Book Review: Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels
When I received my copy of Changing Diapers, by Kelly Wels (founder of DiaperShops.com and KellysCloset.com and cloth-diaper advocate), I was in limbo in our cloth diapering. Meaning, I was waiting for our new cloth diapers to arrive and finishing up the disposables we used for three months after abandoning cloth for awhile. Yes, shame on me. I was glad to be in that predicament, though, because reading Changing Diapers meant that I was coming from the perspective (at least for the moment) of a disposable diaper user. There is definitely something to be said for not washing diapers constantly! Changing Diapers, though, excited me and reinvigorated my love for cloth diapers! I truly believe that those new to cloth diapering will find this book a “gateway drug” to the addiction many cloth-diapering moms acquire! Moreover, it is an entertaining, informative, yet concise, invaluable resource.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Wels intelligently begins her guide with an introduction which defines “modern cloth diapering.” When I became pregnant in 2009, information on modern cloth diapering was found (in my world) only on the internet, and only until quite recently have I seen modern cloth diapers in chain retail stores, occasionally. Needless to say, the explanation of what diapering CAN look like is necessary in a culture rich with memories of plastic pants and diaper pins.
Following the introduction, Wels walks readers through reasons to choose cloth diapering from, “It’s Best for Baby,” to “…Cloth is Convenient,” to “…Cloth Diapering is Fun…”. Each section dispels common myths about cloth diapering and seeks to educate readers on the FACTS. Readers will find themselves hard-pressed to use disposable diapers after reading Chapter One.
I should mention at this juncture that there is nothing droll nor sterile about the data Wels provides. Everything is presented in an easy-to-read format, with fun graphics and a concise delivery. Yet Wels’ authoritative tone assures the reader that she’s the expert.
But Where to Begin?
The next few chapters of Changing Diapers are spent thoroughly describing the language of cloth diapering (“snappis,” “AIO,” “pocket,” for example) and simplifying the differences between brands of diapers, types of diapers, and the old “velcro vs. snaps” debate. This section is truly the meat of the book, as Wels provides clear illustrations about the different styles of diapers (which is so much easier to flip through than the hundreds of cloth diaper manufacturer websites out there on the web). She also provides an explanation of the changes parents can expect in diapering a newborn versus a toddler. I, for one, could have used this reminder! I did not anticipate that my lovely little Bear wouldn’t always be a giggly, chubby lump content to lie on the changing table! Wels walks parents through the best options for each stage of baby’s diapering years.
Some of the most notable chapters in Changing Diapers are those in which Ms. Wels discusses the sticky (pun intended) situations in which cloth-diapering parents may find themselves. Chapter 5 covers “The Back-to-Work and Daycare Diapering Dilemma” while Chapter 6 discusses cloth diapering for multiples and babies with special needs. The consensus? It can be done!
These Chapters Make the Book Worth Every Penny
As I mentioned, I was using disposable diapers when I received my copy of Changing Diapers. My husband was perfectly fine, even quite happy, with this scenario. He had been on board with cloth diapers at the beginning, but The Bear is quite the squirmy one, and I suppose The Hubs just really liked those throwaway diapers’ tabs. I was so pleased to see the chapter entitled “Daddies and Diapers,” that reminded me of all the reasons my husband jumped on board in the first place: the environmental, the health, and most importantly for him, THE LOWER COST. If you’re a soon-to-be mama or know one who is on-board with cloth but Hubby isn’t, you need Changing Diapers. The anecdotes from diapering dads are insightful and quite funny while being helpful and unintimidating.
Secondly, the chapter on laundry, soaps, and wash routines is invaluable. I cannot tell you how many times I sat at the computer searching for answers about diaper laundry. This book answers all questions in a tight format which would also be great to bookmark and keep in the laundry area for when Dad takes care of the washing.
Besides the anecdotes from parents, fun graphics, and adorable photos of “fluffy bums,” Wels includes some Extras to complement the dearth of information she provides in Changing Diapers. A Resource Guide listing websites and blogs helpful in answering cloth diapering questions reinforces the fact that Kelly Wels is truly an advocate for cloth diapering and wishes for readers to have the best information available. A listing of well-loved brands, a diaper-bag packing list (genius!), a checklist of necessary items (I could have used this two years ago!), and, my favorite, a list of reference articles from multiple, reliable sources about the benefits of cloth diapering. (You know, for those people who HAVE to have sources ;).)
The Bottom (heh-heh) Line: I will be purchasing this book for all new moms I know and I will be passing along my copy to moms who are using disposables. What I like best about Changing Diapers is that Kelly Wels is intent on changing a culture; when she accomplishes her mission, we shall thank her for improving the health of our kids, our environment, and our power of choice.
In honor of the release of Changing Diapers, Kelly Wels and the Changing Diapers team are sponsoring a cloth diaper giveaway here at Healthful Mama! CLICK HERE for your chance to win a FuzziBunz One-Size Cloth Diaper!