.
  • guide our executive director as she manages the affairs of the organization.
  • help develop, lead and participate in ongoing projects; like our current 100% Reusable Cloth Diapers Campaign.
  • become a national advocate and help put more babies in real diapers.

Send your resume or summary of experience along with your top three ideas for raising funds by May 20th to Angela Imes, Treasurer of the Real Diaper Association board of directors at angela@realdiaperassociation.org.


What do Montana and Arkansas have in common?

New Real Diaper Circles!

The Northwest Arkansas Real Diaper Circle, led by Bernice Hembree, operates out of Fayetteville. Bernice has been actively advocating for and supporting people in using cloth diapers for a while now as the owner of TerraTots, a brick-and-mortar store that connects families to their environment and offers products that will help them raise their children naturally. Terra-Tots is also a member of the Real Diaper Industry Association, the organization with which Bernice is currently working to educate leaders and organizations that are assisting low-income families about cloth diapers. The organizations and governmental agencies that provide services to this community are different in every state, so Bernice is accepting volunteers from other states to assist with this project. Of course, finding her at home is the problem. Shortly after our last conversation, Bernice left on tour with her folk / Americana group, 3 Penny Acre!

The Northwest Montana Real Diaper Circle, led by Andrea Dupuis, operates out of Polson. Andrea has been offering local cloth diapering education support for a while now, and is the owner of The Anura, a natural children's store (online and brick and mortar) and diaper service. Andrea has witnessed how men can derail efforts in the home to switch to cloth diapers if they are not on board. So one of her big goals as a Circle Leader is to focus on helping men embrace cloth diapering. Her first local Circle event will be hosting a cloth diaper booth at the Mission Valley Trade Fair and Expo on April 24th at Polson High School.

Congratulations to Bernice and Andrea on their accreditation!

Is there a Real Diaper Circle in your area?

Want to learn more about Real Diaper Circles?


RDA to Co-Host Earth Day Cloth Diaper Party

Earth Day is approaching, and, with it, an opportunity for people to reassess how their lifestyles are impacting the environment. Parents everywhere are starting to realize what a waste throwaway diapers are, and are interested in finding out more about reusable cloth diapers. To support them in their quest, the Real Diaper Association is cohosting a #GetRealDiapers party on Twitter at 9pmET (8pmCT / 7pmMT / 6pmPT) on Earth Day (Thursday, 4/22) to educate people on choosing and using 100% reusable cloth diapers. Sponsors have joined on to provide great incentives - starter sets of cloth diapers and accessories for parents new to cloth diapers, and exciting stash updates for those attending to help the new parents overcome obstacles. You can find out more about the party (and preregister for prizes) at EcoMomMedia. If you're new to Twitter, check out this easy-to-follow guide ahead of time to get yourself set up to participate. See you there!

Heather McNamara Executive Director,

Real Diaper Association

@RDAHeatherMc

Please also follow @RealDiapers for RDA news and updates!


Help us help families cloth diaper on the road!

My oldest son, who is 3 1/2 years old, has taken 8 round trip plane trips in his short life, and probably 15 road trips. He's FAR better traveled than I was at least until my mid-20s. His diapers (and his brother's) have made all those trips with us, and thank goodness for it! My dad likes to claim that we're all flying for free these days, thanks to our diaper savings. That might be slightly overstating it, but the fact remains that several thousand dollars of diaper savings over the course of two children HAVE helped us keep up with our east coast relatives while enjoying the sunny San Diego lifestyle!

When our first baby was only a few months old, we traveled to New York. I had several disposable diapers left over from his newborn days and he was still quite small so I figured, rather than throwing them out, I'd use them for the flights. What. A. Disaster. Before we even got on the plane, I was changing him from head to toe and bathing him in an airport bathroom sink after an explosion the likes of which I had never before (nor since) experienced using cloth diapers. All I can say is thank goodness it happened in the airport and not on the plane - I can't imagine doing THAT change in one of those tiny airplane stalls! From then on, I haven't bought or used a single disposable diaper, and we have continued to travel - by car, by plane, cross-country, internationally, staying with family and friends, in a tent, in hotels, even in a rainforest - literally!

Along the way, I've learned things to make it easier to use cloth diapers on the road. I've also been fortunate to know a bunch of moms who also use and travel with their cloth diapers, all of whom have been very generous with their advice. Unfortunately, not all parents are similarly connected, though many of them have the same desire to continue to experience all the financial, environmental, and health benefits of cloth diapers - even when they're traveling. To help them, the next phase of the Real Diaper Association's 100% Reusable Cloth Diapers campaign is focused on this aspect of cloth diapering. Here's where you come in: Can you add your tips to mine so RDA can put together an exhaustive plan for parents to use when planning a trip with their reusable cloth diapers?

There are doubters that say that using cloth diapers on the road is impossible - or it can only be done in certain really easy travel situations. I'm proud to say I've used my reusable cloth diapers in a bunch of atypical travel situations - with complete success! - and I know I'm not the only one! Don't let this myth stand uncontested. If you have used reusable cloth diapers while traveling, stand up and be proud - then share your tips! We'll even give you a badge to show off a little bit...
My baby wears cloth diapers on the road
Heather McNamara Executive Director, Real Diaper Association


Get a good flashlight...

When I told my father-in-law that RDA was working on compiling parents' recommendations for nighttime cloth diapering, he looked perplexed, then asked "what, like get a good flashlight so you can see to change the diaper in the dark?" "Ummm... no", I laughed. Actually we wanted to find out what parents do to make sure their babies' diapers don't leak after a (hopefully) long night.

Baby sleeping comfortably in a 100% reusable cloth diaper.

Baby sleeping comfortably in a 100% reusable cloth diaper.

Well over a hundred parents shared their advice to help other parents succeed using 100% reusable cloth diapers at night. We examined the responses and compiled it into a single-page tip sheet for nighttime cloth diapering. I'm thrilled with the results, in part due to the beautiful graphic design work of our volunteer designer, Trebeca Itzen. Please feel free to use and share this tip sheet with anyone you can! We hope it's helpful...

We've now concluded the first phase of the 100% Reusable Cloth Diapers campaign, and it was a real pleasure to see so many people publicize it and contribute to its success. I'm hoping you'll be as generous in helping with the next phase, starting in April, focusing on tips for traveling with 100% reusable cloth diapers.


8 Hours Talking Cloth

DFWexpo-pic1This weekend I had my first opportunity to represent RDA at a community event. From 10am to 5pm at the DFW Family Expo in Dallas, Texas I had a chance to talk to parents, parent-to-be, grandparents, and more about their diapering choices. At first I was a little nervous that I wouldn't know what to say or that people would have questions I couldn't answer. But I quickly got into a groove, engaging not only those parents who make a point to stop but just asking those who walked by "Have you ever considered cloth diapers".  To this questions I received the entire range of responses but the most fulfilling were those who said they "couldn't" or "wouldn't" do that.  To these parents I simply said "May I ask way..." An opening that in many case allowed me to show them different diaper styles and direct them to our local diaper services to address their concerns. Or to dispel misconceptions about wet pails and diaper dunking. One of my favorites was a grandmother-to-be who confessed she was giving her daughter a hard time about plans to use cloth and said then new baby would have to be in disposables for her to babysit. After showing her an all-in-one diaper she quickly proclaimed "Oh, I can do that..." I also found that having my5 month old (who refuses milk from any source but mommy) turned out to be more help than hindrance. People love to stop to talk when your holding a cute baby and I was able to show off her fluffy butt. Including to one parent who asked regarding a Snappi, "you don't really use these do you?" and I was able to slip open her cover and show off the Snappi in action.

All in all, it was a long and tiring day but I was surprised at how much fun I had. No one would describe me as an extrovert but I enjoyed the chance to talk with so many people about something I believe in so passionately. Now I can't wait to do another one.

Angela Imes

Plano Area Real Diaper Circle Leader

http://groups.google.com/group/planocloth


Nighttime Cloth Diapering Roundup

The 100% Reusable Cloth Diapers campaign has gotten off to a great start. In this first leg of the campaign, RDA members and other cloth diapering experts have been contributing their best advice to help other parents succeed with using cloth diapers at night.

We've received more than 50 responses. And what are the experts saying?

  • More than half of the respondents recommend adding extra inserts or doublers to increase absorbency for those (hopefully) long nights.
  • More than half of our respondents were using fitteds, prefolds, or flats with covers - mostly wool covers, though occasionally fleece covers (or pajama bottoms).  Those who praised wool covers cited the breathability of wool in particular as being useful for keeping a baby's bottom healthy overnight.
  • Many experts are using pocket diapers since they are easily stuffable to add absorbency, and have a built-in stay-dry layer next to the baby's bottom.
  • Hemp diapers and inserts get a lot of recommendations for their extreme absorbency.  (Bamboo got a number votes for this characteristic as well.)
  • Some other common tips include paying close attention to a good fit, particularly around the legs, and adding fleece liners on top of fitteds or prefolds so babies feel comfortably dry at night.

I really liked the bits of encouragement that some participants included, so I will include them here for your enjoyment:

"Keep at it.  There is a solution out there for everyone." - Danielle "Don't give up!  I struggled off and on to keep my sheets dry while co-sleeping with my CD'ed [cloth-diapered] son...  The nice thing about cloth diapers is that there are tons of used ones out there, so you can find what works and not spend a fortune.  Then you can turn around and sell your stash to another CD'ing [cloth diapering] family!" - Wendy

And my personal favorite quote (and this was NOT a paid advertisement):

"And it's always a good idea to get connected in your local Real Diaper Circle - it's awesome to have support and lots of great advice." - Jamie

A BIG THANK YOU to all who have participated so far!  We will soon be compiling the advice to provide to parents and caregivers who need support, and the quality of our materials depends on your help!

Do you have ideas?  If you haven't done so already, post your tips for using cloth diapers at night here.

(Edit: Submission form now closed.)


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