Thursday, October 29, 2009

Website Directories: Part 1

Whenever I'm changing my child's cloth diaper in public, among the most common questions I get are:

"Sooo....where do you buy those?"

And after I ramble for a few minutes, inevitably the question is:

"How on earth did you learn all this? How do you keep it all straight?"

Well, since my hope and the aim of my cloth blog is to help those parents who are new to cloth, and maybe just beginning their research, I thought I'd answer some of those questions as best as I can!

I think the logical first question is

How / Where do you learn about cloth diapers?

Well, to be honest with you, after a few short conversations with IRL friends who used cloth, I felt a little overwhelmed. So I honestly just sat down at my computer one day, and typed "cloth diapers" into Google.

I started by going through all the online store sites, making notes (and notes, and notes...pages and pages of notes) about the different kinds of cloth diapers, the brands for each type/style, price comparisons between stores, etc. It was tough. Although I feel like I now know a lot simply because of the way I researched, I honestly don't recommend doing it this way, because it can be so overwhelming that some parents may abandon the idea of cloth diapering altogether.

Now obviously, I started this blog to help people figure things out. I do my best to take the best advice I've found out there, and condense it, as well as share with you what I've learned along the way and my own little tips and tricks. However, if you want some more info than what I have here, or you're trying to find a balanced perspective to make your decisions, or you're looking for a dialogue, there are a few websites to help you figure this whole thing out (all links will open in a new window):

The Diaper Jungle - especially their Information Guide article directory, under the Cloth Diaper Articles tab on the home page. They also have a reviews page, and the BEST detergent comparison chart!

The Diaper Hyena - this site was created by a mom, just like me! They also offer reviews, a FAQs page, a folding 101 page, and a very thorough article index for articles on every topic you could imagine.

Diaper Pin - the #1 go-to site for reviews, in my opinion! They also have a FAQs page and forums for questions and discussions.

Diaper Swappers - one of the best forum sites for cloth diapering, once you get the "threads" thing all figured out (for some reason this site was confusing to me at first). You have to create an account, but then you can read (and post) discussions on cloth diapering issues. Sometimes it's just so helpful to read what other people are dealing with. You can also buy and sell used diapers here.

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer - a blog maintained by Kelly Wels, the owner of several online diaper stores, including Kelly's Closet. The blog is great, featuring new posts nearly every day from several different contributors about all kinds of cloth diaper-related issues, from beginners to professionals! Stop by and become a follower to automatically see the updates. One other nice thing about the Whisperer is that the posts are succint...unlike mine. ;)

Additonally, most online cloth diapering stores feature sections on why to choose cloth, how to care for it, cloth 101, etc. You can also check out "mom sites" like CafeMom, where you can join groups for cloth diapering and post discussions and questions.

Finally, one very important note about these sites, groups, and "forums." First and foremost, do yourself and everyone else in those forums and groups a huge favor:

DON'T GET ON THOSE CLOTH DIAPERING FORUMS AND POST SOMETHING LIKE "I'm really interested in switching to cloth diapers, but I'm totally new at this and have no idea where to start. Someone please help!!!"

IT WILL ONLY MAKE PEOPLE FRUSTRATED AND IRRITATED, AND CHANCES ARE NO ONE WILL RESPOND TO YOU EXCEPT TO SAY, "LOOK THROUGH OLD POSTS ON HERE."

The thing is, NONE of us knew anything about it when we first started, and you really need to do your research for yourself first. I'm not trying to be ugly, but most people on those forums don't want to spoon-feed anyone information. Take some initiative and plow through that stage of not knowing what the difference between a flat and a contour is. If you go on any of those forums and post a question like "What's the difference between a prefold and a fitted?" you're not likely to garner any kind response. :/

So that's my top choices of where to look for information. Of course, there are tons and tons out there, but these are just my few favorites. Please feel free to leave a comment with the URL to any other great resources you've found!

3 comments:

Southern Belle said...

I just wanted to stop bye to say I left you an award on my blog...come and get it! = )

I will be back later to catch up on your last few posts...

the monkey's mama said...

this is a great list! I definitely pored over posts on Diaper Swappers, bookmared tons, and came back multiple times before jumping into the world of CDing!

Jessica said...

If you decide you want to do mostly prefolds, fitteds, and covers, Green Mountain Diapers is definitely the best resource out there for finding out what sizes of things go together, what sizes of things fit your baby best, etc. I don't even think it's possible to order anything from them and receive the wrong size ;)