Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 73

3 Years Later with Nerdy Mommas

It’s been three years of bringing you over 70 episodes of cloth diapering stories from brands, retailers and parents around the world. *Anna’s audio quality has a low buzz that I was unable to correct, warning that this may not be comfortable listening experience for everyone*  

Today we circle back to chat with Anna from Nerdy Momma’s Cloth Diapers. Anna was one of my first guests on the show. So we catch up and chat about where she is today, some of our goals in the cloth diaper community, and some of the challenges about growing cloth diaper businesses in 2021. 

This is a conversation between cloth diaper friends, and I look forward to bringing you another year of cloth diapering content. 

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Show Transcription

Bailey Bouwman  00:00

Welcome to the cloth diaper podcast, a space where we talk about cloth diapering. This is show 77.


Bailey Bouwman  00:06

We’re taking a break from interviews today, just to kind of think, answer some of the questions and share some of what’s been going on in my life.


Bailey Bouwman  00:23

The Cloth Diaper podcast is a somewhat regular show dedicated to sharing stories from cloth, diaper brands, retailers and parents around the world. My name is Bailey, I’ve been hosting the healthy Apple podcast for over three years. And this year, we celebrated three years. This is shows 77. That means that I’ve had 77 interviews, okay, well, not really, because a couple of them have just been me chatting, or me chatting with my husband, I have interviewed over 30 brands from around the world, I’ve chatted with dozens of parents about their cloth diaper story.


Bailey Bouwman  00:57

And lately, one of my most common things I’ve been doing is consulting, consulting with new brands, consulting with established brands, and consulting with people who just have ideas. We’ve been talking about social media strategy, we’ve been talking about copywriting, we’ve been talking about how and what and how to do things different. What’s the beat on the ground is, I thought I would pause between now this episode last week we we chatted with Darin from Cooper Rose Baby. And the next episode I have here in my zoom file is with The Nappy Gurus. And I just wanted to pause and think and talk.


Bailey Bouwman  01:39

So my name is Bailey. And I have been doing this for three years. And if you don’t already know my origin story three years ago, I there was a lot, I mean, there still is there was a lot of drama, and fighting within the cloth diaper space, a lot of brands would mess up, they would make errors. And then everything was just done by written word. We weren’t really like engaged in talking. I always wanted to be a thought leader in this industry. And I thought, well, maybe I could get my way into Fluff Love University. But there’s like no application process to become an admin.


Bailey Bouwman  02:18

And that’s when I began to really kind of put together these pieces that admins and those in charge of shaping how this community comes together, are just appointed from within, or appointed by somebody else. So I thought, like all of us, I could just do it myself. Why not transition from telling my story all the time, and finding a way to share case, other people’s stories.


Bailey Bouwman  02:49

And, boy have we done that over the last three years, we have shared stories of parents, cloth diapering in the Maldives, in the Philippines, in Germany, in Europe, in South America, and beyond. I am so incredibly humbled that I have gotten to learn from all of you and what I have learned. And the message that I know so many of you work just as hard as I do to share and promote is that cloth diapering is an incredibly diverse experience in which there are no rules. It’s not one way. There’s not just one application of wash routines, there’s not just one best diaper. Instead, it’s this kind of messy world of learning and growing together.


Bailey Bouwman  03:43

In April, I got a message from somebody on Instagram, and it said, so I’ve been reading over and I’ve been listening to the podcast and I’ve been watching your YouTube videos. And it seems like you guys just go rogue. And I was like, Yeah, it’s pretty much rogue cloth diapering. It’s not for everybody. But it can really work for some people. She was like, Okay, I’m not sure I can quite wrap my brain around this. I think I might just stick to rules. But she was frustrated because the rules weren’t working for her. And that’s what we see time and time again.


Bailey Bouwman  04:22

Every time I get on consult with a cloth diaper bank or a cloth diaper retailer. They have the same story. They have this constant fluctuation fluctuation. That’s not a word of people who come to them and say, I’m following these rules and they’re not working. I’m following these rules and I’m overwhelmed. I’m following these rules. And then we have to spend all this time undoing the rules.


Bailey Bouwman  04:53

This woman who had messaged me on instagram in April, she messaged me in July and she wanted to say thanks for answering My message a couple months ago, I’ve gone rogue and everything’s working out.


Bailey Bouwman  05:05

It all comes out in the wash.


Bailey Bouwman  05:07

At the end of the day, it all comes out in the wash.


Bailey Bouwman  05:11

I also spent a lot of my blogging career, especially my 2018 to 2019 blogging career out on this path of destruction, that the only way the cloth diaper community would thrive is if we could take down these big spaces and these people who said, there’s only one way to cloth diaper. And sometimes I still get caught up in that mentality.


Bailey Bouwman  05:37

But I do think that the best way that we’re going to thrive is if we come together. I don’t really know though how to come together with cloth diapers for beginners or fluff love University. Because they have such strict and adamant rules, how do we can I can even change my mind, I’m just such a freelancers. So maybe it’s not that I need to welcome them into my circle.


Bailey Bouwman  06:02

But that we need to continue to expand our circles and share our love of cloudlibrary. What they bring can be as easy or as hard as you make it. It can be as expensive or as cheap as you make it. It can be whatever experience you want to make it. We have so much control in the clinic where experience and journey.


Bailey Bouwman  06:23

But at the same time, we also don’t so many of us are in situations where we don’t get to choose how cheap we can cloth diaper how expensive we can a post the other day I posted on Instagram about newborn cloth diapering ruffled a few feathers. And it was really interesting to pause and listen to the stories that were being shared.


Bailey Bouwman  06:45

Often, the stories that I share about my cloth diaper experience come from a point of privilege, white middle class, upper class privilege. And it’s important for us to make sure that that’s not the dominant narrative. And I find myself too often, especially this last couple of months falling into allowing my narrative to be the dominant, dominant narrative. So I don’t know where I was going with that. But these women, they shared their experiences about how cloth diapering was the best thing, it was life changing, it was financial security. And it was just a complete game changer and how they diaper their babies.


Bailey Bouwman  07:32

These are the stories I want to hear more of these little stories that I want to capture. I want to be able to share how and why cloth diapering was revolutionary for you, as a black woman, as a indigenous woman as a foreign fleeing from domestic abuse. But I also know that you have a lot of other stuff going on in your life. So taking the time to sit down with me and share your story or to write might not be a priority. So I want you to know that whenever the time comes, that you are ready and willing to share your story and that you can email me and we can sit down and you can record it. And we could write it down. We could find all sorts of different ways to share your story. It doesn’t have to be a 30 minute podcast. It could be a 10 minute you talking into your phone, it could be a series of notes that you leave. I really more than ever want to ensure that as we go into 2022 the cloth diaper podcast becomes a space of other people’s stories from other people’s experiences that are outside of mine.


Bailey Bouwman  08:46

I sat down with the ladies from the cloth for a cause here in Prince George. And they both shared the stories of how cloth diapering was the only option and game changing. They shared stories about being single parents and hand washing diapers and shelters. They shared stories about teaching people in shelters, staff about how to launder cloth diapers, then they shared stories about escaping abuse and the lack of support in their communities and within their family to be who and what they want it to be.


Bailey Bouwman  09:24

These stories are really easy to capture over a couple of drinks that are even harder to sit down and write it if you’re ever listening to the podcast or you’re ever reading a blog and you’re wondering, I wonder if someone out there is dealing with what I have to deal with. The chances are someone is we’re not really alone in a world of billions of people.


Bailey Bouwman  09:49

Please, I don’t know where I was going with this. I’ve been editing podcasts all day. And I was kind of tired about sharing brand stories. I kind of thought I would just I would sit down and chat. That’s been one thing on my mind.


Bailey Bouwman  10:05

Another thing on my mind has been, please consult. So I’ve been having with cloth, diaper brands, retailers, diaper banks and diaper services, absolutely blown away by the number of people and the people who have decided they want to reach out to talk to me. We’ve bounced ideas around and we’ve connected them with one another. I’ve been doing social media strategy for some I’ve been writing copy for others. And I’ve been working on done for you social media and blogging content so that we can have a more rich and diverse way.


Bailey Bouwman  10:36

You might think, why would I need to start a cloth diaper blog when Bailey’s already done it? That answer couldn’t be further from the truth. When you meet a new parent, and they want to learn about cloth diapering, they want to learn about it from you. They don’t want to learn about it from me, they don’t know who I am. And they don’t connect with me, not everybody is gonna like me, I know that very well firsthand. So one of the best things that we can do is we can be our own advocates, and we can be our own champions.


Bailey Bouwman  11:08

So don’t ever be afraid of providing somebody with the information that they need. Don’t ever be afraid of writing, get another review about cloth diapers, or writing out your wash routine on Instagram. These are things that help us normalize this conversation of cloth diapering and help us connect with one another. People don’t always want to come to me and I don’t want to always be that resource. I really think that the future is cloth diapering it’s going to have to be there’s not really going to be a choice.


Bailey Bouwman  11:44

And that that future is going to come around through grassroots conversations. It’s going to be people at farmer’s markets trying to convince other people to flock labor. It’s going to be presentations at libraries, it’s going to be little things, being able to see cloth diapers in stores, and thinking about it’s not that people want to cloth diaper. But it’s good to be the only way. cloth diapering is not always a love affair. We don’t always love it. Sometimes it’s gross and disgusting. And sometimes it’s exhausting and overwhelming. If you’re able to take a break in this moment, that’s a huge privilege. But we’re not always.


Bailey Bouwman  12:31

This 10 minutes of me chatting, I’m going to end by saying be confident and knowing that you can be an advocate for cloth diapering, start that diaper bank, start that Instagram account, start that blog. If you want to share your story through the cloth diaper podcast, social media channels, that’s always an option. I’m continuing to always accept guest posts and podcast guests if you want to sit down and chat. If you want me to share your story. Those are things that we can do, send me an email, and I’ll send you an email with my calendar scheduler and I want to make sure that we can normalize more experiences of cloth diapering.


Bailey Bouwman  13:14

Because the experience on Pinterest is definitely definitely looks only one way. And I can try my best. But without your help. It’s gonna continue to look that way. The other challenge that we have in this industry and I would love your insights is overwhelmed.


Bailey Bouwman  13:38

How many times do you need a parent who is excited to cloth diaper and they get into a research hole and they get overwhelmed? What can we do to minimize the research hole? What can we do to make parents feel empowered that they can just buy a couple of diapers without googling and researching everything. The research hole is overwhelming. And it’s scary. And it’s full of misinformation and outdated information.


Bailey Bouwman  14:06

If you have any ideas about how to overcome that research whole thing, also, let me know. I would also encourage you to just leave comments on the blog post for today’s show notes if you want to maybe have this conversation in a different way. But this is the cloth diaper podcast for today. We’ll be chatting with Laura from cloth nappy girls next week. And I have some new guests coming.


Bailey Bouwman  14:32

But we’re just kind of waiting on things. There’s been some shipping issues this year. There’s been some factory issues this year. I mean, these are all normal things for this industry, but lots of different challenging situations that brands are in and sometimes a brand thinks they’re gonna launch in June and September and they still haven’t launched. So fingers crossed that everybody can get off the ground and we can see some amazing new growth in this industry.

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