Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Blog: All Things Diapers

Liz Wickoren is a breastfeeding and cloth diapering mom of four who works at All Things Diapers in Blaine, Minnesota. Being at a store like this gives her a unique opportunity to observe things from the other side of the nursing world. She gets to experience and embrace all kinds of mamas that come through her store. What a treat! Thanks for sharing a peak of your world with us Liz! 

My most favorite part of working at a diaper store is being around all the moms and babies.  Sure we get some dads coming in and a grandma or auntie now and then, but the majority of our customers are moms, usually with little ones in tow.  So being at work ends up being strangely similar to being at home.  I chat about cloth diapers and baby carriers with fellow moms, kids run around and throw stuff on the floor, and poop happens.  It’s fun.  

There’s also lots of nursing going on.  You hang around babies long enough and they’re bound to get hungry, right?  I’m very proud to be working at a store that really embraces breastfeeding.  No one will be staging a nurse-in there, that’s for sure.  We have a section of breastfeeding supplies like reusable nursing pads, natural nipple balm, and nursing covers.  We’ve got a private nursing area with a comfy chair and a privacy curtain, and we’ve also got rocking chairs, an arm chair, and a couch out in the open in the store and adjoining classroom.  We’re ready to accommodate any kind of nursing mothers and we really do see it all.

Some moms are more private and quietly retire to the nursing area for some alone time with baby.  Others use the nursing area, but don’t seem to require as much privacy.  One mom in particular I remember had a very slow eater and so was nursing for quite a while.  She made good use of the time though.  She kept chatting with me through the curtain and I brought diapers over to her to look at.

Still others use nursing covers to get the privacy they need while out in the store.  Who knew they came in so many beautiful prints?  And of course there are those who just use baby’s blanket to cover up.

On the other end of the spectrum are the more casual moms.  They skip the covers and curtains and just take a load off in the rocking chair or on the bench to nurse their baby.  Some don’t even sit down but just latch baby on and walk around and keep shopping.  The most impressive though was the mom who latched baby on in her baby carrier and kept shopping hands free while baby ate!

I have been very surprised to see that there doesn’t seem to be much of a pattern or trend when it comes to how people nurse in our store.  I think the rocking chair sees just as much breastfeeding action as the nursing area does.  Lots of moms cover up and lots more don’t.  It’s very interesting.  

The big trend I do see though seems to be that most cloth diapering moms breastfeed their babies.  I often ask expectant moms, “Are you planning to breastfeed or use formula?”  No, I’m not being nosy, it makes a big difference when it comes to diapers.  Breastfed newborns have poop that is really easy to take care of.  It’s water soluble so it just dissolves in the washing machine - no diaper sprayer or liners required for a no-muss-no-fuss diaper change.  Sprayers and liners are great, but if you’re planning on breastfeeding, there’s no need to buy them for the first six months or more, not until you introduce solids or formula.  So when we’re talking about what accessories to buy or how to wash the diapers, I always ask - breastmilk or formula.  And I can’t remember the last time someone answered, “formula”.  I also don’t see moms pulling out bottles nearly as often as I see them sitting down to nurse.  

So something about cloth diapers and breastfeeding seem to go together.  I suppose it makes sense.  Cloth diapers are inexpensive and natural, just like breastmilk.

About the Author:  Liz Wickoren is a breastfeeding and cloth diapering mom of four who works at All Things Diapers in Blaine, MN.  Stop by the store to say “hi” and pick up some breastfeeding supplies, cloth diapers, baby carriers and more.


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