Cloth Diapering

The future of Cloth, Part II of ? Cloth in Big Box Stores

This post is a continuation of my ramblings on the future of cloth diapering.  Check out The Future of Cloth Part I if you missed it.

My big hope for cloth is that it will become more widespread, more accepted, and more commonplace.  I think there are a lot of things that can help that happen, but the first would be to make cloth more readily available.

I do not have a cloth diaper store nearby, and I’ve never gotten to see a diaper before buying it.  That’s part of the reason why I take so many photos for my reviews, I’ve been surprised by items when I got them sometimes.

I noticed that online, Target sells Grandma El’s products and also a few cloth diapers.  I’ve seen Kushies at Wal-Mart online, Buy Buy Baby has a couple of cloth diapers, and my local Organic Market sells gDiapers.  Other than the gDiapers, the only “cloth” I’ve seen in a store near me is the Gerber prefolds people use as burp cloths.

So, what if Target sold cloth diapers?  What if they could be added to baby registries along with all the other necessities?  It sure would be great to see “Bumgenius 4.0 pocket diaper – Zinnia – Aisle A14” in black & white on a baby registry!  Not only would it get modern cloth in front of more mommy-to-be eyballs, but also the eyes of Grandparents, Aunts and friends.  I’d love for the choice of cloth to be as common as Huggies vs. Pampers.

I just don’t think it would work.  Stores don’t have the space for the huge selection that online cloth diaper retailers have.  Even if they carried just one or two brands, I don’t know if the demand would be high enough to justify keeping them in stock.

The other big problem is support.  If you call or email any one of my favorite online CD stores, you will be connected most likely to someone who has cloth diapered her own babies, knows the inventory inside and out, and can help you understand the differences between diapers.  They can help you choose the right brands and styles to start with, and help you troubleshoot, suggest detergents, diaper creams and help with wash routines.  Sure, I guess “big box” stores could put a few employees through a crash course in cloth diapering, but sometimes you need experience behind the advice.  From my own experience, cloth diapering can be overwhelming and frustrating at first, and you really need information and support to keep you from giving up.

So, in my dream world, there would be a successful brick and mortar cloth diaper store in the busiest shopping center of every town.  They would partner with hospitals to do cloth demos at new parenting classes, maybe host La Leche League meetings or baby wearing classes in their stores also.  Everyone would know about the cloth diaper store, and it would be the place to go for diapers, slings/wraps/carriers and safe toys.  Lots of online cloth diaper stores offer baby registries, but many people I know would be far more likely to shop at a local store than to order a gift online.

So should cloth diapers be in big box stores?  What do you think?  What do you think we can do to make cloth diapering more “oohh” and less “ewww” to others?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    >Oh and moby wraps too? Wow, that's awesome!!

  • November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    >I'm envious that you guys live somewhere that there's gDiapers and Bumgenius in stores! I live outside of a large-ish town/city abotu an hour from D.C./Baltimore/N.Va. but no cloth here!!

  • November 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    >(I deleted that last one because I said "at least" like ten times and I felt like a moron lol.)I wish stores like Babies R Us had a modern cloth diaper section, not just the gDiapers. When people go in there, they expect a ton of options for every type of product. I have noticed my BRU carries Moby Wraps now, so that's at least a start! 🙂

  • November 24, 2010 at 9:46 am

    >We used Amazon for our registry so that we could add cloth diapers. I think that WAY more people would do cloth dipes if they were in the mainstream stores. Even Babies R Us only have gDiapers where I am.

  • November 24, 2010 at 4:13 am

    >Target actually does sell BumGenius diapers in stores. While I was pregnant with my second babe, I saw an end cap stocked with bGs! I was shocked and totally in awe at the same time. :)

  • November 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    >First, I will mention that I am lucky enough to live close to 2 CD stores. Happy Bambino and Nicki's Diapers are both in Madison, WI, about 25 minutes from me. I try to make it to Nicki's once a month. Not just to buy diapers, but to talk diapers. I love that I can go in, look around, let baby play, and talk CDing with real moms who do it everyday!Next, the only other problem I see with CD's in Big Box Stores is turnover. They have pulled many products because they don't have a high turnover rate. Method Baby soap was pulled for this reason. As a user of Method, I know that we have had the same bottle for almost a year! 1 pump goes a long way on one child. They were seeing that it wasn't being purchased often enough, so they gave that space to another product.CD's are not a "high turnover" product. Once you buy your basic "stash", you won't be in need of that many more (unless you are obsessed with trying new products, like I am) for a long time. Possibly even through multiple children. I, too, have the same dream that you do. I would love to see an area of Target that was focused on CDing, BFing, baby wearing and all other natural mommy/baby things. It may not be very realistic, but a mom can dream! I think we are all making progress one mom at a time. I have reached so many already. Before I had my son, I thought I would have to use prefold, diaper pins and plastic/rubber pants! I'm so happy I decided to dive into the CDing world!

  • November 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    >i dont know, but my family and i have been thinking about opening our own brick and mortar cloth diaper store where we live. i wish i could have seen and touched the diapers before i bought them! plus, we cloth diaper our little one so we have lots of experience and we have the passion for sure 🙂

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